12 Best Things To Do in Rostock, Germany (2023 Guide)

Rostock is the biggest Hanseatic city in the northern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and at the same time, the city has the biggest harbor at the Baltic Sea.

Like other cities in the former Hanseatic League like Lübeck and Wismar, Rostock is almost 1,000 years old and has experienced greatness and fall throughout history.

Today, Rostock is a favored holiday destination due to its location at the Baltic sea. During your stay, you’ll enjoy the historic old city with its relaxing atmosphere, especially around the market square. If in need of even more relaxation, Warnemünde is only 10 miles away and is known for its wellness resorts and one of the best beaches in Germany.

In this article, we found the 12 best things to do in Rostock based on tourist reviews and ratings. Let’s get started!

12. Brunnen der Lebensfreude

Brunnen der Lebensfreude
Brunnen der Lebensfreude (Schiwago/Wikimedia)

The Brunnen der Lebensfreude is an ethereal fountain situated at the top of the Kropeliner Strasse. It was created by artists Jo Jastram and Reinhard Dietrich. The fountain itself is a bizarre sight to see and immediately grabs your attention.

The human figures featured in the fountain have been sculpted nude beside some animal counterparts—jets of water squirt out of nozzles embedded in the pavement. The overall look of the fountain has sarcastically earned it the name ‘The Family fountain.’

Here, one can always find happy children playing and splashing around the waterworks. Overall, it is a delightful and soothing place for a quick visit.

11. Neuer Markt

Neuer Markt Rostock

Set up in 1997, The Neuer Markt, or New Market, is a segment of the German stock exchange.

A beautiful seagull fountain decorates the market square. The fountain was made by Waldemar Otto and is an interesting depiction of ancient sea gods. The buildings around the square are well preserved and a delight to gaze upon. On the other side of the market is the flamboyant town hall, colored in pink. It is a unique and attractive sight.

Visitors can shop for regional goods such as fresh vegetables, fish, eggs, and local crafts and fabrics. The apple and smoke market, which takes place once a year, is also one of the attractions.

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10. Rostock-Heath

Rostock Heath is a large uncultivated shrubland habitat filled with natural woody vegetation. It is found in the Northeast of Rostock city, which has owned the region since 1252. The heathland has a total area of 6000 hectares. Because of this, Rostock can be called one of the most extensive city forests in Germany.

More than 37 miles of cycle paths and hiking routes make this area a wonderful place for cyclists and hikers. Here, one can truly witness the natural spectacles of the world. The quiet forest refreshes your senses with the calming air. It is truly a ‘Pure Nature’ experience.

9. Petrikirche

Petrikirche behind the city wall

St. Petri church is the oldest out of three town churches in Rostock. Built in the 13th Century, the building stands at 117.0 meters and is also the tallest amongst the churches. Its three-nave basilica design is what sets it apart and makes it an extraordinary sight. The red roof and brick combination is an impressive sight to see.

Related Guide: The 20 Most Popular Cathedrals & Churches in Germany

The Church is about a 15-minute walk from the main square in the center of Rostock. Visitors can climb the tower and head into the observation deck, where a spectacular view confronts them at the top. The windows screens have cut-outs, making it easier for clicking pictures.

8. Shipbuilding and Maritime Museum

Schifffahrtsmuseum Rostock
Schifffahrtsmuseum Rostock (tm-md/Flickr)

If you’re curious to learn the ways of shipbuilding and seafaring, then this is the perfect place to visit. The Shipbuilding and Maritime Museum is Germany’s largest floating museum and features plenty of exhibitions.

It presents the history of shipbuilding, from the Slavic era till presently. You can witness the entire stages of building a ship, from its inception to its handover. It also features the history of maritime radio and communications. The exhibition shows us how maritime communication is done via morse code, drums, radio, and satellite navigation. It even displays original radio rooms from 1960.

There is also an additional display of various types of unique ship engines.

Official website: schifffahrtsmuseum-rostock.de

7. Botanical Garden Rostock

Botanischer Garten Rostock
Botanischer Garten Rostock (Marcus Sümnick/Wikimedia)

The Botanischer Garten Rostock was founded in 1939 and is located near the city port.

The 7.8-hectare garden cultivates a wide variety of plants in numbers up to 10,000. The herbarium contains nearly 80,000 specimens representing about 20,000 families. The Kayenmühlengraben river passes through this area and serves as a regular freshwater stream.

