Things to do in Kiel

About Kiel

Visitors should not miss the Kiellinie Promenade for picturesque views, the historic Kiel Rathaus for its impressive architecture, and the Laboe Naval Memorial for its sweeping sea vistas and U-boat museum.
Families can enjoy the Kiel Aquarium, Grusellabyrinth Kiel for an enjoyable scare, and the Mediendom with its fascinating digital planetarium shows perfect for curious young minds.
For outdoor enthusiasts, sailing on the Kiel Fjord, relaxing at Falckensteiner Strand beach, and cycling or strolling through Hiroshimapark offer memorable experiences with nature.
Indoor activities include exploring the city's nautical history at the Maritime Museum, enjoying performing arts at the Kiel Opera House, and discovering contemporary art at the Stadtgalerie Kiel.
The best tours in Kiel are the audio-guided Harbor Highlights tour, the Old Town Adventure, and the Architectural Wonders tour, each offering unique insights into Kiel's heritage.
The Maritime Museum, the Kiel City Museum, and the Zoological Museum of Kiel University are among the most popular, offering diverse educational exhibits.
On rainy days, the self-guided audio tours of Kiel's museums and the Kiel Opera House's backstage tour provide immersive experiences shielded from the weather.
Quick tours in Kiel include a brief walk through the Stadtgalerie Kiel and short, focused excursions like the Maritime Museum's specialized exhibit tours.

Best Things to Do In Kiel

Discover the maritime charm and hidden gems of Kiel through our eclectic selection of self-guided audio tours.

Kiel: Kiel Opera House

What is it?
A premier venue for performing arts, offering a dynamic array of opera and theater productions.
Why you should go?
The Kiel Opera House is not only a cultural institution but also an architectural masterpiece. As one of the things to see in Kiel, it boasts a lineup of world-class operas, ballets, and concerts. With its remarkable acoustics and opulent interior, visitors are treated to an unforgettable experience of the performing arts. The opera house is a testament to Kiel’s commitment to preserving artistic heritage and fostering creative expression.

Kiel: German Maritime Museum

What is it?
A historical institution that offers a profound look into Germany's nautical past.
Why you should go?
For an authentic glimpse into the nation's maritime legacy, the German Maritime Museum holds a central place among the best things to do in Kiel. The museum presents numerous exhibits related to oceanography, shipbuilding, and marine biology. Its interactive displays and authentic reconstructions make it an engaging learning experience for all ages and a must-visit for anyone interested in marine life and technology.

Kiel: Holstenstraße

What is it?
Kiel's main shopping street, lined with a variety of shops, boutiques, and restaurants.
Why you should go?
When pondering what to do in Kiel for an enjoyable day out, Holstenstraße offers the perfect mix of retail therapy and local flavor. This bustling thoroughfare is the pulsing heart of Kiel's shopping scene where international brands meet local vendors. Alongside retail establishments, cafes and eateries invite visitors to savor regional delicacies, making it a favored destination for both shopping and dining.

Kiel: Zoological Museum of Kiel University

What is it?
An educational establishment that provides insights into the animal kingdom through exhibits and specimens.
Why you should go?
The Zoological Museum of Kiel University is a treasure trove for wildlife enthusiasts and families. Among the plethora of Kiel activities, this museum stands out with its extensive collections ranging from insects to marine mammals. Striking dioramas and carefully preserved specimens offer a comprehensive look at biodiversity, evolution, and ecology. It's an impressive showcase of the natural world within the city's academic quarter.

Kiel: Schwentine River Cruise

What is it?
A relaxing boat tour along the scenic Schwentine River, offering picturesque views of Kiel.
Why you should go?
Exploring Kiel from the water perspective, a cruise along the Schwentine River reveals a different side of the city. It’s an opportunity to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty as the river meanders through lush landscapes and past historical sites. Ideal for a day of relaxation, these river excursions showcase the tranquility and charm of Kiel’s surroundings. Exceptional during warm months, it is among the best Kiel tours for nature lovers.

