Rügen is best known for the seaside resorts of Sellin, Binz, Baabe, Göhren and Thiessow in the southeast of the island. These are also all worth a visit, but represent only a small part of the largest island in Germany. Elsewhere on Rügen there are also special places and highlights. In this article I will show you the best Rügen sights and give you Rügen tips that you should not miss on your vacation.
Visit lovely seaside resorts, search for the golden amber along the islands shores and hike along the steep chalk cliffs in one of Germanys most beautiful national parks.
1. Go swimming at Thiessow beach
The Baltic seaside resort Thiessow is located in the well-visited southeast of Rügen on the peninsula Mönchsgut. You should go here because there is one of the most beautiful beaches of Rügen. White sand, shallow water and lots of space. Especially families should have their fun here. There is also a nudist area.
There’s also a pretty good campground across from the beach, from which you just have to walk across the street and you’re at the sea.
To get to Thiessow you have to drive past Sellin and through Baabe. Along the road to Thiessow there is often a traffic jam in the evening, because there are many hotels in this area and accordingly many tourists.
2. Hike the breathtaking Hochuferweg from Sassnitz to Lohme
One of the nature highlights on Rügen is the Hochuferweg in Jasmund National Park. It is about 15 km long and takes a good 6 hours. Not many tourists do this, but that’s why the hike is worth it. The path leads through an ancient beech forest – one of the last intact of its kind in the world – directly along the steep chalk cliffs, from which you can always catch fantastic views of the sea.
I enjoy the almost mystical stillness of the wind that blows through the beech crowns. Brown leaves blow past. Every now and then a beech tree falls to the ground and the dull echo of the impact breaks the silence. Very rarely, the chirping of a blackbird can be heard. It almost seems as if even the animals, full of reverence, keep the peace. I lean against a crooked tree and look through the thicket of the ancient beech forest. A white giant towers into the sea and my eyes are dazzled by the shining turquoise-blue water. – from my travel notes
A good starting point for the hike is the Kreidefelsen parking lot just behind Sassnitz. A day ticket costs 6€, but you can only pay cash at the machine.
After about 2.5 -3 hours you will reach the Victoria View at the most famous chalk cliff – the Königsstuhl. Here everything is very touristy. Buses regularly drive whole flocks of people back and forth. Many guests crowd around to shoot the same picture over and over again.
You also have to pay an entrance fee to get to the Königsstuhl. For 9.50€ per adult, you can get on the site with a viewing platform and visit an exhibition on 4 floors.
About an hour away from the Königsstuhl is the Ranzow Castle. There is a hotel with a golf course. You can relax in the café of the hotel. From the castle it is best to walk back to the Hochuferweg and along there for another hour to Lohme. In Lohme there is a bus stop from where buses go back to Sassnitz (line 14 to the stop Sassnitz Hauptstraße).
The chalk coast along the Hochuferweg is also known for its amber. You can also descend to the shore in some places along the path and go in search of the precious stones yourself. Especially after storms there are quite a lot of them.
3. Buy local products at the Rügen market.
Twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 16:00) the Rügen Market takes place at the harbor of Thiessow. At quite a few stalls you can find local food and handmade crafts. From jewelry to traditional crafts to freshly caught fish, there is everything.
The market is a good place to bring a souvenir for home.
4. Walk over the famous Sellin pier.
Even though it is one of the most visited Rügen sights, a visit to the Sellin pier – one of the most beautiful of its kind in Germany – is simply one of the Rügen highlights.
There is a quite good but not quite cheap restaurant here. Children will be especially thrilled by the diving gondola at the end of the bridge. For €9 per adult (€6 per child), you can take a dive down to the bottom of the Baltic Sea here. A dive trip lasts about 30 to 40 minutes.
Personally, though, I thought it was nice just to walk across the pier, enjoying the sea air while reading the plaques with historical information.
5. Chill at the Black Lake near Sellin.
From Sellin, an exciting 40-minute hiking trail leads along the cliffs of the high shore to the Schwarzer See (which means Black Lake). It is a kettle lake with bogs on the edge. This type of lake is very rare. There is a small footbridge from which you can observe the mystical nature around the Black Lake.
Through the forest path you will come back in 35 minutes.
6. discover Müther Tower in seaside resort Binz
Binz is one of the bigger tourist towns in Rügen. There are many great hotels here and accordingly many tourists. I myself therefore only paid a short visit to Binz. There is a beautiful long sandy beach here.
A cool architectural uniqueness on the beach of Binz is the Müther Tower (Müther Turm). This is a somewhat futuristic looking former rescue tower, which is now used as a registry office.
7. explore the nature reserve in the northwest of Rügen.
A not so well known area is the northwest of Rügen in the nature reserve Nordwestufer Wittow und Kreptitzer Heide. Here you will find a beautiful rugged coastline with sandy beaches, which is by far not as crowded as the south of Rügen. Enjoy the peace and quiet with a long walk on the beach. There are also a few campsites and vacation apartments.
A little further to the southwest, on the Bug peninsula, lies a former GDR military base. However, the access over the thin headland is closed. You can visit the base only on Tuesday and Thursday by guided tour. You can book a tour at the tourist office in Dranske.
