10 Essential Things to Do in Wismar Germany

Welcome to Wismar, Germany! Nestled along the Baltic Sea coast, this charming town is a hidden gem waiting to be explored.

Curious about things to do in Wismar Germany?

With its centuries-old history and picturesque architecture there are plenty of Wismar things to do and see that will keep you entertained throughout your visit.

Whether you’re strolling through the cobblestone streets of the Old Town or indulging in delicious seafood, Wismar offers a laid-back atmosphere that makes for the perfect day trip from Berlin just like I did!

In this article, I’ll guide you through all the Wismar things to do, focusing on things to see. It’s the kind of a place where the beauty lies not just in what you do, but primarily in what you see and absorb from the town’s unique atmosphere.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase something through the links, at no additional cost to you. Read my Affiliate Disclosure

Is Wismar Worth Visiting

If you are creating a list of hidden gems in Germany worth visiting, add Wismar to that list!

Wismar’s well-preserved old town exudes historical charm with its colourful gabled houses and notable UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Market Square and impressive churches. Notably, Wismar boasts one of the largest and most preserved historic town centres in the Baltic region. 

The vibrant maritime atmosphere at the bustling harbour offers a picturesque backdrop, especially for seafood lovers, while nature enthusiasts can enjoy sandy beaches on nearby Poel Island.

Not all German cities known for their Hanseatic heritage, are the same. Each of them has its own charm making them worth visiting, cities, like Lubeck and Hamburg.

So if you’re looking for a quieter and more relaxed destination in Germany, most definitely Wismar is worth visiting.

Things to Do in Wismar Germany

1. Wismar Old Town (Wismar Altstadt)

street in old town with buildings and people walking as one of the things to do in wismar germany

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wismar’s Old Town, and explore its charming streets and historic buildings.

See the Hanseatic League’s influence on Northern Europe’s trade and culture. The red-brick gabled houses adorned with intricate facades, in a blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles, line the narrow streets.

Seek out a couple of my favourite streets like “Lübsche Straße” and “Schweinsbrücke” for the picturesque views. Another place for a scenic stroll is along Claus-Jesup-Strasse which connects Lübsche Straße with Ulmenstraße.

houses in wismar germany

Fun fact, Germany’s beloved department store, Karlstadt, was founded in Wismar in 1881. So a visit to the original store, if you haven’t already visited one in Germany is a good idea.

red brick building as wismar things to do

Take a tour! A fun way to explore Old Town at your own pace while learning about Wismar’s Hanseatic history and discovering hidden gems is to consider a self-guided tour.

2. Wismar Market Square (Marktplatz)

colourful buildings on market square in wismar things to do

Wismar’s Market Square, steeped in history and surrounded by charming gabled houses, has been a lively hub at the heart of the city’s commerce and culture for centuries.

It is here you will see the iconic Wasserkunst (Waterworks), a beautiful Renaissance-style fountain. Built in 1602, the ornate well supplied the city’s drinking water until the late 19th century. Even though it’s lost its original purpose, the Wasserkunst is still the centrepiece of the Old Town and a popular gathering place for locals and tourists.

water tower in wismar old town as things to see in wismar germany

The Wismar Town Hall, a remarkable example of Gothic architecture, was built between the late 13th and early 15th centuries and served as the administrative center of Wismar. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar, and stands as a symbol of the city’s historical importance during the Hanseatic League era.

white town hall in wismar germany

The oldest building on Wismar’s Market Square is the “Alter Schwede” (Old Swede) house, a Gothic-style building dating back to the late 14th century.

white building with green details in what to do in wismar germany

A foodie recommendation is to go to Thüringer ROSTBRATWURST for their tasty bratwurst. For only 5 euros you’ll find this little gem at the back of the Wismar Rathaus. Look for the long line.

red and white building in wismar things to do

The Wismar Christmas Market is set to run from November 27th to December 22nd, 2023, transforming the historic Market Square into a festive wonderland, where visitors can immerse themselves in the holiday spirit amidst the charming backdrop of centuries-old architecture.

3. St. Nicholas Church (St. Nikolai Kirche)

red brick church in wismar things to do

St. Nicholas Church, a grand Gothic landmark in Wismar, dates back to the late 14th century and symbolizes the city’s Hanseatic legacy. The striking red brick church suffered very little damage from World War II, unlike the other Wismar churches.

St Nicholas Church is regarded as a masterpiece of Late Gothic architecture in Northern Europe, it proudly stands as the largest of its kind. The interior is just as impressive with its predominantly red and beige Baroque-style interior. Visit daily from 10 am to 6 pm.

bronze pig statue on bridge in Wismar germany

Once you’ve visited the church stroll the nearby scenic canal and look out for the four bronze statues at Schweinsbrücke (or Pig Bridge). Don’t forget to rub the belly and make a wish!

4. St. Mary Church (Marienkirche)

red brick church in wismar germany

At the site of St. Mary Church, the sole remaining structure after the devastation of World War II bombing is the red brick steeple of this Gothic church.

On the ground floor, the museum provides insights into medieval architectural techniques. But the true highlight lies in ascending the tower, where you can enjoy panoramic vistas of Wismar. Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.

