12 Best Things to do in Schwerin (2021)

Schwerin is the second largest city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It’s located in the middle of Lake Schwerin, and it’s the city’s prominent landmark. Population is around 120,000.

The city is majorly populated for its romantic Schwerin Castle, which lies on an island. Thus, it is the oldest city of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Initially was first mentioned in 1018 as Wenden.

Today, it’s the seat of Mecklenburg’s state legislature and is mostly surrounded by several lakes and parks. Twelve lakes lie within the city limits.

Let’s see what tourists found most interesting to see in Schwerin!

12. Dokumentationszentrum Demmlerplatz

Dokumentationszentrum Demmlerplatz
Inside the prison of Demmlerplatz

The Documentation Center at Schwerin Demmlerplatz sees itself as a historical place of remembrance and an open place of learning, situated in the building of the former prison on Obotritenstrasse behind the former Palace of Justice.

Here you can find history about the building during World War II and an overview of the permanent exhibitions and the documentation center’s diverse educational offers. Registration for groups for guided tours or study days is now also possible online.

You can get good information about life and fate in the prison building cells during the three dictatorships (Gestapo, Soviet secret police, and Stasi). As different as the epochs were, they were similar in the oppression and persecution of dissidents. There is an authentically furnished interrogation room from Stasi times. 

This place serves to counter the trend of forgetting history, and you should make sure to use the relatively short opening times for visitors.

11. Löwenmarkt

Löwenmarkt
Schwerin market place (Niteshift/Wikimedia)

The Schwerin market is the major attraction in the center of the old town. Constructed in 1160, it is also known as the old town market and located south of the cathedral. 

Since the fall of the Wall, a wine festival has been held in Schwerin on the Alter Markt at the end of August and September. 10 to 13 winegrowers from the old federal states come to the festival and offer their products here. A marquee is set up in the middle of the market. 

There is live music, and if you feel like it, you can have a dance. You can taste, order and drink their wines and spirits from all winemakers. Physical well-being is also taken care of. The festival is trendy, and tourists come from the surrounding area and it’s even popular to do when visiting Hamburg. There is a very rustic atmosphere between the old houses around the market.

Anyone who wants to have fun with friends or family is in the right place at the festival.

10. Freilichtmuseum für Volkskunde Schwerin-Mueß

Freilichtmuseum Schwerin-Mueß
The open-air museum on a cozy summer day (Oliver Abels/Flickr)

The open-air museum in Schwerin is situated in the former fishing and farming village of Muess, which provided information about the development of a town from the 17th to the beginning of the 20th century.

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Here you’ll find many farmhouses in a large area, a smithy that is still in operation today, a small fire station, a fisherman’s house, an oven, a village school and much more. You can also touch things and admire them more closely without a glass wall separating them. Youngsters can let off steam in a playground or watch animals at the Lake. There is detailed information everywhere.

Even without the numerous activities, the museum in Muess is worth a visit. It offers an excellent impression of rural life in our region – it is simply fun to rediscover old things. There are numerous special events – markets, bread baking campaigns.

9. Lankower See

Lankower See
Lankower See (Niteshift/Wikipedia)

Lankower See is a lake and formed during the last ice age from a pre-melt water channel, which was permanently filled with water after the ice fell.

Lake Lankow is worth a visit. It is a local recreation area with an outdoor swimming pool and a boat rental with a mini-golf course on the south side. There are also many garden areas on the east side where you can hang out with your family.

In front of the bathing areas, there are large meadows to sit down and relax. Also, there are some spaces where you can sit comfortably on a blanket and enjoy the sun.

8. Löwendenkmal

Löwendenkmal
The Lion on the market square (Cosal/Wikimedia)

You must have an in-depth knowledge of German history, significantly Schwerin, in order to develop a reasonable interpretation of Peter Link’s sculpture from 1995, the 1000th anniversary of Schwerin’s founding. 

This statue celebrated a movement when the people of Schwerin rebelled against Duke Henry. When the Duke took a ride, all the citizens prodded themselves in front of him. This is shown on one of the sides. Another side shows the horrors of war, and a third shows a rearing horse. The figures represented are not realistic, somewhat cartoonish and are more attractive.

It is an impressive statue and a worthy visit for tourists since it is in the square with the cathedral and next to the town hall.

7. Schleifmühle

Schleifmühle
Schleifmühle (Ra Boe/Wikipedia)

The grinding mill is a fascinating technical monument located at the Faulen See near the palace gardens of Schwerin Palace. You can learn a lot about hard rock processing, which was needed to build the castle and experience the old machines in operation.

You have probably never seen such a mill before. It is extremely entertaining to see the technique behind. Moving up to the 1st floor of the exhibition, you see how the stones are cut when the water wheel is started and does not go off quietly. 

The best thing is that it is relatively short to continue hiking around the lazy lake to the zoo and museum, but all you need to know about the art of stone cutting.

