Sometimes you just need a little time out from university life. Whether you’re an Erasmus student or freshman: If you want to explore the Schleswig-Holstein-Region more in depth, we´ve got your back. Here are three cool places in North Frisia for your first trip with the FH Kiel semester ticket; fun activity ideas included! 🐚🌊
Place 1: Friedrichstadt
Our first destination is the small town Friedrichstadt with 2,700 inhabitants. It is located between the rivers Eider and Treene and stands for its beautiful Dutch-looking townscape. Stepped gables and canals adorn the town. Therefore it is also called “Little Amsterdam”.
In 1621 Duke Frederik III founded Friedrichstadt with the intent to make it become a trading town. He granted religious freedom to Dutch refugees (Remonstrants), which in return helped build the town. As a result, people now also consider it the “city of tolerance“.
The marketplace with its distinctive gabled houses and the light blue market pump. (Photo: Gina Kretzmer)
The center of the city is notable for its numerous wooden doors and colorful house marks which are symbols hanging above the house entrances. They are the forerunners of today’s house numbers and give an indication of the house owners profession.
You can stroll through the small alleys and eat the sweet Dutch snack “Poffertjes“. Also the Prinzenstraße is filled with small individual stores. At the market place you can for instance find the tiniest coffee shop in Germany on only 14 square meters! ☕
The tourist office organizes guided city tours in Dutch costumes from April to October and on Dec. 31 in the morning. There are also hourly guided canal tours for 12 euros. If you want to explore Friedrichstadt on your own, you can rent bicycles at the market square and ride along the numerous bike paths. For more details visit: friedrichstadt.de
Especially with regard to the founding history of Friedrichstadt, a visit to the Remonstrants Church is recommended. Museum lovers can learn more about the city’s history in the Museum “Alte Münze“. There is also a joinery museum and a model train museum in miniature version, the “Modellbahnzauber“. 🚂
Arrival: From Kiel Hbf with the RE 74 to Husum, then change to the RE 6 towards Hamburg-Altona (1h 35 min.)
Idea 2: Tönning
Our next destination is Tönning which is located on the Eider River; only a half-hour train ride from Friedrichsort. The town is best known for its historic harbor which they dug in the early 17th century.
A tour with the cutter Adler II across the North Sea can be the highlight of your city trip. Meeting point is near the harbor of Tönning. The 2 hour long ride includes a trip to the seals and the passage of the lock of the Eider barrage. ⛴
On the way back, the crews temporary catches sea animals and unloads them on board. In addition they give explanation about their origins and habitats. Informative announcements over loudspeakers provide you with entertainment during the cruise. It must be remembered that the probability of spotting seals is very weather dependent. More information is available at: adler-schiffe.de
After the cutter trip, you can stroll in the picturesque castle park or along the nearby historic harbor promenade. At the KFT fish store you will find huge quantities of fresh fish, crabs and sandwiches.
Nearby the impressive “Packhaus” (packing house) stretches 77.5m long. It became a storage place and good transshipment point in the 18th century. Due to the construction of the Kiel Canal, the brick house lost its importance but the packing house association still takes care of its use.
A tip for the christmas time:
The windows are converted into advent calendar doors. According to the Guinness Book of Records, this is the largest advent calendar worldwide!🎄 🎁
If you get hungry during the trip you can enjoy fish sandwiches, fries and co. 100m away in „Ele´s Old Shipyard“ („Ele’s alte Werft“). Two young men run this cozy diner since 2020. It impresses with its rustic ambience including old workbenches, sandy floors and many playful details. The sweet potato fries in particular are a real insider tip. You can find photos on their instagram.
Arrival: From Kiel Hbf with the RE 74 to Husum, then change to the RB 64 towards Bad St. Peter-Ording (1h 52 min.)
Idea 3: Sankt Peter-Ording
West of Tönung is one very famous destination: the community of St. Peter-Ording (SPO). Its 12km long and up to 2km wide sandy beach in the Wadden Sea has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009. SPO has 4000 inhabitants and consists of the parts Bad, Dorf, Ording and Böhl, each of which has its own character.
The community is considered a North Sea spa and sulfur spa. The sulfur spring provides sulfurous, low-lying water that is filtered through mudflats above. The particularly salty air has a soothing effect on respiratory and skin problems. Numerous wellness hotels promise relaxation and recreation. 🌿
Typical of the Wadden Sea are the low and high tide, which alternate every 6 hours. Many tourist attractions have formed around this natural spectacle. For example, you can take part in a guided mudflat hike at low tide, where you can learn about the animals of the Wadden Sea and the exact course of the tides. You can observe snails or lugworms crawling in the mud and you can even taste some seaweed. After a strong storm or early in the morning is the best time to collect amber, shells and driftwood. 🐚
If you want a little more action, the sailing school “Nordsport Events SPO” offers year-round beach sailing courses for all levels of experience. The cars consist of a large sail and three wheels. A device on the feet controls the direction you´re going. A trial course of 4h costs 120€ per person. For more details visit: strandsegeln-spo.de
Furthermore you can also walk along the dike and get an endless view of the natural salt marshes. For cyclists there are rental stations in every district of SPO. Finally you can easily reach the Böhler lighthouse, which was built in 1892. It is surrounded by some benches on which you can observe beautiful sunsets or the starry sky. The teaser image for this article on our Instagram account was also taken there:
Arrival: From Kiel Hbf with the RE 74 to Husum, then change to the RB 64 towards Bad St. Peter-Ording (2h 24 min.)
Rather fancy a round trip?
Of course you can visit Friedrichstadt, Tönning and St. Peter Ording directly in a row. Simply travel to Friedrichstadt as described above and take:
- the RE 6 towards Westerland (Sylt) to Husum, then change to the RB 64 towards Bad St. Peter-Ording to Tönning (0h 36 min.)
- and hop on the RB 64 to Bad St. Peter Ording (0h 26 min.)
Then jet back to Kiel. Done!
Discovered something new? Tell us in the comments which place or activity you´re trying out next. Or feel free to suggest other must-see places with the semester ticket to inspire other readers! ✨