Hanseatic town of Lüneburg is only about 50km south-east from Hamburg which makes it a perfect choice as well as for a day trip or a stop on the way towards the north of the country. Since it is also not so far from our current home south of Hanover, I´ve been here on two different occasions too. Both times I left inspired by its stunning architecture and had a great time enjoying the city´s lively scene and great vibes. Lüneburg also has a rich history and important legacy as one of the most important salt mines in Germany. In this post, you can read more about what you can see and do there.
AM SANDE MARKT | the oldest city square, surrounded by beautiful buildings
THE LARGEST SQUARE IN THE CITY was once covered with sand therefore its name. Today this is the main infrastructural meeting point, with bus stops and crossways connecting different streets and roads. This MEDIEVAL SQUARE is surrounded by magnificent buildings, the most famous of them all must be the black & white brick building from 1548 which is the seat of the Chamber of commerce and industry today. On the other side of the square there is another important building, the Johanniskirche church.
AM SANDE SQUARE IS A GOOD STARTING POINT for exploring around the town. The buildings on the square will give you a good idea of how the rest of the city looks like and besides, here are also many restaurants, bars, cafes and shops if you need them before starting your walk around the city.
JOHANNISKIRCHE | the oldest Lutheran church in the city
THE OLDEST LUTHERAN CHURCH IN LÜNEBURG, built between 1300 and 1370 in GOTHIC STYLE with its dominant 108m high STEEPLE is impossible to miss. There is a nice view form Am Sande square and if you have the time make sure you also peek inside – the CHURCH ORGAN is especially known.
STINTMARKT | idyllic streets, bridges, restaurants and lively atmosphere along Ilmenau river
Most probably the most PHOTOGENIC AND IDYLLIC PART OF THE TOWN is located in the old city (Altstadt), along the RIVER ILMENAU. It has gotten its name after a fish called “Stint”, which was once caught here and sold amongst other fish on the FISH MARKET at this spot. Today, there is no more fishing going on from the city bridges, but you can of course enjoy a yummy fish lunch or dinner in one of the MANY RESTAURANTS over here. I´ve read that Lüneburg is one of the most lively cities in Europe based on the numbers of bars, restaurants and cafes per capita. It really is lively, we love it especially in the summer.
ALTER KRAN | historical crane and the symbol of Lüneburg
This amazing HISTORICAL WODEN CRANE in the former city river port area was already built in year 1330, but in a much simpler way. Today, we can see the version form the year 1797 – ever since this is an important SYMBOL OF THE CITY and one of the top tourist attractions.
RATHAUS & MARKTPLATZ | city hall and market square in front of it
TEH LARGEST MEDIEVAL CITY AHLL IN NORTHERN GERMANY is standing in the city centre on the square called MARKTPLATZ – here there is also a nice vegetable market on some days of the week and in December you can visit a wonderful CHRISTMAS MARKET on this spot. The city hall was built back in 1230, but was often reconstructed and expanded up until today. You can also take part in a GUIDED TOUR if you wish to see its chambers and find out more.
DAS SCHWANGERE HAUS | “the pregnant house”
The so-called PREGNANT HOUSE is located just around the corner from the City Hall and it´s an interesting site to check out. Because of too much moist in this building´s walls, the brick facade started to expand and we can now see a funny bump on the outside, therefore also the name.
DEUTSCHES SALZMUSEUM | German salt museum
Not many people know this but LÜNEBURG IS THE SALT CAPITAL OF NORTHERN GERMANY, with over 1000 years of history as one of THE OLDEST AND LARGEST SALT WORKS in Europe, closing down only around 40 years ago. Today, here is a very interesting MUSEUM you can visit to learn all about salt, which used to be called the WHITE GOLD back in the days.
“SENKUNGSGEBIET” | the singing part of the city
Speaking of SALT MINES, I musn´t forget to mention ONE OF THE MORE INTERESTING PARTS OF THE TOWN – the so-called SENKUNGSGEBIET. In translation, the name means “the sinking area” – the houses, roads and other buildings in this area are really sinking for decades, due to all the mining happening under the town.
You can see lots of TILTED HOUSES, some have collapsed on their own over the years and many had to be properly restored. But all this “facades imperfection” makes this area kind of cute and very interesting to walk around.
LÜNEBURGER HEIDE | protected area with fields and hills of pink heath
Lüneburger Heide (LÜNEBURG HEATH) is an area, DISTINGUISHED BY SPECIFIC FACTORS such as climate, relief, soil, geology, flora and fauna.
It covers a greater area around towns CELLE, GIFHORN, UELZEN, LÜNEBURG, SCHEEßEL, HARBURG, ROTENBURG and LÜCHOW-DANNENBZRG and it is famous for fields and hills of blooming pink – purple heath. There are numerous hiking and cycling paths – we have explored this area two times with Lu already and we really love it. By clicking the button below you can read more about what there is to see and do.LÜNEBURGER HEIDE
We will surely be back to Lüneburg one day, either as a day trip or a stop towards the north of Europe. If you are on the road to Hamburg and the north and you care searching for an authentic northern German smaller town to visit – well, it hardly gets better than this, plus it is really close to the highway.