Wismar is a Hanseatic medieval town, located right at the Baltic Sea in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The town is located between the two famous Hanseatic cities of Rostock and Lübeck with many things to see as well.
Due to its status as UNESCO World Heritage Site, the almost-1,000-year-old city offers cultural insight for those interested in German history and has served under the DDR as well as the kingdom of Sweden.
Fun Fact: The first Karstadt store was opened in Wismar in 1881!
With its unique location at the sea, tourists can enjoy the historic old harbor by foot or boat, take a swim at one of the many beaches, or grab a cup of coffee at the old marketplace in the city center, which is the biggest you’ll find in Northern Germany!
In this article, we’ve covered the best things to do in Wismar according to tourists on forums and based on different rankings around the web. Enjoy!
10. Bürgerpark Wismar
The Bürgerpark was built in Köppernitztal in 1903. The facility has been extended since the 2002 Horticultural Show in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania that brought the two cities together. It is a perfect weekend getaway to spend time with your friends and loved ones in the presence of nature.
The circular path covering an area of 2.5 km leads you to a range of stations, including the impressive Pond biotopes with species-rich diversity. Visitors will be in awe of the Paradise garden bordered by over 200 Japanese flowering cherries. This truly is the park’s highlight consisting of themes of four seasons, blue and white, lilac, rose parterre, and fruit garden. A major attraction for every tourist is the 28m high tower. Here you can enjoy the view of Wismar Bay and the breathtaking landscape of Mecklenburg.
9. City History Museum of Wismar (Schabbellhaus)
This Museum is located in the historical monument, Wismar Altstadt in Schabbell. This beautiful building was built between 1569 to 1571 by Dutch builder Philip Brandin as a brewery and residential building. With Dutch-style renaissance architecture, it is one of the earliest Renaissance buildings in the Baltic sea region. The Museum was reopened after renovation in 2017.
Notice the building made of combinations of brick and decorative sandstone elements and its four gabled roofs while visiting the place. The Museum had chronologically documented the history from when it belonged to Swedish rule, Hanseatic League, Wismar as an industrial city, and many more. Permanent and special exhibitions are also showcased. An attractive feature is the audio-video stations and a touch model that help visitors have a hands-on experience. A fun fact is that the Museum also keeps the original Wismar Swedish head preserved.
St Marienkirche, located in the Wismar’s old town, was one of the city’s largest Churches. The Church was built in the 13th century by Johann Grote. It formed one of the city’s prominent skyline. Unfortunately, this mighty Church was damaged during the second world war. The nave was blown up in 1960 as it met with conflicts. At present, only the tall tower of 80 meters high and two side chapel remains a testament to the once majestic Parish. Today, the tower is used as an observation spot and a center for art and education and is one of the oldest buildings of Hanseatic city.
The Church remains the best example of Baltic brick-style gothic architecture. Visitors will be enchanted by its four gabled shields with intricate designs and patterns. This historical Parish boasts of 13 bells, the most extensive in North Germany, that have all been preserved. Once at the top of the tower, you will get a resplended view of the market, the port, and the Baltic sea. One can walk through the exhibition “paths to Brick Gothic” which displays the origins of the Church and the history of Gothic architecture.
This pavilion-like structure is located in the market square of the Hanseatic city. The design of the water art was laid by Philipp Brandin but completed by Heinrich Dammert. Before it, they were drawing water from well, ponds, and water art made of wooden pipes. Brandin redesigned it in stone to supply drinking water to the people. The water gushed out of the two bronze figures named Adam and Eve. However, in 1897, it was replaced by another water art.
Tourists can not miss out on the beautiful Dutch Rennaisance style of architecture. Moreover, its location marks a significant landmark of the Hanseatic city. One can also spot a Latin inscription in the grid that describes the drinking water supply in the past. Visitors can now be thrilled as Adam and Eve’s structure was brought back during its renovation in 1998. Schwerin Institute of Monument Preservation restored the building because of its high artistic value from 1966 to 1976.
