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Flensburg

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Flensburg (Danish: Flensborg) is a city in Schleswig-Holstein located on the east coast. The 90,000 (2018) inhabitants live around the Flensburger Förde (Flensborg fjord). Its main claim to fame besides being a border town is the fact that the central registry for traffic offenses committed throughout Germany is headquartered in Flensburg. While Flensburg, like much of Schleswig Holstein, had received an enormous number of refugees after the war and thus its population jumped above 100 000 in 1945, making it a Großstadt according to the German definition of the term, it had lost this status again by 1952 when the population fell through refugees moving on to more permanent housing. As population has been on the uptick in the 21st century, there is talk locally of achieving the population of 100 000 again in the near future.

Understand

Flensburg has long been a bi- or even trilingual community with a strong Danish minority and a German majority that gradually switched from speaking High German ("Hochdeutsch") only with out-of-towners and speaking Low German ("Niederdeutsch" or "Plattdeutsch") in virtually all other situations to speaking less and less Low German - though there are efforts to preserve the language.

As such and as the Danish border is just across the fjord, virtually all government offices and museums, even smaller ones will offer their website in German and Danish and often also English. Dutch and Low German historically formed a dialect continuum and written Dutch is close enough to written German that competent speakers of one can make out the gist of a text in the other, but don't count on mutual intelligibility.

Due to the border, many Danes come to Flensburg to buy goods which are either unavailable or more expensive in Denmark, particularly booze, which is highly taxed in the Nordic countries. On the other hand, people from Flensburg like hopping across the border to places like Sønderborg to sight-see or shop.

The tourist information center is in the old town centre.

  • Tourism Agency, Rote Straße 15-17 (the address is Rote Straße, but the door is in the street Klostergang), ☏ +49 461 9090920, fax: +49 461 9090936, ✉ info@flensburg-tourismus.de. 

Get in

By bus or train

  • 1 Flensburg station. Sadly the historic main station built in the 1880s which was much closer to most points of interest was shut down and so if you're arriving by train, you'll be somewhat out of town.  

There are bus and train connections both from Denmark and Hamburg. Search Bahn.de for public connections in Germany, and DSB for Denmark.

  • 2 Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof Flensburg (ZOB) (Central bus station). Built as one of the first central bus stations in Germany in the 1930s and sometimes jokingly referred to as "Gummibahnhof" ("rubber station") it sits at the site of the old central train station and is thus much closer to many points of interest.  

By car

Most people arrive here by car. Flensburg is situated at the border of Germany and Denmark, beside the motorway ( in Denmark) leading to Hamburg in the south and to Kolding and further north in Denmark. It's one of the most important routes between the Nordic countries and Central Europe.

By plane

The nearest airports are Hamburg (HAM IATA) about 150 km (93 mi) away offering a wide array of flights to domestic and international destinations and Sønderborg (SGD IATA, in Denmark 50 km (31 mi) away; flights from Copenhagen only). Hamburg airport is served by the Hamburg S-Bahn and from Hamburg main station direct RE and Intercity trains leave for Flensburg with a travel time a bit under 2 hours. From Sonderborg airport take a taxi to the rail station and then DSB train.

By boat

  • 3 Flensburg harbor. Served by the occasional cruise and able to accommodate private boats. Also includes a "museum harbour" exhibit.  

Get around

Walking is the best way to get around in the city centre.

See

Flensburg offers a nice shopping district with old houses and gardens as well as a variety of museums and churches. The harbour is the hosting place for sailing regatta and events.

Museums

"Museum mountain"

  • 1 Museumsberg Flensburg, ☏ +49 461 - 85 29 56, fax: +49 461 85 29 93, ✉ museumsberg@flensburg.de. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. A museum on a hill in the center of Flensburg exhibiting local history artefacts and art by not only local artists. Adult €6, reduced €3. (updated Jun 2020)
  • 2 Naturwissenschaftliches Museum (Science Museum) (on the museum hill next to the other museum), ☏ +49 461 - 85 25 04. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. Adult €6, reduced €3. (updated Jun 2020)
  • 3 Schifffahrtsmuseum (Shipping museum), ☏ +49 461 - 85 29 70, fax: +49 461 - 85 16 65, ✉ schifffahrtsmuseum@flensburg.de. Tu-Su 11:30-17:00. A museum dedicated to Flensburg's maritime history, including a small exhibit on rum, the "Rum-Museum" in the basement. Adult €6, reduced €3. (updated Jun 2020)

There are combined tickets for all the museums on "Museum mountain" (which are rather close to each other) which cost €8 for adults and €4 for people who qualify for reduced entry.

