During the summer Kiel offers plenty of opportunities to pass the time. But Kiel has its pretty places during the autumn too. You just have to know where to look… 

Here are four ideas for autumnal hikes in Kiel:

  • Tropenhäuser at CAU´s Botanical Garden
  • Schilksee Olympic Sailing Center and Strande Beach
  • Düsternbrooker Gehölz and Forstbaumschule
  • Tiergehege Hasseldieksdamm & Tiergehege Tannenberg

Tropenhäuser at CAU´s Botanical Garden

Should you find yourself frustrated and tired of rainy, cold autumnal weather, the Tropenhaus at Christian Albrechts University is your place to take a short trip to the tropics.

  • Botanical Garden Building at CAU University, Kiel

In seven separate tropical houses, you’ll find different themes and climate zones. From the dry warmth of Africa, along the Mediterranean right to the tropics.

The highlight of the location is the subtropical rainforest. With temperatures rangeing between 25°C and 35°C all year round and nearly 100% humidity, this short excursion is worth the trip by itelf.

Other Highlights include a tropical mangrove forrest with a walkway right through it and a rainforest, where tree ferns and climbing ferns grow.

Tropenhäuser at CAU´s Botanical Garden can be visited free of charge all year round. During Autumn and Winter, opening hours are from 9:00am until 4:30pm. The botanical garden can be accessed using bus lines 60S, 81 and 50 via the bus stop “Botanischer Garten”

Schilksee Olympic Sailing Center and Strande Beach

If you are not afraid of strong autumnal weather, and you want to experience the gales of the Baltic Sea here in Kiel, the former Olympic sailing center in Kiel Schilksee might be your place.

When possible, picking a sunny but windy day makes for the best experience but be warned – it will be cold. Schilksee and the small town of Strande right next to it are directly accessible from the city center of Kiel by bus lines 12 and 13. Taking a walk from the bus stop “Schilksee Olympiazentrum” along the harbor front towards Strande gives you plenty to discover. With the sailing season ending in October, boats and ships get hauled out and prepared for winter.

Some shops, restaurants and cafés are still open and offer refuge in the case of the occasional rain shower and to warm up freezing hands and noses. Past the Olympic Sailing Center, a short stretch of beach connects Schilksee to Strande from where you can take the Bus back into the city of Kiel.

Düsternbrooker Gehölz and Forstbaumschule

Taking a walk in the forest is one of the most appealing activities on a nice autumn day. Peaceful quietness, the sounds of birds and squirrels and the rustle and crackle of colorful leaves under your boots can be very calming and relaxing.

Luckily, Kiel has a pretty extensive forest right in the middle of the city. But be warned, it can become quite the hike. Starting at the State Parliament “Landeshaus” it is a short walk up the hill along the Freilichtbühne Krusenkoppel. The path guides you right into Düsternbroker Gehölz. Up and down the many crisscrossing paths, you find small ponds, huge trees and steep hills.

The paths take you to the north, and the forest ends at Lindenalle. Here you can take the street down to the waterfront. From Bellevue a bus can take you right back into the city. If you want to continue your hike, follow the street up the slope where Düsternbroker Gehölz connects almost seamlessly to the Forstbaumschule Park. Here you can celebrate the end of the route at the Forstbaumschule Café and Restaurant. Depending on the weather, enjoy it either with a beer or a hot drink. Cheers!

Note: Since the forest can be a scary and lonely place, this activity is best shared with a couple of friends and a hot bottle of tea or coffee.

Tiergehege Hasseldieksdamm & Tannenberg

You want to see animals and enjoy autumn to brighten your mood?
Kiel has many expansive wildlife and animal enclosures for native animals scattered all over the city. In total, there are 5 Tiergehege or animal enclosures, to choose from in Kiel. Two of which are easily accessible and closest to the center of the city. These are Tiergehege Hasseldieksdamm and Tiergehege Tannenberg.

Free to access and mostly without fences between you and the animals, you can feel far away from the city but still be right in the middle of it.

Getting to the animal enclosures can be a bit tricky, especially on weekends, since buses operate on a limited schedule. Taking a bike is probably the best option for being flexible and for your time management.

Approaching and feeding the animals is strongly forbidden. Please remember that these are mostly wild animals, and you are visiting them in their home. Follow the rules, keep dogs in check and mind loud noises.