6. St. George church
Located in the western part of Wismar’s Old Town, it is known for its remarkable north German brick Gothic architecture. The Church dates back to the 13th century; however, the construction was completed in 1594. It was one of the largest Church parishes of the city until the second world war destroyed it. In 1990, the German Foundation of monument protection and various sponsors restored it.
Today, this historical monument serves as a cultural space. The place is used for exhibitions, concerts, reading, and Church events. Visitors should not miss the panoramic view of the harbor, the sea, and the countryside from the top of the Church. Some of the ruins from its memorable past still remain, which are accessible to visitors.
This exhibition house of the technical state museum opened its doors in 2012. Built on the former barracks building, it provides you with insight into Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s technology and technological history. It is structured according to the elements of air, water, and fire. It is a combination of knowledge and learning.
The house allows young and old to have an interactive session through numerous experiment stations that help them gain theoretical and practical knowledge. The 3000 square meter structure is undoubtedly a wonderland with the display of various inventions and inventors from this place. Visitors cannot miss the welding trainer, propeller carousel, ship engines, laser beam walls, and giant soap bubble station that are the magnets of the exhibition.
Visit website: www.phantechnikum.de
4. Wismar Wassertor
The beautiful watergate is located in the northwest of Wismar. It was built in 1450 and remains the last standing of the five watergates of the city fortifications. The brick Gothic style architecture carries much historical importance. It was a major gateway from the harbor to the city.
Many city towers were torn down, of which the watergate remains one of the evidence. At present, it is the seat of the Club Maritim association.
The watergate has a large passage, and you will notice that both the city and harbor gates have gabled roofs common to the structures of Wismar. However, the port side gable is triangular while the city side has stepped gabble. Movie enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that part of the scenes from “Nosferatu” (1921) film were shot here.
3. Old Hansa Harbor
This peaceful port is a significant landmark of the maritime city. Since 1211, the old harbor has preserved its harbor basin. Though small, this delightful port continues to be essential for excursion steamers, leisure captains, and ships such as “Kogge” and “Atlanta.” With its mix of traditional ships and modern buildings, the Old harbor is a major tourist attraction.
Any tourist visiting Wismar is bound to go to this harbor whether to take a stroll or enjoy the sunlight. It provides a fairground of the market area and always bustling with not only tourists but locals themselves! You cannot help but try the fish rolls or sandwiches that the harbor is known for when on tour. It has some beautiful buildings in and around it, including the Baumhaus or treehouse. You can also enjoy a boat ride! One can visit the Harbor in June to attend the Wismar Harbor festival.
2. Wismar zoo
The Wismar zoo is located on the outskirts of Hanseatic city, amid the Mecklenburg hilly landscape. It was built as a communal facility, but now it is run as a non-profit association. The well-known zoo covers an area of 17 hectares and accommodates about 50 species. Today, it has been extended and redesigned along the course of the Köppernitz stream.
The site has numerous local wild animals as well as domestic animals. Its enclosures contain deers, ostriches, pygmy goats, cattle, donkeys, sheep, raccoons, etc. The alpacas are provided with a walk-in facility which is a major tourist attraction. A monkey island that encloses ring-tailed lemurs is a must-visit. A striking feature is providing an adventure playground, trampolines, pedal boats, trains, etc., for children.
Visit website: www.tierpark-wismar.de
Known as St Nicolai church, it is one of the finest testaments to Gothic brick style architecture of medieval times. Built in the 14th century, it has one of the tallest naves (37 meters) among churches in Germany that forms the skyline for Wismar. Initially a church for the fisherman and seafarers, today it carries the maritime legacy of the past. The architecture is extraordinary. Since 2002, it’s been on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and sits on our well-deserved number one spot of things to do in Wismar.
As you enter the Church, you will be in awe of the Baroque style interior with a three-aisled Basilica and a high ceiling. Make sure you notice the high altar and triumphal cross from St. George. The southern gable has some impeccable artworks of the Mother of God and Saint Nicholas. It is the only great Church in the city that survived the second world war. Many artworks and equipment of St. Georgen and St. Marien also found shelter under the Church.