Osnabrück is a typical mid-sized Lower Saxon town. It is home to around 165,000 people and surveys have proved them to be the most satisfied citizens in Germany. Osnabrück has seen its share of history and war. It was the ultimate city where the Thirty Years War ended and over two thirds of the city was then destroyed in World War II.
Flughafen Münster/Osnabrück FMO is the best choice. The airport is quiet and efficient yet sufficient. There are flights from around Germany and a few European destinations on Air Berlin, Lufthansa, Intersky and sorted public charters such as Sun Express and Hamburg International.
The shuttle bus X150 brings you to central Osnabrück in about 30 minutes for €9,50.
Many travelers choose to use other nearby airports for budget airlines and international connections. These include: Bremen for Ryanair, Dortmund for easyJet and Wizz Air, Düsseldorf for Air Berlin and Cologne or Hannover for germanwings.com. Consider the cost of ground transportation from these airports as train tickets can cost upwards of €70 if not pre-booked.
Osnabrück is well connected as it is a railway junction. Trains on the Amsterdam-Berlin route meet here with trains on the Hamburg-Cologne route. Die Bahn opereates most trains and connections for around Europe and Germany. The Dutch Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) sells discounted tickets to/from places like Amsterdam. Osnabrück is about 3 hours by express train from Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin and Cologne.
Other railways operate many of the local services but are always included in the DB search engine and tickets.
Osnabrück is also an Autobahn junction:
A33 from Bielefeld
International buses are normally slow local routes, especially the ones stopping in Osnabrück. They are normally only a good deal if traveling with tons of luggage or last minute, otherwise airlines are cheaper. The main bus station ZOB Osnabrück is located next to the train station.
- Ecolines carries passengers from Riga.
- Touring Eurolines Germany has some bus routes, for instance twice weekly to London via Lille.
The Mittellandkanal has a tangent running directly into Osnabrück (from Kilometer 30,4). There are not public boat services.
The city is most easily navigated by city/regional bus. The Stadwerke Osnabrück operates standard daytime as well as NachtBus (night) service on Friday and Saturday. They have an online trip planner as well as digital signs at many bus stops to inform you of the current predicted wait time.
Fare information is posted inside all bus shelters and most bus operators speak some English. Tickets are bought from the bus operator of from vending machines on the Neumarkt. Bus operators are obliged to give change if you over-pay in cash.
Many Osnabrückers choose to ride a bicycle as transportation since the compact size and good infastructure make it easy to get around. While utilizing the red-colored cycling lanes in Osnabrück one should exert caution. These lanes are often narrow, at street level, and/or shared with the city buses and taxis. Dangerous conditions lead to at least one bicyclist death a year in Osnabrück. Please use your best judgement and walk your bike on the sidewalk if you feel uncomfortable. Additionally there are many places where bicycles (and all cars) are forbidden in the city center. If you are riding on a street where there are no cars, be sure to double check that bicycles are not forbidden, because the police will stop you.
- Rathaus. The Osnabrücker Rathaus (city hall) played a key role in the end of the 30 years war. In celebration with the authorities in nearby Münster, a peace treaty was signed.
- St. Peter's Cathedral (Dom Sankt Peter). Medieval
- Heger Tor. monument of Osnabrück soldiers who died at Waterloo and the neighbour old city are remnants of an earlier manifestation of Osnabrück. Two-thirds of the city was flatted during World War II, so, there are limited remnants of original prewar buildings.
- Osnabrück Castle. (now University) and its gardens.
- Felix Nussbaum Haus, Lotter Straße 2, ☎ +49 541 323-2207, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mo closed. A museum dedicated to the Osnabrück native, Felix Nussbaum, a Jewish painter who was executed at Auschwitz during the World War 2. The extension of the building was designed by Daniel Libeskind (of Berlin Jewish Museum fame). 5€, reduced 3€.
- Talk to the locals.
- Sit in a street cafe.
Among other (technical) schools Osnabück is home to a university. The university has several campuses dispersed throughout the city.
The favorite shopping area is the pedestrian zone Grosse Strasse (Big Street) in the city centre starting at the Neumarkt.
Osnabrück offers an array of foreign cuisine in addition to the "typical German food".
The best place to get a quick bite is at a Döner (Turkish Kebab) stand or restaurant. There are several local operations offering this type of food throughout the city.
- Comeback Pub & Restaurant, Lotter Str. 19,, ☎ +49 541 580 26 87. Mo – Sa from 5pm. Closed on Sundays,. Very good home cooking at reasonable prices.
- Lagerhalle Kneipe, Rolandsmauer 26 (Heger Tor bus stop - Alstadt). Pub inside the Lagerhalle Cultural Center. Pizza, pasta and salads.
- Joe Enochs Sportsbar, Heger Str. 4/5, ☎ 05 41 750 99 750. Open after 5pm. Monday closed. The pub of a retired American soccer player who spent the majority of his career at German Second Division club VfL Osnabrück. Sandwiches (baguette) and salads (Greek, Scandinavian and Potato salad)
- Mc Döner, Johannisstraße 51, ☎ +49 541 3502968. Kebab
There are many "Gasthäuser" and "Lokale," the local old school sit-down German food places.
- La Vie, Krahnstraße 1, ☎ +49 541 331150. From Tuesday to Saturday: from 7 pm. From Friday to Saturday: from 12 am. The gourmet restaurant La Vie is very luxurious, if you have the money it's worth the visit.
You will never have to look far to find a drink. There are many youth and student oriented bars and clubs as well as bars and clubs for the more sophisticated. On a nice summer evening you will find many people congregate in the Schlossgarten (Palace Graden) to drink together.
- Grüner Jaeger. an original beerhall serving the local Osnabrücker Pils.
- Cafe Orient. serves a variety of German beers and offers Shishas (hookah/water-pipes) in a warm den-type environment.
- Cubana Cocktailbar & Restaurant, Donnersbergring 20, ☎ 06151 39 11 999. serves Caribbean style, on the premise of being a cocktail bar/salsa club.
- Alando. If you like pop music, go to the Alando, which is near the central train station. There may be drunk and misbehaving people, though.
- Kleine Freiheit. Behind the train station is the best alternative club. 21+.
- Stellwerk. Real good Electro and House Music will be found at the Stellwerk, right next to the Kleine Freiheit, located behind the Central Train Station. Students pay half the price on Fridays.
- Hyde Park. If you like metal better, the Hyde Park is for you. Every Thursday and Friday, there is rock and metal night. For Goths: visit Hyde Park on the second or fifth Friday each.
- Penthouse-Backpackers, Moeserstrasse 19, ☎ +49 541 6009606, e-mail: email@example.com. Free WiFi, small breakfast, rooftop terrace, laundry, sauna. Dorm €14, bed in double €20, bedsheets €3.
- Hotel Advena Hohenzollern, Theodor-Heuss-Platz, Neustadt, Innenstadt (next to train station). Westermann
Osnabrück is quite safe. There are break-ins and sometimes drunks getting lagered up, as well as rowdy, trouble making kids. Overall there are still very few violent crimes.
Still, the Neumarkt and the Rosenplatz should be avoided at night.
In some parts of Osnabrück, locals resent the British military bases in town and are reluctant to speak English unless you have made an attempt in German. In others, people may automatically recognise that you aren't German and may thus begin a conversation in English. Since British left Osnabrück in 2008 this may be diminishing.