Rostock travel guide

Rostock Tourism | Rostock Guide

You're Going to Love Rostock

Boasting immense, beautiful beaches, quaint historic neighborhoods, pulsating festivals, and energetic nightlife, the North German port of Rostock is an underrated but rewarding place to visit.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Rostock

1. There Are Some Superb Beaches in the Area

Rostock itself is a busy port, but just a few miles away, you can drive to stunning beaches like Warnemünde on the Baltic coast.

2. Plenty of Historical Attractions

Rostock was a thriving member of the medieval Hanseatic League, and many fine buildings still remain. Don't miss the city walls, the tower of the Petrikirche, and the elegant city hall.

3. Superb Music Festivals

Music fans should schedule their trip to coincide with Rostock Rockt in July, while the Electric Sea Dance Festival is a fantastic event for EDM and electronica fans.

4. Great Beer and Fine Cuisine

Rostock has some excellent brewers like the Hanseatische Brauerei Rostock and some great pubs like Zur Kogge (the oldest in town). The food's delicious too, featuring simple pork, fish, and potato-based dishes.

5. There Are Plenty of Family Attractions

Kids and adults alike will adore the petting zoo, strawberry fields, and playgrounds at Karls Erlebnis-Dorf, while Zoo Rostock features over 4,500 animals, so there's no shortage of family activities.

What to do in Rostock

1. St.-Marien-Kirche: A Holy Marvel

The largest church in Rostock, the St. Marian Kirche sums up the city's splendor during its heyday as a trading port in the Hanseatic League. It was built from brick during the early years of the 13th century in an elegant, Gothic style, but the real treasures have been added slowly over time. Duck inside and you can't miss the Astronomical Clock, which still functions even though it was made in 1472. Add the enormous 18th-century pipe organ, fine stained-glass windows and the magnificent altar, and the result is a remarkable sensory experience.

2. Rathaus Rostock: Baroque Beauty and Serpentine Symbols

Another Hanseatic era treasure, the town hall was completed in 1270 as a purely Gothic construction. Then, the 18th-century authorities elected to add a striking Baroque facade, creating an unusual but beautiful synthesis of styles. If you look closely, you will also see some eye-catching snake sculptures that can be found all over the building (supposedly a symbol of wisdom and enlightened rule). Take some snaps outside, tour the interior and be sure to grab a coffee in the town square before moving on to other attractions.

3. Universität Rostock: Academic Greatness and Gorgeous Gardens

Dating back to 1419, Rostock University is ancient by global standards, but its golden age is much more recent, having been home to five Nobel prize winners. You can wander around the campus and see the centuries-old academic buildings, but the real highlight for visitors is the Botanical Gardens. Located just north of the main university, these tranquil gardens feature a tropical house and are home to over 10,000 different species, including a massive herbarium.

4. Kunsthalle Rostock: A Cornucopia of Contemporary Creativity

The city's major art gallery, the Kunsthalle was opened in 1969 with the aim of hosting exceptional works of contemporary art. And that ambition has been achieved in style. When you visit, there should be something to excite your aesthetic imagination, with works by big names like Rauschenberg and Baselitz, as well as plenty of lesser known masters like the modernist sculptor Ernst Barlach. If the art becomes too much, there's also the Schwanenteichpark to explore, with miles of pathways and a peaceful lake. It's the ideal place to sit and contemplate the works of art in the galleries next door.

5. Petrikirche: Sacred and Sublime

The Petrikirche (St Peter's Church) is in the Altstadt, a mile or so east of modern Rostock's city center, but it's well worth paying a visit. Constructed in the mid-14th century in the characteristic brick style of Hanseatic cities, the church has had its ups and downs (with the soaring copper spire collapsing three times). However, when you step inside, you'll see why the locals have persevered it. It's a sublime space, with exquisite stained-glass windows depicting the life of St Peter. If you can, find the time to wander the cobbled streets of the Alter Markt neighborhood as well. It's a truly atmospheric place to stroll.

1. St.-Marien-Kirche: A Holy Marvel

The largest church in Rostock, the St. Marian Kirche sums up the city's splendor during its heyday as a trading port in the Hanseatic League. It was built from brick during the early years of the 13th century in an elegant, Gothic style, but the real treasures have been added slowly over time. Duck inside and you can't miss the Astronomical Clock, which still functions even though it was made in 1472. Add the enormous 18th-century pipe organ, fine stained-glass windows and the magnificent altar, and the result is a remarkable sensory experience.

2. Rathaus Rostock: Baroque Beauty and Serpentine Symbols

Another Hanseatic era treasure, the town hall was completed in 1270 as a purely Gothic construction. Then, the 18th-century authorities elected to add a striking Baroque facade, creating an unusual but beautiful synthesis of styles. If you look closely, you will also see some eye-catching snake sculptures that can be found all over the building (supposedly a symbol of wisdom and enlightened rule). Take some snaps outside, tour the interior and be sure to grab a coffee in the town square before moving on to other attractions.

