Wismar is a city in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania which lies on the Baltic Sea coast. The historic center was designated a UNESCO world cultural heritage site in 2002.


The city was established in the 13th Century during a period of Germanic colonisation of Slavic areas. Wismar was first mentioned in a document in 1229. It was part of the Hanseatic League, originally an association of North German merchants, which grew to become a trade network of about 200 ports and inland towns. During the Thirty Years' War (1618–48) Wismar came under Swedish rule, a status which it kept until 1803. Today, Wismar's old town contains traces of history going back to the middle ages, including several outstanding brick Gothic churches and old houses.

Get in

By rail

Wismar's railway station is near the old town and close to St. Nikolai church. It is about a 5–10 min walk to the market square. There are slow regional trains to Schwerin and eventually Berlin, and in the other direction, to Rostock further east. Change at Bad Kleinen on the Schwerin line for trains to Lübeck and Hamburg.

By car

Two main Autobahn routes serve Wismar. The A14 arrives from Magdeburg in the south via Schwerin to join the east/west-oriented A20 at Kreuz Wismar. Motorists coming from Schleswig-Holstein and Lübeck on the A20 will exit before Kreuz Wismar at Wismar Süd, while those travelling westwards from Stralsund, Greifswald or Rostock can leave at either junction.

Get around

The old town (Altstadt) and harbor areas are easily covered on foot. If you want to visit some of the outlying suburbs or countryside, either check out the local bus services or take a bike.


Architecture in old Wismar




There is a general tax on all accommodation charged locally on top of VAT. While it is required by law to quote all prices including VAT unless otherwise noted, there is no such law regarding the hotel tax.


Go next

The island of Poel is relatively unspoiled and easily reachable by bus, bike or boat from Wismar. A long-distance cycle path connecting the whole of Germany's Baltic coast runs through Wismar. Alternatively, take the train south to provincial capital Schwerin, or travel east to the commercial, industrial and university town of Rostock. Further east lie Wismar's fellow UNESCO cultural heritage city of Stralsund and the island of Rugia (Rügen).

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, July 01, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.