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Moin! Today we’re heading to the city that every speedster in Germany knows (for those who don’t know: Flensburg is well-known for the National Driver and Vehicle Register, and its “traffic sinner card file”, which contains information on traffic offences.). A city that I’ve never really had on my radar, at least when it comes to sights. As Schleswig-Holsteiners (the most northern state in Germany), Tobi and I visit the surroundings far too rarely, even though “the true north”, as it’s called in Schleswig-Holstein, has some noteworthy places to offer. Because when we’re in Germany, we recently like to explore more of our country (and also of Europe).

Flensburg: Sights and Tips for the (almost) Northernmost City of Germany

View of the harbor and the east side of Flensburg with the St. Jürgen Church

So a few weeks ago, I set out for Flensburg to take a look at the city. Flensburg is, after Glücksburg, the second northernmost city (or the northernmost larger city) in Germany and is only 8 km from the Danish border. It doesn’t get more North German than this!

You can explore Flensburg wonderfully on foot on your own, especially the Old Town. In fact, one day is enough for the most important sights. During a full-day walk through Flensburg, we show you a tour here that you can do on your own.

How to get to Flensburg

Getting to Flensburg by car is quite straightforward. From Hamburg, take the A7, passing Neumünster and Schleswig, directly to Flensburg. From the highway exit, you can reach the city center via the Federal Road 199.

You can also reach the city well with public transportation, primarily by train. A good and affordable alternative is the Flixbus, which departs from Hamburg Central Bus Station several times a day to Flensburg. A good overview of times and prices can be found on Omio.

Accommodation in Flensburg – our hotel tip

I chose a hotel in the old town. The Ibis Budget is located right at the Central Bus Station, and I would argue that there’s hardly a better location for a hotel in Flensburg. From here, you can wonderfully explore the old town. The rooms are clean, compact, and modern, just as per the Ibis standard.

Twin room at the Ibis Budget Hotel Flensburg
Room at the Ibis Budget Hotel

If you’re looking for a beautiful boutique hotel, the Hotel Alte Post is a wonderful choice. This stylish hotel is also located near the harbor. You can find more great accommodations in the old town here.

Tip: Parking spaces in the city center can sometimes be hard to find. If you choose the Ibis, you can park your vehicle in a paid courtyard parking lot behind the hotel. The parking attendant is very friendly and might even give you a small discount if you park for 24 hours. You can access the parking lot via the Nikolaistraße, where there’s also a tourist information center.

1. East side of the harbor: Harbor Promenade

You start the tour at our recommended hotel, the Ibis Budget, which has a prime location. If you choose a different hotel, you can also orient yourself at the Central Bus Station (ZOB). From there, head to the harbor, which is only 5 minutes away. First, head to the east side (to the right), where you can stroll along the harbor promenade for a few minutes.

View of the harbor and the west side of Flensburg city
View of the harbor and the west side of the city

Afterwards, return to the southern end of the harbor and cross the Hafendamm street to the Kurze Straße. From there, continue up to the viewing platform St.-Jürgen-Stairs, where you have a beautiful view of the harbor and the other side of Flensburg. Then head back down and return to the harbor.

2. Historical Harbor & Museum Shipyard

Walking along the other side of the harbor, you also have beautiful views of the many ships and, of course, the other side of the city from which you just came. The walk along the historical harbor takes about 10-15 minutes. At the end, you’ll arrive at the famous Museum Shipyard and the Bohlwerk, Flensburg’s historic crane.

Sunset at Flensburg harbor
Sunset at Flensburg harbor

Tip: Treat yourself to a fish sandwich (Fischbrötchen) at Ben’s Fischhütte along the way or for breakfast! They are considered the best fish sandwiches in town and are a must in Flensburg.

3. Maritime Museum Flensburg

If you have some spare time and are interested, you can make a stop at the Maritime Museum while walking along the harbor. You can find more information about the Maritime Museum Flensburg here (currently, the website has a German and Danish version only). Otherwise, skip this point and move on to the next destination.

The Maritime Museum in Flensburg

4. Nordertor & Phänomenta

If you walk a little further after the shipyard museum, you will see on the left side behind the main street the landmark of Flensburg: the Nordertor. Until 1795, it marked the northern boundary of the city and emphasizes the border location of the city of Flensburg – the gate to the north. Right next to it is the Science Center Phänomenta, which is unique in Schleswig-Holstein. It’s definitely an exciting experience for a family visit.

