If you’re in Rostock for a little longer, a day trip to Schwerin is definitely well worth it.
The Capitol of Mecklenburg Vorpommern (Mecklenburg West Pomerania) lies to the south-west of Rostock, comfortably nested between lakes. From Rostock, you can either get there by car – just let google maps calculate the route or use your GPS – or by train. If you choose to go by train, the Mecklenburg Vorpommern Ticket is a cheap alternative if you’re travelling in a group. The ticket costs 21€ + an additional 3€ for every additional traveler and can be used for the rest of the day within Mecklenburg Vorpommern. Note: You might want to take a map.
After a one-hour train ride, you arrive at Schwerin main train station (A).
Schwerin is quite small – at 95 000 inhabitants the smallest Capitol of any Bundesland in Germany – so you can access all its most important sights on foot.
Got off that train starving? Have a Bratwurst at First Fastfood GmbH (B), which has even won a TV-competition for the best bratwurst. It can be found at Mecklenburgstraße 29, a 10-minute walk’s distance from the station.
Now that you are fed and strengthened, the first proper, touristy stop we suggest is the Staatliches Museum (C), another 10 minutes further. It’s located at the ‘Alte Garten’, along with the theatre and the castle. You can get a ticket for the museum and the castle(D) together here and save some money. The museum offers a variety of art exhibitions, some permanent, some changing. Even if the large selection of Dutch (religious) art isn’t your thing, the interior of the museum is art enough in itself.
The next stop is Schwerin Castle (D), the landmark of Schwerin. A part of this is reserved for the state parliament, but the other half is open to visitors. Here you can view some more art and old furniture and everyday items of the dukes who originally lived here. Especially the grand duke’s throne – and the room it comes in – is worth a visit; its splendour and pomp is quite ridiculous and quite stunning. Even if you want to save some time and money, you can take a walk around the castle, visit the orangery at the back or have a look at the man-made grotto where supplies used to be delivered to the kitchens.
From the castle we continue through the Schlossgarten(E) – the castle gardens, complete with a swimming island specially made for the BuGa – the ‘Bundesgartenschau’ (‘national garden show’), which took place in Schwerin in 2009. From here you have a nice view of castle and plenty of photo opportunities.
By now you have probably worked up quite a hunger, so our tour takes us to the Zeppelin (F), a restaurant where they make very decent burgers. If you enjoy the the gooey-semi-chemical cheese they choose for their burgers you might even find them better than that – and I’ve heard that my opinion here is ‘very wrong’, so you might well. If you don’t, they have a lot of other things; for instance, you could try the ‘best Schnitzel in Mecklenburg Vorpommern’ (according to kabeleins, a German TV channel) or even face the Zeppelin challenge: If you manage to finish the Zeppelin 2000g Schnitzel and side dishes completely by yourself, you don’t have to pay for it, get a €50 voucher for the Restaurant and get your picture in their portrait gallery of proud Schnitzel-eaters. If you lose, however, you get to pay €39,90, so make sure to work up a good hunger in the Schlossgarten beforehand.
Our final stop in our day trip is the Marienplatz, where you find 2 shopping centers: The Marienplatz Galerie and the Schlosspark Center. You can relax with some shopping, with a picnic by the lake or just walk around the town some more and see more of beautiful Schwerin.
PS: If you want to make your own plans, some more tips:
Best club: for electro: Zenit
for a very German party experience: 8eck
Best cocktailbar: Kabana or – the cheaper option – CU
Best café: Café Prag
Best pub: Zum Freischütz
Best meal with a view: Fernsehturm
Best ribs: Jack the Ribber
Best ice-cream parlour: Gasthaus zum Reppin
Best Döner: Bistro Sahara
Best Hotel: Niederländischer Hof
…and some more interesting and fun places you can visit:
Schleifmühle Schwerin – an old mill that functions as a museum
Zoo Schwerin – it’s a zoo.
Freilichtmuseum Mueß – an old farmers village that functions as a museum
Kaninchenwerder – an island on the Schweriner See
Feuerwehrmuseum – Germany’s largest fire brigade museum
Schwerin Cathedral – you can climb it for a great view of the city
Schleswig-Holstein Haus – features art exhibitions