An old Hanseatic town with an important cultural life for the Pomerania region in Germany, Greifswald has also been blessed with good sailing opportunities. This means that many sailing enthusiats choose to come here during the summer months to experience the rich cultural life and the sunny days.
Yet another great location from the German Baltic Sea, Greifswald can be found in the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania province in northeastern Germany, being a city with a long history and with an active economic and touristic industry.
Part of the Hanseatic League, the town fell under Sweden’s control from 16048 to 1815, then, after WWII, it came under the influence of Russia which coincided with a period of decline. After the reunification of Germany, huge investments were made to bring back the former appeal of the region.
The town itself is situated in the south end of the Bay of Greifswald, on the river Ryck which splits it in half. The whole region is low in altitude and is full of beaches on the Baltic shores, complete with a port and a marina that caters to the public.
Travel & Arrival
Like most other cities on the Geman Baltic coast, Greifswald is pretty easy to reach, with car travel being the most popular. Of course, for foreign arrivals that want to avoid long transfer times from one of the airports in the larger cities, there are internal flights from Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Nurnberg and Stuttgart that land on the airport found on the neighboring island of Usedom. From there, one can make the transfer by taxi.
A journey to or from Greifswald by train to Berlin takes about 3 hours and it’s also cheap, which makes it a popular choice among holidaymakers that won’t venture out in a car. For those that do, there’s the option of driving to the Baltic coast. From the north, one should take the 251 road from Stralsund, from the east take the L26, from the south the E251 and from the west the L261.
If you want to arrive by boat, and this is how most of the northern countries tourists arrive, you’ll have to take a ferry to Sassnitz harbor on Rugen island and then transfer by land into town. Ferries that dock here come from Scandinavia and Lithuania.
Avant & Apres Sail
Probably the best known attraction in Greifswald and the one that put it on the map is its university, which together with is Hanseatic League history constitute the defining features of the city. Of course, sailors don’t mind the best sailing area between Rugen and Usedom on the German Baltic shore either. Among other tourist locations there is St. Nicholas church, the 800 year old Eldena monastery and the Pomeranian Museum. A special treat for history lovers is the Wieck fishing village.
And in order to better remember Greifswald by, you and your buddies can go shopping for some souvenirs. The best place to do that is the pedestrian zone in the center of town (known to locals as Lange Strasse) and the Dompassage shopping mall, also in the city center. Here you can find anything from designer clothing to produce and sports goods.
As far as eating out goes, you’ll find the local cuisine is an interesting mix of German, European and Mediterranean recipes. But since you’re in the Baltic region, it’s advised that you order a sea-food menu in order to get a full taste of the Greifswald experience. Most restaurants are located in the city center and on the banks of the Ryck river.
But no German experience can be complete without a pint of beer and, as night falls, you can enjoy a “Meter of Beer” at the local breweries which stay open late into the night. Some of them are pretty difficult to spot since they are located in cellars, but they guarantee a good time for any thristy crew.
Events & Actions
As you’d expect from a university town, there are many cultural events in Greifswald. The biggest highlights are the Bach Festival and the Baltic Festival which consist of summer open-air performances of musicals, plays and ballets in the market square. Then there’s the Eldena Jazz Evenings which takes place at the Eldena Abbey in summer and attracts a lot of music lovers. But probably the most important for lovers is the Gaffelrigg fishing festival, the largest fishing festival in all western Pomerania, which also includes a regatta with historical ships.