Germany is well-known for some of its historic cities that look like they’re straight out of a fairytale, and LÃ¼beck, the former capital of the Hanseatic League, certainly falls into this category. If you’re a medieval-architecture aficionado, you’ll be in your element here, with three areas listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The old city area is situated on an island in the middle of the river Trave. The town is famous for the towers that form one of its two remaining city gates, the Holstentor, located in the west of the city and likely to be the first landmark you see if you arrive by train.
Other famous sights include the Marienkirche, the imposing 14th-century Gothic-style cathedral – the third largest church in Germany; the Heiligen-Geist Hospital, a medieval almshouse; the Burgtor, the Castle Gate to the north of the city; and the 13th century town-hall in the centre of the city.
LÃ¼beck has two youth hostels: the Altstadt hostel, located in the old city, about ten minutes walk from the railway station (84 beds, â‚¬17,10 per night), and Vor dem Burgtor, located at the north end of the city (211 beds, â‚¬16,00 per night).
There’s an hourly Regionalexpress rail service from Hamburg (50 minutes), and also from Kiel (one hour and twelve minutes), so LÃ¼beck can make an ideal day trip from either of those two locations. LÃ¼beck is also served by the rail/ferry service to Copenhagen, Denmark (four hours), via Puttgarden, and hence makes a worthy stop on a trip to Scandinavia.