That’s because every season up here is charming in its own right. And, in addition to picturesque landscapes, the numerous pretty towns – whose charm and character are inextricably linked to the element of water, and which also contribute to this overwhelming appeal to spend time here. In spring, the cities really blossom. In the bathing season, Germany’s true north spoils its guests with a fresh summer breeze. Autumn puts wind in the sails and also gives life on land a new tailwind. And in winter, “Kluntje” sugar candy makes a distinct clinking sound in your tea cup, while our eyes cast their gaze over the promenades and the water.

Eine Frau und ein Mann fahren Kanu
© sh-tourismus.de/Foto: Arve D. Fühler

Spring

The North German spring is picturesque and full of contrasts. The rivers Eider and Treene resemble skilful brushstrokes that have been applied to a map. In between, there are splashes of colour such as the climatic health resort Friedrichstadt with its canals in a familiar Dutch style. The scent of blossoms wafts in from the north. This is because a sea of crocuses adorns Husum Castle in the month of March. In the harbour, Tucker boat “Möwe Willi” and a real-life salty sea dog await to provide passengers with interesting facts during a mini-cruise, which is lovingly interspersed here and there with sailor’s yarn. But Schleswig-Holstein also offers springtime city highlights in the state that is nestled between the coasts. For example, the Foodtruck Festival in Eutin in May treats visitors to all manner of delicacies from the kitchen, as well as an array of artistic performances.

Drei junge Männer stehen zusammen draußen, lachen und unterhalten sich.
© sh-tourismus.de/Foto: Arve D. Fühler

Summer

In the north, there is always a breeze blowing along the seashores and lakes, along the rivers and canals, and also into every corner of city life. Making it a great place to stay even in the height of summer! Summer in the city in Germany’s true north means: Bathing fun and water sports such as water skiing in Norderstedt, festivals such as Kiel Week or the large Segeberger Seefest, as well as excitement (and relaxation) at the “Summer Cineman Festival” at the moated castle in Ahrensburg. Many towns – such as historic Mölln with its seven lakes – can also be explored from the water. Plön even offers a canoe city tour that combines culture, history and active recreation.

Ein älteres Paar sitzt am Wasser und lacht.
© sh-tourismus.de/Foto: Arve D. Fühler

Autumn

City trips and exciting experiences rooted in nature go hand-in-hand in the northernmost federal state. Especially in the quiet atmosphere of autumn! In Glückstadt, you can relax and watch the cutter, feast on matjes and enjoy a shopping spree. Every corner of Lübeck is also yearning to be discovered – on land and on water via an amphibious bus, which drives into the city moat with a spectacular splash, and then which meanders around the edges of the Hanseatic city like a scarf around your shoulders. And as its counterpart, the Kiel Canal divides the state into two halves further north. Thousands of people flock to its banks for the “NOK Romantika” festival of lights.

Zwei ältere Frauen stehen am Wasser vor einem Segelschiff.
© sh-tourismus.de/Foto: Arve D. Fühler

Winter

Schleswig-Holstein’s towns invite you to breathe in the region’s history in the clear winter air, warm your soul with tea and culture, and marvel at those treasures hidden away. Between Rendsburg and Westerrönfeld, pedestrians and cyclists can cross the Kiel Canal through a tunnel 27 metres below the water level. And since bathing is an activity deemed to be in season all year round, there are several adventure pools with hundreds of metres of slip ‘n slide fun – among others in the ARRIBA in Norderstedt, or you can relax with wellness with a beautiful water view of the Marina Sonwik in the SPA Five Senses in Flensburg.

An over­view of the cit­ies

Blick durch Gräser auf ein Schloss vor einem Gewässer
© sh-tourismus.de
Häuser in Bad Segeberg
© sh-tourismus.de/MOCANOX
Blick durch Blätter auf ein Schloss
© sh-tourismus.de
Gasse mit Kopfsteinpflaster und alten Häusern recht und links
© sh-tourismus.de
Grachten und Giebelhäuser in Friedrichstadt
© sh-tourismus.de
Museumsschiff Rigmor
© sh-tourismus.de
Hafen von Husum
© sh-tourismus.de
Hafen von Kiel
© sh-tourismus.de
Lübecker Holstentor
© sh-tourismus.de
Luftaufnahme von Mölln
© sh-tourismus.de
Geschäfte im Designer Outlet Neumünster
© sh-tourismus.de
See am Strandhaus Norderstedt
© sh-tourismus.de
Luftaufnahme von Plön
© sh-tourismus.de
Rendsburg
© sh-tourismus.de
Zwei lachende Frauen gehen auf einem Steg entlang, im Hintergrund ist eine Stadt zu sehen. Die Haare der beiden Frauen wehen im Wind.
© sh-tourismus.de / Pepe Lange

The towns up here have everything you could want and maybe even a bit more. They come with a view of the sea, a view of the lake, a view of the river, a view of the port, a view of the silt, a view of the folding bridge and when it’s foggy, sometimes no view at all. Great, in other words, for a short break with lots of variety.

Dünen auf Sylt
© CC0

Discover the true north in any season.Whether it’s in spring, summer, autumn or winter, whether in sunshine or the region’s infamous “bad weather” – Schleswig-Holstein is worth a visit in every season.