Exactly How To See Northern Germany In One Spectacular Week: Full Itinerary

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Welcome to your guide to a one-week adventure through Northern Germany. This itinerary is a crafted journey, designed to immerse you in the rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty that this part of the world so uniquely offers.

I’ve always found that Northern Germany holds a special kind of magic; it’s in the air, the architecture, and the stories that whisper from every cobblestoned street. As we begin in the vibrant, historic city of Hamburg, you’ll be introduced to a metropolis where modernity intertwines with a proud maritime heritage.

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Moving through to the fascinating towns of Bremen, Lübeck, Wismar, and the enchanting island of Rügen, each location is a piece of a puzzle that, when put together, reveals the remarkable spirit of this region.

Along this journey, we’ll take the paths less trodden as well as embrace the well-known sights, ensuring a blend of discovery and familiarity at every turn. I’ll share with you the places to eat, the sights that leave visitors in awe, and the experiences that linger in your heart long after you’ve returned home.

Let’s set off on this adventure together, exploring Northern Germany with curiosity, appetite, and anticipation for the myriad of wonders that await.

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Incredible One Week North Germany Itinerary

Embark on a journey through Northern Germany, a region teeming with historic cities, UNESCO treasures, and coastal splendors. This diverse itinerary promises to acquaint you with the very heartbeat of this part of the country, from the bustling port city of Hamburg to the tranquil beaches of Rügen Island.

Each destination will unfold its own story as you navigate through centuries-old streets, marvel at the architectural masterpieces, and savor the local flavors. The following detailed guide will steer you through a tapestry of cultural landmarks, giving you a glimpse into the soul of Northern Germany and leaving you enriched with memories to last a lifetime.

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Note that this itinerary moves FAST! If you are someone who wants to see and experience the most of every day, you’ll LOVE this itinerary. If you prefer to take things slower, cut back this itinerary. Pick your favorite four days and spread them into seven days for a more relaxed pace.

Or, even better, stretch this North Germany itinerary out and complete it over 10-14 days instead. You’ll love it.

You can complete this itinerary on public transport but a car will save you some time and be more convenient.

If you are taking public transport, click here to see train timetables and options.

Day 1: Arrival in Hamburg

  • Morning: Arrive in Hamburg, check into your accommodation.
  • Afternoon: Explore the historic Speicherstadt and visit Miniatur Wunderland.
  • Evening: Savor a concert at the Elbphilharmonie or dine along the scenic HafenCity waterfront.


Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, greets you with its rich maritime legacy stretching back to its founding in 1189. It’s a gem on the Elbe River that has prospered through its status as a free Hanseatic city.

Experience the architectural splendor of Speicherstadt, the world’s largest warehouse district, now transformed into a charming complex of museums, and cafes. It is UNESCO World Heritage listed. Here, Miniatur Wunderland awaits; it’s a marvel of model-making and intricate rail networks that engage both young and curious minds, and it’s a must-see to believe kind of place.

In the heart of the city, the Elbphilharmonie stands as a modern acoustical wonder; striking from the outside, sublime on the inside, it offers unforgettable musical experiences. For your dining pleasure, HafenCity presents a riverside canvas of gastronomic delights—be sure to savor the local seafood dishes that reflect Hamburg’s aquatic soul.

Day 2: Hamburg to Bremen

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Bremen’s Markt Platz with Roland Statue
  • Morning: Depart for Bremen and once there, explore the Marktplatz with the historic Town Hall and the Bremen Roland statue.
  • Afternoon: Stroll through the Schnoorviertel and Böttcherstraße, becoming immersed in the city’s medieval past and creative present. Consider one of the museums.
  • Evening: Dine in the vibrant Viertel district, and enjoy a riverside evening.


Bremen, with its quaint charm and interesting streets, extends an invitation to a world where history meets whimsy. Stand in the Marktplatz and find yourself surrounded by architectural splendor that speaks volumes of a rich Hanseatic legacy; here the Gothic Town Hall and the stone sentinel, Bremen Roland, signify the city’s freedom and market rights since the Middle Ages.

Close by, the Schnoorviertel lures you into a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with 15th and 16th-century houses, now home to cafes and boutiques.

Don’t leave without touching the legs of the Town Musicians of Bremen, the bronze statue immortalizing Grimm’s fairy tale, as tradition holds it brings good luck. As you roam, the Böttcherstraße offers an artsy escape with its unique expressionist architecture.

And when hunger calls, indulge in the hearty local cuisine; seek out a “Knipp” or “Kohl und Pinkel” in the Viertel district to truly eat like a Bremener.

Click here to read our full guide to Bremen.

Day 3: Bremen to Lübeck

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Lübeck Old Town
  • Morning: Embark on your journey to Lübeck and check into your hotel.
  • Afternoon: Explore the iconic Holsten Gate and take a leisurely walk through the historic old town, discovering its hidden courtyards and visiting the amazing European Hansemuseum.
  • Evening: Delight in a meal within the old town of Lübeck, rich with Hanseatic ambiance.


Lübeck, often hailed as the ‘Queen of the Hanseatic League’, welcomes you with its distinctive skyline punctuated by seven church steeples, an emblem of the city’s medieval prosperity.

The iconic Holsten Gate, with its twin towers and arched entrance, once stood as a fortress of trade power and now opens the chapters of Lübeck’s illustrious past for you to wander through. Beyond it lies a treasure trove of Gothic architecture, epitomized by the magnificent brickwork of the Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church).

Venture through the winding streets and you’ll encounter hidden courtyards, a unique feature of Lübeck’s UNESCO-listed old town—each a peaceful enclave telling its own silent story. At the European Hansemuseum, immerse yourself in the narrative of Lübeck’s central role in the Hanseatic League’s trade network.

