Kiel, Germany | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Kiel, Germany

Kiel is the capital city of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein and has a population of roughly 240,000. It is located at the Baltic Sea at the end of the "

Kieler Förde


During the Second World War, Kiel was severely bombed, because of its submarine-producing shipyard. Both civil and military ships are being built in Kiel nowadays and the tall cranes dominate the eastern shore of the Förde (fjord).

The bombing destroyed almost all historic buildings in Kiel; even the older looking buildings were built after WW2. So, if you come to the "

Kieler Schloss

" (Kieler Castle) don't be disappointed. There isn't much left of the original building. During the rebuilding after WW2, mostly modern architecture... Read more

Kiel, Germany

Kiel is the capital city of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein and has a population of roughly 240,000. It is located at the Baltic Sea at the end of the "

Kieler Förde


During the Second World War, Kiel was severely bombed, because of its submarine-producing shipyard. Both civil and military ships are being built in Kiel nowadays and the tall cranes dominate the eastern shore of the Förde (fjord).

The bombing destroyed almost all historic buildings in Kiel; even the older looking buildings were built after WW2. So, if you come to the "

Kieler Schloss

" (Kieler Castle) don't be disappointed. There isn't much left of the original building. During the rebuilding after WW2, mostly modern architecture was used.

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Kiel, Germany: Port Information

Kiel is an important cruise port. It has several terminals, and cruise ships dock mainly at three of them:
  • Ostseekai is Kiel’s main cruise terminal. It is located in the very heart of the city. A train station is a 5-minute walk. Terminal has modern facilities. There are several parking lots in the vicinity of the terminal.
  • Ostuferhafen cruise terminal is situated in a cargo port. There’s shuttle bus service and a parking lot at the terminal. Distance to the city center is about 8 km.
  • Norwegenkai is situated in the city center. It’s mainly a ferry terminal, but cruise liners also dock here during summer months.

Get around Kiel, Germany

Kiel has a relatively good public transport system based on buses and ferries, both operated by VRK. The taxi service is good but expensive.

Kiel is very flat and bicycles can be hired at various places. It is quite an easy day to ride from Kiel to Laboe, catch a ferry to


, and cycle back to Kiel.

What to see in Kiel, Germany

  • Type VII-C U-boat (at the shore in Laboe (part of Kiel on the east side of the fjord)). the only surviving from World War 2
  • Marine-Ehrenmal (Navy Memorial). with a high tower
  • Nord-Ostsee Kanal (Kiel Canal). the world's busiest canal. It is possible to walk or cycle for almost the entire length (99km) directly along the canal from Kiel to Brunsbüttel (estuary of the Elbe, on the North Sea Coast), staying overnight in the town of Rendsburg.
  • Gorch Fock. Kiel is the home of the German Baltic fleet, and it is common to see all types of German warships and submarines in the "Förde", including the training sailing vessel Gorch Fock.


Eight museums of Kiel have created a common initiative called Museen am Meer, or "museums by the sea", where a common website brings together all details you need about their collections, opening times, admission prices etc. along with a route planner.

  • Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities). Face to face with antiquity: a collection of Greek vases as well as casts of important Roman and Greek sculptures unique to Schleswig-Holstein.
  • Aquarium GEOMAR. From Baltic Sea herring to tropical seahorse: local and exotic sea creatures presented in aquariums that simulate their natural habitats, outdoor seal pool and public feeding of the seals.
  • Kunsthalle zu Kiel (Museum of Fine Arts). Art from the Dürer era through to the present day: permanent collection spanning all artistic genres, including works by Repin, Nolde, and Richter, as well as special exhibitions on specific topics and artists.
  • Medizin- & Pharmaziehistorische Sammlung (Museum of Medical & Pharmaceutical History). Insight into the history of medicine and pharmaceuticals: an exhibition of historic instruments, a collection of pathology specimens, the interior of an old pharmacy and a doctor’s office.
  • Schifffahrtsmuseum (City and Maritime Museum), Wall 65. In the former fish auction hall, built in 1910: permanent exhibition on Kiel’s maritime history, pier with historic ships.
  • Stadtgalerie Kiel (Kiel Municipal Gallery of Contemporary Arts). New contemporary art: exhibitions of regional and international contemporary art, art from the Baltic Sea region, permanent exhibition of the works of the Expressionist artist Heinrich Ehmsen.
  • Stadtmuseum Warleberger Hof (City and Maritime Museum). Traces of Kiel history: permanent exhibition on the early history of the city and exhibitions on social and cultural history.
  • Zoologisches Museu (Zoological Museum Kiel). Experience marine and evolutionary research at first hand: exciting display on the subject of marine science and research, Germany’s most extensive exhibition of whale species, presentation of the origins of zoology in Kiel.

