We took the train to Schwerin -- a beautiful town with a stunning castle. I highly recommend this trip for families. Follow Rostocker's advice/website on this trip, because Hal will not have any information. The local hospitality representative told me to just go to Rostock, it was too difficult. She was wrong!! We had a wonderful day -- fabulous strudel at the train station in Schwerin -- enjoyed the walk into town (around a little harbor), enjoyed going through the castle, and later found a fantastic mall. We walked around Warnemunde later in the evening, had brats and beer -- loved this long day in port.
HAL was very poor with local information. They warn you that town is 2 Â½ miles away and they charge 10E round trip for their bus. Not wishing to pay 40E for our family, we walked all the way in. It doesn't look like it going to be that far.....we were optimistic. Then after all that walking, and going to the tourist office, we were told that the city bus comes directly to the port and is very reasonable (3.20 I think for adults and half for kids). Needless to say, all four of us took it back but be warned it will be very busy. A mixture of old and new -- we enjoyed Senate Square, walked to the park, very cool train station, and into Stockmann's. It was raining a little but not enough to wreck the day. We enjoyed Stockmanns very much, although we didn't buy anything other than cold drinks -- prices were extremely high in comparison to the US.
A very pretty Old Town but it rained on and off, including a torrential downpour in the late afternoon. FREE INTERNET in the port. I think the entire crew had their laptops in the souvenir shop! I had trouble connecting with my GEN 1 I-touch, but I met a woman who loaned me her GEN 3 which connected just fine. She was Skyping on her I-Pad. It is a nice, easy day -- just walk in and enjoy it.
We hired TJ Travel, and went with a group of 14. LOVED IT. Pick a tour that does everything, you won't regret it. Yes, it is expensive -- but well paced and lunch for us was wonderful -- Borsht, Mincemeat crepes in mushroom sauce, dessert/and Stroganoff and mashed potatoes the next day. It seems odd, but don't miss the subway. Rained the first day, but didn't really matter, between the bus and the indoor venues. Our favorite port!
If you are traveling with a family, try to obtain bus "strips" rather than individual tickets. Buses take TWO tickets per zone. There are 16 tickets per strip. You CANNOT buy tickets for the bus ON the bus. You must go to a kiosk (which is frequently broken) or to the ticket office, which has limited hours. The bus system is very easy -- every shelter has the bus numbers and corresponding schedules. We took it to a stop near the Vasa Museum, which is a must for families. You will be amazed. Plan on 2-3 hours to visit all the exhibits, see the film, and attend the short tour. We went to Skansen in the afternoon. My husband loved it -- I think it is great for a family much younger than ours. Lots of kids, long lines for ice cream. Less interpreters than I had hoped. Next time we will choose the Nordic Museum instead.
Second day was spent in Old Town -- By now the old towns are starting to blur together. We saw the Palace, a church or two, and did some people-watching from a well-located bench. We discovered that the Swedish men like to wear what my teenagers call "man-pris" (as opposed to capris haha). This became a source of great amusement for our American youth.
Absolutely beautiful little town with pretty ruins, roses everywhere and ancient walls/towers. A local young man started following us around immediately (we dubbed him our "stalker") but we think he was just bored, and attracted by our lovely DD's. He walked with us to the botanical park where we overheard one of the guides talking about the chocolate cosmos. Smell these reddish brown flowers on long thin stems, they truly smell like chocolate!!!! Discovering that our stalker was being difficult to politely "ditch" we ducked into a church, and out by another door. We had great fun looking around corners for the rest of the day to see if he was anywhere nearby. This made for great funny memories; however, it was truly uncomfortable for a little while. The day was far too short here. Don't worry about the passport check here -- we had no lines whatsoever. It is a tender port, however, and the waves were quite high, which made the tender jump and dive, pouring water into the boat at one point!