And as the day turns to dusk, the atmospheric old town offers culinary comfort—perhaps a dish featuring the local catch, or the world-famous marzipan which is a sweet nod to Lübeck’s confectionery heritage.

Click here to read our full guide to Lübeck.

Day 4: Lübeck to Wismar

  • Morning: Depart from Lübeck to Wismar; upon arrival, visit the Market Square and admire the Wasserkunst.
  • Afternoon: Marvel at the Gothic architecture of St. Marien and St. Nikolai churches and enjoy a serene walk around the old harbor, Marktplatz and Wasserkunst.
  • Evening: Indulge in local cuisine and spend the night in Wismar, allowing the Baltic breeze to lull you to sleep.


Step into Wismar and feel the pulse of a city that has seamlessly woven its rich Hanseatic heritage into the present day. This former trading port on the Baltic Sea is steeped in history, flaunting its position as a former Swedish enclave, which is evident in the unique blend of German and Scandinavian architectural styles.

As you meander through the Market Square, the beating heart of the city, the elegant Wasserkunst, an ornate waterworks from the Renaissance period, captures your attention, an enduring symbol of the city’s historic relationship with water.

Sample the awe-inspiring magnificence of St. Marien and St. Nikolai, churches that stand as grand sentinels to Wismar’s religious and architectural significance. The old harbor, with its whispering masts and salty breezes, invites you to unwind amidst a scene scarcely changed over centuries.

When it’s time to dine, you’re in for a treat with Wismar’s local offerings. Aim for the traditional fish dishes that echo the maritime heritage, ensuring that each meal is not just nourishment, but a taste of history.

Day 5: Wismar to Stralsund

  • Morning: Depart Wismar and head to the Baltic jewel of Stralsund.
  • Afternoon: Discover the UNESCO-listed old town, marvel at the Gothic churches, and visit the Ozeaneum aquarium.
  • Evening: Experience Stralsund’s harbor-side dining with fresh seafood specialities.


In Stralsund, the gateway to the captivating islands of the Baltic Sea, history is not just found in textbooks but is etched into the cityscape itself. Gazing upon its skyline, the grand St. Nicholas Church stretches towards the sky, not just a place of worship but a marker of the city’s resilience and architectural grandeur.

Stralsund’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a mosaic of gabled houses and historic market squares that tell tales of its Gothic past and former glory as a Hanseatic power.

As you wander through the alleys, the maritime heritage of the city unfolds before you at the Ozeaneum—a modern aquarium that offers a journey through the underwater worlds of the North and Baltic Seas.

When hunger calls, the harborside bids you indulge in Baltic specialties; fresh fish and seafood dishes await to satiate your appetite with flavors as crisp as the sea air.

Day 6: Stralsund and Rügen Island

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Rügen Island White Cliffs
  • Morning: Set off for a day trip to Rügen Island and see the white cliffs of Jasmund National Park.
  • Afternoon: Sunbathe on the pristine beaches or promenade through resort towns like Binz and Sellin.
  • Evening: Return to Stralsund, and capture the evening atmosphere of the city’s skyline.

Rügen Island

Rügen Island beckons as Germany’s largest island, a panorama of chalk-white cliffs, undulating landscapes, and sandy strands that seem lifted from a painter’s canvas.

As you traverse its varied geography, the Jasmund National Park stands as a natural masterpiece where the famed Königsstuhl cliffs offer a view that will etch itself into your memory. This isn’t just scenery; it’s the dramatic art of nature on full display.

Alongside its natural wonders, Rügen is dotted with charming seaside resorts like Binz and Sellin, where historic villas line the promenades, an echo of the bygone era’s resort culture brought alive by the Baltic breeze. The island is not merely a destination, but an escape—a place where the land speaks the language of the sea.

Whether it’s the serenity of its expansive beaches or a more active pursuit in its waters, the island’s embrace is as warm as the sun that dances on its waters. You come to Rügen to breathe in the tranquility, to unwind under the wide northern sky, and to indulge in the simple pleasure of a walk along the shore.

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Rügen Island

Day 7: Departure or Further Travel

  • Morning: Gather final memories of Stralsund, visiting any missed attractions or picking up souvenirs.
  • Afternoon: Travel back to Hamburg for your departure or continue exploring the diversity of Germany in other parts of the country.

Map Of Your North Germany One Week Itinerary

The following maps shows you everywhere you will go in this week.

North Germany Itinerary mapPin
Click on the map above to open it in Google Maps

As our journey through Northern Germany draws to a close, reflect on a week steeped in the rich tapestry of history, marveled at architectural masterpieces, and the many flavors savored along the way.

Whether it was the soaring notes at a concert in Hamburg, the fairy-tale streets of Bremen, or the serene Baltic shores of Rügen, each memory has been woven into the grand quilt of your travel experiences.

Learn more about the best places to visit in Northern Germany with this guide to the best places to visit. You can also check out our itinerary to Central Germany here and to Berlin and surrounds here. Why not combine these all together for a fabulous three week itinerary! You can also find all our travel guides to Northern Germany here.

Sharon Gourlay in the Rhina Valley

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon first fell in love with Germany back in 2000 on her first visit. She loves the long history, the picturesque Old Towns, the castles, the food, everything really! Since then, she has visited many times and loves writing about Germany here so you can enjoy it too. In fact, Sharon loves German culture so much that she sent her kids to a German primary school in Australia. She especially loves Berlin and towns with charming Old Towns like Celle and Quedlinburg. Sharon also has a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and understands the nitty gritty of travel planning. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to Germany whether it's your first or tenth time!

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