What to do in Kiel, Germany

There are two free monthly magazines listing activities and events. Paper copies of both Station and Ultimo can be found in most cafes. Online information is available via Kiel Magazin and Fördeflüsterer.

Kieler Woche

  • The main tourist attraction is the Kieler Woche ("Kiel Week") at the end of June.

Besides being the world's largest sailing event the Kieler Woche is one of Germany's largest festivals. Apart from the sailing, the entire center of the town is transformed into an international food and craft fair, with regular big name performers appearing nightly. If you intend to visit Kiel during this time book your hotel well ahead and bear in mind that the waterfront and major parts of downtown will be inaccessible for cars.

Information on events is posted all over town and through a free magazine which will be distributed about a month before the event. Events include entertainment for kids during daytime throughout the entire week and lots of open-air concerts. Most concerts end around 11 PM and nightlife moves to indoor venues as well as the Eggerstedtstrasse.

Aside from an abundance of food and drink outlets along the streets the International Market on the Rathausmarkt is the place to go for food and drink. A few dozen countries operate booths on the open-air market offering food and drinks from the particular countries. The Kieler Nachrichten newspaper runs a special about food on the market in its Saturday edition. If you cannot decide from the endless choices head over to the Scandinavian area or to wherever crowds are gathering.


  • THW Kiel (Handball), Euopaplatz 1, ☎ +49 431 98 210 226. One of the most successful Handball clubs if Germany, Kiel is also among the top addresses for the sport throughout Europe. 

What to eat and drink in Kiel, Germany


There are convenient food courts in Kieler Hauptbahnhof (train station) and the shopping mall across from the train station (Sophienhof).

  • Garips Imbiss (corner of the Metzstrasse and Wörthstrasse(off of the Westring)). The best ever German/Turkish Döner kebabs
  • Kartoffel Keller (Potato cellar). For something different, where everything has potato as the theme - the potato pizza is very good.
  • Cafe Louf (next to the water near the "Reventloubrücke".). Nice breakfast buffet on the weekend

Other good cafes and pubs can be found in the old city center.


Cafes and Pubs

  • Subrosa, Elisabethstr. 25 (situated in Kiel-Gaarden). Kiel's alternative pub and bistro
  • Unrat, Spichernstr. 2 (to enter from Metzstr.). is the place for Kiel's students to talk philosophy, drink a cheap beer or listen to some live band.
  • Prinz Willy, Lutherstrasse 9. is a "creative" Café that offers live music, arts, poetry and much more
  • Exlex, Ziegelteich 14 (Right in the middle of Kiel). is the number one meeting point for students and young folks downtown.
  • Blauer Enge (at the quai by the central station.). A convenient café/bar/nightclub with a nice view and outdoor serving.
  • Cafe Medusa, Medusastr. 16 (is situated in a backyard in Kiel's multicultural district Gaarden on the east coast of the Kiel Fjord.). It hosts live music and readings.


  • Chaplin's, Waisenhofstraße. Piano player and cocktails.


Kiel's clubs are spread out all across the city. Although some locals prefer doing the one-hour drive to Hamburg to go out, Kiel has some clubs that are worth being checked out. Make sure you have had a look at the site Fördeflüsterer before going out to get the most accurate information on all night live events. 

