15 Best Things to Do in Kiel, Germany

Is Kiel, Germany, a nice traveling destination? What are some of the most exciting things to do in Kiel? Well, you don’t need to wonder anymore. Read on to find out what to do in Kiel.

Looking for an exciting place to visit after all the bustles and hustles that come with everyday life? Well, look no more. Kiel, Germany is more than a great option for a ‘vacay.’

There are plenty of things to do in Kiel that you cannot exhaust the tourist attraction sites list. While there, you’ll interact with different people from all walks of life and get a feel of the different cultures and heritage adorning the city.

Kiel is one of the most popular cities in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is situated at the heart of the Baltic Sea and has a base for the German Navy. Even better, the city enjoys a rich heritage of music, pleasant sceneries, and fine dining.

A guided walking tour of the city gives you access to most of these sites and many other beautiful and magnificent places.

Germany is one of my favorite vacation destinations. And, this list of the best things to do in Kiel might also be the start for you.

Top Things to Do in Kiel and Surrounding Areas

Kiel city

Touring Kiel allows you to enjoy some of Germany’s most amazing tourist attractions. From the Laboe Naval Memorial Monument to the Seebad Duesternbrook beach and pool club, Kiel tourist attractions are undeniably stunning.

So, what tops the list of the best things to do in Kiel, Germany?

1. A Visit to the Kiel Botanical Gardens

This one belongs to the Botanical Institute of the University of Kiel. It hosts over 14,000 plant species used by students for research, science, and training. Visitors can also marvel at the beauty and diversity of these plants.

Here, you can have a walk in the big park full of numerous plants and beautiful trees. And if you wish, keep some memories, a few pictures, and selfies with the quaint buildings, exotic cactuses, and flowers will do. If you have some university friends you can tag along, they can learn a thing or two here.

You will also be treated to a nice and well-designed playground that is made of wooden structures. Here, you will enjoy some quality family time since it is an ideal place for all ages. Additionally, you can come up with fun-filled games in their beautiful playground.

2. Visit Kiellinie

The Kiellinie begins in the northeast region of the Schlossgarten. You will enjoy scrumptious meals in their cafes and restaurants as you view their tiny aquarium and sailing clubs. 

There is also an ever-changing series of huge ships and vistas of the harbor. You can also visit the sea on a cruise ship and have a real taste of its charm.

For lovebirds, you will get a feel of the motorboats on the seaside and enjoy traveling fast on the sea.

Also, if you happen to be here during the last week of June, you can take part in the Kieler Woche (the Kiel Week). This is the world’s largest annual sailing event, attended by millions of people each year, and undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Kiel.

3. Zoologisches Museum

Are you a lover of history and science? Then you cannot afford to ignore this museum to quench your thirst on the same. This museum was founded by Karl Mobius, a famous naturalist.

Here, the exhibitions display the history of zoology, systematics, butterfly ecology, evolution, tropical and German fauna. There are also exotic birds, European birds, deep-sea fish, and marine mammals.

You can tag along with your children, who will learn more about wildlife in Germany and experience a fascinating adventure. It is important to note that the museum is part of the University of Kiel. And, you can contact the museum to book an English-guided tour for students or private groups.

If you are looking for exciting things to do in Kiel for you and your family, visiting this museum seems like a great idea.

4. Check into St. Nikolai Church

As you continue to enjoy your stay, make a point of visiting the St. Nikolai church as part of your things to do in Kiel. It is one of the town’s oldest churches.

Despite its destruction during World War II, this church was later rebuilt using a simple interior in the Gothic Revival style. It is one of the oldest cathedrals in Kiel.

Some of the notable artwork that you will be able to see include:

  • A 1490 triumphal cross,
  • A 1705 wood-carved pulpit,
  • An altar from 1460,
  • Ernst Barlach’s bronze from 1928
  • A bronze baptismal font from 1340

5. Kiel Walking Tours

If you happen to visit central Kiel, you will be given a free 2-hour guided walk through various Kiel tourist attractions. The tour guide should take you through the beautiful waterfront parks, town halls, German Christmas markets, and other eye-catching sites. These tours are done at an easy and comfortable pace for different visitors.

The guides will also share some of Kiel’s beautiful stories and secrets as you undertake your tours. Generally, visitors will get a fantastic opportunity to explore and discover Kiel by foot without paying a dime.

6. Enjoy Attending Concerts in the Wunderino Arena

Formerly known as Osteehalle, this is an indoor arena with a capacity of up to 13,500 persons. It was started on 17th June 1951 during the Kiel week, and it’s a place you certainly want to be. If you love watching handball and attending rock and pop concerts, then this offers an excellent array of things to see in Kiel.

A notable event held here was on 16th April 2002, when the famous Irish pop band Westlife held a concert for their “World of Our Own Tour.” It is also well-known for hosting the THW Kiel Handball Champions’ Games. Other major sporting events are also held here annually.

7. Visit Falckensteiner Strand

It has a wide sandy beach with walls and coastal dunes. The walls protect the hinterland from floods. You can access the beach with your family during summertime through the Forde steamers.