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6. Staatliches Museum

Staatliches Museum
The impressive art gallery (wuestenigel/Flickr)

The Staatliches Museum is one of the art galleries in Schwerin, founded in 1882 by Frederick Francis. It shows excellent works of art belonging to the Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg, as well as contemporary art.

The monumental exterior is overshadowed inside by the beautiful rooms. There is a very large canvas across the corner in the museum – here, some of the pictures are shown in canvas size as living pictures.

The permanent exhibition with the Dutch master, who was a famous painter in Schwerin and the animal pictures by Oudry invites you to linger, and you should have at least 2 hours to experience this fantastic exhibition.

5. Lake Schwerin (Schweriner See)

Lake Schwerin
The idyllic lake in Schwerin

Schwerin Lake is the second largest lake in northern Germany. It is a beautiful lake and spreads over an extended area. You can experience something good when you come here.

This lake has divided itself into a narrow piece and much more to speak with a great environment. It is ideal for a holiday destination with the boat you can drive through this little point and is then at Schwerin Castle or in the other direction.

In the warm season, you can see numerous sailing boats across the water, people on the beaches and outdoor cafes by the lake. You should take your time and explore the city and surrounding area on foot.

4. Pfaffenteich

Pfaffenteich
Tour boat on the Pfaffenteich lake (ThomasKohler/Flickr)

Pfaffenteich is a small lake, renovated in 1994 and located in the old town center, not far from the castle. It is an excellent place for strolling, jogging and walking. Stairs lead into the water as an extension to the main shopping street.

The lake is surrounded by nature, a pleasant walk shaded by many trees and dotted with statues, offering beautiful views on St. Paul’s church and the cathedral’s spires.

It is a most beautiful place not only because of the lake, but also because of all the historic buildings that surround it, such as the Kükenhaus and the Schwerin arsenal. If all this is sufficient for you, you can get an enjoyable head massage in the hairdressing salon opposite the wide central staircase.

3. Zoo Schwerin

Zoo Schwerin
Schwerin Zoo (ThomasKohler/Flickr)

The Schwerin Zoo is beautifully laid out and very well maintained with a total of 2,700 animals of 163 species and almost 144,000 visitors, covers 27 hectares area, which is a second home for animals. 

The zoo is located in a picturesque location near the lake in the forest. Here you can experience various animals and a lot to discover with beautiful spaces suitable for small children. There is a courtyard where children can also get pretty close to some animals and feed them from the center of Schwerin station.

The zoo offers you many facilities such as playgrounds, a research camp, a school, a zoo and the new frog house. Next to the zoo, there is a beautiful sandy beach and an attraction to climbing trees.

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2. Schwerin Cathedral (Schwerin Dom)

Schwerin Cathedral
Schwerin Cathedral (Moahim/Wikimedia)

The Gothic cathedral of Schwerin is quite large and imposing. It is the tallest of all churches in Mecklenburg, and is located in the old city center. It’s built in the 19th century and measures 117,5 meters. You can climb up the tower during the opening times from 11 am to 3 pm.

If you are not afraid to climb up, there is an observation deck from which you can see a 360-degree look of the beautiful city, especially Schwerin Castle, as you walk around the tower. 

Here you can avoid the bustle of the old city. The interior architecture is beautifully designed with white painting and full of things to highlight, such as its Main Altarpiece, its organ and stained glass windows.

1. Schwerin Castle

Schwerin Castle
The beautiful castle in Schwerin (WorldKnowledge0815/Wikimedia)

Schwerin Castle is beautifully located on an island in the city’s main lake, and looks like a fairy tale castle. Till around 100 years back, it has been the ducal habitation of the Grand duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

It is a very famous example of the era of romantic historicism in Europe, and is among the most popular castles in Germany to visit. The highlights include the throne room with columns, the ancestor gallery with their large plastic collections, the dining room, picturesque decorations and the round tower room offers a panoramic view across the Lake. 

The Schwerin Castle gives you a good overview of the Mecklenburg Schwerin dynasty’s historical building and is full of splendor, artifacts, and paintings.

Frequently asked questions about Schwerin


What is Schwerin known?

Schwerin is the state capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany. It’s known for its romantic palace located on an island in the beautiful park, one of several picturesque lakes.

Who lived in the Schwerin Castle?

It served grand dukes as a former residence. Today, it’s home to parliamentarians from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. However, nobody actually lives in the palace, visitors only come to enjoy the beautiful architecture.

Why was the Schwerin castle built?

It was built between 1843 and 1857 by the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, Frederick Franz II, to serve as a home for Mecklenburg’s dukes and grand dukes.
Its architecture was inspired by French Renaissance castles and completed by successive architects over the course of 12 years.

Is Schwerin worth visiting?

Schwerin is definitely worth visiting for one of the many beautiful lakes and impressive castles of the same name, located in the city’s middle. The best way to praise the castle is to walk from the center of the town. The castle itself is quite large and well maintained.

How many people live in Schwerin?

95,818 as of 2019.