What you should do in Kiel!
If you are looking for things to do in Kiel, here are some ideas for you. Also make sure to tick of everything on our Bucket list!
- You should definitely eat a „Fischbrötchen“ at the Förde one day. There are many different options: You can choose between simple ones with fish, onions and mayo or fancy ones with all sorts of toppings.
- There are many venders selling coffee, fresh criossants, bread, fruit, olives, cheese at the market in Kiel... And you get a nice atmosphere on top. You should try to have your breakfast at the market.
- Jump into the Förde! But watch out! It is not allowed everywhere, so better check first.
- Do a bike tour to the beach. It is very easy to get to Falkenstein by bike. You can either cross the „Nord-Ostsee-Kanal“ via the high bridge or take the ferry. After that you follow the coastline, pass the military station and turn right into Friedrichsort. Take a right behind the Rewe (or buy some snacks for the beach first) and follow the street. It will lead you right to the beach. You can also take the bus, but it can be very crowded in summer and you are less flexible.
- Visit Hamburg. You can easily go there by train with your semester ticket in one hour. There is a lot to see: the Docks, the Elbphilharmony (go to the view platform, it is free but you might have to queue), many museums, the old town... check out the page of ESN Hamburg for more ideas. If you want to party in Hamburg, you will find many clubs on the „Kiez“, the main party street of Hamburg. There are also some beach bars and rooftop bars at the waterside. Join one of our pubcrawls with ESN Hamburg, for a guided tour.
- Travel to Sylt for a day or a weekend. The island is really nice and there is a lot to do and see. There are surf competitions in summer and you can even take a surf class yourself. Or you rent a bike and explore the beautiful nature.
- Join one of our pubcrawls or tour the bars of Kiel with some friends. There are bars like SubZero and Irish pubs (Pogue Mahone, Strongbows), where you can play dart or join a pub quiz. Some cafés (Taktlos, Phollkomplex, Café Godot) are open at night and you can go there for a drink. Sometimes they offer program as well. And definitely go to a typical German Kneipe. The atmosphere reminds of the days, when fishermen went there for a beer after work.
- Check out the many cafés of Kiel. There are so many different options: some are great for breakfast (Resonanz or Fresco), for lunch (Bakeliet or Brunswik) or just for a coffee (PeaBerries or Café Hilda). Ther are also some cafés that offer home-roasted coffee, some are located at the waterfront, some offer many vegan options, some host events like theme quizzes, ... but all of them are definitely worth a visit. Go to cafe-kiel.de to get a list of all the cafés with filter options.
- There are often “Flohmärkte” in Kiel where you can buy second hand stuff. Sometimes they are only for bikes or clothes and sometimes they fall under a theme like sustainability or women’s rights. Anyhow you can spend a fun afternoon strolling around, searching for little treasures.
- Due to its location, Kiel is the perfect place to try water sports. There are many clubs for rowing, sailing, wind surfing or kitesurfing. Or you can book a class offered by University sports, which are often the cheapest option. You can choose between different levels and classes who run the whole semester or only for one weekend. If you just want to try something easy and fun for one afternoon, you can rent a canoe and explore the Schwentine or a stand-up paddle board (for example at the Seebar).
- In case you haven’t heard: In Kiel it rains from time to time. And what better thing to do, than sitting in a cosy seat in the cinema, while it’s pouring outside? Kiel has many nice cinemas. There is the big Cinemaxx, where you can watch Blockbusters, but there are also nice smaller cinemas like Metro Kino and Studio Kino, that also show most movies. ‘Unikino’ and ‘Kino in der Pumpe’ only show selected movies on specific dates. If you want do get surprised, you should go to the Sneak Preview in the Studio Kino. Every Wednesday at 9 pm you get to see a movie, that is not released yet. But make sure you arrive early to get a ticket. In winter they can be sold out quite fast.
- If you are up for some culture, you can go to the Theater Kiel or to the Schauspielhaus. You can find the current program here. For some art you can visit the Kunsthalle Kiel. Also check out the program in the Schifffahrtsmuseum or climb on top of the Ehrendenkmal in Laboe. If you want to get crafty yourself, check out the ‘Alte Mu’, the Studentenwerks or the Volkshochschule for lots of different classes.
- You don’t have to be interested in plants to enjoy the Botanical Garden of Kiel. The entrance is in 2 min walking distance from the library and Mensa 2. So if you feel like you need a study break, you can go there for a walk and some fresh air. When it’s raining or whenever you want to get a holiday feeling, go to the greenhouses and sit under a palm tree. There is also the old Botanical Garden next to Geomar at the Kiellinie. It is situated on a hill and you have a really nice view from the top.
- And of course, last but not least, there is the KIWO (Kiel Week). Once a year Kiel is hosting the biggest sailing event in Western Europe. For that occasion the whole town transforms into a big festival venue. You will find something exciting to do all day, every day. There are hundreds of food venders by the water and in town. Drink a ‘Kölsch’ from Cologne and listen to some carnival music or try something typically Swedish at the Europe market. If you would eat all day, you still couldn’t try all the different dishes. To get active you can join hands-on activities or try various water sports.
There are also many stages, spread all over town, with stage program of all kind. You can watch children’s theatre, go to a poetry slam, listen to orchestra music or go to a concert. The range of concerts goes from local bands to world stars like Amy Macdonald. Most of the concerts and events are free as well as many parties. Check out Muddi Markt or the Silent Dome, if you want to dance under the stars. The clubs in town are also open every day of the Kiel Week. As the KIWO is usually about two weeks before exams, you should start studying early, because you won’t have a lot of time for uni that week.
But the KIWO isn’t all about partying, but actually about sailing. So seize the opportunity to see some world class sailing and watch a Regatta (sailing race). Most of them take place in the waters in front of Schilksee, where you can watch the races on big screens. You have the chance to take a closer look at the boats from the Kiellinie during the ‘Windjammer parade’, when all the boats are sailing along the Förde together.
One last thing you definitely shouldn’t miss are the big fireworks at the end of Kiel Week. You get the best view and sound at the Kiellinie, but make sure to be early to get a good spot.