Download GPX file for this article
53.633311.4167Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Schwerin is the state capital of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. It is famous for its romantic palace, the seven lakes around the city and its well-preserved old town.


View over Schwerin

Zuarina was founded as a Slavic fortress in the 10th or 11th century. In the 12th century, it was conquered by Germans and the region was Christianised. Schwerin was made the seat of a county, that later evolved into the Duchy of Mecklenburg. While Schwerin remained the political centre, the Hanseatic seaports Rostock and Wismar were more prosperous and grew faster.

Around 1765, Duke Frederick II ("the Pious") moved his residence to Ludwigslust, a Baroque new town planned on a drawing board, 40 km south of Schwerin (like Louis XIV of France had moved his residence from Paris to Versailles). In 1837, the capital was moved back to Schwerin. Grand Duke Frederick Francis II who was on the throne from 1842 to 1883 had Schwerin's castle completely rebuilt in a fancyful, romantic style. It is now known as a "fairytale castle" or "Neuschwanstein of the north".

During the Cold War and German partition, Schwerin was one of East Germany's 15 district seats. Despite Rostock being larger, Schwerin remains the state capital of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, re-established after Germany's re-unification of 1990. Its regained political importance and its location within the Hamburg Metropolitan Region notwithstanding, Schwerin's population dropped by 30% between 1989 and 2012, recovering slightly since then. With around 95,000 inhabitants it is the smallest German state capital and the only state capital not to be a "Großstadt", a city above 100,000, as defined by German statistics.

Tourist information


Get in


By plane


The closest major airport is Hamburg (HAM IATA), 115 km from Schwerin (1½ hours by train). Rostock airport (RLG IATA) is a little closer (78 km), but little frequented. Berlin Brandenburg Airport is further off (some 200 km) and less conveniently connected - one option is to take the IC to Rostock and change trains there.

By rail

  • 1 Schwerin station. has direct ICE connections from Hamburg (four times a day; taking 52 minutes), Rostock (55 min), Stralsund (1:50 h) and Hannover (twice a day 2:15–2:40 h). Twice a day there is an intercity train from Bremen (1:55–2:25 h), the Ruhr area (4:50–6 h), Cologne (6–6½ h), once a day from Frankfurt (8½ h, the indirect connection by ICE via Hamburg takes just 5:40 h). Once a day, an intercity train arrives from Magdeburg (2 h) and Leipzig (3:40 h). Schwerin Central Station (Q464303) on Wikidata Schwerin Hauptbahnhof on Wikipedia
  • Traveling from Berlin takes about 2 hours and requires to change trains in Ludwigslust.
  • Regional trains connect Schwerin at an hourly interval with Wismar (25 min), Ludwigslust (30 min), Parchim (45 min); two-hourly with Wittenberge (55 min), Hamburg (1:25 h), Berlin (2½ h). They stop at 2 Schwerin-Mitte in addition to the main station.

By car


Schwerin is just of the A 14 about 200 km northwest of Berlin and 100 km east of Hamburg using the A 24. Lübeck is about 65 km and 90 km from Rostock via the A20.

Get around


By tram


Schwerin has a tram network some 21 km (13 mi) long, serving most of the city.


Schweriner Schloss (Schwerin Palace)
  • 1 Schweriner Schloss (Schwerin Palace). The castle nowadays houses the state parliament. It sits next to the Schweriner See (lake) and adjacent to a park. Schwerin Castle (Q573656) on Wikidata Schwerin Palace on Wikipedia
  • 2 Schwerin Cathedral (Schweriner Dom). A major example of Northern German brick Gothic. Schwerin Cathedral (Q694424) on Wikidata Schwerin Cathedral on Wikipedia
  • 3 Schweriner Fernsehturm (TV tower), Hamburger Allee 72-74 (6 km southeast of old town). The 136.5 m (448 ft)-high TV tower is a unique design; the cross-section of the tower is a curved triangle instead of a circle. As a curiosity close to it, there is a guyed radio mast, which is 273 m high. Schwerin TV tower (Q2257120) on Wikidata Schwerin TV tower on Wikipedia
  • 4 Internationales Feuerwehrmuseum Schwerin (International Fire Brigade Museum), Hamburger Allee 68, 19063 Schwerin (300 m from TV tower; tram 1 or 2 "Neu Zippendorf"), +49 385 20271539. 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mondays. Very extensive collection of everything related to fire brigades. Fire engines, model fire engines, uniforms, helmets, masks, equipment, pumps, training equipment. A lot of stuff relating to the former DDR (East Germany) but also West German and international. €5. International Firefighters Museum Schwerin (Q1667722) on Wikidata
  • 5 Zoo Schwerin, An der Crivitzer Chaussee 1 (4 km southeast of old town; tram 1 or 2 "Zoo"). Zoo Schwerin (Q220087) on Wikidata
  • 6 Freilichtmuseum Schwerin-Mueß. Schwerin-Mueß Open Air Museum (Q1435513) on Wikidata


Mecklenburg State Theatre
  • Climb the tower of the Schwerin Cathedral. Go via the main entrance, then go to the back of the pews, pay the attendant €2 and climb the spiral staircase. At the top, there are 360 degree views of the city.
  • 1 Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater (Mecklenburg State Theatre), Alter Garten 2. Staging operas, operettas, musicals, dramas, ballet and symphonic concerts. Mecklenburg State Theatre (Q1915756) on Wikidata Mecklenburg State Theatre on Wikipedia
  • 2 Capitol Schwerin, Wismarsche Straße 128. Heritage cinema from the 1930s. Venue of the Filmkunstfest MV (cinematics festival). Capitol Schwerin (Q1034693) on Wikidata
  • Cycle around Lake Schwerin (61 km (38 mi)), or only the nearer half of it (Innensee, 32.5 km (20.2 mi))






  • 1 Back Factory, Schloßstraße 35, +49 385 5408994. Bakery snacks and sandwiches.
  • 2 Suppenstube, Schloßstraße 29.
  • 3 DAR Café, Pfaffenstraße 8.
  • 4 Chicken Go, Arsenalstraße 5.
  • 5 Salädchen Paulstadt, Wismarsche Str. 143.
  • 6 Adana Döner Kebab, Goethestraße 99.
  • 7 Adria, Puschkinstraße 44. Croatian.


  • 8 Cafe Prag, Schloßstraße 17, +49 385 565909. Nice food at reasonable prices.
  • 9 Restaurant Lukas, Großer Moor 5. Seafood
  • 10 Das Martins, Lübecker Str. 19. German restaurant
  • 11 Müllers Café - Bistro - Kneipe, Puschkinstraße 55.
  • 12 KostBar Schwerin - Café-Bistro-Kunst, Puschkinstraße 42.


  • 13 La Bouche et El Pato, Buschstraße 9.
  • 14 Restaurant & Café Herzogliche Dampfwäscherei, Großer Moor 56.


  • 1 Zum Freischütz, Ziegenmarkt 11. A pub that serves great food and drinks. Try the Fladenbrot. One is enough to share between two people. Probably the best pub in town, that's why you can expect it to be very crowded.
  • 2 Bolero Bar, Mecklenburgstraße 2. Relaxed cocktailbar with quite nice Mexican food, next to Pfaffenteich in the city centre.
  • 3 Rösterei Fuchs, Am Markt 4. Roasts their own coffee and serves great hot chocolate. They are located on Am Markt.


  • 1 Amedia Plaza Schwerin, Bleicherufer 23, +49 385 57550. Large simple business hotel; 1.5 km from the old town, 850 m from the Schwerin-Mitte station.
  • 2 NH Schwerin, Zum Schulacker 1, 19061 Schwerin, +49 385 63700. Comfortable four-star hotel, 5 km southwest of the old town. Rooms from €48.

Go next

  • Wismar, medieval seaport and mercantile city of the Hanseatic League, Unesco World Heritage, 30 km north (30 min by train)
  • Ludwigslust, Mecklenburg's secondary residence during the Baroque era, dubbed "Versailles of Northern Germany", 38 km south (35 min by train)
  • Poel, island in the Baltic Sea, 45 km north (one hour by train and bus via Wismar)
  • Ratzeburg, former capital of the tiny Duchy of Lauenburg, surrounded by four lakes, 47 km west (1:20 h by train via Büchen)
  • Boltenhagen, Baltic sea resort, 50 km northwest (1:20 h by train and bus via Wismar)
  • Güstrow, 60 km east (50–55 min by train via Bützow or Bad Kleinen)
  • Lübeck, 70 km northwest (1:10 h by train via Bad Kleinen)
  • Kühlungsborn, posh seaside resort, 75 km north
  • Rostock, East Germany's major international port and biggest city of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, 90 km northeast (50–60 min by train)
  • Stralsund, to see the Ozeaneum (2h by train)
  • Prora, with treetop walks and tower.

This city travel guide to Schwerin 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.