Food and Drink in Travemunde (Lubeck)
Like many parts of the world, Germany's Schleswig-Holstein region is quickly adapting to the influence of international cuisine. However, if you like to try food traditional to the area you're visiting, you'll find that Hanseatic League cities like Lubeck offer some delicious specialities, like Hamburger Aalsuppe (so called because it contains alles -- everything!).
Recipes vary, but expect a base of ham or chicken broth, dried fruits, various vegetables and a host of herbs that include parsley, thyme, marjoram, sage, chervil, mint, dill, sorrel and basil. Some recipes add dumplings, while a fishy version may contain monkfish.
Prefer something simpler? Try herrings, a popular dish around these parts, particularly when salted, marinated and then fried as Bratheringe. And, to finish, try Rote Grutze, a delicious blend of red berries with sago pudding, sometimes made using Sauerkirschen (sour cherries). Or Plettenpudding -- a trifle made from macaroons, raspberries, sponge cake and custard -- which was immortalized in Thomas Mann's novel Buddenbrooks.
Remember that, when in Travemunde, you're at the seaside -- so fish and seafood should be excellent. And, if you've got a sweet tooth, bear in mind that Lubeck is world famous for its marzipan.
A good option for a light lunch or tapas, Weinwirtschaft is a bistro-style restaurant, offering international dishes prepared in an open kitchen and a wide selection of wines, which are also for sale from its wine shop. (Aussenallee 10. Tel. (04502) 3070747. Closed Tuesdays and open only for dinner October to April.)
Set in a seaside hotel (appropriately called the Hotel Maris), Muschel is a jolly conservatory-style restaurant that serves up beach views alongside a mix of international and regional dishes. Seafood is a particular speciality. Muschel is a popular place, so it's best to book ahead. (Strandallee 10. Tel. (04563) 422803. Closed Tuesdays.)
For a real treat, Travemunde's splendid Belle Epoque-style beachfront hotel, the Columbia Hotel Casino, has three restaurants -- including one with two Michelin stars. Country house-style Holstein's is the hotel's coziest eatery and is known for dishing up local ingredients like fresh-caught Baltic flounder. It also has a pretty garden terrace for alfresco lunches in summer. (Kaiserallee 2. Tel. + 49 4502 308-385. Open for lunch Thursday to Sunday.)
For a truly traditional Lubeck experience, lunch in the Ratskeller restaurant, which is in the cellars beneath the Rathaus, Lubeck's medieval town hall. The Ratskeller features local specialities like pork ribs with caraway sauce, prunes, potatoes, rutabaga and carrots, or Lubecker pickled knuckle of pork with sauerkraut, pea puree and bacon sauce. (Markt 13. Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.)
For a fine view of the Holsten Gate -- and a varied fish menu -- try the Yachtzimmer. Its Marzipan Parfait is said to be spectacular. (An der Obertrave 4. Tel. 0451 7 72 82. Open daily, noon to 11 p.m.)
For a casual lunch with a river view, simply head left when facing the Holsten Gate, and you'll find plenty of cafes and restaurants set right on the River Trave, which circles Lubeck's old town almost like a moat. These serve everything from local pork-and-sauerkraut speciality dishes to pizza and sandwiches. There are plenty of choices, so just pick a sunny spot and enjoy.
Don't Miss in Travemunde (Lubeck)
Travemunde's lovely, long beach is the perfect place for a swim. Pack your swimmers, walk past the bus station to the waterfront, and you can wriggle your toes in soft, honey-colored sand and enjoy a dip in the Baltic. The sandy beach stretches more than 4.5 kilometers and is a great place for watching ships, catamarans and motor yachts sail by on the Baltic Sea. Restaurants and cafes are plentiful along the waterfront.
Kaiserallee is to your right as you walk along the seafront. The street is lined with broad-leafed linden trees and makes for a shady retreat on a hot day. It also contains Travemunde's 18th-century casino, a stylish Belle Epoque building where you can still have a flutter in style and enjoy an excellent lunch at the adjoining Hotel Casino.
Brugmanngarten is a pretty park near the Casino. It hosts occasional daytime and evening concerts and is a lovely setting for a stroll on a summery day.
The atmospheric Fisherman's Harbour down by the sea is one of the oldest parts of Travemunde, dotted with picturesque historic houses. Follow the promenade past an old lighthouse and the marina, and you'll eventually reach the impressive Brodten cliffs.Many cruise travelers use the Travemunde call to visit Lubeck. Local buses will drop you at Lubeck's Holsten Gate, the entrance to an enchanting city with a rich medieval heritage and lively, restaurant-lined riverfront (located five minutes' walk left from the Gate). Here's a preview of the city's many attractions.
The 15th-century Holsten Gate, set in the old city walls, contains a delightful park (which was hosting a medieval market during my visit) and a museum charting Lubeck's early history. Admission is free. (Holstentorplatz. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., April through December.)
Literature buffs will enjoy a visit to Buddenbrookhaus, the house where Thomas Mann lived and wrote his prize-winning novel, Buddenbrooks, set in Lubeck. (Mengstrasse 4.)
Gunter Grass-Haus is another must-see for the cultured, as it celebrates the famous author of The Tin Drum and includes his sculptures and graphic art. (Glockengiesserstrasse 21.)
For the sweet-toothed, a visit to JG Niederegger will provide a marzipan fest. Niederegger is the biggest producer of Lubecker Marzipan, still made according to a secret recipe dating from the 15th century. At this shop, cafe and museum, you can learn everything about the treat -- except the recipe, obviously! (Breite Strasse 89.)
The Heiligen-Geist-Hospital is the world's oldest alms hospital, dating from the 12th century. The Langes Haus, where pensioners lived in tiny wooden chambers -- one row for men, the other for women -- is a fascinating place to visit. (Kapuzinerstrasse 15-17.)
The Puppet Theatre Museum holds one of the largest collections of puppets, stages, props, graphics, posters and barrel organs dating back 300 years. Next door is the Lubeck Marionette Theatre, where you can watch puppeteers at work. (Kolk 16. Tel +49 (0)451/7 86 26. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., April to October and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., November to March.)