KielKiel is the capital city of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein and has a population of roughly 240,000. It is located at the Baltic Sea at the end of the "Kieler Förde".
During the Second World War, Kiel was severely bombed, because of its submarine-producing shipyard. Civil and military ships are being built in Kiel nowadays and the tall cranes dominate the eastern shore of the Förde (fjord).
The bombing destroyed almost all historic buildings in Kiel; even the older looking buildings were built after World War II. So, if you come to the "Kieler Schloss" (Kieler Castle) don't be disappointed. There isn't much left of the original building. During the rebuilding after the war, mostly modern architecture was used.
Kiel serves as the German ferry terminus for the ferries to Oslo, Norway with Color Line and Gothenburg, Sweden with Stena Line. It is also the endpoint of the Kiel Canal, which connects the North Sea to the Baltic Sea (allowing ships not to round Denmark).
By busBus lines run services to - or through - Kiel. A weekly bus leaves Kiel and travels via Poland and the Baltic states to Tallinn, Estonia. A comfortable bus operates daily from Berlin to Kiel via Lübeck (6 hours). Further bus operators serve domestic routes.
address: in "Holtenau"There is no commercial service to this airport.
address: Flughafenstr. 1, 22335 HamburgThe nearest major airport is Hamburg, about 100 km away (one hour by car). The airport has a railway connection to Hamburg's Hauptbahnhof, from where there are multiple trains a day to Kiel. There is a shuttle bus service to and from the Airport (Kielius). Buy both tickets (from/to the airport) at the same time for a discount, and be sure to hold on to your voucher. Students get a discount (ISIC required).
Kiel is very flat, and bicycles can be hired at various places. The main train station has a large bicycle garage and bicycle rental center (Radstation), with both regular bicycles and e-bikes available. It is quite easy to ride from Kiel to Laboe, catch a ferry to Strande, and cycle back to Kiel.
When crossing the Kiel canal, you can go across one of several bridges (Holtenauer Hochbrücken, Levensauer Hochbrücken), or take a ferry shuttle. The Adler at Kiel-Holtenau only takes pedestrians and bicycles; the ferries at Landwehr and Sehestedt also carry cars and motorcycles. All canal ferries are free.
Type VII-C U-boatThe only surviving U-boat from World War II.
address: Strandstraße 92It has a high tower.
Kiel CanalThe world's busiest canal. It is possible to walk or cycle for almost the entire length (99 km) directly along the canal from Kiel to Brunsbüttel (estuary of the Elbe, on the North Sea Coast), staying overnight in the town of Rendsburg.
Gorch FockKiel is the home of the German Baltic fleet, and it is common to see all types of German warships and submarines in the "Förde", including the training sailing vessel Gorch Fock.
Tiergehege Tannenbergaddress: Projensdorfer Straße 276A smaller forest area in the north of Kiel where different types of deer roam about freely and with relatively little fear of humans. There are some enclosures including one for boar. Not spectacular, but good for a relaxing walk and to see some of the local wildlife. Make sure to obey the feeding rules posted around the area.
MuseumsEight museums of Kiel have created a common initiative called Museen am Meer, or "museums by the sea", where a common website brings together all details you need about their collections, opening times, admission prices etc. along with a route planner. For young travellers (17 years and younger), there is an app, "MuseumsCard", that offers information and free admission to many museums in Kiel and the rest of Schleswig-Holstein.
AntikensammlungFace to face with antiquity: collection of Greek vases as well as casts of important Roman and Greek sculptures unique to Schleswig-Holstein.
Aquarium Geomaraddress: Düsternbrooker Weg 20Public aquarium that is part of an oceanic research centre. From Baltic Sea herring to tropical seahorse: local and exotic sea creatures presented in aquariums that simulate their natural habitats. Known for its outdoor seal pool which can be accessed for free without entering the aquarium itself. Seal feeding times every day at 10:00 and 14:00 except on Friday.
Kunsthalle zu KielArt from the Dürer era through to the present day: permanent collection spanning all artistic genres, including works by Repin, Nolde and Richter, as well as special exhibitions on specific topics and artists.
