Stralsund Travel Guide
Stralsund is the prettiest German city you’ve never heard of. Through the centuries, this former Hanseatic League city retained most of its iconic Gothic architecture. When you aren’t ogling its buildings, its world-class aquarium and museum ship will also compete for your attention.
Begin your visit to Stralsund with a trip to the German Oceanographic Museum. This complex has three buildings – the original structure, an aquarium, and a coastal satellite museum.
Its exhibits contain information on fishing, conservation activities, and the plants/animals of the Baltic Sea. After getting your fill here, head to the Ozeaneum. This public aquarium houses over 7,000 creatures in 39 tanks. Of note is one of the world’s biggest exhibitions on whales. Finally, head out to the Natureum, where the focus is on its natural surroundings.
Next, learn about this region’s story by visiting the Stralsund Museum of Cultural History. This institution, which is the oldest of its kind in the Mecklenburg region, focuses on its folklore, art, and culture.
From prehistory to its days as a Hanseatic city, this museum covers a lot of ground. Of particular interest is the exhibit on the history of the German navy in Stralsund. However, do have Google Translate at the ready – this place is a bit off the foreign tourist track.
Want to delve further into the naval history of Stralsund? Head down to the waterfront and board the Gorch Fock I. Christened and launched in 1933, this tall ship began life as a school ship for German naval cadets.
After World War II, the Gorch Fock was set adrift. The Soviets claimed and renamed it the Tovarishch. In 2003, Ukraine sold it back to Germany. Today, it is a museum ship. While a bit weathered, boat geeks will love this place.
While in Stralsund, lovers of religious monuments will not want to miss St. Mary’s Church. When it opened, this brick Gothic church was the tallest building in the world. Take a peek inside to see the Stellwagen Organ, one of Europe’s biggest Baroque-era pipe organs.
Scope out the best architecture in Stralsund by dropping by Rathaus Stralsund. This brick Gothic administrative building dates back to the early 14th century.
Back then, the city was part of the Hanseatic League. At that time, it served as a shop for imported Belgian clothing, among other things. Today, people do more than marvel its architecture – it also has an arcade and a relaxing cafe.
Architecture fans will also not want to miss checking out the Wulflamhaus. Like Stralsund city hall, this townhouse rose back in the 14th century. And just like the place before, it is a picturesque example of the Brick Gothic style of building.
It first housed the mayor of Stralsund, starting in the 1350s. Today, the former residence has taken on numerous functions – it has art galleries, a brewery, and preserved storehouses. Thanks to its style and preservation efforts, this building and others have garnered Stralsund UNESCO recognition.
Beer fans will not want to leave Stralsund without spending time at Stortebeker Braumanufaktur. Since the 19th century, this brewery has produced this city’s beer of record – Stralsunder Pils. A brewmaster will lead visitors through the complex. In doing so, they’ll explain the brewery’s history, how they make beer, and other topics.
At the end of your visit, you’ll get to taste one of this facility’s famous beers. Just be sure you have a safe way home afterwards!
If you are travelling as a family through Northern Germany, plan to spend a day exploring the Stralsund Zoo. Spanning over 16 hectares, it’s home to mostly animals native to Germany, but it does contain some from abroad.
Most of interest is its pair of white donkeys. Of all breeds, white is the rarest, so be sure to feed them a carrot, ok?
What To Eat
While exploring Stralsund, stop at a bar for a pint of Stralsunder Pils. This beverage offers hints of lemon and bread, with medium to high hoppiness.
Stralsund was once part of West Pomerania. While this city is unmistakably German, many influences still persist, During your stay, grab a sandwich topped with Paprykarz Szczeciński. Long ago, during a visit to Africa, Pomeranian sailors encountered Chop Chop, a local dish. They took many of its ingredients and used them to create this spicy spread.
This region also lies close to Southern Sweden. Over the generations, they have influenced this region’s sweet tooth by giving it its favourite dessert – Schwedeneisbecher. Known in English as a Swedish sundae, this dish mixes vanilla ice cream, eggnog, applesauce, and whipped cream.