Rostock

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany

Rostock is a charming German town by the Baltic Sea and Mecklenburg's biggest and most modern city. On Ferryhopper, you can find useful information about must-see places, local delicacies and ferries to Rostock, and book your tickets easily and quickly!

Front view of the pink Town Hall in Rostock

The Rathaus, the impressive Town Hall in New Market Square, Rostock

Vacation in Rostock

The port city of Rostock is a Hanseatic town in North Germany, less than 10 km from the Baltic Sea coast. It is an underrated but must-visit destination, characterized by appealing white-sand beaches, charming historic neighborhoods, pulsating festivals, and a vibrant nightlife.

With a variety of historical places of interest, there are plenty of things to see and do for the whole family in Rostock. Additionally, the students of the University of Rostock, one of the oldest universities in the world, give a welcoming and vibrant energy to the city, making it also ideal for young explorers.

How to get to Rostock

You can travel to Rostock by plane, train, car or ferry. The Rostock–Laage Airport offers connections to major German destinations and it’s located 30 km away from Rostock city center. You can then take bus number 127 into town. The nearest larger international airports are in Hamburg and Berlin.

Rostock is also easily accessible by train, since it’s connected to every German city via Hamburg. The journey from Berlin takes just under 3 hours. If you’d rather travel by car, from Berlin, take the A24, then the A19. From Hamburg, take the A20.

Alternatively, you can reach Rostock by ferry. There are ferry crossings connecting Lithuania, Sweden and Denmark to Rostock. 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 Rostock below.

What to do in Rostock

Start a tour of the pedestrian streets of the Old Town at the New Market Square, the pumping heart of Rostock since the 13th century. Here, you'll get to admire the strikingly pink town hall, St. Mary’s Church, the Rostock Cultural History Museum, and the daily grocery market. 

If you fancy a fun day at the beach, just a 15-minute drive from Rostock you will find Warnemünde, the liveliest resort on this coast with many bars, fast-food stands, barbecue areas, and beach sports areas. P.S. the adjacent contemporary-style Teepott restaurant and the 19th-century lighthouse are some of the prettiest photos you will click on your Rostock holiday :P

For more great photo opportunities, make sure to also visit the harbor (Alter Storm) in Warnemünde. This 1,100-meter-long canal features vintage houses, colorful boats and a cluster of picturesque fishermen’s houses, which have now been turned into boutiques and seafood restaurants. 

To end your day in the most memorable way, head to Kropeliner Strasse, the main shopping street in Rostock. Besides shops, this pedestrian street also features majestic Hanseatic buildings, cafés, restaurants, and a small green park.

View to the lighthouse and Teepott restaurant from Warnemünde Strand

The imposing lighthouse and Teepott restaurant in Warnemünde

Sightseeing in Rostock

With numerous museums, churches, monasteries, city gates, as well as the oldest university of Northern Europe (founded in 1419), Rostock is a real experience for fans of culture and urban life. Here are some attractions in Rostock not to be missed:

  • St. Mary's Church, with its 15th-century astronomical clock
  • St. Peter's Church, the tallest church in the area with an observation platform
  • The Kröpeliner Tor, one of the last remaining city gates of Rostock
  • The Cultural History Museum, housed inside the historic Abbey of the Holy Cross
  • The Shipbuilding and Maritime Museum, housed in a massive docked ship
  • The Rostock Art Gallery, the city's major art gallery opened in 1969
  • The Town Hall, one of the oldest brick Gothic town halls in Germany
  • The Botanischer Garten Universität Rostock, with nearly 10,000 plants
  • The Warnemünde Lighthouse, with panoramic views of Warnemünde and the ocean
  • The Doberan Minster, the most significant religious heritage along the Brick Gothic Route in Europe

St. Peter’s Church in Rostock

St. Peter’s Church in Rostock

Activities in Rostock

One of the most unique activities on offer in Rostock is the tour of the Stasi-Knast former prison. This tour will help you understand more about the daily lives of the prisoners and the nifty methods that East Germany's secret police used to keep tabs on the public. 

In Rostock, there’s also no shortage of family activities. Kids and adults alike will adore the Rostock Zoo which is home to 4,500 animals. The Darwineum, a living museum with 80 species of animals, is the highlight of this zoo. 

Another must-try family activity is the train ride from the town of Bad Doberan, a short drive or bus-ride away from Rostock, toward Kühlungsborn West. If you decide to travel on the Mollie Steam Train, you will get the opportunity to enjoy stunning views of the Baltic Sea as well as of farmlands, hamlets and woods.

Nightlife in Rostock

With around 14,000 university students, Rostock is a vibrant student city. From small clubs to huge venues, there are so many ways to get the party going in Rostock. 

Kröpeliner-Tor-Vorstadt (KTV) is regarded by locals as THE drinking quarter. Here you will find row upon row of bars, cafes and restaurants. Along with the city center, this is considered the hub of student life. 

Locals also enjoy having outdoor celebrations, either at the beach or at the city harbor. For barbecues and chilling, the city harbor area on the left side of the Warnow river is particularly popular.

Rostock is also home to a few exciting festivals, such as the Rostock Rockt in July and the Electric Sea Dance Festival. In addition, the Hanse Sail Rostock takes place in the second weekend of August and is one of the largest maritime events in the world. Make sure to stay until the end to watch the fantastic fireworks show.

