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Büsum is a fishing and tourist town of 5,000 people (2018) in the district (Landkreis) of Dithmarschen, on the North Sea coast, in Schleswig Holstein. Büsum is a popular summer vacation spot for families and day trips from Hamburg, and nearly all of Büsum's tourists are Germans. In the summer months, the inhabitants of Büsum are vastly outnumbered by tourists staying in the town for a few days or a few weeks.


Büsum as a fishing town is primarily known for its specialty Büsumer Krabben (North Sea shrimp, Crangon crangon), which are processed and canned for sale.


The first documented mention of Büsum (as an island) dates from the year 1140. During medieval times, Büsum was an island with three villages, Süderdorp, Middeldorp and Norddorp. Devastating floods in 1362, 1436, and 1570 drowned most of the island and destroyed Süderdorp and Middeldorp. The former Norddorp forms the old core of the town Büsum.

During medieval times, Büsum was frequently visited by traders of the Hanseatic League. The people of the comparatively poor island Büsum often resorted to piracy to better their lives, resulting in repeated conflicts. In 1420, men from Büsum sailed into the harbour of Hamburg to scuttle and loot Hanseatic trading ships. In retaliation, the Hamburgers pillaged and burned the island's church in Middeldorp. The new church was built in Norddorp and furnished with several items looted from the island Pellworm by the pirate Cord Widderich.

In 1585, the island was connected with the mainland by the building of a dam. Subsequent deposits of sediment by the sea created new land, which was further secured through dikes. Storm floods continued to take their toll: the flood of 1634 killed 168 people and destroyed 102 homes. During the flood of 1717, Werven village near Büsum sank completely. The last great flood happened in 1825. But even as storm-floods have gotten higher since then improved dikes have protected the town from storm tides.

From 1559 until 1867, Büsum (and Dithmarschen) were Danish territory, and then became part of Prussia. Since 1818, Büsum has been used as a spa town visited for the healing effects of the seawater and the mudflats of the Wadden Sea. It gained official Nordseebad (North Sea spa) status in 1837. To accommodate spa guests, Büsum was connected to the railway network by the Heide–Büsum railway in 1883.

During World War II, the shipyard and harbor in Büsum were used by the Kriegsmarine, making it a target for an air raid. Büsum was bombed on May 4, 1945, the day German troops surrendered in northern Germany and thus the last day of war in the region. Nine people lost their lives, 19 were injured, and five houses were completely destroyed.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

  • 1 Büsum station. Served by local trains from Neumünster

By plane[edit]

By boat[edit]

Büsum is among the points on the German mainland offering service to Heligoland

Get around[edit]

The town is quite small and you should have no major problems navigating it. Most points of interest are close to one another

Map of Büsum


  • 1 Büsum Lighthouse. Painted in the German red-white stripes that lighthouses are "supposed to have" according to popular imagination. It was built in 1912/13 from 55 tons of cast iron plates. Büsum Lighthouse (Q1664973) on Wikidata Büsum Lighthouse on Wikipedia
  • 2 Rathaus Büsum (City Hall). A pleasant brick building Büsum City hall (Q18397187) on Wikidata
  • 3 Museum am Meer. Among other things this museum deals with anything related to Krabben Museum at the sea (Q1358031) on Wikidata
  • 4 Museumshafen Büsum. Displaying several old and historic ships and boats. Museum harbor Büsum (Q1775200) on Wikidata
  • 5 St. Clemens church. This brick church is surprisingly ornate on the inside for the usually rather subdued Lutheran churches St. Clemens church (Q2317793) on Wikidata
  • From the harbour of Büsum, tourists can take trips to the sea, either for pleasure or fishing, as nature trips along the Wadden Sea National Parks, or to the island Helgoland.


  • 1 Phänomania, Dr.-Martin-Bahr-Straße 7, +49 48 34 - 96 55 17, . During the summer season 10:00-18:00 daily. A science museum where you can test out countless experiments yourself. A good place to take the kids on a rainy day or to let out your own "inner child". Adult €9.50.



Büsum is famous for Krabben (Crangon crangon) caught in the sea and landed here and you can certainly by the right off the boat (they are cooked on the boat to avoid spoilage, but you'll have to remove the exoskeleton yourself).



  • Schlafstrandkorb. One of the more unique types of accommodation are the "Schlafstrandkörbe" which are derived from a Strandkorb, an elaborate mobile shelter that is a quintessential part of German beach vacations. They are rather small however. This Youtube video shows you what to expect. From €49 per unit.





Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Büsum is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.