Rostock is the largest city in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, though not its capital. It is a hub for Baltic Sea ferries, Germany's largest port for cruise ships by number of boardingd and pleasant enough for a longer stay mostly due to its hanseatic heritage.
Rostock is near the Baltic Sea and to protect its fishing and access rights it annexed Warnemünde (named for being the mouth of the river Warnow), a port area to the north. Rostock was an important member of the Hanseatic League as well as one of the most important ports of the GDR (East Germany). Until the collapse of the East German economy in 1989/90 Rostock was a major center for shipbuilding and a few shipyards still remain, despite their economic woes.
The Airport Rostock-Laage (RLG) is located 20 km south of Rostock. There are shuttle buses from the airport to town but no rail connection of any kind.
There are frequent flights from Cologne, Düsseldorf, Munich, Stuttgart and Zürich to Rostock-Laage (RLG) airport. Furthermore there are different charter flights to destinations in Spain and Turkey. Alternatively you can fly to Hamburg (HAM) or Berlin (SXF/TXL) and travel by train to Rostock.
From Hamburg Central Station you can take the train to Rostock. Buy a Mecklenburg-Vorpommern-Ticket (see here) for 22 - 38 €. With this MV-Ticket you can travel with 5 Persons from Hamburg to Rostock.
There are a couple of ICE trains a day from places as far away as Munich.
From Hamburg take the motorway A1 to Lübeck and from there take the A20 to Rostock. It's a 1 1/2 hour trip. If starting in Berlin you have to drive along the A24 in the direction of Hamburg until the A19 is crossing the motorway. Following the A19 you reach Rostock. It's a trip of 2 1/2 hours.
There are numerous bus connection to/from Rostock, both domestic and international; operators include: Postbus Meinfernbus/Flixbus and Berlin Linien Bus. Please note, that there are two bus stops. One at the ferry terminal and one at Dierkower Kreuz which is a transfer point between busses and trams in the north east of Rostock.
Rostock is one of the hubs for Baltic Sea ferries in Germany. And the busiest German port for cruises.
Ferry from Gedser in Denmark every second hour with Scandlines. This connection covers a rather short stretch on the sea and has been suggested as an alternative to the Fehmarn Belt fixed link that is currently being built to link Putgarden and Rødby.
From the ferry terminal, you need to take a series a buses to go to the center of Rostock. You can also try to head for the Rostock-North S-Bahn (train) station, about 1 km away from the terminal. Therefore you may get stuck at the ferry port certain days when the bus services are low or if you can't find the train station. A taxi ride downtown will cost you around 20 €.
The passenger terminal in Warnemünde is used by cruise ships. It can be reached easily by train (10 minutes), by boat (1 hour) or taxi from central Rostock. All trains from Warnemünde stop in Rostock. The train station is an easy three minute walk north along the dock.
Rostock features a good inner-city tramway system. A bus system serves other locations.
- Warnemünde beach. Visit the sandy 3km beach at Warnemünde in the north. Go swimming there, if the weather is warm enough.
- City Hall. The City Hall has many shows and music events
- . Golf courses
- Zoo, 18059 Rostock, Barnstorfer Ring.
- Warnemünde lighthouse, which was built in 1897, is near the beach promenade. It is still in use. The view from the high tower provides an impressive view of the Baltic Sea and nearby Rostock region.
- The Teepott (Teapot) is another famous landmark of the Warnemünde beach. It has a curved roof and is an interesting example of East German architecture.
- An old canal area in Warnemünde boast restaurants, pubs, and a fish market.
- Hansa Rostock. The local professional soccer club.
- KTV. The Kröpeliner-Tor-Vorstadt (KTV, "Kröpelin Gate Suburb") was the first part of Rostock built outside the medieval city walls, in the 2nd half of the 19th century. Originally designed to house workers flocking to the newly industrialised town, today's KTV is one of the most popular residential areas, especially with students and artists. It is here that you will find the highest density of bars, cafes and small shops selling handicraft or organic food.
To get to KTV from Rostock's main shopping street (Kröpeliner Straße), follow it all the way to the west, passing Kröpelin Gate and crossing the tram lines. Everything in front of you now is already part of KTV. Check out the Doberaner Platz, where most tram lines stop, where the best Döner Kebab is sold, and where everyone seems to meet before a pub crawl with friends.
- shipping tour on the Warnow.
