Warnemünde, Germany

Warnemünde was founded as a fishing village in the late 12th century and has evolved into a resort town with the largest beach on Germany’s northern coast. Its name means “The Mouth of the Warnow River” where it empties into the Baltic Sea.

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1 Couple Stroll Barefoot on Beach in Warnemünde, Germany

Technically, this town of 8,500 people in northern Germany is called Warnemünde Seaside Resort. That is more than a moniker written for marketing brochures. The Badestrand or bathing beach has a width of nearly 500 feet that stretches for almost two miles along the Baltic coastline. So take off your shoes. Then let your toes enjoy the white sand and warm surf while you stroll along the beach with your partner. What a perfect way to spend a perfect afternoon.

Seepromenade 3, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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2 Couple Taking Selfie on West Pier in Warnemünde, Germany

This young married couple took a selfie every few minutes during their stroll along the 1,775 foot West Pier of Warnemünde. This romantic setting along the breakwater dates back to the late 16th century. Today’s version of the Westmole was constructed in 1903. The 39 foot green beacon in the background was added 95 years later. The light is one of several that guide ships into the Altrer and Neuer Strom channels.

Seepromenade 3, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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3 Lighthouse and Teapot Landmarks in Warnemünde, Germany

The two famous landmarks in Warnemünde stand side-by-side along the Seepromenade pedestrian walkway parallel to the Baltic Sea. After getting a bite to eat in the uniquely shaped Teepott, consider exploring the lighthouse. Guided tours are conducted by volunteers from the Warnemünder Lighthouse Society. If this light looks vaguely familiar, then you probably saw the marketing material for the 2010 movie Shutter Island starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Seepromenade 3, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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4 Esperanza Golden Statue Along Harbor Entrance in Warnemünde, Germany

This elegant gilded sculpture at the end of the Ostmole (East Pier) was created by Ene Slawow in 2012. The 13 foot graceful woman reminded me of a siren from Greek mythology. They were lovely sea nymphs who lured mariners into the rocks with their sweet singing. The translation of her Spanish name means “Hope.” The locals have nicknamed her Puppi after its benefactor Eyk-Uwe Pap. Or you can just call her beautiful as she greets you at the entrance of the Warnemünde small boat harbor.

Seepromenade 3, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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5 Warnemünde Lighthouse in Warnemünde, Germany

The Warnemünde Lighthouse was built in 1898. The light from its beacon can be seen in the Baltic Sea from 20 nautical miles away. There are two platforms that can be reached by a spiral staircase. Most tourists prefer the observation deck that is close to its 121 foot summit. During the early 1900s, when the light was powered by petroleum, the keeper had to wind huge weights every two hours. It was automated in 1927.

Seepromenade 3, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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6 Teapot Building in Warnemünde, Germany

The distinctive curved roof of the Teapot building, which was designed by Ulrich Müther, is technically called hyperbolic paraboloid. However, it is much easier to say it looks like the wings of giant bird in flight. Inside of the Teepott you’ll find some restaurants and a small marine museum.

Seepromenade 3, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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7 Old Wood Trawlers Docked at Alte Strom in Warnemünde, Germany

These old wooden trawlers docked along the Alte Strom are maintaining Warnemünde’s seagoing tradition which dates back to the late 12th century. In 1323, the town was purchased by Rostock, its neighbor to the south, because it was valued for its access to the Baltic Sea. Now the port has evolved into Germany’s biggest cruise terminal. It welcomes about 200 ships a year. Many passengers take a day trip to Berlin while others stay behind to enjoy visiting the quaint seaside resort of Warnemünde. Its name means “The mouth of the Warnow River.”

Am Bahnhof 1, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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8 Fish Market along Alte Strom in Warnemünde, Germany

No fishing port is complete without a fish market. In Warnemünde it is located on the east side of Alte Strom. You’ll need to walk beyond a few restaurants and lots of moored trawlers before reaching the small tents and trailers that display seafood on piles of ice or in metal trays. Smoked fish is also available. However, if you want the freshest fresh fish of the day, get there early. That is when some of the catch is still flopping around as they are loaded off the boats.

Am Bahnhof 1, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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9 Restaurants along Alte Strom in Warnemünde, Germany

If you start to get hungry while in Warnemünde your best bet is to search for your favorite cuisine along Der Alte Strom. Then you have another choice. Are you looking for a small quaint eatery that is set in a historic building? Then you’ll find it on the west side of the channel along a pedestrian walkway named Am Strom. Is big and flamboyant with a terrace view more your style? Then check out Casa Mia on the east side. Its Italian food is served in a setting that resembles a large ship.

Am Bahnhof 1C, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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10 Old Seenotretter Station in Warnemünde, Germany

The German Maritime and Rescue Service in Warnemünde was founded in 1865. It was initially run by a harbor pilot named Stephan Jantzen. In his former home across the Alte Strom channel is an information center and museum that tells the story of Die Seenotretter. You can also explore a rescue vessel named Arkona. The GMRS has grown into 60 lifeboats and rescue cruisers that are located at 54 stations along the northern coastline of Germany.

