Plus you get the added benefit of being in Europe where there is so much more to see and do. Whether you choose the beautiful North Sea or the charming Baltic – or even the famous “Bavarian Sea” as the giant lake to the south is known – German beaches have something to offer everyone.
The pristine sugary-white sand beckons to all lovers of sun, sand and surf, especially during the spring and summer months. Listed here are some of the best beaches Germany has to offer, with many more other options than can be listed.
1. Sylt Island
Sylt Island is home to many of the favorite beaches in Germany. Located at the northernmost tip of the country, this island is known as the “Queen of the North Sea” because of the many miles of beaches here.
It is also famous for its healthy climate and healing powers it holds. From the spectacular red cliffs ( Rotes Kliff) of Kampen, the pristine white sands of Samoa and Sansibar, the family-friendly atmosphere of Wenningstedt or the amazing sand dunes that surround others, there is a beach for every desire.
This even includes “clothing optional” beaches. Westerland Beach is where all the local celebrities hang out, so you may be able to spot one and get a picture. No matter what your idea of a perfect beach vacation is, you will find it here on Sylt Island.
2. Rügen Island
It is the most popular island for locals and tourists looking for that perfect vacation involving a beach in Germany. The most popular beach on the island is perhaps Binz, from which you can see the magnificent Königsstuhl – white chalk cliffs.
Atop these cliffs is the UNESCO world heritage site of Jasmund National Park with its amazing ancient beech forests. Prorer Wiek Bay is beautiful, and a great place for snorkeling.
Schaabe is another German beach on the island and is best known for its wide, sugary-white sand. As is common with many areas, there are some beaches here that are strictly for nudists, and others where it is acceptable to go au-naturale.
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Hiddensee is a tiny island just off the coast of Rügen in the Baltic Sea. It has 15 miles of beaches around the island that are everything you could imagine. The most unique thing about the island is that it is entirely free of automobiles.
Once you get to the harbor, you leave your car and continue on foot, horseback, by bike or the ‘Bimmelbahn’ toy train! This leaves the entire island so peaceful and smog free that you will be amazed.
There is an amazing lighthouse on the island that is one of the great things to see in Germany while you are here. The beaches are fantastic, with some of them, such as Neuendorf, Kloster and Vitte being cleaned and maintained regularly.
While these are all generally family-friendly beaches, there are sections on most of them that are nudist areas.
Usedom is an island a little further along the Baltic coast, and is shared by Germany and Poland. There are many small bays along the entire coast with some amazing beaches throughout.
The island is known as “Berlin’s bathtub” because of the thermal spas that dot the area. The Kaiserbäder (Emperor’s spas) Heringsdorf, Ahlbeck and Bansin were all frequently visited by Wilhelm II, hence the name “Emperor’s spas”.
These are all amazing to soak in and let all your cares drift away.
5. Juist Island
Juist is an uninhabited island that is part of the East Frisian Islands. Like Hiddensee, no cars are allowed on the island. If you fly into the tiny airport, you can either rent a bike or better yet, rent a horse-drawn carriage for a magical ride to your destination.
This is just part of the reason the island is known as the “magic land”. There are wide stretches of some of the most beautiful white sandy beaches in Germany.
When not playing in the sea or sunbathing, you will want to bike or hike through Wattenmeer National Park which has been named a UNESCO heritage site.
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6. Wannsee Beach
Wannsee Beach is one of those beaches in Germany that are not on the sea. Lake Wannsee is the largest lake in the Berlin area, located on the west side of the city. It is the most popular place to go in Germany for great recreation on the beach.
Enjoy playing beach volleyball along one of the longest stretches of sand in the country, or swim, sail and play in the magnificent fresh water. There is even a large section for those that like to bare all.
7. Bay of Lübeck
Bay of Lübeck is a wonderful place to visit in Germany, not only for those that love the beaches but for history buffs and more.
Some of the beaches here include Pelzerhaken on the south side, Dhame the beautiful beach in the dunes, Timmendorfer, Grömitzer and Scharbeutzer that has a wonderful pier to explore.
Lübeck is an old medieval trading post where you can spend several hours getting lost in the history. There are some amazing lighthouses here as well that you will love seeing and getting pictures of.