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One can explore the lush surroundings of the tree garden, which houses a total of 2900 wood species. There is also a Japanese garden, which includes a lovely cottage displaying a red flower collection.

The Botanical garden also organizes themed tour events like the garden festival, Botanical gardens week, and mushroom exhibitions.

Official website: www.garten.uni-rostock.de

6. Darwineum Rostock

Darwineum (Zoo Rostock/Wikimedia)

The Darwineum is a special exhibition found inside the Rostock zoo.

It is an interactive living museum with over 80 species of animals. The exhibition gives visitors a look into 4 billion years of evolution on earth. From the first unicellular organism to dinosaurs to modern human society, the Darwineum shows it all.

It is the largest building ever created in the Rostock zoo and cost a whopping 28 million Euro.

One of its main features is the Tropical Hall, a 4000 m² environment populated with gorillas, monkeys, sloths, and gibbons.

So if you find yourself thinking about the origins of life on earth, you know where to go! So while you’re at the zoo, do visit the Darwineum. If you’re with your kids, they’ll truly be happy to learn new things.

5. Alter Strom

Alter Strom
Alter Strom by night (Martin Künzel/Wikimedia)

Located just beyond the Warnemünde train station, Alter Strom is a cozy seaside village where travelers can relax and unwind. Until 1903, it served as the sole shipping route to the Rostock harbor.

The place has an assemblage of shops, cafes, ice cream parlors, and restaurants, along with boutiques and fishing pubs. There is also a lovely beach at the end of the street.

So go ahead and feel alive! Groove to the music, and wander the streets bustling with tourists. With much to see, do, eat, drink and buy, Alter Strom is an experience you don’t want to miss.

4. Marienkirche

Marienkirche (Stullkowski/Wikimedia)

Constructed in the 13th Century, St. Mary’s Church is one of the three biggest churches in Rostock. Due to the immense size of this Church, the best way to view its beauty is from a distance. The exterior is one of a kind, built in Brick Gothic style; its design is a thing to behold. The beautifully decorated interiors are just as impressive.

One of the main attractions here is the Astronomical clock. Other than telling the time, this 14th-century clock can even display different phases of the moon. During the middle ages, the Astronomical clock served as a symbol for technical and cultural advancement.

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Official website: www.marienkirche-rostock.de

3. Karl’s Adventure Village (Rövershagen)

Karl’s Adventure Village is a colorful entertainment park with a range of exciting experiences. It is a farm-themed adventure park and, in fact, is built on a strawberry farm. It was founded in 1921 and till this day remains a family business. From race cars and tractors to delicious culinary delights, this place has it all.

Amongst the series of attractions is a butterfly garden, a creative workshop, a flying barn, and a 600m sq playground.

Tourist Tip: Tourists recommend dropping by with your family; the kids will love it!

There are also seasonal attractions such as the strawberry harvest, pumpkin market, and ice sculpture exhibitions. Karl’s Adventure Village also features the largest farmer’s market in Germany.

Official website: karls.de/roevershagen

2. Warnemünde Lighthouse

Warnemünde Lighthouse

Warnemünde Lighthouse has been in service since 1898. Standing at the estuary of the Warnow River, the 121 ft lighthouse offers a fantastic view from the top. Once you’re up there, you will be enchanted by the scenery.

The sight of the beautiful white sand beach, along with the waves crashing on the rocks, is definitely worth the climb.

But wait, this old building has a lot more up its sleeve. During the New Year, a fascinating laser show takes place. The show itself attracts over ten thousand people and is a fantastic spectacle worth seeing. The yearly production includes fireworks, lasers, and live performances.

1. Rostock Zoo

Zoo Rostock
Zoo Rostock (Wikimedia)

With up to 1 million visitors in a year, Rostock Zoo has twice been voted “Best Zoo in Europe”. The zoo is home to 4500 animals from a variety of 430 species around the globe.

In the Rostock Zoo, one can take a fantastic journey across the wild world of the animal kingdom. From orangutans and gorillas to lions, polar bears, and even octopuses. This zoo has them all!

One of its main features is the Polarium, which gives visitors an exhilarating feel of the north and south pole habitats. In Den Marine Worlds, visitors can discover the world of oceans and the ecosystems surrounding them.

So if you’re in Rostock, don’t miss a visit to Europe’s best zoo!

Official website: www.zoo-rostock.de

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