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Known as the Queen of the Hansa, Lübeck is the poster town for northern Germany’s historic trading cities that formed the mighty Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages. Begin a tour at its most dramatic entrance, the imposing Holstentor tower gate, entering the water-surrounded old city across the bridge. Most of the sights are to the left of this main street, but to the right is the outstanding TheaterFiguren Museum, well worth seeing even for those who do not care about puppets. Life centers on the market square, bounded by the Rathaus (city hall) and the twin-towered St. Marien, Germany’s third largest church. Through the Rathaus arches are ...

Known as the Queen of the Hansa, Lübeck is the poster town for northern Germany’s historic trading cities that formed the mighty Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages. Begin a tour at its most dramatic entrance, the imposing Holstentor tower gate, entering the water-surrounded old city across the bridge. Most of the sights are to the left of this main street, but to the right is the outstanding TheaterFiguren Museum, well worth seeing even for those who do not care about puppets. Life centers on the market square, bounded by the Rathaus (city hall) and the twin-towered St. Marien, Germany’s third largest church. Through the Rathaus arches are narrow lanes of historic buildings and perhaps Lübeck’s most famous attraction: Café Niederegger. The café is known worldwide for its marzipan, which is explored in a museum upstairs and consumed in a café behind the shop. Interesting architecture lines Breitestrasse and Konigstrasse, while boutiques and shops concentrate between them on Huxstrasse. The towering brick façade of Katharinenkirche hides a soaring interior with frescoes and painted choir stalls. Buddenbrook-House, the setting for Thomas Mann’s novel and now a museum, faces St. Marien church. Less well known is St. Anne's Museum, displaying not only Germany’s best collection of late-medieval carved altarpieces, but a series of furnished rooms showing how the city’s inhabitants lived from as early as the Middle Ages.

Stillman Rogers
About the Expert

Stillman Rogers has written more than two dozen guidebooks, including Adventure Guide to Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Guide to Eastern Canada, and Adventure Guide to the Chesapeake.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northern Germany on the Baltic Sea
  • Language: German
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    While most of the city's sights are open year-round, winter brings gray skies and cold winds. December brings Christmas Markets.