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Emden is a city of 50,000 people (2020) in Lower Saxony. The 1,200-year history of the city is closely linked to the seaport. The cityscape of Emden is characterized by 150 kilometers of canals and the typical brick buildings. The city can be explored very nicely by canoe or pedal boat ride from the water. For those who like it easy, there are harbour and canal cruises.

City hall Emden
and museum ship "SAR Georg Breusing"


Emden is primarily known in Germany as the "capital" of the region East Frisia and for its most famous son, comedian Otto Waalke, who frequently alludes to his East Frisian heritage. While Emden does have a somewhat important harbour, it is a rather small city in a mostly rural area and struggled economically in the early 2010s. Besides the harbour and a big Volkswagen car plant the main economic draws in the area are tourists who pass through on their way to Borkum and the production and sale of windmills for the generation of energy.


Alongside Geneva and Wittenberg, Emden was one of the most important sites of the Reformation in the 16th century. The baptism of 300 adults in an antechamber of the Great Church marked the beginning of the Anabaptist movement in north-west Germany and the Netherlands. The Synod of Emden (1571) was the first national synod of the Dutch Reformed Church.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Emden sees regular hourly train service from Bremen. There is also Inter-City service from further away with direct service to/from Cologne and Leipzig among others.

  • 1 Emden Hauptbahnhof. The main station, for easy access to the city Emden Central Station (Q320682) on Wikidata Emden Hauptbahnhof on Wikipedia
  • 2 Bahnhof Emden Außenhafen. Next to the harbor where ships for Borkum leave. Emden Außenhafen (Q800727) on Wikidata Emden Außenhafen station on Wikipedia

By car[edit]

A31 connects the city to the German Autobahn network.

By plane[edit]

If you are arriving from farther away, Bremen (BRE IATA), Groningen (GRQ IATA) and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS IATA) are your best bet.

By boat[edit]

AG EMS runs ferries to Borkum and a couple of other places. The ferry to Borkum is able to carry cars.

Get around[edit]


  • 1 Dat Otto Huus (Otto Waalkes' House), Große Straße 1, +49 4921 22121. Shop and museum of the German actor and comedian Otto Waalkes.
  • 2 Leaning Tower of Suurhusen. The village church steeple in Suurhusen was a previous Guinness World Record holder for having the largest angle of unintentional tilt. It beat the Leaning Tower of Pisa by over a degree. Leaning Tower of Suurhusen (Q132031) on Wikidata Leaning Tower of Suurhusen on Wikipedia






  • Heerens Hotel, Friedrich Ebert Straße 67, +49 4921 23740. Free Wi-fi for guests. single from €77 double from €95, suite from €90 (one person) or €118 (two people).

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Emden 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.