8. Look into the distance from the lighthouse at Cape Arkona.
Cape Arkona is one of the northernmost points of Rügen. There are lighthouses and ruins to marvel at on this cliff and you can also hike along the trails, for example to the Siebenschneiderstein, about a kilometer north-west of the cape. This is then really the northernmost point of Rügen. Be careful: some of the paths are closed due to break-offs.
You can climb the big lighthouse for 3€ entrance fee. The view from the top over the landscape is worth it.
You can’t drive directly to the lighthouses by car. Tourists have to get off at the paid parking lot in Putgarten and walk the rest of the way.
9. Visit the mystical monolith graves
Already about 6,000 years ago, erratic blocks that remained on Rügen after the Ice Age were used by people culturally. One of the most famous and also largest stone formations on Rügen is the megalithic tomb “Riesenberg” Nobbin, south of Putgarten. Besides visiting the stones, a short hike along the coast is also worthwhile.
10. Search for chicken gods at the flint fields of the Schmale Heide.
The Schmale Heide is a headland between the Baltic Sea and the Kleiner Jasmunder Bodden. 4,000 years ago, fields were formed here with stones washed up during storm tides. Among the stones are many chicken gods as well as numerous flints. If you hit them together, they spray sparks.
Directly opposite the entrance at the Mukran parking lot, a small forest path leads toward the place.
11. Kitesurfing and windsurfing on the Baltic Sea.
There are several good spots in the region of Rügen for windsurfers and kitesurfers.
The best known are the beaches in the south on the peninsula Mönchsgut. Here there are several providers such as.
But there are also rentals and schools in the west and north, such as:
- Baltic Sea Kitesurfing School Rügen Kite in Sellin.
- Water sports school Rügen Pirates
- Kitesurf Factory
There is also a kite and surfboard school on the island of Ummanz:
12. Look through the crowns of the beech forest at the Prora tree top walk.
At Prora, you can walk along a treetop path up to the 70-meter-high observation deck and look over the crowns of the beech trees across the entire landscape.
With an entrance fee of €11, this sight is not exactly cheap, but should be worthwhile, especially for families. Along the path there are small games with lots of information about nature on Rügen. Many adults also use the games with enthusiasm.
13. Let the hunting lodge Granitz enchant you.
I found the Granitz hunting lodge quite impressive. For 6€ admission, you can expect a super exhibition with lots of interesting information that leads you through the rooms of the castle. What I found most exciting was the interactively recreated journey to Egypt from the diaries of Princess Wanda Marie zu Putbus.
Very impressive is the cast-iron spiral staircase that leads you to the highest tower of the castle. The staircase is definitely something only if you are not afraid of heights and are free from giddiness.
14. Hike over the small Zicker
If you are in the southeast of the island, then drive to the very south and take a short hike over the small Zicker. It only takes about half an hour but offers great views over the surrounding countryside and the surf beach where kite and wind surfers throw themselves into the waves in good conditions.
15. Experience a colossal sunset in a tree house
Ummanz is a small flat island that you can only reach via a bridge from Rügen. There is not much here except a few villages, a few campsites and a surf school.
A cool experience awaits you at the Rügen Surfhostel. Here you can spend the night in a tree house. The glowing red sunset from the tree house is absolutely fantastic. But be warned: it can be very windy here.
16. Climb the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Tower
The Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Tower was built already in 1877 and stands near Rügen’s capital Bergen. It is named after the poet of the same name. For an entrance fee of 2€ you can reach the very top of the glass dome from where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the region.
Right next to the tower is a nice hotel with a restaurant.
17. Search the disappeared castle in Putbus.
Putbus is known as “Rügen’s white town” because of its typical spa architecture. It was founded in 1810 as a planned town by Prince Wilhelm Malte I.
Also at that time, the 70-hectare castle park was laid out according to the French model. A visit is worthwhile, because the park is really beautiful.
Once there was even a magnificent castle here. But you will look for it in vain, because it was demolished in the 1960s. On some information boards in the park you can read the whole history of the castle. However, there are still some buildings to explore, such as the orangery, the old monkey house or the forge.
18. Drive along great avenues
The first section of the German Avenue Road runs through the middle of Rügen. If you are traveling by car, you should definitely take a detour or two to drive through the tunnel-like streets.
Other famous Rügen tips & sights
If you vacation on Rügen long enough, you can explore many more sights besides all the Rügen tips mentioned here. Here is a selection:
- The Dinosaur Land
- The Oldtimer Museum
- The Nazi ruins in Prora
- The Rügen Park – miniature buildings
- The Störtebeker Festival in Ralswiek
- The racing Roland – steam locomotive operated narrow-gauge railway (Rasender Roland)
A little further west of Rügen there is also the peninsula Fischland-Darß-Zingst. A little side trip here is worthwhile if you are ever in the area. In the following article I give many tips about this region:
As you can see, there is a lot to discover on Rügen. One week is not enough for that. Which places on Rügen have you already visited? Write me a message in the comments.
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