Sights in Lübeck: My Personal Highlights & Tips


The historic Hanseatic city of Lübeck is of a manageable size but still has many sights. You can explore the city and its highlights in a relaxed manner on a short weekend trip. The proximity to the Baltic Sea and Hamburg is also ideal for a city trip to escape from everyday life or to the beach for a day.

Lübeck is particularly well-known for the Holsten Gate, the city’s landmark. In addition, the beautiful old town and of course the Lübeck marzipan are attractions that make many people curious about Lübeck.

Since it doesn’t always have to be a long-distance journey, I laced my shoes, bought a train ticket, and went on a discovery tour from Hamburg to Lübeck. I have put together my personal highlights with sights from Lübeck for you.

Have fun discovering and planning your next escape from everyday life. Here you will find insider tips for Lübeck from locals.

Lübeck “classics” that you should see

When visiting Lübeck there are a few classics that you should visit. The picturesque Hanseatic city offers many attractions besides the Holstentor that you simply have to see! I have listed these top sights for you here.
Of course, Lübeck has much more to offer than I could have explored in one day. But you should have seen the places mentioned here in Lübeck.

  1. Holsten Gate
  2. Lübeck Marzipan
  3. Buddenbrook House
  4. Lübeck Town Hall
  5. Lanes in the Old Town
  6. St. Petri Church
  7. Museum
  8. Harbor
  9. Hünxstraße
  10. European Hanseatic Museum
  11. Lübeck Cathedral

Main sights in Luebeck

The most famous landmarks in Lübeck you should definitely visit when you visit Lübeck for the first time.

Holsten Gate

The Holstentor is the landmark of Lübeck and a must-see. Do you remember the old 50 DM note? Then you might remember the Holstentor because that was what you could see on this bill.

The old city gate was built in the 15th century and is characterized by the late Gothic architectural style.

There used to be four Holsten Gates, of which only the middle one remains today. Since 1950 it has also been the home of Lübeck’s City History Museum.

Anyone interested in the history of the Hanseatic League and its origins should definitely pay a visit to the museum. 

The Holsten Gate is Lübeck’s landmark.

My tip for all photographers: from the afternoon/evening you can best photograph the Holstentor with the old town in the back. Then the sun is at its best.

Another gate in Lübeck is the Burgtor. The gate, built in the late Gothic style, is another of what used to be four city gates in Lübeck’s city fortifications, which are still preserved today.

St. Peter’s Church

The most famous church in Lübeck is the St. Petri Church. Like the Holsten Gate, it was built in the 15th century for St. Petri. Today the church is a cultural and university church and is open to everyone.

The most famous attraction of the Petrikirche is definitely the viewing platform in the tower. You can take the elevator 50 m up and enjoy a 360-degree view of Lübeck from there. You can look over the old town, the town hall, the Holstentor, the Trave, and the old town of Lübeck from high above. On a clear day, the view extends to the Baltic Sea coast, to Mecklenburg, and to the Holstein countryside.

Information about the visit:

  • January and February: 10 am – 6 pm (last ascent at 5:30 pm), March – September: 9 am – 8 pm (last ascent at 7:30 pm), October – December: 10 am – 7 pm (last ascent at 6:30 pm).
  • Entrance fee: 4 euros for adults. Unfortunately, the tower is not barrier-free.
  • Link to the website of St. Petri Church
From St. Petri, you have the most beautiful view over Lübeck.

Buddenbrook House

Literature lovers know the masterpiece by Thomas Mann “The Buddenbrooks”. The Nobel Prize winner comes from Lübeck and also had his novel set there.

In case the book doesn’t mean anything to you: It is considered one of the most important German-language social novels. In “The Buddenbrooks”, Thomas Mann deals with his own family history, among other things, and tells of the downfall of the wealthy Buddenbrook merchant family.

