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Europe > Central Europe > Germany > Lower Saxony > Elbe-Weser Triangle > Cuxhaven

Cuxhaven

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Cuxhaven is a seaside resort city in Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany situated on the mouth of the river Elbe on the North Sea coast.

Understand[edit]

Museumsfeuerschiff Elbe 1

Until 1937, Cuxhaven was part of Hamburg; in a reorganization two towns near Hamburg that were part of Prussia were given to Hamburg in exchange for Cuxhaven. With 55,000 citizens, Cuxhaven isn't a very large city, although it still can boast roughly 3 million booked nights a year, making it one of the largest seaside resorts in Germany.

Tourism is one of the traditional industries in Cuxhaven. The other two are fishing and shipping. The city is trying to expand the harbour and has invested a lot of money in the modernization and expansion of the port facility. Still, the economic situation isn't too good and tourism remains the major industry of the city. Many people have left Cuxhaven in recent decades, and many of those who remain are retired, contributing to the quiet small-town ambiance.

Cuxhaven was not always so quiet, though: About 500 rockets were launched near Cuxhaven between 1945 and 1964. The best known rocket launches which took place in the area of Cuxhaven were three launches of V2 rockets in Operation Backfire, in order to demonstrate Allied forces the technology of the "wonder weapon" V2 in October 1945. That said, the only remnant of this history of rocketry at Cuxhaven is a trough near the road from Arensch to Sahlenburg.

Get in[edit]

Most people come to Cuxhaven either via train or car. Some ferry services exist, but they are negligible, overall.

By car[edit]

Cuxhaven can be reached comfortably by motorway A27 from Bremen in about 1 hour (100 km). From Hamburg major road B73 (not Autobahn/motorway) takes you to Cuxhaven in about two hours. The B73 is known for motorists with bad driving style and deadly accidents; some extra caution should be employed.

By train[edit]

Cuxhaven railway station

A real alternative to the car, especially when arriving from Hamburg, is a train drive to Cuxhaven. It will take roughly the same time (around 1 hr 45 minutes), but it's more relaxing than using a car. However, the German rail company tends to be more expensive if you travel with several people unless you catch a special deal. Traveling with weekend special (Schönes Wochenende Ticket) or Länder Ticket (Niedersachsen-Ticket) starts at €23/person and the rate gets more favorable when you travel in a group or as a family with children.

When arriving from Bremen, changing the trains in Bremerhaven is unavoidable.

  • 1 Hauptbahnhof Cuxhaven. Cuxhaven's railway station is right in the center of the city. The bus terminal is in front, and taxis can easily be hired as well. On foot, it should take you about five minutes to get to the Nordersteinstraße shopping area. Cuxhaven railway station (Q800640) on Wikidata Cuxhaven station on Wikipedia

By plane[edit]

The nearest bigger airports are in Hamburg and Bremen.

By boat[edit]

A Harbor seal in Wadden Sea at Cuxhaven
  • The ferry line from Harwich, England, has been discontinued. It is however possible to transport vehicles to and from Cuxhaven. For further information call Cuxport GmbH, Tel.: +49 4721 748-0.
  • A ferry Cuxhaven - Brunsbüttel: The ferry operates several times a day (in about 2 hour intervals) with two modern ships with two car decks, "Grete" und "Anne-Marie". One Elbe river crossing with Elb-Link takes 90 minutes and costs 5 EUR/person (25 EUR/car). There is a cafeteria and a bar on board.
  • Helgoline: A catamaran (HSC Halunder Jet) route from Hamburg via Wedel and Cuxhaven to the island Heligoland. It is possible to take also individual legs of the route. Transport of bicycles is not possible to the island, where cycling is not allowed.

Get around[edit]

Map of Cuxhaven

There are limited choices when it comes to moving around Cuxhaven. You can walk, bring your own car, hire a taxi, or use one of the bus lines.

