Kiel

Germany

Kiel is an important port on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast and a city host for one of the world's biggest classical music festivals. On Ferryhopper, you can take a look at available ferry routes from the port of Kiel, our travel tips for your vacation, and book your tickets easily and quickly!

Find useful information about the port of Kiel and read our suggestions for your dreamy holidays there:

The canal of Kiel in Germany

The beautiful canal of Kiel surrounded by greenery

Kiel ferry port

The port of Kiel is one of the most versatile ports in the Baltic region consisting of the city ports (Schwedenkai, Sartorikai, Ostseekai, and Norwegenkai), the Ostuferhafen and the canal ports (Nordhafen and Nordmole). 

Its geographic location makes the port very attractive having intense maritime traffic, with daily departures and arrivals of cargo ships, and passenger ferries.

Ferries of Stena Line ferry company depart to Gothenburg in Sweden from Schwedenkai terminal.  Also, ferries to the Baltic Countries leave from Ostuferhafen consisting of 6 berths

However, if you’re planning to travel to Norway, the only direct ferry connection from Germany is operated by Color Line with ferries departing from the Norwegenkai terminal to Oslo. 

As for the cruise ships, there are frequent departures from terminals 27 and 28 in the Ostseekai area offering bright and modern check-in areas with comfortable waiting areas and beautiful views to the Kiel Fjord.

In the port area, you can find ticket offices, bars, restaurants, a left-luggage office, and a shuttle bus service for internal port transfer.

Ferries from Kiel port: schedules and tickets

Kiel is connected weekly with the port of Gothenburg in Sweden and the port of Oslo in Norway and the city of Klaipėda in Lithuania.

There are usually several weekly crossings from the port of Kiel with travel times ranging between 14 hours and 30 hours with all-day boarding. So, below you can find all the information on the available ferry routes depending on the destination and the ferry operator.

Ferry from Kiel to Gothenburg

The Kiel-Gothenburg ferry crossing is usually operated 7 times per week by Stena Line. The ferry trip takes about 14 hours.

Ferry from Kiel to Klaipėda

There is 1 daily ferry crossing connecting Kiel to Klaipėda in Lithuania that is operated by the DFDS ferry company. The ferry time is about 21 hours.

Ferry from Kiel to Oslo

Ferries of Color Line connect the city of Kiel to the capital of Norway, Oslo. The ferry from Kiel to Oslo is operated with up to 8 weekly crossings. There is a ferry crossing connecting Kiel to Norway. The ferry trip takes around 20 hours.

Where is the ferry port in Kiel

The port area of Kiel is divided into 4 main areas (Schwedenkai, Sartorikai, Ostseekai, and Norwegenkai) and the Ostuferhafen. Therefore, depending on where you are traveling to, you have to reach different terminals. 

The port area is easily accessible by public transport. It is about 8 km and a 15-minute drive from Kiel airport. The parking lot of the port is also 5 minutes by car from the city's central railway station.

How to get to Kiel port

You can get to the port of Kiel by car, taxi, train or bus. You can take the train from the central train station in about 5 minutes by car and 10 minutes by bus from the city center.

The city port of Kiel in the night light

The night lights in the port of Kiel

Vacation in Kiel

Kiel was founded back in 1233 and it is the capital city of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, located at the end of the Kiel Fiord. Its large port connects Germany to the Nordic countries and the Baltic Region and evidences the city’s long naval tradition.

However, Kiel has also a vibrant student scene and a charming city center filled with cute shops, cafes, and restaurants.

The best time to visit Kiel is from June to August when the weather is pleasantly warm

How to get to Kiel

You can travel to Kiel by plane, train, bus, or ferry. You can take a flight to Kiel Airport (KEL) in Holtenau. However, it is for smaller planes and serves domestic flights and connections between Germany and the Scandinavian countries

Also, there are several frequent international flights from/to the airport of Hamburg or the airport of Lübeck. From there, you can take the train to Kiel lasting between 1.5 and 3 hours.

However, if you are traveling by car, Kiel is well-connected to other cities in Germany. Also, you can reach the city of Kiel by train or bus. There are several bus services and train routes connecting the city to other German cities such as Berlin and Hambourg.

Alternatively, you can reach Kiel by ferry. There are ferry crossings connecting Germany to Sweden (Gothenburg), Norway (Oslo), and Lithuania (Klaipėda). Traveling by ferry may take longer but you can embark your vehicle.

Also, you can book a cabin for a comfortable trip while enjoying the fascinating crossing and the breathtaking views from the ferry’s dock. Therefore, if you're planning to travel by ferry you can find more information about ferry routes and schedules to Germany on our Map of ferries.

What to do in Kiel

Kiel is a city with a long, fascinating history that also suffered the consequences of the First and Second World Wars. However, nowadays is a charming city, with a mixture of old vintage buildings, new indoor malls, and picturesque pedestrian bridges.

From impressive museums and verdant parks to shopping streets, Kiel has a vibrant fair with its grand harbor and the beautiful Fjord stealing the scene. While there, make sure to visit the rectangle Kiel Castle and the imposing old Lighthouse. 

Go for a long walk parallel to the Kiellinie promenade to explore the districts of Düsternbrook and Wik or enjoy window-shopping in the main shopping streets of Holstenstrasse and Dänische Strasse.

