Germany is a place of many wonders. Among these wonders are the relatively unknown cluster of German islands in the Baltic and even one or two within the mainland. But are there good islands in Germany?
Harsh, but not unreasonable to ask, since you only just now found out they existed! Well, if you happen to be in Germany and want to spend some time on a beautiful island, there are some great choices.
Germany is a huge country with plenty of awesome things to see and do. From the bustling city streets of Berlin to the rolling hills of the Bavarian countryside, there is something for everyone who intends to visit the place.
But not many know that Germany also has some great islands one can visit – I bet you also didn’t know! Mostly when we talk of islands, the Caribbean or Pacific are the first places that hit our minds. But if you were looking for something a little different on your island vacation, you should check out Germany.
If you’re looking for a peaceful and quiet place for a vacation, you might want to consider one of Germany’s islands. Each island has its own unique charm and offers a different experience for visitors. And to make choosing easier for you, here is a comprehensive list of the best islands in Germany.
But before that, do you have travel insurance coverage? And do you know how to take advantage of cheap flights to Germany? Try out World Nomads for travel insurance that prioritizes your needs and Skyscanner for the best flight rates in town.
Best Islands in Germany to Visit
Germany islands are an excellent place to spend your holiday or even that few-day vacation. Make a point of visiting one of these islands if you are in Germany or are planning a trip there.
Rugen is not only the biggest island in Germany but also one of the most popular tourist destinations for Germans. The island is located off the coast of the Baltic Sea and has some stunning beaches where you can enjoy a refreshing swim or just bask in the sun.
There are also plenty of activities to keep you occupied during your stay on Rugen. For instance, you can visit Jagdschloss Granitz, the hunting lodge of the former Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg. The place receives over 200,000 visitors annually, making it one of the most visited spots in Rugen.
Rugen is also home to German’s smallest national park, Jasmud. The park is situated on the northeast coast of the island and covers an area of just over 30 square kilometers.
But, while it might seem small, Jasmud National Park hosts Kap Arkona, Germany’s largest chalk cliffs. The chalk cliffs offer some of the most breathtaking views of the Baltic sea, which will certainly be worth your time.
And that’s not all. If you are a nature lover, you’ll be glad to know that Rugen is covered in dense forests, perfect for hiking and camping.
Where to stay;
While in Rugen, accommodation shouldn’t be a problem at all as there are more than enough great options. Check out Hotel Bernstein or Travel Charme Kurhaus Binz for the best accommodation on the island.
This car-free island is located in the Baltic Sea and is a true paradise for nature lovers. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, then Hiddensee is the perfect place for you.
The island has no roads or cars, only perfect paths for long walks or cycling. In fact, cars here are banned, with frequent ferry services taking people to and from the island.
If your tour leads you to the island, the only means of transport is by foot, cycling, or horse carriage. Now, this is quite adventurous, especially for nature enthusiasts.
Hiddensee is also home to some rare animals, such as the red-backed shrike, white-tailed eagle, and black stork. In fact, the island has been declared a nature reserve due to its diverse flora and fauna. Also, it’s the largest island within Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park.
And besides being a nature lover’s paradise, Hiddensee is a great place for water sports enthusiasts. It has some of the best conditions for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing.
Where to stay;
For a relaxing evening after a long day’s exploration of the island, book yourself a room at Romantische Segelyacht auf Hiddensee. It’s a beautiful hotel with all the amenities necessary to make your stay here quite blissful.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Germany
Germany’s sunshine isle, as it’s famously known, is the third-largest island in the country, covering around 183 km squared. And it’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations, especially for those who love spending time outdoors.
Also, located in the Baltic sea, the island has a mild climate, which makes it perfect for activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing. It also has some stunning beaches with crystal clear water that is perfect for a refreshing swim.
Besides its great beaches, Fehmarn is also home to some fascinating historical sites. One such site is the Galileo Wissenswelt (Science Museum), located in the town of Burg. The museum deals with three topics, including technology, culture, and natural sciences.
Another great historical site is the Aquarium Fehmarn. The Aquarium is home to over 200 different fish species and other marine animals.