Tip: during your night out have a glass of Rostocker Pilsner, a well known beer throughout the city.

Food in Rostock

The traditional cuisine of Rostock reflects the simple life of the region of Mecklenburg. Meat, as well as freshly caught Baltic Sea fish, play a large role in the region’s cuisine. Oh and don’t forget about potatoes, which is the favorite side dish here. Some typical dishes from Rostock are:

  • gebratener räucheraal (baked, smoked eel)
  • fischbrötchen (fish sandwich)
  • pork schnitzel
  • Mecklenburg roast ribs
  • leberwurst (a spicy German sausage)
  • tüffel un plum (potato soup with plums and bacon)
  • fliederbeersuppe (elderberry soup)
  • rote grütze (red berry pudding)

Tip: for the most delicious fischbrötchen, visit one of the boats anchored along the Alter Strom!

Pork schnitzel served on a plate with potatoes

Authentic German pork schnitzel served with potatoes

Tips

Here are 3 tips that we hope will be useful to you during your stay in Rostock:

  1. The best time to visit Rostock is from May till September, as the weather is rather calm and mild.
  2. The town of Rostock has incredibly clean streets. Visitors should be aware of littering and look for specific allocated areas for rubbish disposal. There are heavy fines for violations! 
  3. If you want to see more local landmarks, sites and entertainment facilities, you can go for a day trip to the old towns of Stralsund and Wismar, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Stralsund is also the gateway to Rügen, Germany’s largest island.

Useful information about Rostock

Rostock has all the basic visitor amenities you might need during your holiday, including a wide range of accommodation options. Most hotels and B&B’s are located in Stadtmitte, Rostock's central neighborhood and home to many attractions. If you’d rather be closer to the beach, we recommend choosing Warnemünde instead. 

As for medical services, in the Hanseatic city there are 2 hospitals, Rostock University's medical center and the 'Klinikum Südstadt'.

Boats docked at the Alter Strom canal, Warnemünde

The picturesque Warnemünde, with vintage houses and colorful boats 

Important phone numbers for your stay in Rostock

Here are some useful contacts for your trip to Rostock: 

  • Rostock Port Authority: +493813500
  • Rostock-Dierkow Police Station: +4938165880
  • Klinikum Südstadt Rostock: +4938144010
  • Rostock Tourist Information Center: +493813812222
  • European emergency number: 112

Transportation in Rostock

The Rostock region offers an excellent inner-city system of trams, buses, S-Bahn, and ferries. The Verkehrsverbund Warnow (VVW) network covers the entire district of Rostock.

The Central Railway Station of Rostock is located well to the south of the city center, to which it is linked by tram. The Rostock tramway network includes 6 tram lines that serve the inner city as well as the suburbs. The city is also served by an extensive bus fleet.

There’s also a direct intercity bus route from Rostock to Warnemünde.

Tip: purchase the RostockCARD, the City Pass for Rostock, and save on countless attractions.

Ports in Rostock

Situated at the mouth of the Warnow River, the port of Rostock is the fourth largest port in Germany and the largest port on the German Baltic coast. It is the most popular German port and thousands of visitors set out from here to visit the rest of Germany. 

A pleasant stay is guaranteed on the grounds of the Rostock harbor, thanks to a restaurant and a café. There is a currency exchange office there as well.

From the ferry terminal, you need to hop on a bus to reach the heart of Rostock. The Rostock-North S-Bahn train station is also nearby, about 1 km from the terminal.

Rostock ferry: schedules and tickets

 You can reach Rostock by ferry from Lithuania, Sweden and Denmark. The companies that operate the connections are Scandlines, Stena Line, TT-Line, and Hansa Destinations. Here you can find more information on the ferry connections to Rostock:

  • Klaipeda-Rostock ferry: the ferry crossing between Klaipeda, in Lithuania, and Rostock is operated by TT-Line with up to 2 daily crossings all year round. The crossings can last up to 31 hours.
  • Trelleborg-Rostock ferry: there are up to 6 daily crossings connecting the port of Trelleborg, in Sweden, to the port of Rostock operated by TT-Line and Stena Line. The ferry trip lasts 5-6 hours.
  • Gedser-Rostock ferry: the ferry connection between Gedser, in Denmark, and Rostock is operated by Scandlines with 9 daily crossings all year round. The crossings last up to 2 hours.
  • Nynäshamn-Rostock ferry: the ferry route from Nynäshamn, in Sweden, to Rostock is operated with up to 3 weekly ferry crossings by Hansa Destinations. The ferry trip takes about 17.5 hours
  • Visby-Rostock ferry: the connection from the port of Visby, in Sweden, to Rostock is operated once a week by Hansa Destinations. Crossings last from around 13 hours.

The port of Rostock in Germany

Sunset from the port of Rostock, Germany

Where to book ferry tickets to Rostock online

On Ferryhopper, you can find all available ferry routes to and from Rostock on our Map of ferries, compare prices, departure times and book cheap ferry tickets to Rostock online at no extra cost.

Frequent ferry connections

Rostock has direct ferry connections with 1 ports :

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