Flensburg (Danish: Flensborg) is a city in Schleswig-Holstein located on the east coast. The 90,000 (2018) inhabitants live around the Flensburger Förde (Flensborg fjord). Its main claim to fame besides being a border town is the fact that the central registry for traffic offenses committed throughout Germany is headquartered in Flensburg. While Flensburg, like much of Schleswig Holstein, had received an enormous number of refugees after the war and thus its population jumped above 100 000 in 1945, making it a Großstadt according to the German definition of the term, it had lost this status again by 1952 when the population fell through refugees moving on to more permanent housing. As population has been on the uptick in the 21st century, there is talk locally of achieving the population of 100 000 again in the near future.
In the last few days of World War 2 most leading Nazis were either in Berlin and going down with their Führer or had tried to escape, sometimes offering to make separate peace with the Western Allies (which Hitler deemed "treason" signing execution orders against anybody who tried it). When Hitler committed suicide, he named various people to various posts in his testament (a thing that was of course against all laws or legal precedent - but the Nazis did not exactly care about such things) but his appointed "successor", Propaganda Minister Goebbels committed suicide after a single day "in office"(as was expected of him) so whatever semblance of a German "government" there still was fell to a bunch of Nazis in and around Flensburg under "President" Karl Dönitz (formerly an admiral) and "Chancellor" Johann Ludwig Graf Schwerin von Krosigk appointed by Dönitz. While the Brits initially let the sham happen under their eyes, because they hoped it could help in ensuring an orderly surrender of German forces (which was signed May 7th by the military leadership) by May 23 the Brits had had enough and arrested the ridiculously top-heavy "government" that had barely "governed" over even Flensburg for less than a month.
Flensburg has long been a bi- or even trilingual community with a strong Danish minority and a German majority that gradually switched from speaking High German ("Hochdeutsch") only with out-of-towners and speaking Low German ("Niederdeutsch" or "Plattdeutsch") in virtually all other situations to speaking less and less Low German - though there are efforts to preserve the language.
As such and as the Danish border is just across the fjord, virtually all government offices and museums, even smaller ones will offer their website in German and Danish and often also English. Dutch and Low German historically formed a dialect continuum and written Dutch is close enough to written German that competent speakers of one can make out the gist of a text in the other, but don't count on mutual intelligibility.
Due to the border, many Danes come to Flensburg to buy goods which are either unavailable or more expensive in Denmark, particularly booze, which is highly taxed in the Nordic countries. On the other hand, people from Flensburg like hopping across the border to places like Sønderborg to sight-see or shop.
The tourist information center is in the old town centre.
- Tourism Agency, Rote Straße 15-17 (the address is Rote Straße, but the door is in the street Klostergang), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
By bus or train
- 1 Flensburg station. Sadly the historic main station built in the 1880s which was much closer to most points of interest was shut down and so if you're arriving by train, you'll be somewhat out of town.
- 2 Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof Flensburg (ZOB) (Central bus station). Built as one of the first central bus stations in Germany in the 1930s and sometimes jokingly referred to as "Gummibahnhof" ("rubber station") it sits at the site of the old central train station and is thus much closer to many points of interest.
Most people arrive here by car. Flensburg is situated at the border of Germany and Denmark, beside the motorway ( in Denmark) leading to Hamburg in the south and to Kolding and further north in Denmark. It's one of the most important routes between the Nordic countries and Central Europe.
The nearest airports are Hamburg (HAM IATA) about 150 km (93 mi) away offering a wide array of flights to domestic and international destinations and Sønderborg (SGD IATA, in Denmark 50 km (31 mi) away; flights from Copenhagen only). Hamburg airport is served by the Hamburg S-Bahn and from Hamburg main station direct RE and Intercity trains leave for Flensburg with a travel time a bit under 2 hours. From Sonderborg airport take a taxi to the rail station and then DSB train.
- 3 Flensburg harbor. Served by the occasional cruise and able to accommodate private boats. Also includes a "museum harbour" exhibit.
Flensburg offers a nice shopping district with old houses and gardens as well as a variety of museums and churches. The harbour is the hosting place for sailing regatta and events.
- 1 Museumsberg Flensburg, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. A museum on a hill in the center of Flensburg exhibiting local history artefacts and art by not only local artists. Adult €6, reduced €3.
- 2 Naturwissenschaftliches Museum (Science Museum) (on the museum hill next to the other museum), ☏ . Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. Adult €6, reduced €3.
- 3 Schifffahrtsmuseum (Shipping museum), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 11:30-17:00. A museum dedicated to Flensburg's maritime history, including a small exhibit on rum, the "Rum-Museum" in the basement. Adult €6, reduced €3.
There are combined tickets for all the museums on "Museum mountain" (which are rather close to each other) which cost €8 for adults and €4 for people who qualify for reduced entry.
- 4 Phänomenta. Oct-May: M-F 09:00-17:00, Sa Su 11:00-18:00; Jul-Sep: M-F 10:00-18:00; Sa Su 11:00-18:00. An interactive science museum, where you can try experiments on you own, especially interesting for families and children and anybody interested in science from €9.50 for adults to €7.00 for youth and €2.00 for children.
- 5 Museumswerft (Shipyard museum) (directly on the harbour.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 08:00-17:00, Sa Su 10:00-17:00; tours are available when booked in advance. This museum shows and builds old ships and boats and offers courses for children, teenagers and adults. €1, donations welcome.
- 6 Wehrgeschichtliches Ausbildungszentrum (Kommandeursvilla). Tuesdays 14:00-19:00. A naval museum in the famous Naval Academy Mürwik. The "Mürwik area" was the last part of Germany left under Nazi German control in May 1945 before the British forces in the area decided to put an end to the charade by having the "government" of "president" (former admiral) Dönitz arrested. free but visitors must show their identity cards.