Where to stay;
If you are looking for a nice and affordable place to stay while in Fehmarn, book your stay at Haus Konny or Avalon Hotel Bellevue. Here, you have the best deals, both in terms of luxury and affordability.
See related: Best Places to Visit in Northern Germany
Mainau Island is located on one of Europe’s third-largest lakes, Lake Constance. The island is famous for its beautiful gardens and is often referred to as the Flower Island of Germany. It is home to over 10,000 rose bushes, which fill the island with quite a beautiful fragrance.
And besides the roses, a greenhouse butterfly sanctuary makes the island even more attractive. With over 12,000 butterflies, this is the largest butterfly house in Germany, attracting over a million visitors annually. Spending some time in this delightful place is certainly worth every second.
And don’t think that the roses and butterflies are the only attractions on the island. Mainau is also home to a 17th Century baroque palace that was once the summer residence of the dukes of Zahringen. Today, the palace is open to the public and houses a museum that covers the history of Mainau Island.
Where to stay;
Just as Mainau oozes attractions and beauty, so does its hotel industry. Get yourself accommodation at the best hotels on the island, such as the Waldhaus Jakob and Hotel Seehof. You’ll not be disappointed.
This North Frisian island is the 4th largest of the German islands and another popular German tourist destination. While it might not have beautiful flowers like Mainau or huge white cliffs like Rugen, Sylt island has its own charm – and over 40 km of beachfront. The stunning white-sand beaches are backed up by red cliffs and rolling sand dunes, which make for a beautiful and rugged landscape.
The island is also home to some quaint little villages that are worth exploring. One such village is Keitum, which is the island’s oldest village that offers classic old-world charm. The village is home to some ancient churches and lovely half-timbered houses.
As for the local dialect, it’s quite interesting and definitely worth learning a few phrases. It is a mix of English, Danish, and Dutch languages, spoken by the island’s residents – known as the Syltfriesen, and reflects the island’s previous owners.
Getting to the island is also quite easy. There are several domestic flights that connect with various international airports to help tourists easily get to the island from Germany’s big cities.
Where to stay;
This island, also located on Lake Constance, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great place to visit in Germany. The island is home to several important historical sites, such as the Abbey of Reichenau (Benedictine Abbey), founded in 724 AD.
The abbey was once a center of learning and culture and is home to a number of important manuscripts from the Middle Ages. If you love history, Reichanau Museum is definitely worth a visit. The museum offers everything you might want to know about the island’s monastic history.
Where to stay;
See Related: Best Time to Visit Regensburg, Germany
This island is located in the Baltic Sea and is Germany’s second-largest island. The island itself is divided between Germany and Poland, with a small portion of it belonging to the latter.
Usedom is quite popular among tourists for its long sandy beaches that extend for over 45 km. These beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and windsurfing.
Despite being located in the colder north, the island is among the sunniest places in the country – it even labels itself as the Sonneninsel or Sunny Island. This makes it an ideal place for those looking to enjoy warm weather and the natural beauty of long sandy beaches.
And if you are looking for more than beautiful beaches, the extensive cycling trails and horse riding paths will undoubtedly catch your eye. Also, the thermal spas and botanical gardens will be worth your stay away from the beach.
Where to stay;
Usedom is known to host some amazing resorts and hotels. From here, you can easily access the beach from the hotels’ long piers, creating such incredible experiences. Book a stay today at one of the popular resorts on the island, including Strandotel Mowe, Ferienhaus Muehlenblick, Westend-Palais 2, and Panorama Hotel Bansin.
See related: Best Restaurants in Berlin, Germany
This is one of the North Sea Islands and Germany’s fifth-largest island. Föhr is quite popular among tourists, especially those from Denmark and Hamburg. This is because it sits just a few miles from the Danish border, making it quite accessible from Denmark.
Being surrounded by the Wadden sea, one of the country’s famous UNESCO attractions, the island is quite a hidden gem. Despite being small, the island has a lot to offer tourists. From museums and art galleries to windmills, there’s something for everyone here.