Am Bahnhof 1D, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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11 Bicycles along Restaurant at Alte Strom in Warnemünde, Germany

My father was an accomplished traveler and he taught me at an early age that if you really want to experience a country’s culture then you must taste their cuisine. So eat where the locals eat. A good way of doing that in some countries is to find where the bicycles are parked. These two friends arrived early at a restaurant along the Alte Strom waterfront before the tourists arrived.

Am Bahnhof 1D, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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12 Am Strom Promenade along Alte Strom in Warnemünde, Germany

Parallel to Alte Strom or the Old Channel is a tree-lined promenade named Am Strom. This long row of renovated gable houses offer shops, taverns and restaurants. You can also find several sightseeing cruises that depart from here. If your wallet is closed for the day it is still worth strolling along this charming waterfront and watching the passing fishing boats. Or if you prefer a nap in the sun, then it is only a few steps away until you reach the best beach in northern Germany.

Am Strom 93, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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13 Beach Sand Sculpture in Warnemünde, Germany

Warnemünde hosts the annual Sandwelt or Sand World competition in May. The contest attracts a handful of talented artists from across Europe. They create incredibly detailed sand sculptures like this one of a mother playing with her son on the beach by Russian artist Sergey Zaplatin. You can watch them carve their masterpieces along Pier 7. But don’t worry if you miss the festival week. For a period of time, their art remains on exhibition in a sculpture garden under protected canopies.

Am Passagierkai 1 18119 Rostock, Germany
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14 Florist in Gable House in Warnemünde, Germany

The Rüger’s flower shop resides on the first floor of an exquisite gable house. It is located on Kirchenplatz, a circular street surrounding the Warnemünde Church. This style of house originated during the Middle Ages and was typically built by wealthy merchants.

Kirchenplatz 11, 18119, Rostock, Germany
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15 Half-timbered House in Warnemünde, Germany

This young mother and her son are riding their bikes along the cobblestones of Kirchenstraße or Church Street where it intersects with Alexandrinenstraße. The later was one of the main streets in Warnemünde when it was only a small fishing village. The half-timbered structure was built in 1822. It is more elaborate than the similar fishermen houses in the neighborhood. The oldest building in town is the Warnemünde Vogtei. It dates back to 1323.

Alexandrinenstraße 35 18119 Rostock, Germany
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16 Warnemünde Church Clock Tower in Warnemünde, Germany

The first Warnemünde Church was built in the mid-13th century about fifty years after this town on Germany’s northern coast was founded. When this brick, Evangelical Lutheran church was consecrated in 1871, the prior building was demolished. Fortunately, some its beautiful interior was saved and incorporated into this new Gothic Revival structure. Examples include a 15th century altar and a 16th century pulpit. Especially unique are two votive ships that are suspended from the ceiling. They were gifts by local mariners.

Kirchenpl. 1, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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17 Warnemünde Church Lancet Window in Warnemünde, Germany

I appreciate the details of fine old buildings so I had to learn more about this single lancet window above the entrance of the Warnemünde Church. The term comes from its appearance to a lance, a spear used by Medieval cavalry. This type of tall, narrow window with its pointed arch is a common among Gothic architecture. Apparently, the original design of this 19th century church specified only lance windows along the façade. However, the church’s patriarch, Frederick Frances II, who was the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, insisted that rose windows also be incorporated into the design. If you like this clock on the tower then wait until you see the one inside. It is three hundred years old and from the original church. After uncovering it in storage it was installed in 2007.

Kirchenpl. 1, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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18 Meyers Mühle Dutch Windmill in Warnemünde, Germany

When the wind turned the sails of the Myers Mill for the first time in 1866, it was used to ground grain. The timber-covered smock windmill continued turning until it was retired in 1991. After an extensive renovation, it reopened in 1994 as the Meyers Mühle restaurant. The ambiance inside reminds you of its historic past. For example, the chairs in the tavern have flour sack cushions and you can still see the old grinding stones. The main eating area called the “Mill Stone” is decorated with original equipment.

Laakstraße 2 18119 Rostock, Germany
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19 Kurhaus Spa House in Warnemünde, Germany

When the Kurhaus Warnemünde opened in 1928 it was an elegant spa and restaurant alongside the Konzetgarten. During WWII, this Art Nouveau building became a factory for ammunition. After the war, it underwent several renovations that continued until 2003. Today you can enjoy a wonderful view of the beach and the Baltic while eating an Italian meal from the second story deck of the Paulo Scutarro restaurant. Or try your luck in the casino. Then afterwards, explore the park in back. It features two ponds, a pavilion and a large band shell for staging outdoor concerts during the summer.

Seestraße 18, 18119 Rostock, Germany
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