8 Top Tourist Attractions in Schwerin & Easy Day Trips
Schwerin is well known as a "land of lakes," the biggest of which is the Schweriner See. Covering an area of 60 square kilometers, the lake is popular among water sports enthusiasts as well as hikers, who enjoy its lakeside trails. Schwerin is able to trace its roots back to the 11th century, and its numerous 18th- and 19th-century buildings in the Old Town, most designed by court architect GA Demmler, lure many tourists - particularly architecture and history buffs.
See also: Where to Stay in Schwerin
1 Schloss Schwerin
Schloss Schwerin, one of the finest such 19th-century Romantic-style buildings in Europe, sits idyllically on the Schlossinsel, the Palace Island, on the city's main lake. Modeled on the French château of Chambord and built between 1845-57 (although a record of a castle being on the site dates back to 973 AD), it was laid out on a pentagonal plan, with numerous towers and turrets, and combines Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque features. The interior is sumptuously appointed with fine silk wallpaper and richly gilded ornaments. Particularly imposing are the Throne Room, the Ancestral Portrait Gallery, and the Smoking Room. Also of interest is the palace chapel, a Renaissance building with a finely furnished interior modeled on the palace chapel of Torgau. English language guided tours are available.
Address: Lennéstraße 1, D-19053 Schwerin
Schloss Schwerin is home to the stunning Schlossgarten, laid out in the 18th century as a Baroque pleasure garden. Highlights of these beautiful grounds are its numerous ponds and small lakes, as well as magnificent arcades and copies of sculptures from the workshop of Balthasar Permoser. In addition to the palace, the gardens are home to another lovely building, the spectacular Orangery, a delicate construction made of cast iron and glass and one of the most unique examples of 19th-century architecture in Germany. Also of interest is an old gristmill on the edge of the gardens.
Address: Lennéstraße 1, D-19053 Schwerin
3 Mecklenburg State Theater
North of the palace in Schwerin, in the Alter Garten - a square surrounded by many imposing buildings - stands the Neo-Renaissance Mecklenburg State Theater (Staatstheater). Built in 1886, this lovely building hosts numerous plays, as well as operas, musicals, and ballet performances. Nearby is a bust of Conrad Ekhof who founded the first German academy of dramatic art in Schwerin in 1753, and the Altes Palais (Old Palace), a two-story half-timbered building from 1799 and once used to accommodate members of the court.
Address: Alter Garten 2, 19055 Schwerin
4 State Museum Schwerin
On the east side of the Alter Garten in Schwerin is the State Museum (Staatliches Museum) with its splendid Gallery of Old and New Masters, a first-rate picture gallery in Neoclassical style that was established in 1882. The facade was enriched during rebuilding with Italian Renaissance flourishes. The collection also includes large numbers of works by Flemish and Dutch masters of the 17th and 18th centuries, and modern art is also represented. It's also well known for its collection of medieval art, which includes the famous Neustädt Altarpiece.
Address: Alter Garten 3, 19055 Schwerin
5 Schwerin Cathedral
Schwerin Cathedral (Domgemeinde Schwerin) was built in the 13th century and is said to be one of the finest examples of North German brick-built Gothic architecture. The most notable features of the interior are the Gothic altar from 1440, two 14th-century memorial brasses, and a Gothic font. During Medieval times, the cathedral was known across Europe as a place of pilgrimage due to a reliquary that reputedly held a drop of Christ's blood. Its majestic tower, some 118 meters high, was added in 1893. Also of interest is the Baroque parish Church of St. Nicholas (Schelfkirche) built in 1711 on the site of an earlier medieval church.
Address: Am Dom 4, 19055 Schwerin
6 Lake Schwerin
Lake Schwerin (the Schweriner See) covers an area of 65 square kilometers and, together with some 25 medium-sized lakes and numerous smaller ones, forms the most westerly part of the Mecklenburg Lake District, a rolling area of country lying at altitudes of between 50 meters and 100 meters. The lakes, all within easy reach of Schwerin, offer abundant scope for swimming and watersports of all kinds, and are particularly popular for those who enjoy pleasant walks along their wooded shores. Numerous boat services run between Schwerin and the most popular recreation areas, including Zippendorf, Muess, and the island of Kaninchenwerder.
7 Schloss Güstrow
Just a short drive east of Schwerin is Schloss Güstrow, one of Germany's most important Renaissance palaces. Built in the 16th century and with distinct Italian and French influences, this immense palace is unique for this part of the world. Its interior is equally stunning, in particular, its well-preserved stucco ceilings, its lavish banquet hall with hunting scenes, as well as its splendid living quarters. A highlight of a visit is the vaulted basement, which houses a collection of medieval art, weaponry, and furnishings. Afterwards, be sure to wander the palace's garden terrace, featuring flower beds, paths, and moats. Guided tours of this popular tourist attraction are available on weekends.
Address: Franz-Parr-Platz 1, 18273 Güstrow
8 Schloss Ludwigslust
Schloss Ludwigslust, about 38 kilometers south of Schwerin, is the focal point of the Baroque village after which it's named. Built in 1772, this sumptuous palace is home to a collection of courtly art, as well as artifacts befitting the aristocracy of the 18th and 19th centuries, including paintings, furniture, and fine décor. It also boasts a beautiful park and gardens that cover an area of 309 acres.
Address: Schlossfreiheit 1, 19288 Ludwigslust
Where to Stay in Schwerin for Sightseeing
We recommend these charming hotels and guesthouses in Schwerin, close to attractions like the lake and the castle:
- Weinhaus Uhle: 4-star luxury boutique hotel, convenient location, contemporary room decor, elegant restaurant.
- Hotel Niederländischer Hof: mid-range pricing, lake views, traditional decor, large rooms, four-poster beds.
- Zur Traube Hotel-Gasthaus-Sommergarten: 3-star boutique hotel, welcoming owners, home away from home, quaint decor, excellent breakfast.
- Hotel am Hauptbahnhof: budget hotel, central location, friendly service, Bulgarian cuisine.
Day Trips from Schwerin
About 90 kilometers northeast of Schwerin, Rostock was a famous and powerful Hanseatic and university town in the Middle Ages. Today, it's an important port known for its seafood and shipbuilding industries and is a popular stop on many Baltic cruises. The former fishing village of Warnemünde, Rostock's outer harbor where the river Warnow flows into the Baltic, is a prime tourist destination. Here you can learn about the life and customs of the local seamen and fishermen at the Warnemünde Heimatmuseum in an 18th-century fisherman's house. Afterwards, wander along the picturesque street called the Alter Graben to the West Pier and the Warnemünde lighthouse with its wonderful sea views, or relax on the lovely long beach. Steeped in Old World charm, the Neuer Markt, in the center of the rebuilt old town of Rostock, is home to fine old gabled houses and the 13th-century Town Hall with a Baroque facade dating from 1727-29. Also in the square, the imposing Gothic Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church) is a must-see. Notable features include a bronze font dating from 1290, an enormous Baroque organ, and an astronomical clock built in 1472.