Another installment of my
mini series called “1 City 5 Ways,” showcasing the surprising number of ways
you can experience some of Historic Highlights of Germany’s magnificent cities. Today's post focuses on Rostock, Historic Highlights of Germany's only coastal city.
You may already know Rostock
as Germany’s seaside gateway to Scandinavia, just a short ferry ride away from
Denmark and Sweden. What you may not know is that by hosting everything from
cutting edge research to world class sporting events, Rostock is so much more
than mere beauty and brawn. It’s clearly cultured and darn brainy too.
SO, WHAT’S YOUR TRAVEL STYLE?
The Outdoor Enthusiast
The birthplace of the world's first “beach
chair,” Rostock has clearly had beach culture covered as far back as the 1800s.
But these days don’t expect to spend all day in
a beach chair. Unless you want to, that is.
From windsurfing to beach volleyball, virtually
all water sports are accessible in Rostock. And then there’s the gorgeous
seaside path in neigbhoring Warnemünde that is absolutely perfect for leisurely bike rides, walks and jogs… And every
summer, for pure viewing delight and entertainment, hundreds of tall ships -- from
around the world -- cruise into harbor for the epic Hanse Sail.
The Lux Traveler
If some downtime at the spa is more
your style, Warnemünde’s Hohe Dune Yachting and Spa Resort is the perfect
retreat for you. It’s a grand resort with boutique style attention to detail.
Relax on the terrace overlooking the Baltic
Sea. Stroll on a quiet stretch of beach. Eat, drink and relax in 6 restaurants
and 5 bars. And, if fitness is part of your plan, a large fitness facility,
pool or steam bath is all at your disposal.
Despite feeling a world away from the regular
beach bustle, it is all set just across from the main harbor. So you’re just moments
away from all the action whenever you’re ready to step back into it.
The Foodie Traveler
It almost goes without saying that seafood
lovers will delight in the fresh year round offerings found in Rostock.
But even if you don’t fancy seafood, Rostock
has an impressive selection of internationally inspired fare. The waterfront, in Rostock as well as in Warnemünde, is overflowing with great restaurants. A favorite for
many visitors is Al Porto, an Italian restaurant located directly
on the water (on “the strand” in Rostock). It serves traditional thin crust Italian
wood-fired pizzas so deliciously authentic that they’ll leave you wondering
whether you’re overlooking the Mediterranean and not the Baltic Sea… The History Buff
A city with a more than 800 year history,
Rostock boasts plenty of world history and charm.
The city’s real history began when it joined
the Hanseatic League in the 1200s. Taking you back to that time period are the
city’s multiple original city and water gates. The Kröpelin Gate (Kröpeliner
Tor), first mentioned is 1280, is the most magnificent one remaining.
If educational history is more your interest,
Rostock University is one of the oldest in Northern Europe, founded in 1419.
Five Nobel Prize laureates have had connections to Rostock University, including Einstein. He
was given an Honorary Doctorate of Medicine there in 1919.
Possibly the city’s masterpiece though is its
Astronomical Clock. Installed in Rostock’s Church of Our Lady, in 1472, it is a
technical masterpiece and one of the oldest such clocks in Europe. It is also
the only one that still precisely functions with all of its original parts. A visit to this clock may remind you on the one Prague, which was built
in the same era, in 1410.
Like a Local
If you visit in summer and want to blend in
like a local Rostocker, simply put on some sunglasses and stroll along the beach, through the town center
or along the docks…with a jumbo soft ice cream cone in hand.
“Eis cafes" or ice cream stands line the
street in Rostock or Warnemünde. Germans truly love their ice cream (or
"eis” as they call it).However, this is also quite common in Nordic countries like Sweden,
Norway and Denmark. So, while you can hang out in the many outdoor cafes, to truly blend into this northern city on the
Baltic Sea, you should really indulge in some eis...