Gateway to the North Sea
Arriving in Kiel by ship seems appropriate, given its long shipbuilding and naval traditions. In fact today it is one of Germany's most visited cities, due to an enormously popular annual sailing regatta.
This modern and spacious city is strikingly set on the Kiel Fjord, with a charming street of late 19th century buildings at its heart. For a glimpse of historic countryside life, investigate the Schleswig-Holstein Open Air Museum, a collection of rustic farms and country homes dating from the 16th through 19th centuries.
Here local craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills in the smithy, potter's workshop, old loom, and mill, and tantalizing scents arise from the old-fashioned bakery and smoke house.
Completed in 1895, the Kiel Canal ranks as one of the world’s great feats of engineering. The Kiel Canal carries more international commercial shipping than the Suez or Panama Canals. The canal links the Baltic and North Seas, saving ships nearly 300 nautical miles through dangerous and stormy seas.
Kiel has a longstanding tradition of shipbuilding and a deep connection to the sea. The Maritime Museum is home to a wonderful collection of paintings, shipboard instruments, and model ships that trace the long history of Kiel and the sea.
Fans of all things creepy, crawly, slimy, buzzing, and stinging won’t want to miss the Zoological Museum. In association with Kiel’s university, a vast exhibit of animals, birds, and bugs is on display. The museum’s total collection of insects numbers close to 300,000.
Kiel, Germany At a glance