Go on outings to World War II landmarks and naval museums, and experience a massive annual sailing party at this busy port city.
With its shipbuilding industry, proud naval heritage and sailing regattas, Kiel is a city where water is a big part of life. The city benefits from a picturesque setting on the Kiel Fjord by the southwest shore of the Baltic Sea.
During World War II, Kiel was a major production site for submarines. As a result, the city attracted heavy bombing, which obliterated many of its old buildings. However, a few survived. Stop by the Nikolaikirche, a 13th-century church that features a grand Gothic exterior and a beautifully carved altarpiece. Nearby, admire the imposing architecture of Kiel Rathaus, the city's austere town hall. Go to Kieler Schloss, a former castle residence of the Gottorf dukes.
Despite only having a few pre-war buildings, Kiel preserves its history through a host of dedicated museums. Investigate Kiel's early years with a tour of the Stadtmuseum Warleberger Hof, the City Museum.
Visit the Laboe Naval Memorial, a large tower dedicated to sailors who died in both world wars. Go to the observation platform at the top of the structure for superb views. When you come back down to ground level, explore the tight confines of the German U-boat. Journey underground at the Flandernbunker, an old bunker that protected soldiers and citizens from air raids.
In addition to history, Kiel’s museums and galleries cover a host of other fascinating genres. Delve into Kiel's natural history at the Zoologisches Museum, and see lots of marine creatures at the Aquarium GEOMAR.
Browse several centuries’ worth of paintings and sculptures at Kunsthalle zu Kiel and view modernist works at the Stadtgalerie Kiel, a contemporary art museum.
Visit Kiel during Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) in mid-June to witness the city in full swing. This claims to be the world’s largest sailing event and is supported by markets, hundreds of concerts and many other events.
Get to Kiel by plane, train or car from many German cities. With so many historical and cultural attractions, Kiel promises a fun-filled and educational vacation.