The name Neumünster is derived from the latin "novam monasterium" (new monastery). Founded in 1127 as a monastery the city grew rapidly in the second half of the 19th century as a centre of industry (iron works, leather and textile industry, rail service workshops). Today the city's economy is based on a modern mix of industries. Approximately 40 percent of the city were destroyed by allied bombings in World War II so there is no historic district today.
Since the 19th century Neumünster is an important hub for street and rail traffic in Schleswig-Holstein.
Neumünster is connected via four exits to the Autobahn A7 (Hamburg-Flensburg) and via highways B430 and B205 as well by smaller roads to other cities in Schleswig-Holstein. For visiting events in "Holstenhalle" use the exit Neumünster-Nord to avoid driving through the city.
The city is a main railroad hub for Deutsche Bahn AG, Nordbahn, AKN and Schleswig-Holstein-Bahn.
- ICE (high speed train) connections: to Hamburg, Kiel, Rendsburg, Schleswig and Flensburg (and further to Denmark)
- EC/IC (EuroCity/InterCity) train connections to: to Hamburg, Kiel, Rendsburg, Schleswig and Flensburg (and further to Denmark)
- Regional train (Deutsche Bahn AG) connections to Hamburg, Kiel, Rendsburg, Schleswig, Kiel, Flensburg
- Regional train (Schleswig-Holstein-Bahn SHB) connections to: Heide (and further to Büsum/Northsea)
- Regional train (Nordbahn) connections to: Bad Oldesloe (and further to Lübeck with Deutsche Bahn AG)
- Regional train (AKN) to Kaltenkirchen and Hamburg
Lübeck is connected by train only via Bad Oldesloe by Nordbahn trains.
Caution: Neumünster has three railway stations - Hauptbahnhof (central station), Südbahnhof (southern station) and Neumünster-Stadtwald. All train services serve Hauptbahnhof. AKN and Nordbahn are serving Südbahnhof, too. SHB serves Neumünster-Stadtwald, too. (For all AKN, SHB and Nordbahn trains Hauptbahnhof is the final destination.) When you have to change trains from AKN, Nordbahn or SHB to another train service make sure that you do not leave your train too early at Südbahnhof or Neumünster-Stadtwald!
Hamburg airport is the nearest public airport and is connected to Neumünster by a special motor coach (Kielius) operated hourly by Autokraft. There is a reduced price for return tickets. Tickets have to be bought by the driver. (Caution: they do not accept credit cards!)
The remainders of a World War II air force base are used as a private airport for small private planes and helicopters.
Lübeck airport can be reached by train via Lübeck main station.
- Autokraft motor coach connections to Hamburg and Kiel
- Motor coach connections to Plön and some other regional places
By bus within the city and to some suburbian villages. Bus services usually end at about 20:00 hrs. The city and the surrounding landscape is very flat and convenient for bicyclists. Taxi is good but expensive.
- Tuch + Technik (Textilmuseum Neumünster), Kleinflecken 1 (next to town hall), ☎ +49 4321 559 58 0.
- Old town hall (Altes Rathaus). Built on 1900, neo-gothic style.
A local monthly magazine (Treffpunkt Neumünster) is available in print and online.
- Holstenköste: 11-14 June 2015 . the largest but one city fiesta in Schleswig-Holstein only topped by Kieler Woche. 4 days in June with some 200.000 visitors. (date needs updating)
- Weinköste: 10-12 September 2015 . a smaller fiesta on the subject of wine and eating in September. (date needs updating)
- Schleswig-Holstein Musik-Festival: 11 July - 30 August 2015 . several concerts of the festival take place in Neumünster, especially in the "Holstenhalle", a big hall usually used for conventions and cattle auctions. (Leonard Bernstein once praised its outstanding acoustics. Not kidding!) (date needs updating)
- NordBau: 9-13 September /2015 . one of Germany's largest fairs for constructional engineering. (date needs updating)
- Equestrian sports. several important events take place in the "Holstenhalle"
- Horse auctions. Trakehner and Holsteiner.
- Einfelder See. Lake borders on Neumünster in the north with some small beaches, barbecue sites and a sailing area.
- parks. Two are located in the inner city as well as two woods in the north and the east.
- Tierpark Neumünster. The local zoo shows a lot of local animals as well as polar bears and brown bears and a special children's section.
Neumünster is an important shopping centre for the whole region. Besides a lot of shops in the inner city there is a shopping mall in the west (Freesencenter) and a big factory outlet centre in the south. Weekly markets on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at "Grossflecken" in the inner city.
A lot of restaurants of all styles and price levels are available.
- Postkeller, Grossflecken 29. Open from 11:00 to 23:00 hrs. All meals are served from 12:00 to 23:00 hrs.. the oldest restaurant in town (founded in 1877) located in the basement of the old post office. Food is fine, portions are generous and inexpensive. It's also a café and a bar and sometimes cramped.
- Klatsch Palais (opposite to "Postkeller" on Grossflecken.). Café, restaurant, bar. Provides a special smokers' area.
- Feuerstein (corner Kleinflecken/Mühlenhof). from 12:00 to 23:00. cheap and generous meals
- Am Kamin. fine cuisine, a little bit more expensive
- Südbahnhof (AKN and Nordbahn trains still stop in front of the restaurant). located in a former railway station. Café, bar and restaurant. Except in winter you can enjoy the big open air pub garden.
- Best Western Hotel Prisma. a few meters away from "Holstenhallen"
- Hotel Wittorf. in the southern part of the city, near the industrial area "Industriegebiet Neumünster-Süd"
- Hildebrandts hotel. non-smoker hotel
- Neues Parkhotel. located within a small shopping mall in the heart of the city
- Beaches of the baltic sea (Kiel, Schönberg) are some 40 km away, those of the North Sea (Büsum, St.Peter Ording) some 60 km.