Travemünde is well known for sailing, and all of the colorful boats here are a must see.
Chiemsee is one of the magnificent beaches that lie on the Bavarian “Sea”. This amazing lake on the southern section of the country is a wonderful and exciting place to go in Germany.
Chiemsee beach is one of the most popular for locals and tourists alike. Not only is the beach a terrific place to enjoy the sun and sand, but there is much more to see and do.
There is Herrenchiemsee, an ancient castle built for Louis XIV which is not to be missed. There are also many hiking and biking trails that take in the beautiful surrounding landscape.
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9. Warnemünde Beach
Warnemünde Beach is located at the town of Warnemünde just outside of Rostock. It is ideally set where the Warnow River flows into the Baltic Sea.
There is a towering lighthouse that stands guard over the harbor while huge ferries traverse the waters between Germany, Scandinavia and Russia. There are many cruise ships that can take you out to sea.
Spending the day playing in the sea, sunbathing and enjoying the warm sand and then relaxing while watching a magnificent sunset is the ideal way to spend the day.
Wismar is a very charming German beach on the Baltic. Not as large as many other port beaches, it has all the amenities you could need or want to make it a wonderful holiday destination.
There are great places for camping nearby in the aspen forests or along the meadows. There are even old mansions from the Wilhelmian era that have been restored and provide some of the most romantic and interesting accommodations.
11. Amrum Island
Amrum Island is a quaint little island south of Sylt that you will absolutely fall in love with. Situated between Kniepsand and the Wadden Sea it is affectionately known as the “Island of Freedom” by the locals.
There is plenty of beach here that you could easily find a place all to yourself. The charm of the island is reflected in the beautiful striped lighthouse, a windmill and colorful villages. It will make you feel like you are in the Netherlands.
You can take the ferry across from Sylt, or make an invigorating kayak trip. Either way, once there you will be enchanted.
Also read: The 15 Best Beaches in Malta
12. Zingst Island
Zingst Island is an amazing island with many of the finest beaches in Germany. Powdery fine white sand dominates all of the beaches, most of which are blue-flag quality, making it feel like you are in the Caribbean instead of way north.
A huge portion of the island, both inland and out to sea, is a nature reserve. You will find some of the most amazing fish here, as well as wildlife and birds, that you won’t see elsewhere.
There is no industry here, and the vast majority of houses have thatched roofs which make them blend into the landscape, giving the island such a magical sensation.
Situated between the North Sea and the Baltic, this is the ideal place to dive, swim and enjoy many watersports as well as hike and bike the many trails.
13. St. Peter-Ording
St. Peter-Ording is one of the German beaches that is well known for its seemingly magical healing powers. Sulphur springs here are what attribute to the healing that comes to the mind and body that bring people from all over to experience.
It is also a very popular destination for wind and kite surfers, as the winds create ideal conditions. Along the boardwalk there are plenty of places to get food, drinks and souvenirs so your day here will be perfect.
14. The Darß Peninsula
The Darß Peninsula is very popular, especially with locals, not only for its terrific beaches but for the solitude and beauty of the landscape.
Gespensterwald, or ghost forest, is a breathtaking place to visit in Germany, with the amazing flora, fauna and wildlife. Nienhagen beach is near the forest so you can take in both. It is also a great beach for those that love to dive and snorkel.
Another popular beach on the peninsula is Timmendorfer Strand. Located on the Baltic coast, this is an ideal getaway for some peaceful time in this beautiful country.
15. Horn Beach
Horn Beach is a freshwater beach on the beautiful Lake Constance. Located on the south side of the country it is in close proximity to some of the most amazing castles that people flock to see.
Most any water sports you could desire to do you can enjoy here. From stand up paddle boarding to jet skiing or just wading in the water to cool off from sunbathing, you will find this a perfect escape.
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There are so many things to do in Germany, and a visit to any one of the many German beaches is probably one of the most underrated and unknown activities.
As you can see, not only are there many beaches along the coastlines and lakes that are fabulous, but there are many small islands that offer their own unique flair.
So whether visiting the country to see the amazing castles, or are looking for a beach destination that has more to offer, you can not go wrong by enjoying some of the best beaches in Germany.