Along the shore, you will find distinct shallow water areas, ideal for family beach time. And if you want to see some great ships up close, this is the place. Ships pass considerably close to this beach due to the narrow fjord.

This means that besides the rich culture, history, and fascinating old-style structures, the place allows you to have some quality beach time. If you are here during summer, you’ll agree with me that the place is incredibly appealing.  

8. Tour Schilksee

This is a popular vacation destination known for housing several resorts and beaches. During the 1936 Summer Olympics, the sailing events were held here. Also, the sailing events in the 1972 games were held here at the Olympic Yachting Center.

The beautiful sandy beaches and tall cliffs near the Schilksee harbor are a sight to behold. The breakwaters guarantee a safe bathing place even for the kids, making the place an ideal spot for family getaways.

Also, if you are lucky enough, you will catch up with some of the sailing events here.

9. Shop at Sophienhof mall

It is not right to visit Kiel and not shop in their malls. The shops are beautifully designed, which makes the mall easy to navigate through. While not so big, the Sophienhof mall has several shops with various appealing products – for some awesome souvenirs, try out this mall.

You can also visit their food court, which is clean, presentable, and with a myriad of sumptuous German dishes. This mall is located only a few minutes from where the Gothenburg and Oslo ferries arrive. You will be spoilt for choice when shopping, since this mall has a lot of different things to offer.

10. Visit Hiroshima park

If you want to spend some quality and quiet “Me time,” then do not ignore this park. It’s quite a serene environment where you can relax and unwind away from your daily hassles.

Sitting under one of the ancient trees and breathing some fresh air is undoubtedly relaxing. You can also choose to sit by the water edges, enjoying the scenic environment.

In a nutshell, this park is a perfect getaway from the noisy and busy city life.

11. U-Boot U 995

It is one of the largest museums there is in the world. If you are a fan of war stories, then visit this famous retired submarine of World War II. It is located on the outskirts of Kiel, making it one of the best places to visit near the city.

It is a military museum with the whole submarine, parked on the beach, being part of it. Here, you’ll get to learn and experience first-hand the daily activities of the submarine soldiers.

The museum also contains some war history materials for you to browse and appreciate.

“From the bottom of the sea” is one of the famous movies filmed in this location.

12. Kieler Woche

This is another amazing stuff to do in Kiel. It is also known as Kiel Regatta, which is an annual sailing event in Kiel.

Every year, millions of people visit this place from all over Kiel and surrounding areas. The event is held in the last week of June of every year. Before the official opening, there is a ‘sound check’ on Fridays ending with a large fireworks display on Sunday at 11 pm.

If you happen to be in Kiel at that time, you see over a thousand sailors and ships in that event.

13. Visit the Laboe Naval Memorial

Located in Laboe in Schleswig Holstein, this memorial began in 1927 and was thereafter completed in 1936. Initially, the monument memorized the Kaiserliche marine fallen soldiers of World War I. However, later on in 1954, it was rededicated as a commemoration of all those sailors who lost their lives at sea.

As a visitor here, you can pay your respect to the men and women sailors who lost their lives on the war front. The monument also consists of a 72-meter high tower, an observation deck, and a hall of remembrance. The hall has a technical museum, which is a tourist attraction site for visitors.

See related: 10 Best Day Trips From Dresden

14. Holtenau Nord Lighthouse

Are you still not sure of what to see in Kiel? Well, Holtenau Nord Lighthouse should certainly be on your list.

It is located near the Baltic Sea, at the Kiel Canal’s entrance, and has been operational since 1895. It’s quite a nice area to walk around, relax and chill when you visit.

Although not open for the public, you can get a glimpse of the memorial through the door to the inner ground floor area. Your short visit will be worthwhile by the association and location of this lighthouse.

15. Tour Schlossgarten

This is a nice and beautiful park to relax and watch, that is also centrally located in the Kiel. The name can be quite deceptive as it refers to an old castle that sat here. However, on a deeper look into the annals of history, you will find that the castle in reference was totally destroyed during the World Wars war.

You can take as many photos as you want in the castle and green gardens, which are at the edge of the old town.

Things to Do in Kiel at Night

If you are a party animal, then there is a lot of stuff to do in Kiel, especially during the night. There are numerous nightclubs and joints to chill and have a good time in Kiel. Some of the most commonly known clubs include;

  • Mc Langs Irish pub- it has a cool atmosphere and offers a range of Scottish whiskey.
  • Astor Bar Kiel- it offers decent cocktails, and the staff is very warm and welcoming.
  • Soto’s-it has a relaxed atmosphere with fair pricing and quality food.
  • Cafe Bar Cultura-it is a very chilled joint with great music. It also offers a wide range of spirits and cocktails.
  • Café Taktlos
  • Pogue Mahone Irish Pub

These are just but a few places that you can visit. There’s a whole lot more to explore when in Kiel.

Make as many memories as you can and enjoy your vacation in the city. And, be sure to tag along with a few friends in your next Kiel’s tour.

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Updated: June 8, 2021 — 9:43 am

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The German Tourists

We are The German Tourists. We love everything about German food, beer and travel. So, why not provide you all the information that we've learned and explored in Germany along the way.