The Buddenbrookhaus, which is worth seeing, is located at Mengstrasse 4, right next to the Marienkirche, and is one of the most important sights in Lübeck for me. The house has been a memorial since 1993 and is run by the Cultural Foundation of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck.

In the house you can see the two permanent exhibitions “The Buddenbrooks – A Novel of the Century” and “The Manns – A Family of Writers”. In addition, there are constantly changing special exhibitions.

Worth seeing Buddenbrookhaus in Lübeck about the life and works of Thomas Mann

Old Town Hall

The old town hall is located next to the Holsten Gate. Another landmark of Lübeck and a well-preserved example of the Gothic brick building style. Incidentally, the town hall is one of the largest medieval town halls in Germany and you should also have seen it.

If you have the opportunity to enter the old audience hall, be sure to pay attention to the height of the doors. This hall was formerly used by the court. Those who were acquitted were allowed to use the normal door to leave the hall, those who were found guilty had to go through the small door with their heads bowed.

  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays at 12.00 p.m.

Corridors and alleys of the old town

Probably the most enchanting attraction in Lübeck is its many alleys, corridors, and courtyards in the medieval old town. The old town of Lübeck seems to me like a little dollhouse. Nowhere else does the medieval flair come so authentically close. The houses in Lübeck are still inhabited today and are lovingly cared for and cared for by their residents.

Be sure to visit the old town and explore the alleys!

Tip: It’s raining? Don’t worry, true to the motto of the North Germans “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing” you should put on your rain jacket and walk through the old town. Especially when it rains, the reflections in puddles are a great photo motif. If you don’t feel like rain, you can visit one of the many museums.

Must see in Lübeck: historic brick houses.

When the Hanseatic League was at its economic peak, there was a construction boom in Lübeck. Since space in the old town was limited, many houses were built in backyards. A network of lanes, corridors, and courtyards that is unique in the world has emerged.

Getting lost and pausing desired. It’s worth it in Lübeck.

If you don’t want to stroll through the streets alone, you should join a guided tour of the city. Lübeck Tourismus has a great map to download for all self-discoverers.

In Lübeck’s old town, beautiful and cozy corridors, alleys, and backyards are hidden behind many corners! Explore them!

Please keep in mind that this is not a huge museum but the home of many Lübeck residents. Be considerate of local residents and behave in a considerate manner.

Lübeck marzipan

Who does not know the famous Lübeck marzipan from Niederegger? The shiny red packaging with the white lower third has its home in the Hanseatic city of Lübeck.

According to legend, the mixture of almonds and sugar was invented in Lübeck in 1407. According to current knowledge, that can’t be entirely true, but that doesn’t detract from the taste.

The main shop of the Niederegger company in Lübeck. Here you can get everything from the delicious marzipan.

In Café Niederegger you can not only buy typical souvenirs made of marzipan but also try the famous marzipan cake. Unfortunately, I’m not a marzipan fan myself, but I still had the opportunity to try this local specialty. A treat for my marzipan sweet tooth, but unfortunately much too sweet for me. But for you, dear blog reader, I will of course taste everything.

Note: There is also the Lübeck Marzipan Museum (Marzipanmuseum Niederegger if you are interested in marzipan and history. Did I give up.?

A classic that you have to try in Lübeck: is the Lübeck marzipan cake.

Hüxstraße (Hüxstrasse)– my best recommendation!

The small shopping street is really something special. You won’t find the big chains here. Instead, you will find over 120 small shops and bars here that invite you to browse, shop, eat and drink. Whether clothing, interior, antiques, or a bookstore, everyone will find what they are looking for in Hüxstraße.

The loveliest shops in Lübeck are lined up next to each other over a length of 517 m. We had to stop and be amazed all the time. I didn’t expect such a variety. My highlight of the Hanseatic city.

Absolute shopping paradise. Hüxstrasse.
Small shops line the Hüxstraße in Lübeck.