Other museums

  • 4 Phänomenta. Oct-May: M-F 09:00-17:00, Sa Su 11:00-18:00; Jul-Sep: M-F 10:00-18:00; Sa Su 11:00-18:00. An interactive science museum, where you can try experiments on you own, especially interesting for families and children and anybody interested in science from €9.50 for adults to €7.00 for youth and €2.00 for children. (updated Aug 2019)
  • 5 Museumswerft (Shipyard museum) (directly on the harbour.), ☏ +49 461 - 18 22 47, ✉ werft@museumswerft.de. M-F 08:00-17:00, Sa Su 10:00-17:00; tours are available when booked in advance. This museum shows and builds old ships and boats and offers courses for children, teenagers and adults. €1, donations welcome. (updated Aug 2019)
  • 6 Wehrgeschichtliches Ausbildungszentrum (Kommandeursvilla). Tuesdays 14:00-19:00. A naval museum in the famous Naval Academy Mürwik. The "Mürwik area" was the last part of Germany left under Nazi German control in May 1945 before the British forces in the area decided to put an end to the charade by having the "government" of "president" (former admiral) Dönitz arrested. free but visitors must show their identity cards. (updated Aug 2019)
  • 7 Eiszeit-Haus (Ice Age House). As the last Ice Age has had a significant impact on the local geology and geography, this house holds a number of interesting fossils and geological samples. Free, donations welcomed.  
  • 8 Robbe & Berking Yachting Heritage Centre, ☏ +49 461 31803063, ✉ info@classic-yachts.de. Tu-Su 11:00 - 18:00. A yachting museum opened in October 2016 run by the local silversmithing company of the same name  

Churches

  • 9 St. Nikolai (Lutheran). (updated Oct 2018)
  • 10 St. Marien (Lutheran). (updated Oct 2018)
  • 11 St. Johannis (Lutheran). (updated Oct 2018)
  • 12 St. Marien, schmerzhafte Mutter (Roman Catholic). (updated Oct 2018)
  • 13 Helligåndskirken (Church of the Holy Spirit, Danish church, Lutheran). (updated Oct 2018)
  • 14 Lutheran Church St. Jürgen. A typical photo subject. The church is good to see from the harbour on the eastern shore.  
  • 15 Christuschurch (in the borough Mürwik). A garrison church built in the 1950s. The Christuschurch owns a beautiful triumphal cross (rood) from the 16th century. Otherwise the church is as unadorned and austere as one would expect of a Lutheran church.  

Architecture

  • 16 Nikolai-Apotheke (at the "Südermarkt", an old marketplace). One of the oldest buildings in the city. It was built in the 15th century. The architecture inside as well as outside is very much worth visiting.  
  • 17 Naval Academy Mürwik. Built to look like a castle on the orders of German Emperor Wilhelm II and opened in 1910. It was modelled after Marienburg, the Castle of the Teutonic Order, which lays today in the Polish town Malbork. The naval academy has churned out German naval forces under four different political systems (Imperial Germany, Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany and finally the Federal Republic).  
  • 18 Marinesportsschule (Naval sports academy) (in the borough Mürwik). This part of the Naval Academy was built in 1936/37. In May 1945 it was the seat of the "Flensburg Government" (see infobox).  
  • 19 Glücksburg Castle (just outside Flensburg). Beautiful old white castle. €5.  

Do

  • 1 Flens-Arena (Campushalle), Campusallee 2. Home to SG Flensburg-Handewitt, one of Germany's — and therefore the world's — premier Handball teams which is among the top contenders for the German championship in most seasons. (updated Jun 2020)

Ferries

A nice way to enjoy the maritime atmosphere of Flensburg is to take a tour on one of the 5 different ferries.

