Greifswald is a town in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in Germany. Greifswald is a very old town and gained city rights as early as 1240. In 1278, Greifswald became a part of the Hanseatic League and in 1456, the university was founded.
From 1648 to 1815, Greifswald was a part of Sweden's northern German territories. Following the Second World War, the town became a part of the Soviet occupation zone. The town fared rather well during and after the war, but during the Soviet and East German reign, the economy and infrastructure declined. Following the reunion of the two German states, huge sums of money has been pumped into the area to help improve the situation and to lower the unemployment rates.
The easiest way to get to Greifswald is probably by car, but there are other options. Going by air is restricted to season.
There are no regular flights to the area. From May to September, Air Berlin flies to Flughafen Heringsdorf on the island of Usedom from Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart. OLT runs services during roughly the same time from Cologne/Bonn, Zürich and Munich. The polish airline JetAir ran a service betweev Usedom and Wrocław during the autumn of 2011, but it is unclear whether the service will come back.
The service is only upheld on Saturdays. There is a transfer from the airport to the seaside resorts of Ahlbeck, Heringsdorf and Bansin. Transer is booked via the airport. The only way to get to Greifswald from the airport is by cab or rental car, which may be booked through the airport service, phone +49 3837 62 97 34, fax +49 3837 62 98 75 3. There are plans to extend the Usedom Bäderbahn (see below) to the airport during 2012, but until those plans come true, you have to get off at Usedom station and catch a cab to the airport.
Die Bahn, operates trains to and from Greifswald. The journey from Berlin takes about 2 h 45 min and the ticket is ca €32. A ticket from Stralsund is about €9 and takes roughly 20 minutes. Tickets may be purchased on board (Note: only on inter-city trains, additional fees apply) at railway stations, in ticket machines, through the web page of Die Bahn or through their call center, phone: +491805996633
- From north: Road 251 from Stralsund. This is a ring road around Greifswald, so to get into the town, turn off into road B96/B109.
- From east: L26
- From south: E251. Trun off into B96/B109 and B109 leads to the town center
- From west: L26, L261.
- Scandlines, to Trelleborg in Sweden. Phone: +46 42 18 61 00 or +46 410 650 00.
- Bornholmstrafikken, to Rønne on the island of Bornholm. Phone: +45 56 95 18 66
- DFDS Lisco, to Klaipeda in Lithuania.
The town center is small and the streets are narrow, which makes it better to park the car on the outskirts and walk.
Stadtwerke Greifswald runs the six (1, 4, 5, 6, 7 och 20) bus lines in Greifswald. All lines, except nr 5, leave from and/or pass the bus station (ZOB, Zentraler Omnibus-Bahnhof) in the western part of the town centre. Note that the lines may take different routes depending on time and day.
- Line 1: ZOB - Bahnhof Süd (Greifswalds southern railway station) - Galgenkampwiesen (Neuer Friedhof, The New Cemetery)
- Line 4: ZOB - Schönwalde - ZOB.
- Line 5: Wieck-Ostseeviertel - Schönwalde I/II - EKZ, Elisen Park – Bahnhof Süd - Schillerplatz-Galgenkampwiesen.
- Line 6: ZOB - Dompassage - Wieck/Brücke
- Line 7: ZOB - Bahnhofstrasse - OEZ-Wieck/Brücke
- Line 20: ZOB-Ostseeviertel-Schönwalde-Neuer Friedhof
Being a university town with many narrow streets, Greifswald is considered a "bicycle city", even though that fact is not as well known as it is about places like Erlangen or Münster. If you are in town for more than just a day, consider renting a bike and exploring the (rather flat) surroundings as well as the city by bike. Besides giving you exercise it is often the fastest and most straightforward method of getting around.
The town center is small with narrow streets. It is better to park the car and walk. If you want to rent a car, you can do it here:
- Sixt, Stralsunder Strasse 27-30. Phone: 03834-50 88 10. Open: Mon.Fri 0800-1800, Sat 0900-1200. Closed on Sundays.
- Europcar, An Den Bäckerwiesen 12. Phone: 03834-50 06 00.
- Greifswalder Hanse Taxi, ☎ +49 3834-81 18 11, e-mail: email@example.com. T:
- Taxi-Jahnke, ☎ +49 3834-81 31 31, e-mail: info@taxi-Jahnke.de.
- St. Nikolai cathedral.
- Rathaus (town hall).
- hanseatische Bürgerhäuser, Markt 11 und 15.
- Pommersches Landesmuseum.
- Tierpark Greifswald (Zoo).
