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Schwerin’s sights and things to do attract many visitors to the state capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Schwerin Castle in particular is very famous and a reason to visit the city on a tour of Schwerin. But there’s much more to Schwerin than the castle.

A Tour of Schwerin – From Schwerin Castle to the Pfaffenteich Pond

The historic old town, Schwerin Lake, and the Pfaffenteich pond are just three of Schwerin’s highlights. Here you can find out what you can experience on a trip to this beautiful city, what you should visit, and what you shouldn’t miss when visiting Schwerin. Have fun with our Schwerin Things to Do!

Getting to Schwerin

Schwerin has a small airport, but it’s currently not in operation. If you choose to fly, you’ll have to fly via Hamburg or the smaller airport in Rostock. However, it’s still quite a distance from there.

It’s better to travel by train. There are connections from Hamburg, Berlin, Rostock, Stralsund, or Wismar to Schwerin. Depending on the route you choose, you may have to change trains. There are also long-distance buses from many cities in Germany, such as Hamburg, Berlin, Hanover, Lübeck, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Cologne, and others. Tickets can be found here.

The easiest way to get to Schwerin is by car. You can take the A24 Hamburg-Berlin or the A20 Lübeck-Stettin. Parking is available in Schwerin, but you should check with your accommodation first.

Accommodation in Schwerin – Our Hotel Tip

Pension Karina is located in the center of Schwerin, not far from Schwerin Castle and the city center. It’s a great starting point for a tour of Schwerin. In addition to a delicious breakfast buffet, the family-run pension offers rooms of various sizes. All with a private bathroom and TV in a historic half-timbered house.

You can find more hotels in the center of Schwerin or the surrounding area here.

Schwerin Things to Do: Tours and Tickets

1. Schwerin Castle

A good starting point for a tour of Schwerin is the famous Schwerin Castle. It’s definitely one of the top things to do in Schwerin! The current form of the castle has existed since about 1857. Several architectural styles have been combined here and the “Neuschwanstein of the North”, as Schwerin Castle is sometimes called, is definitely impressive.

View of Schwerin Castle from Schwerin Lake

Schwerin Castle, which is located on the castle island, is not only a wonderful place to take pictures, but it’s also possible to visit the castle. The castle museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm or until 6 pm during the summer months. The regular entrance fee is €8.50, but there are discounts for various groups. Click here for more information (currently only available in German).

2. Palace Garden & Castle Garden

From Schwerin Castle, you’ll continue the tour to the gardens that belong to the castle. The first one is the castle garden. It offers a magnificent view of Schwerin Lake and impresses with its stone grotto, the love island, and the orangery. You can take your time and explore everything in detail.

Schwerin Castle Garden at Schwerin Castle
The castle garden of Schwerin Castle

The tour continues from the castle garden to the palace garden, which is one of the most beautiful baroque gardens in northern Germany and well worth a visit. The 25-hectare garden has been redesigned several times over the years. While the basic structure has been preserved in the Baroque style, the outer grounds have been laid out according to the English model.

Both gardens are open 24 hours a day throughout the year. However, the castle garden at Schwerin Castle closes at dusk.

3. Lake Schwerin

At 25 kilometers long and 6 kilometers wide, Lake Schwerin is the fourth largest lake in Germany. It’s also part of the Mecklenburg Lake District and is truly idyllic. It’s perfect for a walk, a short bike ride or just to relax while taking in the sights of Schwerin.

Beach bar at Lake Schwerin with a view of Schwerin Castle
Beach bar at Lake Schwerin with a view of the castle

Boat tours, kayaking, and stand-up paddling are also popular activities on Lake Schwerin. So if you have some time left on your Schwerin tour, be sure to go to the lake! You’ll find beautiful nature and tranquility, especially in the summer months. Of course, keep in mind that it can get pretty crowded on holidays or weekends (especially if the weather is nice).

4. Staatliches Museum

If you’re interested in art, the next stop on the Schwerin tour is the Staatliches Museum. Opened in 1882, the building is now used primarily for exhibitions of paintings, woodwork, metalwork, porcelain, and more – but new digital art is also on display.

There are more than 100,000 pieces of art displayed in this impressive building. It’s also a great spot to take pictures from the outside, but if you want to go inside, it costs €6.50. It’s open daily from 11 am to 5 pm, or until 6 pm during the summer months. For more information, visit the official website.

