Port of Travemunde (Lubeck)
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This pretty little German beach resort is set between the Baltic Sea and fragrant pine forests and is bordered by shimmering blonde (and gloriously empty) beaches. It was the 19th century's version of St. Tropez, a place where the beautiful people of the Belle Epoque -- including the writers Thomas Mann and Dostoevsky -- came to enjoy a restorative whiff of sea air and play the tables at the stylish casino.
Travemunde is perhaps best known to cruise passengers simply as the gateway to medieval Lubeck, only 18 km and a 25-minute drive away. The great Hanseatic League city and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lubeck is, indeed, close by and tremendously inviting if you love medieval architecture. Its Old Town is home to more than 1,800 listed buildings and a lovely riverfront.
But Travemunde is actually well worth getting to know in its own right, as it's a lovely spot for a lazy day at the beach, a little gentle shopping and an excellent lunch. The cruise ships that call there, mainly small to medium-sized vessels, visit during the summer months as part of Baltic and Northern Europe itineraries.
If simple relaxation is high on your agenda, this charming town with its lovely and stylish seafront shops, elegant hotels and quaint fishermen's cottages could well suffice as the perfect setting for a stroll and a swim.
Where You're Docked
Travemunde's small cruise terminal is well located for getting to the heart of the action. It's near the bus station (where you can pick up transport to Lubeck) and within walking distance of the main town and the beach.
Good to Know
Enthusiastic locals will line the promenade to wave off your ship as it sails. It's a very friendly place!
Currency & Best Way to Get Money
The official language is German. Travemunde is a traditional German town, and while most of its (very friendly) inhabitants have a reasonable grasp on English, a few German phrases will be a big help in meeting them halfway. Consider stashing a travel phrasebook in your day pack.
If you do head into Lubeck, pick up some marzipan. The city claims to have invented the aromatic delicacy in the 15th century (though some argue that the ancient Persians got in first).
Staying in Travemunde? The craft shops that line the street down to the beach are well stocked with pretty seaside memorabilia (wooden lighthouses, comical statuettes of bathing belles and fishermen, etc.), which make lovely souvenirs or gifts for the folks back home.