Whenever you visit Kiel in summer, you should definitely add at least one beach day to your list of things to do. All around the Kieler Förde you can find many beaches that invite you to relax or do sports, or maybe even both. When the thermometer hits the 20°C mark, Kielers and tourists immediately come out of their houses and hit the beaches to inhale every bit of summer Schleswig-Holstein has to offer. In case you do not have the time, the bathing areas around Kiellinie are good destinations – and quite a unique swimming experience but you should definitely try and get to the beaches first.
The area around Kieler Förde is divided into east coast (Ostufer) and west coast (Westufer).
While you will find the city centre and all of the important spots of the city on west coast, the most famous beaches are located on east coast (those from west coast might not accept this fact). But it is inarguable, that the sunsets in particular are a thing on the other side!
Starting off from the main station, several buses will take you to Möltenort, Laboe, and Schönberg. While the most beautiful spots can be reached only by car or after a quite long walk, the main beaches are also worth a visit.
After a twenty-minute bus ride, taking line 100/101 from Kiel Hauptbahnhof (main station), you will reach the Rathaus Heikendorf station (Heikendorf town hall). From there it is a 15-minute walk to Möltenort Beach. This one is quite a small beach but normally there will be some space for you and your belongings. When you get hungry from roasting in the sun or playing beach volleyball, a kiosk provides you with everything from french fries to ice-cream.
If you go further with line 100, or take the 102 from Kiel’s main station (or line 512S in summer), you will reach Laboe, famous for its promenade with many shops, cafés, and restaurants and the huge memorial at its end. You absolutely shouldn’t miss going up there on a bright day to enjoy the view over Kieler Förde. Laboe has many kilometres of beach starting from the harbour and ending somewhere in Stein, the next destination you should have on your list. You will find an almost white beach there with shallow water, ideal for families with children and for those who are looking for warm water. Stein is calm, with no shops and just one café , next to the beach.
Going further along the coast and leaving the Kieler Förde, you will find yourself in Heidkate. The beach is located right next to a small forest, what makes this area perfect for long walks during every season. There is almost no infrastructure and only some holiday homes interrupt the expanse of nature in Heidkate. That is also why it is best to go there by car. Always dreamt of going to the beach in California or Brasil? You will not have to catch the next plane to spend some time there. Roughly 30 minutes away from Kiel, Kalifornien and Brasilien will welcome you with many kilometres of pristine beach. Like Heidkate you can reach these places best by car.
If you need more action, more to do or to see, you should go a little further along the coast, until you end up at Schönberger Strand. Lots of food, from Döner to tapas and some cafés in between, make you forget the time while you are lying in the sand, listening to the waves and probably to some playing children as well. Schönberger Strand is – right after Laboe – where the tourists like to go. People from all over Germany and even Europe come here to enjoy their holidays, so there will always be something going on. Take line 200 from Kiel’s main station to be part of the real summer in Schleswig-Holstein.
While the east coast of the Kieler Förde almost only consists of long white beaches, the west coast of Kiel offers a slightly different beach experience. You will have to cross the Kiel Canal first, when you want to visit Falckenstein, Schilksee or Strande, but all three places can be easily reached by bus, which is a big plus in comparison to the east coast.
Falckensteiner Strand is a part of Friedrichsort and is known for its almost three kilometres of pristine white beach with patches of grass instead of beach chairs on it. The water is shallow, ideal for families, and many water sports enthusiasts find their way to Falckenstein every summer. Starting off from main station, you can get there by taking line 502 or, in summer, lines 503S or 512S.
When going northward from Falckenstein you will reach Schilksee, which played a big role in the Olympic Games in 1972. Although the Games mostly took place in Munich, the sailing competitions were held in Schilksee in the ‘Olympic Centre’. The harbour and some buildings from these times still remain (get ready for some pretty brutal 1970s architecture) and during Kieler Woche it almost feels like the Olympic Games have returned. But Schilksee is not only about sailing – although it is one of the best destinations for this sport – you will also find about one kilometre of beautiful beach here, where you can always have an eye on the boats going by. Using line 502 or, in summer, line 512S, you can reach Schilksee easily by bus.
Strande is already part of the Eckernförder Bucht but should not be missing in our Beach Guide. Located close to Schilksee, Strande offers beautiful beaches for everyone. Accommodation options are plentiful and if you come for a few days, don’t miss the Bülk Lighthouse. It is the oldest lighthouse on the Kieler Förde and after you have traversed its 25 metres, a restaurant, open year round, will be waiting for you. To reach Strande, just stay on bus 502 or 512S.
What you should know:
→ In summer the ferry (line F1) takes you from Kiel’s main station to Möltenort, Friedrichsort
(Falckensteiner Strand), Laboe, and some other destinations and is definitely worth a ride!
→ Most beaches in and around Kiel have parts that are not free of charge. Those are the ones
that are maintained by the municipalities during summer. Charges vary from 1,00€ to 2,50€ per
day for adults and have to be paid when entering the beach.
→ When going to the beach by car, you should have some money for parking ready. Most
parking lots close to the beaches are not free of charge.