You see. In many cases, I was actually going to the Baltic Sea. In Poland….! I have been to the Baltic Sea in Germany, but I couldn’t remember the details ‘cos it was winter, and the sea was frozen!
Time to change all that but first, a little history.
We chose Usedom as the part of the German seaside that we wanted to visit.
Not only is Usedom pretty, but it’s also the seaside resort of the people who live in Berlin. In fact, it’s rare not to see your neighbour or your mates at work, running down the beach or leaping into the sea!
About 80% of the island belongs to the German district of Vorpommern-Greifswald in the North German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The other side and the largest city on the island, is part of the Polish West Pomeranian Province bordering the German federal-states of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Brandenburg to the west, and the Baltic Sea to the north. Its capital and largest city is Szczecin which is enormously easy to get to…!
The Usedom island’s total area is 445 square kilometres (172 square miles). The German part is 373 square kilometres or 144 square miles, and the Polish part is 72 square kilometres or 28 square miles.
With a population of just 76,500 people – 31,500 on the German side and 45,000 on the Polish side, Usedom is the sunniest region of both Germany and Poland, and it is also the sunniest island in the Baltic Sea Region!
We were excited to travel to a sunny old beach, and a bit of the sea!
Now that’s done with, let’s get to it:
51 REASONS TO GO TO THE SEASIDE. IN GERMANY!
Simply put, the seaside is one the best places to go to, in the summer
The German seaside is located in the North of Germany in places known as the Baltic Sea or the North Sea. Usedom is on the Baltic Sea otherwise known as the Ostsee!
It’s great for families. All you need is a bucket and spade, some sand, water, a bit of sunshine, and kids – big or small!
Once you organise your hotel, B&B, or tent, everything else is free of charge!
If you’re on a budget, you can camp in the forest, near a lake, or not far from the beach
If you’ve got some cash, you can splash out and stay at the many wonderful seaside resorts, imperial villas, thatched houses and exclusive hotels such as the elegant five-star historical Usedom Palace where we stayed – otherwise known as the Jewel on the promenade in Zinnowitz! I’ll write more details about the hotel next week or you can simply book your hotel here!
You’ve not tasted ice-cream, until you’ve had it at the seaside!
You can have 1,906 hours of sunshine per year making Usedom Island the sunniest place in Germany?
You can be Jesus for a few hours, and walk on water on one of the oldest piers in the Baltic Sea area!
The German Baltic Sea is 42 kms of fine white sandy beach and up to 70 meters wide, making Usedom Island the longest beach promenade in Europe, if not the world!
Germany has five (5) historic wooden piers that lead into the Baltic Sea. The longest pier is in Heringsdorf at 508 meters. The oldest pier built in Ahlbeck 1898, is 118 years old!
You can actually walk or cycle the length of the island starting from Germany and ending in Poland, or vice-versa. And since both countries are part of the EU, you don’t even need a visa! But take your passport along. Just in case!
There are three (3) imperial summer residences of the previous German monarchy so you can stroll between the villages of Bansin, Heringsdorf, and Ahlbeck, to find them. It’s a lovely walk with many cafes, bars and restaurants, along the way!
Everywhere you look is some sort of historical art or architecture preserving the seaside in a unique Wilhelminian style
You can admire the wonderful picturesque architecture
Usedom used to be quite the bohemian place packed with artists, intellectuals, and the liberal wealthy bourgeoise of the time who would meet for music, art, and entertainment. Very like Bristol or the city of Bath, back in the day
Usedom is also a nature park reserve with coasts, lakes, marshes, dunes, pine and beech woods, as well as beaches
There are eagles on the island of Usedom, and more than 280 species of birds such as Nordic geese, cranes, ducks and woodcocks
The world ́s largest beach volleyball tournament in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records, takes place on Usedom Island!
You can go au natural (Germany!), and go to a spa and pamper yourself with a chocolate massage, a sea buckthorn bath, an algae mousse package or treatments with iodine brine
You can stroll on the beach, sunbathe, or just relax with a glass of wine, or bottle of German beer!
You can go bare-foot on the beach in the safe knowledge that there’s no garbage or glass lying around. It felt so goooood to have sand between our toes
You can go swimming in the sea as the sea is clean, but watch out for the jellyfish. They’re pretty huge!
The German seaside is the best opportunity to really get to grips with cycling as you have access to 180 km of cycle tracks, and more than 13 recommended cycling routes, and you can rent bikes at more than 100 rental stations using a mobile payment concept covering the island known as Usedom Rad. In fact, my husband and our son, used this facility quite a bit. I took the train from Zinnowitz to Heringsdorf, and they cycled all the way. It took them about 3 hours but they enjoyed the ride! If you buy a family train ticket, the one way cycle journey is included in your ticket, so you get the bike ride for free!
You can eat fairly well, but try to leave plenty of time for dinner as the seaside resorts tend to close early. On our last night, we left things a little late at 21:00, and were lucky enough to catch the chef before he closed the kitchen. Usedom, like the UK, closes it’s restaurants quite early!
You can eat as much seafood as you like. And you should!
Because if you haven’t had a fresh herring sandwich, you haven’t lived!