By bus[edit]

Information on local buses can be obtained from VNN - Verkehrsgemeinschaft Nordost-Niedersachsen

See[edit]

Cuxhaven Water Tower
  • Alte Liebe (Old Love). is a former quai turned viewing platform at the entrance to the Cuxhaven harbour. Good view of passing ships. Loudspeakers announce their names and origin.
  • Schloß Ritzebüttel. Small castle-like building near the Nordersteinstraße shopping area.
  • Harbor.
  • Kugelbake. marks the geographic point where the Elbe river ends. Originally intended as a navigation aid, it is one of the more notable constructions in the region. It was incorporated in the Cuxhaven coat of arms when the city was incorporated and remains one of its primary landmarks.
  • Water Tower.
  • Semaphor (Located next to the Alte Liebe,). the Sempahor is a construction from the year 1884 that is used to communicate wind strength and direction to passing ships. It is still set every day.
  • Wrackmuseum (Ship Wreck Museum), Dorfstraße 80, Stickenbüt, +49 4721 23341, fax: +49 4721 690876. Open March 28th to November 4th (in 2004, may vary each year), Mon closed, Tue-Fri 10AM - 6PM, Weekend + Holiday 10AM - 5PM.. Only museum in Europe that has ship wrecks as its topic. € 3.00 for adults, € 2.00 for teenagers..
  • Elbe 1. A retired lighthouse-ship.
  • Relics of the launch pad of operation Backfire, the last launch of V2-rockets in Germany in form of a trough near the way from Arensch to Sahleburg and some shelter remnants.
  • 1 Aeronauticum: maritime aircraft museum, Peter-Strasser-Platz 3, Nordholz, +49 4741 18190, . Mar 15-Nov 15: daily 10:30-17:30; Nov 16- Mar 14: 10:30-15:30; Dec 22-Jan 1: closed. The museum is located near the Nordholz Naval Airbase. It comprises of indoor and outdoor expositions and has a large collection of aircraft that has been used by the German Navy. The museum with its Cafe and a nice playground can easily be reached from motorway A27 between Cuxhaven and Bremerhaven and is well worth a visit for travelers with technical interests, as well as families with children. The webpage is in German only. Adults 9,50 €, Children 4,50 €.

Do[edit]

Neuwerk Island
  • Wadden Sea is the area of the sea where the water recedes during low tide. It's one of the main reasons why people visit Cuxhaven. You can take walks, look at crabs, build castles from the sand and the mud, and so on. Be warned that the rising water can be tricky! See the "stay safe" section.
  • Take horse carriage to Neuwerk
  • BEWARE! As a non-resident you have to pay "Kurtaxe" (touristic fee) for entering the beach. If you have already been charged for "Kurtaxe" in your accommodation just show your receipt. If you like pay-free beaches you have to travel a few miles to the north and try the coastline of Schleswig-Holstein.

Buy[edit]

The Nordersteinstraße is the primary shopping area of Cuxhaven. It is geared towards the general population and not really too touristy. Prices are rather normal as a result; the downside is that you cannot expect a store to accept credit cards. "EC" bank cards are usually accepted, however.

Eat[edit]

Cuxhaven is a traditional fishing town, so do not leave out some fresh fish or crabs while you are there.

  • Zum Park, Südersteinstraße 76 (near Nordersteinstraße shopping area), +49 4721 64461. Daily 11:30am - 2:30pm, Mon+Sun also 5:30pm-10:00pm, Tue-Sat also 5:30pm - 11:30pm.. Restaurant, Offers various international dishes. Excellent service, very reasonable prices, pleasant place. Highly recommended. €10-€20 per person, all dishes available for take-out..
  • Fischereihafen Restaurant & Fischereihafen Lloyd´s, Neufelder Str. 11, +49 4721 399084.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

When enjoying a walk in the Wadden Sea in front of the coast, you must take some simple precautions as the rising waters can be dangerous. If you are far from the beach and the tide surprises you, your life will be in danger.

Always remain within sight of the land, and do not walk out too far. Take care of fog and mist. Enter the area only after high and prior to low tide, and return shortly after low tide, i.e. as soon as the water starts to return and the high tide sets in. Keep a watch with accurate time, and memorize the times of low and high tide. The water does not rise in all places at the same speed. Some areas are lower, and Priele (creek-like arms or canals of water) can well flood very early, cutting you off from land.

You should ask for advice and rules on-location; there are several lifeguard stations and most tourist information places will be able to provide you with basic information as well. Ask for a tidal calendar (German: Tidenkalender).

Go next[edit]

  • Continuing your vacation with a maritime theme, a day trip to Bremerhaven to take a look at the Schiffahrtsmuseum (Museum of sea travel) maybe be worth your time.
  • For a few days in a quite different environment, take a ferry to Helgoland
Routes through Cuxhaven
END  N Bundesautobahn 27 number.svg S  AltenwaldeWalsrode


This city travel guide to Cuxhaven 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.