Medizin- & Pharmaziehistorische SammlungInsight into the history of medicine and pharmaceuticals: exhibition of historic instruments, collection of pathology specimens, interior of an old pharmacy and a doctor’s office.
Schifffahrtsmuseumaddress: Wall 65In the former fish auction hall, built in 1910: permanent exhibition on Kiel’s maritime history, pier with historic ships.
Stadtgalerie KielNew contemporary art: exhibitions of regional and international contemporary art, art from the Baltic Sea region, permanent exhibition of the works of the Expressionist artist Heinrich Ehmsen.
Stadtmuseum Warleberger HofTraces of Kiel history: permanent exhibition on the early history of the city and exhibitions on social and cultural history.
Zoologisches MuseuExperience marine and evolutionary research at first hand: exciting display on the subject of marine science and research, Germany’s most extensive exhibition of whale species, presentation of the origins of zoology in Kiel.
Online information is available via Kiel Magazin and Fördeflüsterer.
Kieler WocheThe main tourist attraction is the Kieler Woche ("Kiel Week") at the end of June.
Apart from being world's largest sailing event the Kieler Woche is one of Germany's largest festivals. Apart from the sailing, the entire center of the town is transformed into an international food and craft fair, with regular big name performers appearing nightly. If you intend to visit Kiel during this time, book your hotel well ahead. The waterfront and major parts of downtown will be inaccessible for cars.
Information on events is posted all over town and through a free magazine which will be distributed about a month before the event. Events include entertainment for kids during daytime throughout the entire week and lots of open air concerts. Most concerts end around 23:00 and nightlife moves to indoor venues and to the Eggerstedtstraße.
Aside from an abundance of food and drink outlets along the streets the "International Market" on the Rathausmarkt is the place to go for food and drink. Dozens of countries operate booths on the open-air market offering their traditional foods and drinks. The Kieler Nachrichten newspaper runs a special about food on the market in its Saturday edition, with ratings. If you cannot decide from the endless choices head over to the Scandinavian area or to wherever crowds are gathering; the Poles also offer large portions for a surprisingly low price.
phone: +49 431 98 210 226address: Euopaplatz 1One of the most successful handball clubs in Germany, Kiel is also among the top addresses for the sport throughout Europe. They were the 2014/2015 German champion and hold the record for most national championships at 20.
phone: +49 431-389024-100address: Westring 501, 24106 KielA venerable football (soccer) club that used to be German champion and that has been making a comeback.
Numerous cafés are located in the old town center at the northern tip of the Holstenstraße near
the "Nikolaikirche" (Nikolai church).
An outdoor shopping area is the busy Holtenauer Straße with lots of cafes and more upscale stores towards the south end near the Dreiecksplatz.
Garips ImbissExcellent German/Turkish Döner kebabs.
Cafe LoufNice breakfast buffet on the weekend.
Other good cafes and pubs can be found in the old city centre.
Cafes and pubs
Subrosaaddress: Elisabethstr. 25Kiel's alternative pub and bistro.
Unrataddress: Spichernstr. 2The place for Kiel's students to talk philosophy, drink a cheap beer or listen to some live band.
Prinz Willyaddress: Lutherstraße 9A "creative" café that offers live music, arts and poetry.
Exlexaddress: Ziegelteich 14The number one meeting point for students and young folks downtown.
Blauer EngelA café, bar and nightclub with a nice view and outdoor serving.
Cafe Medusaaddress: Medusastr. 16It hosts live-music and readings.
Astor Barphone: +49 431-99790address: Holstenplatz 1-2, 24103 KielOne of Kiel's best cocktail bars.
Chaplin'saddress: WaisenhofstraßePiano player and cocktails.
ClubsKiel's clubs are spread out all across the city. Although some locals prefer doing the one-hour drive to Hamburg to go out, Kiel has some clubs that are worth being checked out. Make sure you have had a look at the site Fördeflüsterer before going out to get the most accurate information on all night live events. Most clubs have a €5 cover fee.