Phänomenta and Nordertor in Flensburg
Left: Phänomenta, right: Nordertor

Next, we move on to a viewpoint that I discovered by chance and just followed without a plan. Fortunately! But before that, you’ll walk a bit along Norderstraße. It’s the hip district of Flensburg and you’ll surely notice the hanging shoes, the Shoefiti, right away.

5. Duburg Viewing Platform

If you walk south from the Nordertor along Norderstraße, you will reach the Marientreppe in about 5 minutes. Climb the stairs and enjoy the great view of Flensburg and the Flensburg Fjord. Then go down the stairs again and continue along Norderstraße until you finally reach Große Straße.

View from the Duburg viewpoint of the harbor and the eastern side of Flensburg city
View from the Duburg viewpoint of the harbor and the eastern side of the city

Tip: If you’re hungry and need a hearty lunch now, you can quickly go to the Neue Straße to the Hansens Brauerei (Hansens Brewery). They offer home-cooked meals at good prices, and the highlight for beer enthusiasts is definitely their own brewery. I tried a dark Hansen and really liked it.

6. Große Straße & Holm

The pedestrian zone and shopping mile of Flensburg, where you can also find some beautiful historical buildings. Even if you don’t want to shop, it’s worth walking along here. After about 800 meters, the pedestrian zone ends and you are at the next destination.

Shopping street in Flensburg: Große Straße/Holm
Große Straße

7. Südermarkt & St. Nikolai Church

Directly at the Südermarkt is the largest church in Flensburg: the St. Nikolai Church. The Südermarkt is the oldest weekly market in Schleswig-Holstein and it takes place every Wednesday and Saturday. Here too, you can buy fresh fish, vegetables, and other local goods.

Tip: Located right on the Südermarkt, you shouldn’t miss the Cafe K. Despite its prime location, it’s considered a little insider tip among locals for a delicious breakfast, which you can even get until 2:00 PM. Otherwise, just a short coffee break is also worth it.

8. Rote Straße

Continuing just a few steps from the Südermarkt to the Rote Straße. The Rote Straße is a historic old town alley filled with craft shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes, and wine bars. You can also find a tourist information center here.

Rote Straße with a view of the St. Nikolai Church and Südermarkt, Flensburg
Rote Straße with a view of the St. Nikolai Church and Südermarkt

9. Flensburg Brewery – Brewery Tour

Flensburg is best known for one thing: its great beer and the very well-done, humorous advertising. The “Plop” is definitely known among beer drinkers and if you like drinking beer or are interested in it, you should of course also visit the brewery. From the southern end of the Rote Straße, the Flensburg Brewery is just a 5-minute walk away and this is where your tour ends.

Entrance to the Flensburg Brewery and the Plop-Shop in Flensburg

You can visit the brewery from Monday to Friday at 10 am, 2 pm, and 6 pm. There’s also a slot on Saturday, but only at 10 am. You should definitely plan your visit in advance, as the brewery tour is very popular and tickets sell out quickly. You can find more information on the brewery’s website.

If you can’t get a slot, you can still at least stop by the Plop-Shop and pick up a cool Flensburg souvenir.

What else you can do in and around Flensburg

The Flensburg day tour has ended here, and you’ve probably gathered many impressions. Of course, these weren’t all the sights of Flensburg, but at least most of what you could see in one day. If you enjoyed it and decide spontaneously to stay another day, there are more things to do.

A surely exciting activity would be a boat tour on the Flensburg Fjord, which also goes to Glücksburg. However, this only takes place from April to October. You can find the price and exact times/dates here (German only).

Another alternative for a half-day trip would be a trip to Denmark, which is only 8 kilometers away. You can either take the A7 or the B200 and then enjoy a relaxed road trip along the east coast. I only drove up to Sønderhav, but of course, you can go further and enjoy Denmark’s coastal landscape. A popular stop (especially for bikers) on this route is Annies Kiosk in Sønderhav, where they serve delicious hot dogs.

Annies Kiosk in Sønderhav (Süderhaff), Denmark

Conclusion – is a visit to Flensburg worth it?

In my opinion, a visit is definitely worth it. At least for 1-2 days, because the city has a unique charm and is just typically North German! A beautiful alternative and a must-see in Schleswig-Holstein. Especially if you are in Hamburg and are looking for a completely different destination in Northern Germany. I was there in the winter and it’s probably even more beautiful in the summer or spring. Especially if you can take a trip through the fjord.

Fish sale at Flensburg harbor
As fresh as it gets: fish sale directly from the boat

Plan your trip to Flensburg now

More hotel recommendations for Flensburg:

Have you ever been to Flensburg? Would you recommend a visit and do you have any more tips? Tell us how you liked the sights of Flensburg.