Königsstuhl (King's Chair), famous chalk cliff in the Jasmund National Park

Rugia (German Rügen) is Germany's largest island. It is situated in north eastern Germany on the southern Baltic Sea Coast, in the region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

A holiday destination for more than 200 years, it is known for its sandy beaches, chalk cliffs and Bodden lagoons. In a number of the seaside towns you can find noble resort architecture (Bäderarchitektur) style buildings from the 19th/20th century.


Towns and villages

Map of Rugia (Rügen)

Bathing resorts

Other destinations


The size and shape of the island provides 574km of coastline. The beaches are generally excellent for bathing. In the main season dogs are only allowed on designated dog beaches (Hundestrände), but there are plenty of these. Also on the island are a few nudist (FKK - Freikörperkultur) beaches.


The mother tongue spoken on Rugia is Standard German, with few mixing in a bit of Low German dialect. You will get along with basic English in most areas, especially at the coast. The island was for more than 40 years part of East Germany, when the first foreign language taught in schools was Russian though, so speak clearer and easier to older people. You should get by with the German phrasebook.

Coastal resort Binz with the Kurhaus
Chalk cliffs in the Jasmund National Park, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt] view

Get in

By plane

Rostock-Laage airport with connections from Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart and Cologne. The airport is about 90km from Rugia.

By car

From the A20 then B96, you can get in by car along Germany's longest bridge from Stralsund on the German mainland, or you can take the ferry from Trelleborg in southern Sweden.

By train

There is also a regional train connection from Stralsund to Sassnitz and Ostseebad Binz, some long distance trains from major German cities travel to Ostseebad Binz.

By boat

Three major ship-owners operates ferries to and from Sassnitz:

There is also a cable ferry from Stahlbrode near Greifswald to Glewitz on Rugia.

Get around


As well as the coast line with excellent beaches and spectacular cliffs there are some beautiful woodlands and wetlands. This is a great location for wetland bird watching, notably the large flocks of cranes.


The narrow-gauge railway Rasender Roland


Rugia is an island, which you can tell when you walk into a restaurant. Seafood is omnipresent and usually very fresh. Try a fischbrötchen, a sliced bread roll filled with smoked (Raücherfisch) or pickled herring and vegetables. The Germans are crazy about asparagus, so during season, do not miss out. You will also find in the region products made from sea-buckthorn (sanddorn) such as fruit juice (served hot or cold), jam and flavoured ice cream.


The local sea-buckthorn (sanddorn) fruit juice is best hot.

Although brewed just of the island in Stralsund, Störtebeker beer is readily available and well worth a few glasses.


Due to the island's popularity over the years, it is easy to find accommodation at all price and comfort levels. The most common accommodation is various forms of holiday apartments, a practical and cheap way to stay. If you prefer to stay in hotels or hostels, there is plenty to choose from. A double in a hotel is around €80-120/night, breakfast included. A holiday flat, a ferienwohnung, starts at around €20 p.p. and night.

Stay safe

When walking near the cliffs, be careful near the edges as they tend to overhang the actual cliff face and are subject to collapse.

Although rare, there is a risk of coming across wild boar. Best advice is to keep your distance and treat them with respect.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, June 25, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.