5. Mecklenburg State Theater

The Mecklenburg State Theater is the successor to Demmler’s Theater and was completed in 1886. Once the state parliament of the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, it now hosts plays, music concerts, and dance performances. The Mecklenburg State Theater is one of the most traditional theaters in northern Germany and receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

View of the Staatliches Museum and the Mecklenburg State Theatre in Schwerin
View of the Staatliches Museum and Mecklenburg State Theater

The Castle Festival takes place every year and is organized by the Mecklenburg State Theater. You can find out more about programs and dates here (currently only in German).

Tip: If you like, you could also make a short detour to the Old Garden with the Victory Column. It’s on your way from the Staatliches Museum and the Mecklenburg State Theater to Schwerin Castle.

6. Marketplace/Old Town Market

Continue to the marketplace, where the Old Town Market takes place. This is the center of the old town, where you can find the town hall with its golden horseman. The market got its present size of over 3000 m² after a fire in 1651.

The marketplace in Schwerin

Another interesting building is the Neue Gebäude with its columns, which somewhat hide Schwerin Cathedral (see next point). Originally built as a market hall, it now houses a restaurant. You should also have a look at the lion sculpture in the center of the market square. It was built in honor of a battle between Henry the Lion and Prince Niklot in 1160.

Note: If you’d like to take a tour of the city with the popular Petermännchen train, the marketplace is the starting point. It’s a fun thing to do in Schwerin, especially for kids. The tour costs €12 for adults and €5 for children. For more information click here (currently only in German).

7. Schwerin Cathedral

Schwerin Cathedral, actually Schwerin Cathedral St. Marien and St. Johannis, is located in the middle of the old town and is visible from many parts of the city, such as the Pfaffenteich (see point 10). The brick Gothic church has been standing since 1248 and is truly impressive.

With a height of 117.5 meters, the three-nave church is also the tallest church tower in the new states of Germany. No wonder it towers over many parts of Schwerin. By the way, you can climb the tower and enjoy a wonderful view of the city. 220 stairs, but you’ll be rewarded at the end! Admission is €1,50 and the tower is open daily from 11 am – to 2 pm and in the summer months from 10 am – to 5 pm.

8. The Old Town

On a tour of Schwerin, you cannot miss the rest of the old town. It stretches around Buschstraße, Münzstraße, and Puschkinstraße up to the Schelfstadt north of the old town. None of Schwerin’s major attractions, but there’s a charming atmosphere.

Take a stroll through the old town. You’ll find historic buildings, the oldest half-timbered house at Buschstraße 15, cobblestone streets, and many small cafes, restaurants, and shops.

9. Schelfstadt

Another interesting part of Schwerin to explore on a walking tour of Schwerin is Schelfstadt. It’s located northeast of the old town and can be reached on foot in a few minutes. The Schelfkirche, whose real name is St. Nikolai Church is the center of this area.

Streetart in the Schelfstadt of Schwerin

The many half-timbered houses, the Pfaffenteich (see next point), and the goat and pig market are a must. During a walk through the Schelfstadt, you’ll find many pubs and restaurants as well as small shops. It’s not for nothing that this is one of the most popular residential areas in downtown Schwerin.

10. Pfaffenteich

The last stop on our Schwerin tour is the Pfaffenteich. It’s located just north of the old town and is often compared to the Binnenalster in Hamburg. From here you have a beautiful view of parts of the city with Schwerin Cathedral in the background.

View from the Pfaffenteich to Schwerin with the Schwerin Cathedral
View from the Pfaffenteich with Schwerin Cathedral in the background

You can relax in one of the cafes, sit on the steps on the south bank, or take a ride on the Petermännchen ferry. This is especially popular with families and costs only €2 per person. A great way to end your visit to Schwerin.

Have you been to Schwerin before? Do you have any other tips for things to do in Schwerin? Leave us your feedback in the comments.

Photos: Photo 1 and header (Schwerin Castle): nattawit.sree/shutterstock.com – Photo 2 (Palace Garden): DR pics/shutterstock.com – Photo 3 and article picture (Beach Bar at Lake Schwerin): DR pics/shutterstock.com – Photo 4 (State Theater): Marc Venema/shutterstock.com – Photo 5 (Marketplace): Stephan Schlachter/shutterstock.com – Photo 6 (Schelfstadt): Rico Markus/shutterstock.com – Photo 7 (Pfaffenteich): FooTToo/shutterstock.com