On a European cruise that stops in Rostock, you’ll be about three hours from the iconic city of Berlin. Head straight to the capital of Germany for the day, or explore the sites near the Rostock cruise port. While many use Rostock as a jumping-off point to Berlin, Rostock has its own charm and is a great spot to visit if you’ve already been to the big city.
Get up close to polar bears at Rostock Zoo. Wander through Old Town and admire the historic architecture. Visit the nearby towns of Warnemunde for its impressive lighthouse or Roevershagen for family fun. Be sure to stop in a brewery and try a local brew during your Rostock cruise.
The Old Town area of Rostock is a lovely area to walk around and soak in the history and architectural wonders of the area. Rostock is rich in Medieval architecture with many buildings in the area dating back to that era. Look out for the Hausbaumhaus, which was built in 1490 and is an impressive example of a Gothic gable house.
Just across the waterway from Rostock is the charming coastal town of Warnemunde. One of the top sights to see is the Warnemunde Lighthouse, known for its exterior made up of white glazed bricks. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the surrounding coastline.
Originally built in the 1700s, Brandenburg Gate is one of the defining landmarks of Berlin. It serves as a reminder of the divide between East Berlin and West Berlin that once shook the city and now represents peace and unity.
Just down the street from Brandenburg Gate is Tiergarten, a centrally located urban park in Berlin home to a number of memorials and gardens. Some of the most famous memorials and monuments to see include the Victory Column and the Soviet War Memorial. The large-scale Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is also located adjacent to Tiergarten.
Animal lovers and families looking for kid-friendly things to do during a cruise to Rostock will enjoy a day at the Rostock Zoo. You’ll be able to see over 300 different species of animals, including its well-known polar bear exhibit.
Karl’s Adventure Village is located in the town of Roevershagen, less than 10 miles away from the city center of Rostock. Karl’s Adventure Village features massive slides and rides, shopping, games, and even Germany’s largest farmers market.
If you travel down to Berlin during your cruise to Rostock, choose an excursion that visits one of the numerous museums of the city, most of which are located on Museum Island. The Museum Island complex is so impressive as a whole that it’s even designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The East Side Gallery is an open-air gallery that consists of a portion of the Berlin Wall that has been turned into an urban art exhibit. Wander along its unique murals and take pictures to remember your cruise to Rostock.
The region around Rostock is known for its diverse food scene featuring internationally inspired flavors. If it’s traditional cuisine you’re looking for, head to one of the street stands serving sausages, currywurst, and döner kebabs. For a sit-down meal with traditional food and a historic ambiance, go to Zur Kogge, which is the oldest maritime restaurant in the city. Stop in one of Rostock’s breweries or bars located throughout the city to taste local German brews.
Rostock’s name is derived from the Slavic term ‘roztoc,’ which means river flowing in all directions. It was Slavic tribes who originally inhabited the land that makes up Rostock over 1,400 years ago. The Slavic settlement in Rostock came to an end in 1161 when an army commanded by the Danish king Warnemunde I attacked the town and set most of it on fire. A few years later, German settlers began moving into the area, setting up merchant and artisan shops, and paving the way for the great Hanseatic settlement that would define Rostock for much of its past. Rostock still has a large amount of Hanseatic architecture, and it is also home to the oldest university in Northern Europe.
The Rostock cruise terminal is located within the estuary of Warnow River, which is large enough to accommodate cruise ships. Your ship will dock at the cruise terminal, which is located roughly 15 minutes from Rostock’s Old Town area. Rostock is primarily a cargo port, so you won’t find much in terms of tourist attractions or shops. Outside of the Rostock cruise port, you’ll find a bus stop which can take you into the city center or to the train station, a ferry terminal which can take you to Warnemunde, and taxis.
The public transport system in Rostock is referred to as the VVW. Whether you’re taking the ferry, train, or bus, it’s all the same ticket system based on the zones you’re traveling in. You can catch the ferry across the harbor to Warnemunde or ride the bus or train to Berlin. In addition to public transportation, taxis are available throughout Rostock.
Kurfürstendamm is the street to head to if you want designer brands like Chanel and Armani. There’s also a luxe department store called KaDaWe where you can browse through six floors of designer goods and take a snack break at its gourmet eatery. For more traditional souvenir shops as well as fashion boutiques, you can find some in Rostock’s pedestrian zone, located along Kröpeliner Straße in the city center.
The currency used in Rostock is the euro. You’ll find ATMs all over the city dispensing euro notes. Most businesses take credit cards. Tipping in Rostock is comparable to the rest of Western Europe—it’s not expected, but it’s appreciated. Most people leave 10% in dining establishments or leave the change in bars and cafes.