Welcome to Ratzeburg

More information:
Tourist Information Ratzeburg
Phone + 49 4541 8000886

It stands proudly in front of the blue lakes, adorns itself with the green of the banks and reflects its red brick silhouette on the shiny water surface: the Ratzeburg Cathedral dominates the view of this magical island. The cathedral was donated by Henry the Lion.

Those who view it from the water, catch a particularly special glimpse of the cathedral. It is a pleasure to circumnavigate the island on a pleasure vessel, a pedal or electric boat, or a canoe. The ever present water and water sports go together with the city just like the Lion with the cathedral: this is where Karl Adam coached the Ratzeburg rowers who brought home Olympic gold. Even today, the rowing Academy is an institution.


However, Ratzeburg not only provides the right location for water fans, the wooded lakeside paths are also ideally suited for hiking and cycling. And the three museums of the city promise real cultural tidbits.

Tourist information Ratzeburg

Water is the dominant theme for the island town of Ratzeburg. Because its centre is situated on an island, surrounded by 4 lakes: Ratzeburger See, Großer Küchensee, Kleiner Küchensee and Domsee. The beech tree forests of the nature park Lauenburgische Seen extend right up to the banks and offer an impressive backdrop to the city. Hiking and cycling trails lead you around the island and the lakes, swimming and resting places are everywhere, in a nutshell – we have it all: from activity to tranquility.

The tourist information is located in the Town Hall directly at lake Ratzeburger See. Our staff in the tourist office will provide you with city maps and information material so that you will be well equipped for a discovery tour of Ratzeburg. For example, the brochure “Follow in the lion’s footsteps” brings you past 35 important sights on the island. Simply follow the orange lion’s footprints on the paving – the first station is at the Town Hall. Our friendly staff will also advise you on cycling and hiking tours in and around Ratzeburg, and provide you with cycling and hiking maps. The tourist information Ratzeburg can provide you with a carefree package including overnight stays, guided tours or boat trips and can suggest individual and varied programmes for a day trip, a weekend or a week’s holiday.

Opening times

4th October – 30th April:
Mo – Fr 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 a.m. + 1.30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Easter + May to the beginning of October:
Mo – Fr 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 a.m. + 1.30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sa + Su + public holidays 10 a.m. –  3 p.m.

Top sports in the island town

A senior teacher brought Olympic gold to the island town – several times in a row.
Professional rowing has found a home in Ratzeburg, where tomorrow’s Olympians train on the Ratzeburg lakes.

The sleek yellow rowing boats are a part of the townscape. Again and again, they circle the picturesque island town. Together with the white sails on the Ratzeburg Lake, the green leaves on the wooded shores and red bricks of the mighty cathedral, they create the vivid play of colours that distinguishes Ratzeburg. Karl Adam was a legendary coach
who established and revolutionised rowing sports in Ratzeburg. He founded the student rowing club while working as a teacher at the town’s academic school. He changed the training methods and the material of the boat – and won Olympic gold with his eight in Rome already in 1960. And that was just the start: Silver in Tokyo 1964 and gold in Mexico in 1968 were rounded off with high rankings in the European and World Championships. Thanks to the world-renowned rowing coach, Ratzeburg has become the mecca of rowing sports. The International Rowing Regatta has taken place every year.

More must-sees:

  • The Ratzeburg Cathedral as the oldest brick cathedral in Northern Germany is among the most significant examples of Roman Baroque architecture.
  • Directly behind the Town Hall, the “Barlach view” offers a breathtaking panorama of Ratzeburg Lake and the cathedral peninsula.
  • Three museums in the islandtown: the Kreismuseum (District Museum), A. Paul Weber- Museum and Ernst Barlach Museum inspire with a variety of exhibitions.
  • A cruise on the Ratzeburger lakes takes you to beautiful lake

Eating out in Ratzeburg

When a city is surrounded by water as is the island of Ratzeburg, one thing is bound to be on the menu: fresh fish! You will find perch, pike and eel on the menu but above all the whitefish Maräne (vendance) whose home is the Ratzeburg waters. A distinction is made between the noble vendance and the smaller silver vendance.

In many of the Ratzeburg restaurants and cafés, you can enjoy their cuisine overlooking the lake. And while enjoying your meal, observe the white sailing boats or yellow rowing boats during their training sessions.


Water fun in Ratzeburg

White sails, sleek rowing boats, red canoes, pedal boats, water bikes, lidos and passenger boats – this is water fun in Ratzeburg. What’s special is, that you can circumnavigate the city catching a special glimpse of the cathedral and the historic town. And water sport has a tradition in Ratzeburg: Ratzeburg rowing Professor Karl Adam made Ratzeburg the Mecca of rowing.


Water sport on lake Ratzeburger See

Whether you take a boat trip on the large lake “Großer Ratzeburger See” known as a real el dorado for motor sport lovers or whether you focus on nature and the tranquility of lake Domsee, the Ratzeburg lakes always offer a special experience.  The view of the famous Ratzeburg Cathedral and the many historic houses on the island is a feast for the eyes, time and again. From nowhere else can these little gems be enjoyed in a better way.

