Northern Germany is conveniently located from the Nordic region, and at the same time has a lot to offer. Here you can visit picturesque towns, see beautiful castles or simply enjoy the summer in all of Germany’s beautiful summer paradises. The large selection of campsites and rest areas also makes it practical to travel with a motorhome or caravan.
Germany is a fantastic country for anyone traveling with a motorhome or caravan. Here, campsites and rest areas are close together, and should one place be full, there are almost always several options nearby. If you want to visit a popular campsite during high season, for example on the extremely popular island of Rügen, it is advisable to book a place well in advance.
To get to Germany from the Nordic countries, there are several different routes to choose from. You can drive through Danish Jutland or take one of all the ferries that go from Sweden and Denmark. There is also a direct ferry from Helsinki to Rostock on the German coast. You can read more about the different ferries, as well as what you need to consider when traveling to Germany in this article about traveling to Germany with a motorhome or caravan.
There are many great places to visit in northern Germany, whether you prefer historical sights, beaches or theme parks. Here we suggest a tour that starts in Kiel, where you can go by ferry from Gothenburg, and ends in Sassnitz, where you can take a ferry to Ystad. Of course, you can choose to make the journey in the other direction, or just pick out some goodies that suit you.
If you take a ferry from Gothenburg to Germany, a route operated by the shipping company Stena Line, you end up in the large port city of Kiel. This city is the capital of the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, and here is one of the most important ports in the Baltic Sea area. Here you can visit the Maritime Museum, housed in Kiel’s old fish auction hall, or have a beer in northern Germany’s largest “biergarten” Forstbaumschule. Many also appreciate starting, or ending, the trip by shopping at the large border retailer CITTI.
Do you like Viking history? Then it might be worth making a detour to visit the “Haithabu Vikingamuseum”, about 40 minutes north of Kiel, in the direction of Schleswig. In the Viking Age, a lively Viking village was located here, strategically located on a major waterway. Today, a number of houses have been built that show what it might have looked like in the Viking Age. Here you can see people in viking clothes performing the crafts and chores of the time. Cows and sheep in woolly land breeds also roam the area.
Eutin Castle was founded in the 12th century and served as the residence of the bishops of Lübeck. After a fire in 1689, the castle was rebuilt in Baroque style, and at the same time a magnificent Baroque park was founded. Today you can visit the beautiful castle halls, and you can also walk in the big lovely park.
Hansa Park is an amusement park located on the Baltic coast, which allows you to combine a visit to the park with a holiday by the sea. The amusement park has lots of different rides, some of which are perfect for adventurous youngsters and others for smaller children. The areas are divided into different themes, such as Vikingland, Hansaland and Adventureland.
Timmendorfer beach offers a long, lovely sandy beach, which is perfect for long lazy days in the sun. Here are the charming, and for northern Germany typical, beach baskets in a row in the sand. The town has a history as a health resort, which is why you will find many beautiful houses here. Today you can stroll in nice parks, shop in long shopping streets or settle down in nice cafes and restaurants.
Lübeck is a historic Hanseatic city, with a city center that is today listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can stroll along cobbled streets, while looking out over canals, historic buildings, pinnacles and towers. If you like marzipan, you’ve also come to the right place. At the beginning of the 19th century, the company Niederegger was founded, which still produces its famous marzipan today. Initially, the product was only available to kings and tsars, but today, luckily, anyone can shop for the coveted treat.
Wismar is a historic Hanseatic city, which was in Swedish possession from 1648 to 1903. Every year in August, residents and tourists are reminded of the city’s long Swedish history, when they celebrate “Schwedenfest”. Participating in the festivities is a special experience, but the city also has a lot to offer. In the old part of the city, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, there are beautiful historical buildings. Here you can choose to have a meal at the restaurant “Alter Schwede” (The Old Swede), in Wismar’s oldest building. At the harbor you can try traditional “fischbrötchen” (rolls with, for example, salmon or herring) or join a boat trip.
In the center of the city of Schwerin you will find the beautiful castle of the same name. The castle was until 1918 the residence of the dukes and grand dukes of Schwerin, and today serves as the seat of the rulers of the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In addition, the castle’s beautiful halls are open to tourists. In addition to strolling around inside the castle, you can enjoy the beautiful castle garden, where there is also a nice restaurant.
Waren is a picturesque little town, filled with cute half-timbered houses, situated nicely on the great lake Müritz. At the lake you can enjoy lovely boat trips, or just sit down for a bite to eat with a view of the water. Waren is also home to the museum and experience center Müritzeum, where you can learn more about native animals and plants in an entertaining and interactive way.
Wesenberg is a small German town where you can visit, among other things, a fine sculpture park. The city is located in an area filled with countless scenic lakes. One way to experience the area is to take in Camping- und Ferienpark Havelberge, which is located right next to one of these lakes. At the campsite, you can rent a canoe and paddle around in the beautiful nature. You can get to Wesenberg either by car, or by train that departs within walking distance of the campsite.
The island of Usedom is a large island in the Baltic Sea, which is shared between Germany and Poland. Here you will find long beautiful sandy beaches and fine old health resorts, which today serve as popular holiday resorts. In addition to sunbathing, swimming and engaging in wellness, cycling is very popular here. If you want, you can cycle back and forth across the border and experience two countries in the same day. On the German side, you can advantageously visit the nice towns of Heringsdorf and Ahlbeck.
Greifswald is a nice little town, filled with beautiful and historic buildings. The city belonged to Sweden, from the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 until 1815, which is why there is plenty of Swedish history here. Feel free to join us on a guided city tour, or read the signs outside the buildings. Also, don’t miss a walk to the river Ryck. Here you meet a cozy environment with many boats, and you can take the opportunity to eat at one of the houseboat restaurants.
Stralsund is a fine harbor town, which also belonged to Sweden between 1648 and 1815. In the old part of town there is a long line of beautiful houses, and this part of the town is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. One building you don’t want to miss is the special town hall, originally built in the 13th century, but given its current appearance by a Swedish architect in the 17th century. You can also explore a series of medieval churches or have a beer at the Zum Fahre pub, which has been in operation since 1332.
Rügen is a beautiful and very popular island in the Baltic Sea, which is known, among other things, for its white limestone cliffs that plunge beautifully into the green shimmering water. There are various popular holiday resorts on the island, such as Binz, Göhren and Sellin. Here you can sunbathe and swim, and of course hang out in all the countless restaurants and cafes with cozy outdoor seating. You can also hike in the Jasmund National Park, explore the world’s longest building complex Prora or enjoy fantastic views at the treetop path “Baumwipfelpfad im Naturerbe Zentrum Rügen”. Please note that Rügen is very popular in high season and that camping may need to be booked well or very well in advance.
Since we have posted this guide as a round trip in northern Germany, we end in Sassnitz on the island of Rügen, where it is possible to travel to Sweden by ferry Sassnitz-Ystad. This route is operated by the shipping company FRS Baltic, which runs with a fast catamaran, with space for cars and camping vehicles. In Sassnitz you can visit the historic district or spy out the submarine HMS Otus which is located here.
Do you want even more tips for the trip to Germany with a motorhome or caravan? An alternative way to experience this beautiful and exciting country is to follow one of the country’s “holiday routes”. Read more here: 15 nice holiday routes in Germany.