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The main island in foreground and the islet of Düne in the background

Heligoland is a small German archipelago in the North Sea. It's a somewhat popular destination for one-day ship cruises. A feature of the island is almost total absence of car traffic, which makes it a safe and quiet location.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Heligoland Airport (IATA: HGL) on the island of Düne has connections from Bremerhaven, Hamburg and other places.

By boat[edit]

Daily tours are available from Cuxhaven and Büsum by boat and from Hamburg by high-speed catamaran. Most travelers visit Helgoland as day-trippers. Boat trips allow for a stay of up to 4 hours on the island.

Get around[edit]

Helgoland consists of a rather large sandstone island and a smaller sand island nearby. Both are worth strolling around. In general, motor vehicles and bicycles are prohibited on the archipelago.

The normal stay of about 4 hours will give you ample time to walk around the cliff-top of the island, visit the aquarium and do some shopping. For a more in-depth experience a stay of at least one night is necessary. This will give you time to explore the island and the bathing-island called Düne with its fabulous beach and clear water.


The old "Bunker" - air raid shelter
Lange Anna

Rock formations:

  • Felswatt
  • Lange Anna
  • Lummenfelsen

One of the largest gannet breeding areas in Europe. Bring a telephoto lens! The island offers multiple photo scenes, especially at the crumbling rocks and shore on the north side.


Visit the satellite island of Heligoland, Düne. Its beaches are very beautiful and often you can find seals lying on the sand.


Helgoland is a duty-free zone. Tobacco and alcohol may be purchased as well as electronics and other high-duty items. Heligoland's shops offer an extensive collection of Scotch malt whiskies. Keep in mind that customs officers may search through your merchandise on re-boarding the boat so either stay below the limits or declare your imports.



During the day most restaurants will only offer small snacks as the average traveler only has a very restricted time on the island. Helgoland used to be the center of Germany's lobster fishing. Lobster is still served as a local specialty, as are crabs' claws (Knieper) and all varieties of local seafood (plaice, prawns, herring).


Helgoländer Eiergrog is made from brown and white rum, eggs and hot water. It is very high in alcohol and should be consumed with consideration.


There are many possibilities for all budgets, including a youth hostel. The Düne island has got a small campsite for tents and basic cabins for rent. Accommodation should be booked in advance as there will be no way to travel on, should the island be fully booked, once the ships have sailed in the afternoon.

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