Kiel: Maritime Museum

What is it?
An immersive museum dedicated to Kiel's naval history and maritime exploration.
Why you should go?
As the prime maritime hub, Kiel's Maritime Museum is a treasure trove for enthusiasts of sea faring history. With extensive collections spanning centuries, this institution showcases impressive maritime artifacts, model ships, and interactive exhibits. It allows visitors to delve into the city's shipbuilding legacy and Baltic Sea voyages. Ideal for Kiel activities, it’s a must-see destination providing insight into how maritime endeavors shaped the region.

Kiel: Kiel Botanical Gardens

What is it?
A lush oasis boasting a diverse collection of plants from around the globe.
Why you should go?
The Kiel Botanical Gardens are serenity encapsulated, offering a tranquil escape from urban life. They present a vast assortment of flora, ranging from exotic species in greenhouse complexes to local varieties in outdoor landscapes. Among the things to see in Kiel, these gardens provide an educational stroll for plant lovers and peace seekers alike, with eloquent labeling and themed sections enhancing the visit.

Kiel: St. Nikolai Church

What is it?
An iconic Gothic Revival church with a striking tower offering panoramic city views.
Why you should go?
St. Nikolai Church stands as an architectural marvel in Kiel's skyline. Visitors taking Kiel tours often include a visit to this site for its stunning architecture and historical significance. The climb to the viewing platform is rewarded with sweeping views of the city. Its tranquil interior provides a contemplative environment showcasing beautiful stained glass windows and art works, making it one of the top places to visit in Kiel.

Kiel: Kiellinie Promenade

What is it?
A vibrant promenade lining Kiel Fjord, known for leisure and cultural events.
Why you should go?
The Kiellinie Promenade is a waterfront esplanade pulsating with life and Kiel excursions. Whether looking for a leisurely walk or an engaging experience on one of the many Kiel activities, this promenade is a hub for enjoying coastal views, dining at local eateries, and partaking in seasonal festivals. Visitors can also observe passing ships, adding to the unique seaside atmosphere of the city.

Kiel: U-Boat U-995 at Laboe Naval Memorial

What is it?
A World War II-era German submarine-turned-museum anchored at Laboe.
Why you should go?
U-Boat U-995 serves as a tangible relic of wartime history, converted into a museum where visitors can explore the interior of an actual submarine. It forms part of the Laboe Naval Memorial complex, which pays homage to sailors of all nationalities. Offering a unique chance among fun things to do in Kiel, experiencing life aboard U-995 is a poignant journey through the living quarters and operational facilities of a wartime U-boat crew.

TOP-5 tours in Kiel for first time visitors

  • Embark on a journey through Kiel's rich naval history and modern waterfront with our "Harbor Highlights" audio tour, topping the list of things to do in Kiel.
  • Experience the "Old Town Adventure," a perfect answer for what to do in Kiel, exploring historic buildings and quaint alleyways.
  • Indulge in the "Museum Mile" tour, which showcases the best places to visit in Kiel, including renowned art and natural history collections.
  • Dive into the "University Quarter" exploration to discover fun things to do in Kiel, where academia and picturesque parks meet.
  • Our "Architectural Wonders" audio guide is among the best Kiel tours, highlighting innovative design and iconic structures.

Fun Things to Do in Kiel with Kids

Exploring Kiel with the younger crowd in mind can lead to delightful experiences at various child-friendly attractions. The Kieler Schifffahrtsmuseum, or Kiel Ship Museum, tops the list with its fascinating display of maritime artifacts. Children can marvel at model ships and learn about the city’s nautical past in an interactive setting that makes history educational and enjoyable. Next, the Grusellabyrinth Kiel offers families with a penchant for mystery and adventure a spooky, yet amusing journey through a labyrinth full of friendly thrills and laughs. Lastly, the Kunsthalle zu Kiel, an art museum featuring colorful exhibits and educational workshops, is uniquely geared toward cultivating young imaginations. Creative activities designed for children make art appreciation an accessible and compelling affair. Each of these Kiel activities provides a distinctive cultural or whimsical experience, ensuring fond memories for both kids and parents alike.