There are quite a few recurring events worth visiting:
- The Theatre Ball (March)
- Flower and Easter market (Easter Eve)
- The music night Greifswalder Musiknacht (April)
- The culture festival Nordischer Klang (The beginning of May)
- The dance event TanZZeit, modern dance (The end of May)
- Pfingsten Kunst: local artists open their workshops to the public (Whitsuntide)
- The pottery market Töpfermarkt (first weekend in June)
- The Bach Festival Greifswalder Bachwoche (end of May-beginning of June)
- The theatre event Ostseefestspiele (June–August)
- The boat festival, featuring dragon boats (third weekend in June)
- Eldenaer Jazz Evening (first weekend in July)
- The fishermen's festival Gaffelrigg (third weekend in July)
- Summer night shopping (end of July)
- The theatre festival Fantakel (beginning of September)
- Day of the historical monuments Tag des offenen Denkmals (second Sunday in September)
- The culture night Greifswalder Kulturnacht (third Friday in September)
- The harvest fête/market Erntedankmarkt (third of October)
- The dance night Greifswalder Tanznacht (mid-October)
- The dance event Tanztendenzen (mid-end October)
- The festival for Polish cultur, music, literature and art. PolenmARkT (end of November)
- Advent in Greifswald, including a Christmas market with handicraft, pottery and 70 different cultural events (Advent Sunday and onwards)
- ATM's can be found at Sparda-Bank at Schuhhagen 2. The general currency, as in the rest of Germany, is euro. Most credit cards are accepted, but always check before you buy - some restaurants or smaller shops do not accept credit cards.
- The pedestrian street Lange Strasse has many small shops.
- The shopping mall Dompassage in central Greifswald has about 30 shops, a bowling alley and a cinema.
- Elisen Park. Is a shopping mall with around 40 shops, cafés and restaurants. Most shops are open Mon-Fri 0900-2000, Sat 0900-1800. Closed on Sundays.
- Alter Speicher, Rossmühlenstrasse 25, ☎ +49 3834-777 00. This restaurant, situated in the hotel with the same name and on the very edge of the town center, next to the river Ryck, has a big and tasty menu. The guest may choose to sit in the bar or in the restaurant, parts of which has glass walls and roof. €3-22.
- Restaurant Büttner´s, Am Hafen 1a, Wieck.
- Zum alten Fritz, Am Markt 13, ☎ +49 3834-578 30. Mon-Sun 1100-0000 (0100 fri-sat). Zum alten Fritz is a pub at the very heart of the town center, on the town square Am Markt. Apart from the local beer, snacks and light meals are served. Should you want to try all the beers available, why not order "Ein Meter Bier", i.e. "One Meter of Beer". You get a plank, a meter in length, with eleven small glasses.
- Europa Hotel, Hans-Beimler-Strasse 1-3, ☎ +49 3834-80 10. Check-in: 1500, check-out: 1100. Four star business hotel situated in the outskirts of the town center, with approximately 10 minutes walk to the market place. This hotel has a restaurant, a bar, conference facilities and a sauna. All rooms are equipped with cable TV, telephone, hair dryer, trouser press and wireless internet. Pets allowed (extra fees), but with restrictions. €85.
- Hôtel Galerie, Mühlenstrasse 10, ☎ +49 3834-773 78 30. Small hotel in the city center. Eight double rooms and three single rooms, all with WC and shower/bath, mini bar, telephone, TV and radio. No restaurant, only breakfast is served. €78-98.
- Das Sofa, Brüggstraße 29, ☎ +49 3834-773 79 41 or 81 09 44. A nice little hotel with 8 rooms: 4 double and 4 single rooms, all equipped with WC and shower or bath and a TV. The restaurant is focused on the Turkish and Mediterranean kitchens. €45-75.
- Mercure Hotel Greifswald Am Gorzberg, Am Gorzberg, ☎ +49 3834-5440. Mercure Hotel Greifswald Am Gorzberg is a middle range/business hotel on the southwest outskirts of town. The hotel has a bar, a sauna and solarium. Breakfast is served in the restaurant. The hotel has 113 rooms, all with a minibar and telephone.
- VCH Hotel Greifswald, Wilhelm-Holtz-Strasse 5-8, ☎ +49 3834-5160. The hotel is a hotel aimed at families and has 122 rooms and 48 flats/family rooms. It is situated in the southwest outskirts of Greifswald, not far from the railway station Greifswald Süd, and features its own bar and restaurant. €50-130.
- Alter Speicher, Rossmühlenstrasse 25, ☎ +49 3834-777 00. Alter Speicher is a nice middle-range hotel only a couple of minutes walk from the town square. Own bar and restaurant overlooking the river Ryck and the museum harbour. From €70.
The town has excellent coverage for both 2G and 3G.
- The fishing village Wieck, today more or less a part of Greifswald, lies only a few kilometres east of the city center. This is a nice little village, featuring an old village center and the ruin of the monastery of Eldena, destroyed by Swedish forces in the 1600s.