Germany off the beaten track

Wiesbaden: Hessian State Theatre © HHoG/ Takano

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Practical information

Why go?

Brick Gothic architecture in the city and a Baltic resort on its doorstep for seaside fun, maritime charm and unspoilt coastal scenery. Eight hundred years of history have shaped this "Gateway to the North". Rostock has preserved much of the charm that it once possessed as the most important member of the Hanse (Hanseatic League).

The gabled houses dominating the skyline attest to this, as well as the imposing brick warehouses, massive gates and fortifications, and awe-inspiring churches. They all bear eloquent witness to the wealth of the city's medieval merchants. Rostock has kept its importance as a trade center to this day, as well as its status as a college town. Its university, founded in 1419, is the oldest in Northern Europe.

In 1323, Rostock acquired the little fishing town of Warnemünde, thus securing free access by water to the Baltic Sea. Soon Rostock, Lübeck and Wismar founded the Hanseatic League. The city's dynamic growth was halted for a lengthy period by collapse of the Hanseatic League, effects of the Thirty Years' War and the devastating conflagration of 1677. Only in the late 19th century did Rostock experience a renaissance of shipping under sail, becoming an important harbor for the export of grain.

When go?

Germany is a popular travel destination all year-round, with a typical four-season climate. Winter temperatures vary from west to east, with around freezing temperatures in the west and well below freezing in the east of Germany. Summer temperatures are typically between 20°C (68°F) and 30°C (86°F). In terms of tourist numbers, May through to September are the most popular months to visit Germany. However, the winter holidays with their enchanting Christmas Markets are also a major highlight. Those who enjoy the benefits of uncrowded attractions will favor January through to April.

However, winters can be severe in Rostock with freezing temperatures. Summers are warm and pleasant. Rain showers are frequent but do not last too long: the sunshine index is high, whilst the amount of rainfall guarantees a green and fertile landscape.

Long periods of fine weather can be followed by unsettled conditions.  To be on the safe side, make sure you bring a sweater and wet weather clothing with you.

What to eat?

Join the city tour devoted to the "History of the Hanseatic League". After enjoying so much culture, sample some Mecklenburger Rippenbraten (Mecklenburg's roast ribs) with a Rostocker Doppelkümmel (Rostock caraway seed schnapps).

On the near side of the "Alter Strom" (Old Stream) in Warnemünde, fishing boats lie tied to cleats as their crews sell from tables heaped with fish. It is an almost uniquely romantic place, but time has not stood still here. Boutiques, cafés and galleries face the channel lined with boats converted to take-out restaurants selling every variety of fish: herring, salmon, squid, mackerel, pickled fish, smoked fish, fish sandwiches, fish-kabobs and fish cakes. The brewing of beer - Germany's Golden Barley Juice - has a long tradition in Rostock. Visit the brewery "Zum Alten Fritz" for dinner or the brewery "Brauhaus Trotzenburg" for a guided tours that cover everything "from malt to bottling".

Rostock Gallery

Map of Germany

That´s Germany

Rostock owes its charm to the rust-colored stepped gables of this architectural style. Brick Gothic
developed its own typical style, strongly influenced by the cathedrals of France.

VIP: Walter Kempowski

The acclaimed German author was born in Rostock. The Kempowski archive exhibits reconstructions
of rooms and some of his works.