You can go fishing. And you don’t necessarily need a licence…
You can have one ice-cream or two..!
If you like honey, you can go on a Beekeepers Cycling Tour through farming villages often used by bees on the HoneyBee Island! Start in Korswandt, stay on the cycle path, and follow the signs leading to the Bienchen Fienchen where you get to meet two beekeepers and learn all about bee gardens, and how honey is made
You can visit many castles and historical buildings such as Fort Engelsburg. We weren’t able to explore it as they had a private function on, but we could climb some of the hills around it, and peep in!
The German seaside is ideal for water sports such as sailing, surfing, jet skiing, kite surfing, canoeing, and rafting. And it’s not particularly cold. Or hot. It’s Just about right
Nude beaches. Germans are enormously open-minded so the Freikörperkultur, or FKK movement, otherwise known as the Free Body Culture, was set up for everyone to participate in
You can drive to the Baltic motorway where two bridges connect the Usedom Island to the mainland. If you’re flying in, the island is connected by air with nonstop flights from nine cities around Germany, Austria and Switzerland flying into the Heringsdorf regional airport whereby with shuttle buses will get you to your final destination within 30 minutes.
The best way to travel to the Baltic Sea seaside is by the island`s own train – the Usedomer Bäderbahn – which connects all the seaside resorts on the Usedom Island.
You can get to Usedom from Germany with a Mecklenburg-Vorpommern or a Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania ticket for a one day unlimited travel experience at just €23.00 (+ €4 for each person extra, max. 5 people) on any day of the week, when purchased at a DB ticket machine or online! You can also buy your ticket on the train. Valid for just one day from 09:00 – 03:00 and children or grandchildren up to 14, travel free of charge!
You can also travel anywhere in Germany for a day for as little as €40 (+ €4 for each person extra, max. 5 people) on a Saturday or Sunday with a Happy Weekend Ticket, when purchased online or from ticket vending machines. Unlimited train travel across Germany for just one day from 12:00 – 03:00 and children or grandchildren up to 14, travel free of charge!
That’s it for now.
51 REASONS TO GO TO THE SEASIDE. IN GERMANY!
Even though I was invited on this trip as a guest of Usedom Tourismus GmbH, all opinions and the wonderful time that we had on the German seaside island of Usedom, are my very own!
In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing about travels to the German Baltic Sea, to Bremen, art and films in Berlin, as well as a comprehensive post on how to use the train in Europe!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!
Have you ever been to the seaside in Germany? Would you like a lick of my ice-cream, or a sip of my beer? Have your say!
See you in Berlin.
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I'm a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with my German husband and my half British – half German son.
My blog is a lifestyle expat travel blog and puts a focus on my promotion of culture, history, travels around the world, Europe, Brexit, the Royal Family, British-German life and being British in Berlin - I am The British Berliner!
I havent been to the German seaside but the top photo reminded me of hanging out on the river beach in Mainz – SO FUN. I love such cool urban beaches.
Thanks so much Anna!
I’m loving cool urban beaches too! We have a British song that goes “Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside. Oh I do like to be beside the seeeeeeeea!” It makes me slightly homesick. 🙂
It’s easy to forget that Germany actually has a shoreline, and judging from all the Germans visiting the Danish west coast in the summer, I think some Germans have forgotten that too:) PS: What’s that thing about Germans and nudity? LOL
Thanks so much Mitzie Mee!
It’s true! You just don’t think of Germany when you think of the seaside. You don’t think of Britain either come to that lol!
p.s. The nudity thing stems from East Germany where it was very much a thing! I went to one of the FKK beaches once, but I couldn’t go through with it. I’m British you see! I was wearing a bright yellow bikini too lol!
50 good reasons for me! I’ll skip the nudists and the floppy bits.. Haha! They do love to be naked don’t they. One of my exes was German and we lived on a hill, as in the highest point..as in..people look up to see the Hollywood sign from below would get a good look. He had no qualms about hanging out on the terrace full on naked! I fought it for a while, then gave up :-).
Thanks so much KemKem!
I think many of us would be skipping the nudists bits. They do have signs though so you wouldn’t
I-just-want-to-see-for-myselfmistakenly wander in….!
Ho! Ho! I can’t imagine you leaning over the Hollywood sign completely starkers! Having said that, I like the idea of being comfortable with one’s body, I just don’t want to be “comfortable” in front of strangers. And that goes with saunas, as I constantly have to ask…! 🙂
The Brit in me just got a bit a shock when I stumbled upon the Nude beach part! You have had one hell of a summer and as always, I love your food pics. That ice cream!
Thanks so much Amy! Tell me about it lol! 🙂
But even in Berlin, lots of saunas are mixed sexes and you’re expected to be in the nude, and most parks near our local lakes wouldn’t blink if you wanted to stroll around in your birthday suit! I remember going on a “natural park” trip with the Boy Scouts of America when my son was a Wolf cub, and bumping into some of the nude guys….you should have seen how wide the boys eyes grew…!
p.s. I’ve only been to a FKK lake once, but my British prudishness wouldn’t allow me to simply strip off. With friends. So I didn’t! And everyone stared as I was the only one “clothed” and in a bright yellow bikini!
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