- Stadtmauer (city walls). While much of Rostock's fortifications were removed on the "sea"side (towards the river Warnow), a large part of the city wall remains on the "land" side and is certainly worth a visit. You will encounter 3 remaining gates, Kröpeliner Tor, Steintor (stone gate) and the oldest, Kuhtor (cow gate). Guided tours (some of them by a guide dressed up as a medieval night-watchman) are available and recommended for anyone interested in the history of the town. They can be booked under the stated link or in the tourist office. For the "night-watchman" tour, it is also possible to simply turn up at Petrikirche at 8pm if you're not with a large group, but the tour will then be in German only.
- Climb the tower of Petrikirche (St. Petri's church). Open from 10am, closing time depends on the season (4pm in winter, 6pm May - Sep - consult website if unsure). Petrikirche boasts the tallest tower of the three remaining churches within the old town. The church itself can be visited for free (open daily, mind the Sunday service 11-12am), but there is a small admission fee for the tower (3 €, 2 € reduced fee, family ticket 6 €). Climbing the steep spiral stairs is fun and a good exercise! There is also a barrier-free option: The parish has had the original bell shaft replaced by a lift which brings you up to the lower of the 2 platforms. Both offer good views over town, river and harbour.
Many guided tours of Rostock also start in front of the church.
Also worth keeping in mind: The parish has installed what is probably the only free public toilet in the old town (although it might be a nice idea to put some coins into the collection column inside the church), also barrier-free and accessible from the outside, to the left of the main entrance.
- Watch the sunset in the harbour. Take some drinks and food down and watch time pass by - as well as sailing boats, rowing boats, and plenty of seagulls. If it's herring season, the quay at the Silos will be full of fishermen.
If you're not into bring-your-own, there is a number of restaurants and bars along the quay, from German, Italian and Greek to Spanish cuisine. The Irish Pub is also in the Silos.
Between the theatre and Latino bar "Besitos", you will find plenty of young people playing "Kubb", at least during summer. Why not try it out yourself? If you ask nicely, you are sure to be allowed a shot. Or buy your own wooden kit at the games store "Wupatki", Rungestraße 17.
BTW: This part of the harbour is usually called "Strand" (beach) by locals, even if there is no sand within sight.
- University of Rostock, one of the world's oldest universities, founded in 1419.
- self-brewed beer at Trotzenburg, Tiergartenallee 6. The Trotzenburg is brewing their own beer.
- Alex, Neuer Markt 17 (Across from the City Hall), ☎ +49 381 20376. Mo-Th:8.00-01.00, Fr-Sa:08:00-03.00, Su:9.00-01.00. Bar and restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere
- Hanse Hostel, Doberaner Str. 96. For bed linen they charge €2 once per stay. Breakfast is available for €4, coffee, beer and soft drinks are available for €1. There is free internet, a great kitchen with a dishwasher, microwave, oven, stove and fridge. Bathroom facilities are very good. There is a TV, DVD and VCR downstairs as well as a bunch of board games, books and a dart board. The staff are very friendly and helpful and the place is clean, tidy and modern. Hanse Hostel is located at 96 Doberaner Straße near the corner of Lubeckerstraße, if your travelling by tram get off at the Maßmannstraße stop. from 14€ (8 bed dorm).
- Jellyfish Hostel. situated in a beautiful old Town House in the Old Town of Rostock just around the corner from the medieval Steintor. Fee of 2,50€ for bed linen. Though the hostel is in the very city center - the Neuer Markt is two minutes by foot - it is really quiet there. It has a very nice common room, where breakfast (4€) is served as well, with two free internet PC's, a flatscreen, a stereo and a projector. In the fully equipped kitchen you can cook or just store your beverages in the fridge. The 8-bed dormitories are very spacious due two the very high ceilings, which even have stucco. The owners and all employees are quite young, easy going and very helpful. Dorms: 17+€ Private room 23+€.
- Hotel GreifenNest. Beautiful terrasse, nice people and good ambiance. €5 for breakfast. €1 for internet access. No wifi. double 40€ hammock 12€.
- Jugendgästeschiff (on a ship in the harbour basically at the end of Am Kabutzenhof.). 30€ including breakfast 20€ with discount card.
- Yachthafenresidenz Hohe Düne. a luxury hotel with yacht harbour next to Warnemünde.