And of course, you can’t miss Kieler Woche! Kiel Week is the biggest sailing regatta in the world. The festival is usually held in June featuring sailing competitions, live music concerts, and several foods stands near the port. What do you say? Are you interested in joining Germany's second-largest public festival after the world-famous Oktoberfest?

Houses in the Old Town of Kiel

Houses in the Old Town of Kiel

Sightseeing in Kiel

Kiel is a charming city with a vibrant city center, a picturesque Old Town, museums, and long promenades by the sea. Among the most beautiful attractions to discover in Kiel we recommend:

  • Kiel Castle, one of the oldest buildings in the city of Kiel since 1230
  • Kiel Fjord, an approximately 17 km long inlet of the Baltic Sea
  • The St. Nikolai Church, the city's oldest building
  • The Opera house, the major venue for opera, ballet, and orchestral performances  
  • The Maritime Museum, showing the maritime history of Kiel
  • The Holstenstrasse and Dänische Strasse, the city’s main shopping streets 
  • The Aquarium Geomar, exhibiting a variety of fish and crustaceans
  • The Zoological Museum, one of the oldest natural history museums in Germany
  • The Laboe Naval Memorial, a memorial for the sailors of all nationalities who were lost at sea 
  • The Kiellinie, a promenade in the Kiel districts of Düsternbrook and Wik
  • The Schrevenpark, a beautiful park with a lake 
  • The Kiel-Holtenau Lighthouse, signaling the ships into the Kiel Canal with its bright beacon since 1895

The Kiel-Holtenau Lighthouse of Kiel

The charming Lighthouse of Kiel 

Nightlife in Kiel

Kiel has a quiet and stylish nightlife but it can also be loud and wild thanks to the vibrant student scene. Therefore, the city offers something for every taste from karaoke nights, and stand-up comedy to disco nights.

So, If you wish to relax after a long walking tour in Kiel you can visit the Old Town (Altstadt) for a beer or a glass of wine. However, if you are into dancing, plunge into the vibrant nightlife and visit the clubs on Harms street.

Food in Kiel

There are several nice restaurants in Kiel offering a wide spectrum of different flavors, varying from local specialties such as fresh seafood from the Baltic Sea and splendid barbeque sausages to bavarian typical food.

Here are some of the most delicious local delicacies to try during your stay in Kiel:

  • schnüüsch (local soup or stew with beans, peas, potatoes, and kohlrabi)
  • Kieler Sprotte (a fish delicacy made with sprats)
  • mehlbüdel (a kind of dumpling served with sugar, liquid butter, and pork meat)
  • fliederbeersuppe (elderberry juice, diced apples and plums)
  • rote grütze (traditional sweet with raspberry and cream)
  • spicy barbeque sausages with smashed potatoes

Rote grütze, a traditional German sweet with raspberries

Rote grütze, the most delicious traditional German sweet with raspberries

Tips

Here are some tips that we hope will be useful to you during your stay in Kiel:

  • Once a week museums are admission fee free so check the free days before visiting your short-listed museums of Kiel.
  • Make sure to wear comfortable shoes when having a walking tour in the city. Especially the old part of Kiel is full of picturesque, however, cobblestone alleys.
  • Public transport is quite efficient. However, keep in mind that the subway operated from 4 am to midnight.
  • If you are driving to the city of Kiel or planning to rent a car, make sure to comply with the traffic rules as even minor speeding violations entail substantial traffic fines.

Useful information about Kiel

In Kiel, you can find many restaurants and cute shops around the historic center of the city. The hub of Kiel also develops around the main shopping streets of Holstenstrasse and Dänische Strasse with many attractions at close distance.

In regard to your accommodation, you can find many options depending on your style and budget. If you want to go sightseeing, the best area to stay is near the Old Town (Altstadt). However, the city offers various options for all budgets from hotels, hostels, and Bed & Breakfasts.

As for health care, there are several hospitals both in the city and in the province of Kiel. 

Important phone numbers for your stay in Kiel

Here are some useful contacts to keep within reach during your trip to Kiel:

  • Municipality of Kiel: ++494319015000
  • Kiel Police Station: +494311601310 
  • Kiel Port Authority: +494319822100
  • Tourist Information Center: +49431679100
  • Roadside Assistance: 116
  • European emergency number: 112

Transportation in Kiel

Kiel is a great city with an efficient public transportation network. If you visit Kiel during the summer, you can enjoy the sunshine and have a long stroll instead of taking public transport as the city is really easy to explore on foot.

However, you can get around the city easily by bus. A single, one-way ticket costs around 2.50. Also, you can opt for a day pass or a 3-day pass if you plan to use public transport often.

Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle or a car if you’re planning to explore the state of Schleswig-Holstein. Fares vary by company but a standard fare for a family car starts at 30 a day.

The Opera House and the St.Nikolai Church in Kiel

The imposing Opera House and the St.Nikolai Church at night

Where to book Kiel ferry tickets online

On Ferryhopper, you can find all available ferry routes to and from/to Kiel, compare prices, departure times, and book cheap ferry tickets to Kiel online at the same prices as ferry companies!

Frequent ferry connections

Nearby destinations

Kiel has direct ferry connections with 3 ports :

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