I particularly liked the Lübeck beer stage. This is where the hearts of craft beer lovers beat faster. Bottles and cans from all over the world are lined up on the shelves. Of course, you get the classics Ale, Pale Ale, and IPA. But also Pilsner and Helle from the region and from faraway countries. Be sure to seek advice, the on-site staff is really great.

The Bierbühne is a mecca and a special attraction for craft beer fans.

Are you hungry? Then visit the Schmackofatz Garage. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to eat there myself, but I thought it looked delicious and was well-attended.

European Hanseatic Museum

The European Hansemuseum conveys the history of the Hanseatic League to you in an exciting way. Guided tours and exhibitions are offered. 

I can particularly recommend the guided tour of the monastery grounds. The last head of the monastery and poorhouse takes you on a walk over Lübeck Castle Hill around 1900. The tour is great and very entertaining. Also, a great museum for children to experience the history of the Hanseatic League.

Museum port

The museum harbor is one of the most popular sights in Lübeck. Around 15 traditional sailing ships that have been lovingly restored are lined up here. The highlight is the late 19th-century Fridtjof, which served as a supply ship for polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen’s Arctic Ocean expedition (you can find out more about this at the Polar Museum in Tromsø, Norway).

Museum harbor in Lübeck

Map with sights in Lübeck

The following map shows you the sights with all the tips mentioned in Lübeck at a glance. You can also save the city map with all the sights, places worth seeing, and tips for food, bars, and other highlights offline on your mobile phone and navigate through the city quickly and easily:

Special city tours

Discover Lübeck on a culinary tour

A culinary tour through Lübeck? I love discovering cities from a culinary point of view and learning anecdotes and stories about the Hanseatic city. Because you only get this information from these activities. Do the food tour, because I don’t want to reveal too much here.

  • Book this culinary Lübeck tour here.
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Cost: 39 euros (very cheap for a culinary tour)

Eating & Drinking

  • Start the day with breakfast at  Café Fräulein Brömse in Lübeck’s old town in the courtyard of the European Hansemuseum. Strengthened with coffee (the two owners are baristas) and Franzbrötchen you can set off for sightseeing.
  • The best ice cream: Treat yourself to a sundae from Luicella’s Ice Cream on Hüxstraße. This street is a highlight in Lübeck anyway because there are lots of great shops (no chains), bookstores, clothes, and antiques.
  • For me,  the best café for coffee and cake is Die Dicke Berta. If you prefer something hearty, there are super delicious flammkuchen or freshly cooked lunches with regional ingredients (Monday to Friday). In addition, soups and sometimes quiches. The cake is homemade, and the coffee from Elbgold. It doesn’t get any better in Lübeck either.
  •  I highly recommend the potato storeHere’s food all about the potato. Inexpensive and quite healthy.
  • Alternatively: Freshly caught – here you will find the best fish in Lübeck
  • Visit the Currywurst Bude  H7  at the Holstentor,
  • The Coffee house  at Hüxstrasse 35
  • Colestreet – delicious from chili con carne to the soup of the day or cake. Sit comfortably on the couch and relax.
  • New roastery at Wahmstraße 43. The coffee is great, maybe even one of the best in Lübeck.

→ View more tips for Lübeck from a local here

Excursions around Lübeck

Travemünde: The bathtub of Lübeck

Take a trip to the sea in Travemünde. You can also comfortably cover the 10 km by bike. You can also get to “Lübeck’s bathtub” by train or car, as the place on the Baltic Sea coast is often called. No wonder it often leads to completely overcrowded beaches in summer. The highlight is the Travemünde Week, said to be the most beautiful regatta in the world (I’ve never been there for this event).

Other trips to the Baltic Sea are worthwhile to Timmendorfer Strand and to Niendorf. In just under 30 minutes, you are right on the beach in Timmendorf or Travemünde.

Tell us your favorites! Which attractions in Lübeck should a tourist not miss under any circumstances? Do you have further questions or useful information? We look forward to your comment at the end of the article.

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