  • Pumpe. A community-run cultural center showing independent movies, providing room for community projects, concerts, bars, and parties. On Thursday night students dance soul, reggae, and funk at the FunkPump party.
  • Luna, Bergstraße. this club hosts parties ranging from electronic tunes to Soul/Funk and Ragga. Cover charge might be higher if nationally-recognized DJs operate the turntables.
  • Max. Standard R'n'B, techno club.
  • Schaubude.
  • Traumgmbh. Incorporating a restaurant, an independent movie theater, and a club, the Traumgmbh is likely to offer something that is just right for you. If you're over the age of 30, the Ü30 party is THE party to go to. Watch out! They'll check your ID!
  • Tucholsky. Being by far the most famous club in Kiel, this somewhat battered and shady place is located in a former parking garage. A formerly very popular club among students now hosts a fairly young crowd that dances to pop, rock, R'n'B, techno, punk, and indie on four dance-floors (on the weekends). You can still get a feeling for the old days on Tuesdays at the Tequila-Party. The Tucholksy has the most diverse crowd, the cheapest drinks, and the poorest air-conditioning -, especially in the summer. Not a clean and neat place but the only option if you feel like partying on Sundays through Wednesdays. No cover on weeknights.
  • Weltruf. The interior of the Weltruf is dominated by a ship which has been built inside and cannot be removed.


Not exactly in the category of clubs are the various parties that take places in different parts of the city. Traditionally on Thursdays between October and April, all the big university departments organize Studentenparties on and off campus. Expect somewhat cheap drinks and hundreds of university students dancing to a mix of pop, rock and R'n'B. Sometimes there are even live bands or second dance floors. On the weekends several fancier parties are hosted in unusual locations throughout Kiel. You'll be dancing to house music in a showroom of a car dealer or in the terminal of the ferry to Scandinavia. Tickets for these parties can be bought in advance which will save you money and time. Check the Kiel4Kiel site to find out where tickets are sold or ask a local student.

Live Music

When it comes down to live music, Kiel is not the city where you'll be able to see big headliners. If you're into that you'll have to go to Hamburg. Still, you might be able to listen to some decent live music while staying in Kiel. The Halle400, the MAX and the community-operated Pumpe host local and international acts. Surprisingly good German or Scandinavian acts can sometimes be spotted in the Schaubude or the Nachtcafé for very little money. On occasion, some clubs like the Luna host national-recognized DJs. The best place to find out who's playing and to get a ticket is Konzertkasse Streiber close to the Ostseehalle.

Shopping in Kiel, Germany

A variety of shops are located in the pedestrian zone of Holstenstraße and the mall Sophienhof. Another relatively big mall is the Citti-Park from where you can also access the huge Ikea shop. Numerous cafes are located in the old town center at the northern tip of the Holstenstraße near the "Nikolaikirche" (Nikolai church). An outdoor shopping area is the busy Holtenauer Straße with lots of cafes and more upscale stores towards the south end near the Dreiecksplatz.

Safety in Kiel, Germany

Germany is a very safe country. Crimes rates are low and the rule of law is strictly enforced.
Pickpockets may sometimes be an issue at events with large crowds. Begging is not uncommon, but not to a greater extent than in most other major cities, and you will rarely experience aggressive beggars. Some beggars are organized in groups. Be aware that flashing any cardboard sign very near to your body could be a pickpocket trick.
Take the usual precautions (such as not walking in parks alone in the early hours, not leaving your camera unattended or bicycle unlocked, and not flashing around a big fat wallet) and you will most likely not encounter any crime at all.

The nationwide emergency number for the police, fire and rescue services is 112 (same in all EEA countries and with English-speaking operators). The police have an additional number, 110, which is unlikely to be staffed with English-speaking operators and not recommended for tourists. These numbers can be dialed toll-free from any phone, including phone booths and mobile phones (SIM-card required). If you are reporting an emergency, the usual guidelines apply: stay calm and state your exact location, the type of emergency and the number of persons involved. Do not hang up until the operator has received all required information and ends the call.

There are orange emergency telephones interspersed along the main motorways. You can find the closest SOS-phone by following arrows on the reflectively marked posts at the side of the road.

Ambulances (Rettungswagen) can be summoned via the national toll-free emergency number 112 and will help you regardless of insurance issues. All hospitals (Krankenhäuser) except for the smallest private ones have 24-hour emergency rooms able to cope with all kinds of medical problems.

Language spoken in Kiel, Germany

The official language of Germany is German. ​All Germans learn English at school, so you should be able to get by with English in most places.


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