  • Alexandra, ☏ +49 461 212-32. The Alexandra was built in 1908 and is so the oldest passenger stream boat which is still in use in whole Germany
  • MS Viking, ☏ +49 174 15 85 555. 
  • MS Möwe, ☏ +49 461 62-945. 
  • MS Flora II, ☏ +49 177 55 11 114. 
  • MS Feodora, ☏ +49 172 45 16 791. 

Theater

  • 2 Nedderdütsche Bühn (Low German Theater), ☏ +49 461-23388. A theatre putting on plays in the local Low German vernacular. (updated Jun 2020)
  • 3 Theaterwerkstatt Pilkentafel, Pilkentafel 2, ☏ +49 461 - 24 901, ✉ info@pilkentafel.de. Plays largely in High German. €15 for regular tickets, €20 if you wish to help the theatre, €10 for students.  
  • 4 Det lille Teater Flensborg (Danish Theater), Marienstr. 20, ☏ +49 461 80797630, ✉ Info@detlilleteater.de. An amateur theatre with roughly 80 seats putting on plays in Danish. (updated Jun 2020)

Buy

Lots of people arrive in Flensburg from Denmark and the other Nordic countries for shopping. In the old centre of Flensburg are numerous shops along the pedestrian street Holm (Danish: Holmen) and Große Straße.

  • 1 Flensburg Galerie, Holm 57-61. 
  • 2 Twedter Plack. The borough Mürwik (Muerwik) owns also an separate little centre, named Twedter Plack. The centre is on the edge of the military where also located is the Naval Academy Mürwik.  
  • 3 Rote Straße (Red Street). As part of the traditional "Ochsenweg" the Rote Straße represents a big part of Flensburg's history. Many little shops can be found there.  

Malls

Thanks to being close to the border with Denmark and being served by a major Autobahn, the surroundings of Flensburg boast many major malls. Price differences between Denmark and Germany may make a certain item a bargain for Danish people but it might be expensive for Germans.

  • 4 Fördepark (Served by bus lines 14 & 15). A shopping centre on the outskirts of town.  
  • 5 Scandinavien Park (right off the northernmost exit of A7 motorway in Germany in nearby Handewitt). Due to its location and tourists visiting it is allowed to open all week long and attracts locals from both sides of the border, who go there for a Sunday grocery run.  
  • 6 Citti Park, ☏ +49 461 57063030, ✉ citti-park.flensburg@citti.de. 

Eat

  • Dionysos, Glücksburger Straße 174, ☏ +49 461 140-800. A Greek restaurant in the first floor of Hotel Fruerlund. 
  • 1 Marien-Café, Norderstrasse 13, ☏ +49 461 500-9711. 
  • Goldene Lilie, Angelburger Straße 10-16 (opposite of the side entrance of the Fensburg Galerie), ☏ +49 461 26294, fax: +49 461 1505443. 11:30-15:00 and 17:30-23:00. A Chinese restaurant offering a tasty buffet and a good menu. 
  • Galerie, Holm 66 (located in a garden, opposite the Holm). A restaurant offering a variety of pizza and pasta, non-vegetarian and vegetarian food. 

Drink

Sleep

  • Hotel am Wasserturm, Blasberg 13, 24943 Flensburg (in Flensburg-Mürwik, there are signs showing the way to the hotel), ☏ +49 461 3150600, ✉ info@hotel-am-wasserturm.com. 
  • Hotel Seewarte, Mürwikerstrasse 164, 24944 Flensburg, ☏ +49 461 35 0 25, fax: +49 461 31 22 87. Check-in: 14:00-21:00, check-out: 07:00-12:00. Inexpensive hotel outside the city centre. Not without reason sometimes compared to British comedy "Fawlty Towers", but the staff is very kind and helpful. No credit cards accepted €35-50. 
  • Hostel Flensburg, Zur Exe 23, ☏ +49 461 90 90 833, fax: +49 4619090834. Check-in: 16:00-21:00, check-out: till 12:00. 
  • Jugendherberge Flensburg, Fichtestraße 16, 24943 Flensburg, ☏ +49 461 37 74 2. 
  • 1 Hotel Alte Post, Rathausstraße 2, ☏ +49 461 807081 0, ✉ info@ap-hotel.de. (updated Jun 2020)

Nearby

  • Kiel
  • Lübeck
  • Hamburg
  • Schleswig



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