"Make time for beguiling Greifswald" Greifswald by CatherineReichardt

Greifswald Travel Guide: 40 reviews and 68 photos

Like so many of the towns along the German Baltic coast, Greifswald (literally Hawks Wood) has a breezy, unpretentious atmosphere and must be a delight to explore on foot. Unfortunately the weather was gusty with intermittent showers when we visited, so we couldn't wander as we would have liked, but it was somewhere I that I would definitely like to return again.

The obvious focus of attraction is the Old Town, with the requisite beautiful Red Brick Gothic architecture of a proud Hanseatic city. However, what sets Greifswald apart from the rest of its neighbours is its lovely harbour on the river Ryck, which is now a museum. The harbour boasts over 50 ships at anchor, and must be quite a sight during the Gaffelrigg regatta that takes place on the third weekend of July each year.

For us, the major attraction (other than a lunch stop!) was that Greifswald is the birthplace of the German Romantic painter, Caspar David Friedrich, who was a master at capturing the unique light of this part of the world. Friedrich's exquisite painting of chalk cliffs on Ruegen is what inspired our visit to this part of Germany in the first place (see my Sassnitz page), and although this picture sadly hangs in a collection elsewhere, Friedrich's work is well represented in Greifswald's Art Gallery of the Pomeranian Museum.

For us, the other completely unexpected highlight of our time in Greifswald was spotting a Trabant in working order! This was a cause for a huge ostalgic outpouring of excitement on my husband's part - see my transport tip for shamelessly sentimental musings on this sad excuse for a car!

  • Last visit to Greifswald: Sep 2007
  • Intro Updated Nov 25, 2012
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Comments (4)

  • King_Golo's Profile Photo
    Aug 19, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    A lovely city and a very nice page! Thanks for sharing, Cathy!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jun 3, 2013 at 6:04 AM

    As you know, I am not a huge fan of Caspar David Friedrich, but I have been meaning to visit Greifswald for other reasons. For one thing, Greifswald claims to have overtaken Münster as Germany’s # 1 bicycle city. Also they have a theatre and opera company which they share with Stralsund and Putbus.

    • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
      Jun 3, 2013 at 6:09 AM

      Interesting. It's a great - and hugely underrated - part of the world, however you look at it, but it would be a shame if too many people realised that ... ;)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    Cathy, lovely little page about Greifswald here. It is one of the cities in Eastern Germany, which is still on my must visit list.

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo
    Aug 26, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Loved the movie 'Goodbye Lenin' and I examined CDF's work in some depth during my Art History studies. I'd love to visit Greifswald as well and the island of Rugen. Were there any memorials/statues/birthplace etc.,to CDF in the town ?


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