5. Wismar Churches

Wismar is home to two more churches that you may wish to see.

church with fall leaves from tree in wismar germany

St. George Church (St.-Georgen-Kirche)

St George’s church is known as being an exceptional example of North German brick Gothic architecture with origins dating back to the 13th century. It once served as a place of worship for craftsmen and traders of Wismar. The best part of attending this church is the 35 m high viewing platform for only 3 euros (from 11 am to 5 pm).

tall church in wismar germany

Church of Holy Spirit (Heiligen-Geist-Kirche)

The Church of the Holy Spirit, originally a hospital church, has a baroque interior with a painted wooden ceiling showcasing Old Testament scenes from 1687. It served as an old people’s home and is now featured as the fictional police station in the series “SOKO Wismar.”

6. Vault (Gewölbe)

timberframe building over canal in wismar things to do

This charming half-timbered house found at Runde Grube 4 is straight out of a fairytale. This two-story gem boasts two bay windows that offer scenic vistas of the harbour. How did this picturesque house get its name? Some say it’s because it stands atop two barrel-vaulted bridge yokes.

If you’re an architecture enthusiast or simply love hidden gems, a visit to Vault promises a delightful and picturesque experience in Wismar.

7. Old Harbour

sailboat in harbour as things to do in wismar

Take a stroll along Wismar’s waterfront promenade, enjoying picturesque views of the harbour and observing the bustling maritime activities.

Wander over to the fish boats selling Fischbrötchen (fish sandwich) that Wismar is known for. These yummy sandwiches are made from white back fish with an aioli sauce for only 5 euros.

Or enjoy some delicious seafood dishes at one of Wismar’s many waterfront restaurants, featuring fresh catches from the Baltic Sea. We decided to go for the gelato truck.

8. Harbour Boat Tour

boats in harbour wismar things to do

Experience the beauty of Wismar Bay on a 1-hour boat tour. Sail through the bustling overseas port, admire the longest pier in Mecklenburg at the timber terminal, and soak in the coastal charm as you head towards Poel Island.

On the return, you’ll pass by the fishing village of Hoben and the state-of-the-art shipyard with Europe’s largest dock hall.

Book your seat now and enjoy the scenic tour of Wismar!

9. Wismar Museums

what to do in wismar germany, visit a museum in this red brick building with anchor

For history buffs, here are some of the top museums in Wismar. I didn’t spend much time in them, as I was travelling with my dog. But I did pop in and spoke quickly with the museum staff who were very helpful.

Wismar Museum: located in the Old Town Hall, this museum highlights the history and development of Wismar through a wide range of artifacts, documents, and exhibitions.

Technology and Industry Museum: housed in an old factory building which is kind of cool, this museum delves into the industrial history of Wismar, highlighting the city’s role in shipbuilding and technology.

Schabbelhaus: as a former brewery in this quaint Renaissance building turned museum, Schabbelhaus explores the 800-year history of Wismar from its founding in the Middle Ages under Swedish reign to the interesting Cold War period when it fell under East Germany’s DDR. Of all the museums, this one was the most interesting and I would recommend it.

10. Wismar Beaches

long pier with seagulls at beach as one of the things to do in wismar

The highlight of my day trip to Wismar was the beaches! I strategically chose the end of the day, right as the sun was setting, and it proved to be the perfect, picturesque ending to a beautiful day in Wismar.

girl with dog on pier as things to do in wismar germany

Here are the best beaches to visit:

  • Wendorf Beach: A peaceful spot with scenic views along the long pier
  • Boltenhagen Beach: Ideal for water sports and long walks
  • Zierow Beach: Shallow waters, perfect for families
  • Insel Poel Beaches: Multiple sandy shores, watersports, and beachfront cafes
  • Wismar South Beach: Conveniently located close to town with a designated nudist area

Beyond Wismar Things to Do: Tips for Your Visit 

How to Get to Wismar from Berlin

half timber building in wismar things to do

It will only take about 4 to 6 hours to explore the city. I was there for 6-7 hours so I could make sure I saw it all to help me write this article.

By Train:

  • Depart from Berlin’s main train station, Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Hbf)
  • Take a direct Intercity-Express (ICE) or Intercity (IC) train heading to Wismar (Note, you may need to transfer in Schwerin, depending on the train schedule)
  • The journey typically takes around 2.5 to 3.5 hours, depending on the train and connections
  • Walking from the train station to the Old Town is easy
buildings in a row in wismar things to do

By Car:

  • Start on the A24 Autobahn heading northwest from Berlin
  • Continue on the A24 until you reach the exit for Wismar and Schwerin-West
  • Take the exit and follow the signs to Wismar, which will lead you onto the B106 road
  • Continue on the B106, and it will take you directly to Wismar.
  • There are multiple parking lots and street parking (cost 5 euros for the 6 hours)
  • The approximate driving time from Berlin to Wismar is about 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic

Day Trips from Wismar

buildings with tree and tower in wismar germany

If you decide to stay a night or two in Wismar it means you will have time for day trips. Here are a few day trip options:

Schwerin: Just a short drive away, Schwerin boasts a stunning fairy-tale castle, Schwerin Palace, surrounded by tranquil gardens and the picturesque Schwerin Lake. It also has a small historic old town with a Schwerin Cathedral and Market Square

Lübeck: Venture to the charming town of Lübeck, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well-preserved medieval architecture. Explore the Holstentor gate, stroll along the Trave River, and savour a taste of the famous Lübeck marzipan.

Stralsund: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a Hanseatic town graced with well-preserved medieval architecture, including red-brick gabled houses and historic churches.

As a Holidaymaker

Wismar oozes with a ton of charm. Not only is there a lot to see and do, but it’s the indescribable relaxing vibes make you want to stay a little longer.

If you love charming German towns like this one, I think you’re going to love these next articles: