I like Kiel. Especially in summer when one can take those small harbour ferries out to the impressive beaches like Laboe or Schilksee / Strande. Great hikes along those beaches whatever part of the year it is. Another great hike is from Kiel following the Schwentine River to the lake district of Ploen and Eutin. In Kiel find the "Pumpe" with their cultural program and if you are a non-smoker -- well, suffer.
I spent a short weekend in Kiel with a friend and we were surprised at what a pleasant town it is. All the red brick buildings in the old town: looking very sturdy and sober. And then you come to the Harbour and - hey, what a nice and modern breeze! I loved it. Nice beaches nearby and great paths for bicycling.
Kiel is and has always been all about seafaring. They even call themselves the "Sailing City" and truly they are! Each year it is host to Kiel Week, which is the largest sailing event in the world (and a major party)! Tens of thousands of people are drawn to the city to marvel at boats old and new, small and huge, with thousands of sails in the wind.
The city itself lacks a bit in charm compared to its famous brothers of the Hanseatic League, such as Hamburg or Lübeck, where centuries of acquiring trading riches can clearly be seen in a fantastic display of elaborate housing. Kiel does have its fare share of those, too, but they are more of a scattered bunch than an ensemble and what is built around them is, well, not so much for the beauty lovers. Nonetheless the city is well worth visiting for its stunning tours of the harbour, visiting the dock and shipyards, or maybe for a city tour to the film locations of one of Germany's most popular crime series. There is also a plethora of very well-designed museums for regarding all walks of life. Of course as a city this size, it also has everything one could ask for in terms of cultural events, eating out, nightlife, and conveniences.
Hostels in Kiel are not super plentiful, but there is a choice at least. There are none of the big hostel chains and those Kiel hostels can't be considered cute, little atmospheric ones. They are kind of in between, definitely fully commercial but also not so very large. They definitely are more of a place to sleep than one to while away some days. That said, they are decently equipped and clean with bearable price levels (apart from Kiel Week dates, apparently). Location wise you have to be careful when choosing your Kiel hostel, as many a time the hostels are in residential areas a fair bit out of the center of town.
Not that it is hard to get there -- public transport is frequent and reliable. Getting to Kiel is very easy by all sorts of transportation (train, long distance bus, car) and a specialty are the many boat connections to and from Kiel. Kiel is the major port of the Baltic Sea for Germany, which not only brings cruise ships aplenty but also ferries plying traffic routes to Sweden and Finland as well as some other destinations around the Baltic Sea.
Hi, I'm gagalichen,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Kiel hostels. Welcome.