3. Universität Rostock: Academic Greatness and Gorgeous Gardens

Dating back to 1419, Rostock University is ancient by global standards, but its golden age is much more recent, having been home to five Nobel prize winners. You can wander around the campus and see the centuries-old academic buildings, but the real highlight for visitors is the Botanical Gardens. Located just north of the main university, these tranquil gardens feature a tropical house and are home to over 10,000 different species, including a massive herbarium.

4. Kunsthalle Rostock: A Cornucopia of Contemporary Creativity

The city's major art gallery, the Kunsthalle was opened in 1969 with the aim of hosting exceptional works of contemporary art. And that ambition has been achieved in style. When you visit, there should be something to excite your aesthetic imagination, with works by big names like Rauschenberg and Baselitz, as well as plenty of lesser known masters like the modernist sculptor Ernst Barlach. If the art becomes too much, there's also the Schwanenteichpark to explore, with miles of pathways and a peaceful lake. It's the ideal place to sit and contemplate the works of art in the galleries next door.

5. Petrikirche: Sacred and Sublime

The Petrikirche (St Peter's Church) is in the Altstadt, a mile or so east of modern Rostock's city center, but it's well worth paying a visit. Constructed in the mid-14th century in the characteristic brick style of Hanseatic cities, the church has had its ups and downs (with the soaring copper spire collapsing three times). However, when you step inside, you'll see why the locals have persevered it. It's a sublime space, with exquisite stained-glass windows depicting the life of St Peter. If you can, find the time to wander the cobbled streets of the Alter Markt neighborhood as well. It's a truly atmospheric place to stroll.

Where to Eat in Rostock

Food in Rostock involves high-quality pork schnitzels, fresh fish, and lots of potatoes. Some of the standout eateries in town include the historical Zur Kogge pub, Ursprung (which has a sun terrace), and Weinwirtschaft at the Neuer Markt. Expect good meals to cost about EUR15-25 per person.

When to visit Rostock

Rostock in November
Estimated hotel price
£56
1 night at 3-star hotel
Rostock in November
Estimated hotel price
£56
1 night at 3-star hotel

The best time to visit Rostock is probably mid-summer (July through early September), when the beaches are at their best.

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Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
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How to Get to Rostock

Plane

Rostock-Laage Airport (RLG) has domestic connections to cities like Berlin and Munich. You can take bus number 127 into town (family tickets for two adults and up to three children cost EUR24.50). Taxis will cost around EUR50.

Train

Rostock is connected to every German city via Hamburg. The journey from Berlin takes just under three hours and costs as little as EUR10.

Car

From Berlin, take the A24, then the A19. From Hamburg, take the A20.

Bus

Berlin Linien Bus and Flixbus both run intercity buses into Rostock.

Airports near Rostock

Airlines serving Rostock

Lufthansa
Good (1,385 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,464 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,901 reviews)
KLM
Good (292 reviews)
Air France
Good (299 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,076 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,657 reviews)
British Airways
Good (941 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (360 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (937 reviews)
Iberia
Good (668 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (642 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (663 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (197 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (373 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (74 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,167 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (307 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (203 reviews)
Finnair
Good (450 reviews)
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Where to stay in Rostock

Some of the finest hotels in Rostock include the upmarket Hotel Neptun and the Radisson Blu, which features a rooftop spa facility.

Popular neighbourhoods in Rostock

Kröpeliner-Tor-Vorstadt - Kröpeliner-Tor-Vorstadt (KTV) is Rostock's student quarter, and features an endless supply of bars, galleries, and cafes, as well as Rostock's largest theater.

Warnemünde - a few miles north of Rostock, Warnemünde has a seemingly endless beach and is a fine place to swim and sail.

Stadtmitte - Rostock's central neighborhood and home to the city hall, the Petrikirche and many other tourist attractions.

Where to stay in popular areas of Rostock

Most booked hotels in Rostock

Radisson Blu Hotel, Rostock
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
£112+
Landhotel Pathes Hof
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
£70+
Yachthafenresidenz Hohe Düne
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
£153+
Hotel Neptun
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
£124+
Hotel Ostseeland
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
£88+
Gästehaus Lütten Klein
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
£34+
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How to Get Around Rostock

Public Transportation

Buses, trains, and ferries make up the Rostock transport network. Day tickets cost EUR5.20.

Taxi

Expect a meter drop of EUR2.70, followed by between EUR2 and EUR4 per mile, depending on whether you travel during the day or at night.

Car

Car rental companies include Sixt and Enterprise, and rates can be as little as EUR8-10 per day.

The Cost of Living in Rostock

Shopping Streets

The historic center is the best place to shop in Rostock. Check out the amber jewelry at Bernsteinhaus, galleries like Eneos & Friends, or head to the handicraft stores in KTV.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets include Netto and Lidl, where 12 eggs will cost around EUR2.50.

Cheap meal
£9.19
A pair of jeans
£70.11
Single public transport ticket
£1.84
Cappuccino
£2.30