The boat trip takes you almost through the magnificent front gardens of the houses at the lakes while the captain tells you the city’s history. The unique characteristics of Ratzeburg and its surroundings will stay in your memory for ever. A modern kitchen onboard offers something for everybody’s taste. To go with a coffee or cappuccino you can feast on lovingly made gateaux and cakes.

Parking is available near the main Pier “Schlosswiese”. (Day ticket: 4 €)

Opening times

Daily boat trips from Easter to the end of October.

Sailing school Morgenroth

Let’s discover the beauty of nature from the water!
Our visitors like exploring our lakes and rivers in the nature park with the comfortable license-free electric boats, pedal boats, canoes and rowing boats. In Ratzburg, there are also sailing boats and water bicycles waiting for you.

Kanu-Center Lothar Krebs

Feel like a trapper

Glide along rivers and across lakes around Lübeck and Ratzeburg in a canoe, sit at a crackling campfire and sleep in the most unusual places. Come and explore our diverse landscape with your partner, friends, colleagues or family.

At “Schaalsee-Camp”, there is a canoe hire with direct access to the romantic Schaalsee canal. The camp is not only an ideal starting point for canoe tours but also offers particularly rustic accommodation. You can you spend the night in a tent, caravan or camper van but there are also covered wagons and tipis of different sizes. The group area can be used for events.

From the canoe hire “Kanustation am Wakenitzhaus” you can explore the river Wakenitz. The people of Lübeck love calling it their “Amazon of the North”. The friendly guest house can accommodate groups of up to 26 people. The tent hotel will surprise you with exciting accommodation possibilities.


  • Schaalsee-Camp: Sterleyer Heide 2 / An der Piperseebrücke, 23883 Sterley Pipersee
  • Wakenitzhaus & Kanustation: Rothenhusener Weg 2, 23617 Groß Sarau


Lido Strandbad Schlosswiese

The central swimming area at the edge of the Ratzeburg island offers water fun for young and old. At the large sandy beach and the meadow right next to it, there is plenty of space to play in the sand, tank up with sunshine or relax and rest, even on the pier, for a while. For the sporty and active visitors, there is a beach volleyball field. And a dip into the lake with its excellent water quality rounds off a fabulous day.


All year round.

World-class Sport in Ratzeburg

The sleek, yellow rowing boats are an intrinsic part of the cityscape. Time and again, you can watch them circling the picturesque island. It was Karl Adam who established and revolutionized the rowing sport in Ratzeburg. As a teacher at the school of scholars, he founded the students rowing team. He changed the training methods and boat material – and brought home Olympic gold with the rowing eight from Rome in 1960. And that was not to be the only precious metal he brought home: silver from Tokyo in 1964 and gold from Mexico in 1968 were complemented with great success in European and World Championships.


Thanks to the legendary rowing coach, Ratzeburg became the Mecca of rowing. Since 1959, every June, the International Rowing Regatta has taken place in Ratzeburg. In 1968, the Ratzeburg rowing Academy was inaugurated. Today, this center for top-class sports belongs to the Olympic basecamp Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein.


But you don’t have to be a top-class athlete to enjoy water fun in Ratzeburg: pedal boats, canoes, water bikes, electric – or sailing boats are available for hobby captains of all levels. Everybody can enjoy the beautiful water tours of the region. And those who prefer walking or cycling can enjoy magnificent views of the lake from the paths along the banks of the lake.


Discover nature on your bike

Once, the inner-German border ran along lake Ratzeburger See. For this reason, the protected eastern bank, where the great crested grebe, common merganser, ducks and other water birds find their breeding and feeding grounds, is still wild and untouched. The Ratzeburger See with its forested banks entices you to go hiking or cycling on 26 kilometers of tracks around the lake.


The lakes Domsee and Küchensee also offer a fantastic waterscape with reed-covered banks and untouched nature. Whether you come here for the still largely untouched nature or because of the water sports, our region has a lot to offer for everyone.


Cycling around Ratzeburg


Large forests, long rows of hedges and 40 lakes dominate the sparsely populated landscape in the Duchy of Lauenburg. Well-signposted cycling, riding and hiking trails, country inns and farm cafés at the lakes and the river Elbe are here for you to enjoy.

Below we have compiled some exciting tour suggestions – all of which are loops. Follow the signposts and look forward to romantic villages, lots of water, shady avenues and charming nature.


The lakes are always in view

Lake Ratzeburg Tour

This tour encircles the beautiful big Lake Ratzeburg within 26 kilometres. The sign post icon show the famous Ratzeburg Cathedral which accompanies you on your way around the lake.

Lake Loop

This 48-kilometer long loop with lots of fabulous lake views starts and finishes in Ratzeburg.

Ice age tour

The undulating landscape of the Duchy of Lauenburg with its lakes, bogs, and alder swamp was formed by the last ice age about 20,000 years ago. With the bike, guests can embark on a 39 kilometre-long ice age journey.

City Tour

The city tour connects Mölln and Ratzeburg. The sign post icon of this tour represents what Mölln and Ratzeburg are known for: Till Eulenspiegel and the Lion.