Welcome to Ratzeburg

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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.

Island town of Ratzeburg: its centre is situated on an island, surrounded by 4 lakes: Ratzeburger See, Großer Küchensee, Kleiner Küchensee and Domsee. This is where Karl Adam coached the Ratzeburg rowers who brought home Olympic gold. Even today, the rowing Academy is an institution.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 – and the three museums of the city promise real cultural tidbits. We have it all: from activity to tranquility.

Tourist information Ratzeburg

(Photo: Jürgen Klemme)

The tourist information is located in the Town Hall directly at lake Ratzeburger See. Our staff in the tourist office will provide you with accommodation service, 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 lion’s footprints on the paving. Our friendly staff will also advise you on cycling and hiking tours in and around Ratzeburg, and provide you with maps. You can also book a sight-seeing tour for your group here.

Tip: Directly behind the Town Hall, the “Barlach view” offers a breathtaking panorama of Ratzeburg Lake and the cathedral peninsula.

Opening times: see here


Ratzeburg cathedral (Jens Butz)

Historical Churches

Ratzeburg Cathedral

The landmark of the town of Ratzeburg is the massive 800-year-old cathedral, the oldest Romanesque brick cathedral in Northern Germany. It was founded in 1154 A. D. by the Duke of Saxony, Henry the Lion. Up to this day it dominates the town, its surrounding lakes, woods and hills. It has become a cultural centre of the town, the district and the region due to a large number of musical performances that are continually held inside and outside its walls (e. g. the so-called summer concerts).

St. Peter’s Church

St. Peter’s Church (Jürgen Klemme)

St. Georgsberg

St. Georgsberg Church (Jürgen Hensel)

On the higher grounds west of the town, called the St. Georgsberg, you can visit the oldest church in Northern Germany built of unhewn boulders (1150 A. D.). On a tranquil hilltop close by you can also find a cross commemorating the martyr Ansverus who died in 1066 A. D. during the Christianization of Northern Germany.


Three museums in the islandtown inspire with a variety of exhibitions.

Regional Museum “Kreismuseum”

Regional Museum (Nicole Franke)

The regional local history museum in the Herrenhaus am Domhof features an interesting exhibition and the magnificent Rococo Hall (used for concerts)

A. Paul Weber Museum

A. Paul Weber Museum (Jürgen Klemme)

The A. Paul Weber-Haus displays works by the famous graphic artist and critic.


Ernst Barlach Museum (Jens Butz)

Ratzeburg was the childhood home of the world-famous sculptor, graphic artist and poet Ernst Barlach. You can find his gravesite here as well as the Barlach Haus with its permanent exhibition of the artist’s work and some of his documents. The Barlach Haus is located close to St. Peter’s Church.

  • Barlachplatz 3 (next to St. Peter’s Church)
    Tel. +49 (0) 45 41 / 37 89 or +49 (0) 41 03 / 91 82 91

Cinema & Theatre

Burgtheater Cinema (Jens Butz)

Another cultural place of interest is the Burgtheater, which is a cinema but where also theatrical performances are held.


Water fun in Ratzeburg

(Photo: Jens Butz)

White sails, sleek rowing boats, red canoes, pedal boats, water bikes, lidos and passenger boats – this is water fun in Ratzeburg. It is a pleasure to circumnavigate the island on a pleasure vessel, a pedal or electric boat, or a canoe and catch a special glimpse of the cathedral and the historic town. Water sport has a tradition in Ratzeburg: Ratzeburg rowing Professor Karl Adam made Ratzeburg the Mecca of rowing.


Boat trip with ship “Heinrich der Löwe”

 (Photo: Jens Butz)

Take a boat trip on the large lake “Großer Ratzeburger See” with the “Ratzeburger Schiffahrt“. It 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

Rent a boat

  • Sailing school Morgenroth
(Photo: Jens Butz)

Explore 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.

Info: Peter Morgenroth, Am Jägerdenkmal 1, 23909 Ratzeburg
Tel.: +49 (0) 45 41 83 20 0
Mobile: +49 (0)163 / 339 83 30


  • Kanu-Center Lothar Krebs
(Photo: Jens Butz)

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 “River 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

Tel.: +49 (0) 4501 412

Take a swim

(Photo: Jens Butz)

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.

World-class Sport in Ratzeburg

Karl Adam while coaching (Walter Schröder)

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 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. The International Rowing Regatta is taking place every year.

Preparations for International Rowing Regatta (Wolfgang Barnewitz)

Discover our nature

Ratzeburgs nature (Jens Butz)

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.

Walking around Ratzeburg

Those in search of calmness and relaxation will find them in the “Kurpark” on the “Küchensee” or many other walking possibilities which lead through quiet woods and along sunny lakesides.

Idyllic “Kurpark” (Katrin Jester)

Cycling around Ratzeburg

(Photo: Jens Butz)

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.

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.


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. On Tuesdays and Fridays you will find a regional market with fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, bred and much more.