You are not originally from Kiel and your family and friends will come to visit you next weekend!? In some cities you can find symbols on the streets to lead you to the most interesting parts of a city. A blue line on Kiel’s streets is supposed to lead you the way to the cities sights. However, it ends at “Alter Markt” in the old town district. No panic, with the following route you can easily navigate your guests through the city, show them the must-see buildings, nice hidden places and and show off your historical background knowledge.


Everything is planned as a walk. If you would like to, you might also go by bike, however we will cross pedestrian zones. In my opinion discovering a new city step by step is a way to notice the little things best. The route is about 7 kilometers long, but you are always free to walk around more and come back on track whenever you want to.

1 Central Station

We are starting central – at the main station Kiel Hbf. After Lübeck it is the second largest station in the province of Schleswig Holstein. Only some meters away are the ferry terminals to Oslo and Gothenburg. However, we are not going to the water now. Our route leads through the inner city and to the first stop, which is the town hall of Kiel. 

2 Town Hall

The town hall was built in 1911 and replaced the old town hall at “Alter Markt”. It was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War – only a few arches of the wall and the tower remained. The 107 meter high tower is a typical symbol of Kiel. You can book a ride to the plattform of 67 meters where you have a wonderful view of the city and the Kieler Förde. Eventhough you don´t want to go to the tower it is worth to go inside. In the waiting area for citizens´ affairs you can find some rare circulation elevators, called “Paternosteraufzüge” in German, from 1911. In Kiel there are only two more of this elevators. Nowadays these are only for the employees of the town hall, but if you have never seen one before, you should check it out.

3 St. Nikolai Church

Our next stop is the main church of the protestants, St. Nikolai. It is the oldest building of Kiel. 1944 the church was damaged by the war, but was rebuilded in 1950. This is also where the old part of Kiel begins. 

4 Monastery

The small and inconspicious monastery is our next stop. The founder of Kiel, Adolf IV. von Schauenburg, endowed it in 1227 and lived there till his death in 1261. After the formation of the university of Kiel (1665-1778) rooms of the monastery were used by students to work. This building, as nearly everything, was destroyed by war and was also rebuilded. 

To enjoy that quiet place I can recommend to have a cake from the café and confectionery Fiedler. They are offering sweets in all kinds – chocolate, marzipan, ice cream – since 1920. 

5 Hall of Art

We are leaving the inner city and are on our way to the Kiellinie. On this way we are passing the castle of Kiel. Don´t be disappointed to see a modern building. The old castle was also destroyed in the war. A few meters further, right next to the castle’s garden, you will find the hall of art. The hall has changing exhibitions and offers great things for a small price. It not only has own collections as it is an institute of the Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel at the same time. Nearby you can also find the zoological museum. It is impressive, but maybe a bit too much for this day.

6 Old Botanical Garden

One of my personal highlights is the Old Botanical Garden which opened 1884. The terrain is characterized by a few hills. These create the feeling that there are hidden areas which you can discover after passing another hill. All over the garden are exotic plants and old trees like the redwood (Küstenmammutbaum). When you take the path to the highest point of the garden you will find a pavillion which you can also climb up to have a nice view. 

7 Sandhafen

Our way leads back to the Kiellinie. It is a must-see in Kiel, especially with good weather. You can walk or have a seat on the different benches to watch big cruise ships and many sailing ships. With a little bit of luck you see a match of water kajak. The cafés, restaurants and bars are always a good adress to calm down and inhale fresh salty air. One of these is “Sandhafen”. Here you can have fancy drinks and snacks on lounge chairs and sand on the floor. Beach feeling! At the “Kieler Woche”, this year between 16th and 26th of June, the Kielline turns into a festival street with a big program and an amazing firework at the end.

This is the point we turn around and go back. To make it a bit more interesting we take another route now.

8 Aquarium of GEOMAR

We already passed the aquarium of the ocean research center GEOMAR, but now we are making a small stop. It is small, but cheap and offers a mix of exotic and native underwater world. Round about 30 minutes is good for the aquarium. In front of it you can find four seals which are swimming trough the basins elegantly. 

9 Maritime Museum

Following the street parallel to the Förde into the city we are passing the maritime museum. This building is created with the ideas of a boat. Can you see that shape? Before it became a museum it was a market hall for fish. The exhibition is a mix of ship models and maritime paintings. You are learning everything about the maritime history and the shipbuilding of Kiel. That was our last big stop. We are crossing the „Alter Bootshafen” and coming back to where we have started, the Kiel Hbf. 

Navigation completed! After your walk through Kiel your family and friends will be overwhelmed from the nice places of Kiel and from your organised tour-guide skills. Have fun!

  • Main station of Kiel
  • Town hall of Kiel
  • Circulation elevators
  • St. Nikolai church
  • “Alter Markt”
  • Small monastery
  • Hall of art
  • Old Botanical Garden
  • Aquarium of Kiel
  • Feeding the seals in front of the aquarium
  • In the end of the day trip around Kiel

For further information klick on these links:

Town Hall Tower – Tour

St. Nikolai church


Hall of Art

Old Botanical Garden

GEOMAR aquarium

Maritime Museum