Things to do in Kiel with Family

When in Kiel, families can find a plethora of attractions that cater to both adults and children alike, ensuring a memorable time for everyone. The Kiel Aquarium is a highlight for those interested in marine life, offering close encounters with various sea creatures, informative displays, and engaging feeding demonstrations that will captivate visitors of all ages. For those drawn to the outdoors, the Hiroshimapark provides a serene setting for family picnics, leisurely strolls, and letting children play amidst green spaces and playgrounds. The park's calming atmosphere is perfect for a relaxing day spent with loved ones. Lastly, the interactive exhibits at the Mediendom of the Fachhochschule Kiel, a digital planetarium, present space and science in an engaging manner that sparks curiosity in young minds while entertaining the entire family. These vibrant Kiel activities combine education and excitement, making them go-to destinations for families seeking a blend of fun and learning.

Free Things to Do in Kiel

Kiel, known for its maritime heritage, also offers an array of free attractions that are perfect for travelers on a budget. One such treasure is the Kiellinie Promenade, an idyllic waterfront path ideal for a leisurely walk or bike ride with views of the ships and ferries. Art and history enthusiasts will appreciate the Stadtgalerie Kiel (City Gallery Kiel), a contemporary art gallery hosting a variety of exhibitions throughout the year. This is a great opportunity to delve into Kiel’s vibrant art scene without spending a dime. Another must-visit is the historic Kiel Rathaus (Town Hall), with its impressive architecture and the chance to catch a glimpse of local governance in action. These sights showcase what to see in Kiel without the need for tickets or tours, offering enjoyable experiences immersed in the local culture and landscape.

Cheap Things to Do in Kiel

Budget-conscious travelers exploring Kiel can delight in an assortment of affordable attractions that promise engaging experiences. For nature enthusiasts, the Falckensteiner Strand offers a refreshing day at the beach with minimal spending required. Pack a picnic, partake in water sports, or simply soak up the sun on this beautiful Baltic shore. For a nominal fee, history buffs can explore the U-Boot U-995 at Laboe Naval Memorial, providing a unique glimpse into a WWII German submarine. This immersive experience is both educational and impactful, offering an unmatched historical perspective. Finally, the lively flea markets of Kiel, such as the ones in the city center or at the old fish market, give visitors the chance to enjoy local culture and find unique souvenirs without overspending. These markets are a hub for bargain hunting and provide a snapshot into the city's local life. These experiences stand out among cheap things to do in Kiel, catering to those seeking to maximize their travel experience on a budget.

Things to Do in Kiel for Couples

Couples visiting Kiel will discover a variety of romantic spots and activities to enjoy together. A leisurely stroll along the Kiellinie Promenade at sunset offers stunning waterfront views and the opportunity to share intimate moments against the backdrop of the Kiel Fjord. With occasional street performers and local food vendors, the promenade sets the scene for a delightful evening. For a blend of culture and relaxation, Düsternbrook along the Kiel Fjord offers a tranquil getaway. Here, couples can visit the enchanting Düsternbrooker Gehölz park or take a sailboat trip on the fjord's peaceful waters. Additionally, art-loving pairs should not miss the Stadtgalerie Kiel (City Gallery Kiel), where contemporary artworks inspire creativity and conversation. This modern art haven provides a thought-provoking and bonding experience. Each of these carefully chosen Kiel activities personifies the essence of a romantic retreat, perfect for igniting or rekindling the flames of love.

Things to Do in Kiel at Night

Kiel reveals a different kind of beauty when the sun sets, with a variety of nocturnal activities for night owls. The city's nightlife revolves around the vibrant Bergstraße, where an array of bars and clubs offer the perfect ambiance for socializing, dancing, and savoring local and international drinks. This spirited strip is ideal for experiencing Kiel's contemporary culture at night. Alternatively, night-time revelers can indulge in live performances at the Kiel Opera House, which hosts a rich program of operas, concerts, and plays. The majestic building itself is a sight to behold beneath the evening lights. Finally, the Ostseekai Cruise Terminal transitions from a bustling hub by day to a serene locale at night. Couples and friends often gather here to watch the twinkling lights reflecting on the water and the occasional cruise ship illuminating the horizon. For those seeking things to do in Kiel after dusk, the city's mixture of lively and tranquil spots provides an inviting range of options.