- 7 Eiszeit-Haus (Ice Age House). As the last Ice Age has had a significant impact on the local geology and geography, this house holds a number of interesting fossils and geological samples. Free, donations welcomed.
- 8 Robbe & Berking Yachting Heritage Centre, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 11:00 - 18:00. A yachting museum opened in October 2016 run by the local silversmithing company of the same name
- 9 St. Nikolai (Lutheran).
- 10 St. Marien (Lutheran).
- 11 St. Johannis (Lutheran).
- 12 St. Marien, schmerzhafte Mutter (Roman Catholic).
- 13 Helligåndskirken (Church of the Holy Spirit, Danish church, Lutheran).
- 14 Lutheran Church St. Jürgen. A typical photo subject. The church is good to see from the harbour on the eastern shore.
- 15 Christuschurch (in the borough Mürwik). A garrison church built in the 1950s. The Christuschurch owns a beautiful triumphal cross (rood) from the 16th century. Otherwise the church is as unadorned and austere as one would expect of a Lutheran church.
- 16 Nikolai-Apotheke (at the "Südermarkt", an old marketplace). One of the oldest buildings in the city. It was built in the 15th century. The architecture inside as well as outside is very much worth visiting.
- 17 . Built to look like a castle on the orders of German Emperor Wilhelm II and opened in 1910. It was modelled after Marienburg, the Castle of the Teutonic Order, which lays today in the Polish town Malbork. The naval academy has churned out German naval forces under four different political systems (Imperial Germany, Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany and finally the Federal Republic).
- 18 Marinesportsschule (Naval sports academy) (in the borough Mürwik). This part of the Naval Academy was built in 1936/37. In May 1945 it was the seat of the "Flensburg Government" (see infobox).
- 19 Glücksburg Castle (just outside Flensburg). Beautiful old white castle. €5.
- 1 Flens-Arena (Campushalle), Campusallee 2. Home to SG Flensburg-Handewitt, one of Germany's — and therefore the world's — premier Handball teams which is among the top contenders for the German championship in most seasons.
A nice way to enjoy the maritime atmosphere of Flensburg is to take a tour on one of the 5 different ferries.
- Alexandra, ☏ . The Alexandra was built in 1908 and is so the oldest passenger stream boat which is still in use in whole Germany.
- MS Viking, ☏ .
- [formerly dead link] MS Möwe, ☏ .
- MS Flora II, ☏ .
- [dead link] MS Feodora, ☏ .
- 2 Nedderdütsche Bühn (Low German Theater), ☏ . A theatre putting on plays in the local Low German vernacular.
- 3 Theaterwerkstatt Pilkentafel, Pilkentafel 2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Plays largely in High German. €15 for regular tickets, €20 if you wish to help the theatre, €10 for students.
- 4 Det lille Teater Flensborg (Danish Theater), Marienstr. 20, ☏ , ✉ Info@detlilleteater.de. An amateur theatre with roughly 80 seats putting on plays in Danish.
Lots of people arrive in Flensburg from Denmark and the other Nordic countries for shopping. In the old centre of Flensburg are numerous shops along the pedestrian street Holm (Danish: Holmen) and Große Straße.
- 1 Flensburg Galerie, Holm 57-61.
- 2 Twedter Plack. The borough Mürwik (Muerwik) owns also an separate little centre, named Twedter Plack. The centre is on the edge of the military where also located is the Naval Academy Mürwik.
- 3 Rote Straße (Red Street). As part of the traditional "Ochsenweg" the Rote Straße represents a big part of Flensburg's history. Many little shops can be found there.
Thanks to being close to the border with Denmark and being served by a major Autobahn, the surroundings of Flensburg boast many major malls. Price differences between Denmark and Germany may make a certain item a bargain for Danish people but it might be expensive for Germans.
- 4 Fördepark (Served by bus lines 14 & 15). A shopping centre on the outskirts of town.
- 5 (right off the northernmost exit of A7 motorway in Germany in nearby Handewitt). Due to its location and tourists visiting it is allowed to open all week long and attracts locals from both sides of the border, who go there for a Sunday grocery run.
- 6 Citti Park, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Dionysos, Glücksburger Straße 174, ☏ . A Greek restaurant in the first floor of Hotel Fruerlund.
- 1 Marien-Café, Norderstrasse 13, ☏ .
- Goldene Lilie, Angelburger Straße 10-16 (opposite of the side entrance of the Fensburg Galerie), ☏ , fax: . 11:30-15:00 and 17:30-23:00. A Chinese restaurant offering a tasty buffet and a good menu.
- Galerie, Holm 66 (located in a garden, opposite the Holm). A restaurant offering a variety of pizza and pasta, non-vegetarian and vegetarian food.
- Hotel am Wasserturm, Blasberg 13, 24943 Flensburg (in Flensburg-Mürwik, there are signs showing the way to the hotel), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- Hotel Seewarte, Mürwikerstrasse 164, 24944 Flensburg, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 14:00-21:00, check-out: 07:00-12:00. Inexpensive hotel outside the city centre. Not without reason sometimes compared to British comedy "Fawlty Towers", but the staff is very kind and helpful. No credit cards accepted €35-50.
- Hostel Flensburg, Zur Exe 23, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 16:00-21:00, check-out: till 12:00.
- Jugendherberge Flensburg, Fichtestraße 16, 24943 Flensburg, ☏ .
- 1 Hotel Alte Post, Rathausstraße 2, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Routes through Flensburg|
|Aalborg ← Åbenrå ←||N S||→ Rendsburg → Hamburg|