Wismar, Germany – A Unesco World Heritage Site you’ve never heard of?

Wismar is one of those places that you’ve probably never heard of but that shouldn’t stop you planning a visit. It’s a small, idyllic Hanseatic port-town on the shores of the Baltic Sea in the north east of Germany, with a busy working harbour.

Harbour of Wismar Photo: nydiscovery7 on Flickr

The Harbour of Wismar, Germany

Being only 30 miles off the old inner-German board, Wismar has seen bombing and ensuing occupation by the British for 2 months and the Russians for 30+ years after the Second World War. Originally under Swedish rule for 250 years from the end of the 30-Years-War, Wismar became part of the German Democratic Republic once part of the Russian territory, and enjoyed a higher status for cultural, touristic and artistic activities.

Wismar street Photo by Paula Soler-Moya on Flickr

Old houses in Wismar, Germany

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

A few years after the Wall came down, Wismar was accepted into UNESCO’s prestigious league of World Heritage Sites, joining ranks with the Great Barrier Reef and others, for its many Gothic and renaissance-style buildings in the town centre. The scenic fisher town and its stunning beaches and forests has grown a favourite amongst students (Wismar has an excellent practice-focused technology, business & design university) and tourists from all over the world.

Gothic brick Houses in Wismar Photo by Paula Soler-Moya on Flickr

Gothic brick Houses in Wismar, Germany

While you’re in Wismar you might like to;

  • Wander around the old town to see the typical red brick gothic style houses that are typical of this Hanseatic town and visit the churches of Marienkirche with its tall church tower, St Nicholai and St Georgen.
  • Visit the huge market square and neo-classical Rathaus or town hall which houses an exhibition in the basement about the history of Wismar.
  • Take a boat trip around the working harbour where you may spot everything from massive cruise ships to small sailing boats and in summer you can take a trip to the island of Poel.
  • Take a tour of the Winsmar brewery, Brauhaus am Lohberg where you can take a tour as well as tasting some of the excellent local beers.
  • Take a day trip to the romantic Schwerin Castle set by the lake and surrounded by beautiful gardens, once the home of the dukes of the Mecklenburg.
  • Hire a bike and cycle some of the Baltic sea cycle route from Wismar, or try the 35km cycle path from Wismar to Schwerin.
Schwerin castle Photo by volker moebius on Flickr

Schwerin Castle in Germany

Although you might not have heard of Wismar with its beaches, ports, forests and islands, this German town is definitely worth a trip, don’t you think?

More things to see in Germany

A pilgrimage to see the Black Madonna at Altötting in Germany
Painted houses and wood carving at Oberammergau – in Bavaria, Germany
Our 36 hours in Berlin

Photo Credits: Harbour at Winsmar by nydiscovery7 , Street in Wismar by Paula Soler-Moya, Gothic brick houses by Paula Soler-Moya, Schwerin castle by Volker Moebius

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  • Reply
    July 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    The architecture is absolutely beautiful! That certainly looks like a gorgeous little harbor town to visit. Every time I see photos from Germany it seems like there is such a rich culture and heritage there. I haven’t gotten a trip in yet but I’m certainly looking forward to it!

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      July 2, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      @Karen Yes, I was in Germany recently for my Rhine cruise and there are so many pretty little towns like this to enjoy

  • Reply
    Mark H
    July 3, 2013 at 12:01 am

    You are correct – I’ve never heard of it. But I love the gabled houses.

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      July 3, 2013 at 8:53 am

      @Mark H How many great places are there we’ve never heard of? That’s one of the reasons I prefer to avoid the tourist traps.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    That looks so pretty! And no, I had never heard of it. My list of places to visit just got longer.

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