Also, for those who love the outdoors, the island is perfect for hiking, biking, and birdwatching. It is home to some amazing animals, including harbor porpoises, seals, and migrating birds. If you visit during the month of October, you’ll be lucky to experience the beautiful sight of the over 10 million birds whose migratory routes go through the island.
Where to stay;
After a long day, everyone needs a nice place to relax and reflect on the day’s events. Some of the best hotels for this in Fohr include Ferienwohnung Osterhus and Hotel Landliebe. Explore each and see which one best fits your needs and preferences.
9. Museum Island
Berlin is known for its many museums. What you might not know is that some of these great museums are on an island. Museum Island (Museumsinsel) is located in the heart of Berlin’s city center, connected by bridges.
Besides hosting five world-class museums, the island is also a UNESCO heritage site, one of the three such sites in the city. The museums host everything from Egyptian art and relics to paintings from Europe’s all-time greatest artists.
One interesting thing about these museums is that they were all built during different eras. This means that each is quite unique, offering a distinct style of each era.
The five museums on this island include;
- Pergamon Museum (currently under reconstruction and anticipated to re-open in 2024)
- Altes Museum (Old Museum)
- Neues Museum (New Museum)
- Bode Museum
- Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery)
So, if you are a lover of art and history, Museum Island is the best place for you. It’s undoubtedly one of the best islands in Germany to visit any time, especially since it’s also in the middle of the awesome city of Berlin.
Where to stay;
If you are looking for the best accommodation deals in Museum Island, Robby 7 – Hundefreundliche Terrassenwohnung mit eigenem Garten and Ferienwohnung Wattwurm are excellent choices. Make your booking today and enjoy the beauty and charm that makes the island.
See related: Most Famous Historical Landmarks in Berlin, Germany.
This is another tourist gem in the Baltic sea and one of the best islands in Germany to visit. While it’s quite small, the island offers all the amenities of a great tourist destination.
Firstly, Dänholm has for long been used for military purposes and is even regarded as the origin of the old Prussian Navy. However, it promises breathtaking views, bathing beaches, as well as great opportunities for sailing and fishing.
As if that’s not enough, this tiny island also has several sea-themed museums that history lovers will cherish. And if you are a fan of boat excursions, the place offers more than enough opportunities.
Generally, the island is separated into two parts by an artificial harbor, one part being quite large than the other. It also has two bridges, one connecting it to the mainland and the other one to Rugen Island. This makes access quite easy.
Where to stay;
The island offers the best accommodation opportunities for all kinds of tourists. Whether you want a luxurious hotel or an affordable one with quality services, the island has something for you. Check out Hiddenseer Hotel and Hotel Alter Hafenspeicher for unforgettable experiences.
The Island of Juist is also pretty small, and with a population of merely 1,500 residents, it’s still one of the coziest islands on Germany’s North Sea coast.
Located around 4.5 miles from the mainland, Juist is one of those places you just want to be. It offers some of the most beautiful beaches and sceneries, ensuring you have the most memorable moments.
This place is perfect for those who love nature as it has little to no traffic. With only bicycles and horses allowed on the roads, you can take some quiet walks as you relish the island’s natural beauty, away from the busy cities.
The island boasts several natural wonders, including rare and endangered bird species, seal colonies, and endless rolling dunes.
Where to stay;
While in Juist, Haus Ohne Namen Juist is one of the best places to stay. It’s among the few hotels that offer great value for your money.
Of the several inhabited East Frisian islands, Borkum offers some of the best tourist destinations. Although it is quite popular among tourists, Borkum still manages to offer a sense of tranquility.
The island has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Wadden Sea National Park. And the stunning dunes and extensive flora also make it a perfect place for nature lovers. And if you are excited about surfing, swimming, fishing, or sailing, Borkum offers excellent opportunities.
Borkum is also home to several health resorts, making it a great place to relax and rejuvenate. The only thing you should do is to ensure that you book your hotel room early, as the area is mostly packed with tourists. But, this doesn’t stop it from featuring among the best islands in Germany.