We enjoy the healthy air around the Wadden Sea
If you’ve ever read any of my blogs about our North Sea holidays, you’ll probably already know how much we love spending time on Germany’s North Sea coast. We often combine these trips with visiting friends and family close to Düsseldorf. We never tire of going to this stunning part of Germany. In fact, we love it so much that we ended up buying a holiday apartment in Büsum this year. My husband used to spend time in this charming fishing village when he was a child. He rediscovered his childhood when we, as a family, spent a wonderful holiday there during the glorious summer of 2018. We stayed in the new Küstenperle Hotel & Spa, which is opposite the Perlebucht lagoon. Its position close to the lagoon makes it ideal for families. This first holiday was the beginning of our love affair with this small spot situated on Germany’s North Sea coast.
The federal state of Schleswig-Holstein is beautiful
Büsum is a great location to explore this part of Germany
Those first two weeks gave us enough time to explore Büsum and its beautiful surrounding area. Our trips to the Friedrichskoog seal rescue centre, the pretty town of Friedrichstadt and the historical submarine in Laboe on the Baltic Sea were so enjoyable that we decided to return again the following year to explore this wonderful area a little more. You can read more about that holiday in this blog: ‘Büsum Easter holiday 2019’.
How Büsum has changed
In 2018, my husband couldn’t believe how much Büsum had changed (for the better) since his days of going there as a child with his parents. Improvements to the infrastructure have made the town more accessible. In particular, the promenade along the seafront is well developed, and ideal for families with prams and buggies, as well as for wheelchair users. The small fishing village is well known in Germany for its typical brown shrimp and the picturesque harbour with its many fishing boats. Thankfully, the charming atmosphere is still the same as it was all those years ago.
Yet, Büsum hasn’t always had such a positive reputation. It didn’t move forward like other resorts or promote itself as a tourist destination. I’m a firm believer in looking after traditions and not always following every new trend. However, I do believe that a certain amount of modernisation is essential to attract the younger generation as well as tourists. This quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt says it all: “There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.” In my opinion, Büsum has the right balance between looking after its traditions and keeping its original charm and moving forward with the times.
Büsum – we love you!
Relax and have fun in the healthy sea air
I can honestly say what a positive impression Büsum has made on us. During our holiday in 2018, we enjoyed the fantastic boat trips, the seawater swimming pool; the Perlebucht lagoon, the dyke area with its grass and beach chairs; the Phenomania museum, go karting, cycling, as well as the large selection of restaurants and cafés. Some of you will already know how much we enjoy stopping off for lunch or going to a restaurant for dinner – Büsum is perfect for that.
Hamburg – elegant, maritime and ideal for families
Miniatur Wunderland – visit Europe in miniature
During our holiday, we also spent five days in Hamburg. Hamburg is very easy to reach from Büsum (an hour’s drive on the A23 motorway). Miniatur Wunderland is one of the most popular attractions in Germany, and visited by tourists from all over the world. We were eager to check it out for ourselves; so we took my friend Ulrike’s advice and booked online to avoid the queues. However, I didn’t end up booking until two days before going to Hamburg, so I was only able to get a 6.30pm slot. It’s worth knowing that they’re open until 1am during the summer holidays.
The museum is located in Speicherstadt (docks), which is a Unesco World Heritage Site – a must-see in itself. Built using typical red brick, these former warehouses create a fascinating backdrop for photographers. Miniatur Wunderland museum displays railways in miniature from different areas of Germany as well as Scandinavia, Switzerland, Italy and France. It’s incredible to see how much detail goes into each miniature town. There’s even an airport that has a little aeroplane flying in at specific times. It’s fascinating – not just for the children! They’re always adding more to the models and constantly improving the scenes, so there’s always something new to see.
A good piece of advice is to try and avoid busy times like the summer holidays. For us, it was relatively easy to get from one attraction to the next as it wasn’t as packed as it ususally is during the day. If you’d like to be close to the museum, the brand new Pierdrei hotel is just next door and is a good, affordable choice.
Boat trips are always a highlight for children
Another fascinating thing to do in Hamburg is to do the two-hour harbour tour (Große Hafenrundfahrt). Hamburg is home to Germany’s largest harbour, as well as being the third largest in Europe. Located at the bottom of the Elbe River, the harbour is connected to the North Sea, and the Kiel Canal (Nord-Ostsee-Kanal in German) is connected to the Baltic Sea. Due to its geographical location at the heart of Europe, the harbour is important for freight and leisure cruise liners. We had a great time on the boat, passing the huge cranes and freight and cruise liners, and learning how a busy harbour works. I’d definitely recommend the two-hour trip as the one-hour trip doesn’t give you enough time to see everything.
Alster Canal boat trip
Learn about Hamburg from a different perspective
Due to Hamburg’s location on the Alster Lake and the Elbe River, with the North Sea also being in close proximity, it’s no surprise that the locals’ favourite pastime is boating and sailing. As we enjoy being on a boat (if it’s not too choppy), we decided to go on an Alster canal boat trip from Jungfernstieg, which departs close to the town hall. The canal runs through the picturesque, sophisticated districts of Hamburg, where you can see how the other half live. Alternatively, you can hire a paddle or rowing boat, or a canoe to explore the city from the water at your own pace.
Diving into local life
Have a wander around a local market
Whenever I visit somewhere new, I like to explore the areas that only the locals seem to know about. One of my best friends has been living in the beautiful district of Winterhude for many years, and it was wonderful to catch up with her and her family during our stay in Hamburg.
Fortunately, it was a beautiful sunny day when we arranged to meet up at the local market in Winterhude, which is known to be one of the best markets in Hamburg. Every Saturday morning, the stalls in Goldbekufer, located on the banks of the river, sell their fresh, local produce. You’ll be treated to a wonderful array of fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, flowers and freshly prepared food. We thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and sampling the magnificent selection of food.
At the entrance to the market, there’s a lovely little café selling good coffee and a variety of breakfast options. It’s situated right next to a playground – making it ideal for families who would like to enjoy their morning coffee while the little ones can have some fun.
Secret beach on the Elbe River
Enjoy a drink at the beach bar and watch the ships passing by
Another top tip for a sunny day in Hamburg is spending some time on the banks of the Elbe River, which is called Elbstrand by the locals. One of the most popular places is Strandperle, but it can get very busy on a lovely summer’s day. So, we ventured a little further down the river to the district of Blankenese. The Kajüte S.B.12 is a small café, restaurant and bar situated right on the banks of the river. There are some tables and chairs placed on the white sand; making it the perfect place to enjoy a pint of beer in a relaxed atmosphere while the children play in the sand. We were lucky enough to watch an AIDA cruise liner pass by just a few feet away, as well as the impressive freightliners. What an unforgettable few days we had in Hamburg. We’ll definitely be going back again very soon as our love of the North Sea continues to grow.
I hope my love of Germany’s North Sea coast has come across in this blog and that I have made you think about discovering it for yourself. If you have any questions, just email me at email@example.com or message me via Facebook. I’m happy to do any research for you or help you plan your trip to Germany. The aim of this blog and my website is to enable you to have a fantastic time when you discover my home country of Germany.
Büsum Easter holiday 2019
Things to do in Büsum on the North Sea
Family holiday on the North Sea in Büsum
Germany’s stunning nature – The power of the sea