PumpeA community-run cultural center showing independent movies, providing room for community projects, concerts, bars and parties. On Thursday night students dance soul, reggae and funk at the FunkPump party.
address: BergstraßeRhis club hosts parties ranging from electronic tunes to Soul/Funk and Ragga. Cover charge might be higher if nationally-recognized DJs operate the turntables.
MaxStandard R'n'B, techno club with two floors. Also has metal/gothic/darkwave etc., watch out for Kontrollverlust and Praxis Dr. MosH.
Traum GmbHIncorporating a restaurant, an independent movie theater, and a club, the Traumgmbh is likely to offer something that is just right for you. If you're over the age of 30, the Ü30 party is the party to go to. Watch out! They'll check your ID!
TucholskyBeing by far the most famous club in Kiel, this somewhat battered and shady place is located in a former parking garage. A formerly very popular club among students now hosts a fairly young crowd that dances to pop, rock, r'n'b, techno, punk, and indie on four dance-floors (on the weekends). You can still get a feeling for the old days on Tuesdays at the Tequila-Party. The Tucholksy has the most diverse crowd, the cheapest drinks and the poorest air-conditioning - especially in the summer. Not a clean and neat place but the only option if you feel like partying on Sundays through Wednesdays. No cover on weeknights.
WeltrufThe interior of the Weltruf is dominated by a ship which has been built inside and cannot be removed.
Not exactly in the category of clubs are the various parties that take places in different parts of the city. Traditionally on Thursdays between October and April all the big university departments organize Studentenparties on and off campus. Expect somewhat cheap drinks and hundreds of university students dancing to a mix of pop, rock and r'n'b. Sometimes there are even live bands or second dance floors. On the weekends several fancier parties are hosted in unusual locations throughout Kiel. You'll be dancing to house music in a show room of a car dealer or in the terminal of the ferry to Scandinavia. Tickets for these parties can bought in advance which will save you money and time. Check the Kiel4Kiel site to find out where tickets are sold or ask a local student.
When it comes down to live music, Kiel is not the city where you'll be able to see big headliners. If you're into that you'll have to go to Hamburg. Still, you might be able to listen to some decent live music while staying in Kiel. The Halle400, the MAX and the community-operated Pumpe host local and international acts. Surprisingly good German or Scandinavian acts can sometimes be spotted in the Schaubude or the Nachtcafé for very little money. On occasion, some clubs like the Luna host national-recognized DJs. The city's own Kulturforum has concerts (as well as stage plays etc.) almost every night. The best place to find out who's playing and to get a ticket is Konzertkasse Streiber close to the Ostseehalle.
Peanuts HostelHarriesstraße 2
BekpekKronshagener Weg 130 a
Kieler ZimmerBed & Breakfast, 550 m from Central Station (max. for 3 persons, shared bath with shower)
Nordic Hotel AstorIn the city center, close to main train station and ferry connections. Singles from €60, doubles €80. Rooms have 1970s charm but are clean. Bar on highest floor has a great view of the city.
address: Hamburger Chaussee 2Downtown, close to the main train station.
Steigenberger Hotel Conti-HansaBetween the historic parts of Kiel and the F&oouml;rde. Rates around €115.
Birke - Ringhotel KielA few minutes away from city center by car. Good service and amenities. Parking spaces available.
Hotel Kieler Yacht ClubRight on the waterfront, north of the city center. Ask for a room with a view of the fjord.
Romantik Hotel Kieler KaufmannClassic location in the middle of an extensive park area. House with an unique atmosphere. Parking spaces available.
- The local Internet Service Provider TNG operates free wireless access points in the downtown area. Access will be blocked after-hours. A list of locations is available on the TNG Spot website (German).
- Many stores, malls and supermarkets offer free WiFi.
- The public library offers free Wi-Fi if you ask for a voucher with an access code.
- Commercial Wi-Fi based access can be found throughout most parts of Kiel provided by various operators. Most will not allow you to use your international roaming plan like iPass, though.