Helgoland Travel Guide

  • Helgoland
    by Kathrin_E
  • Helgoland flag
    Helgoland flag
    by Kathrin_E
  • Helgoland
    by Russell_the_Wombat

Helgoland Things to Do

  • Lummenfelsen – The Rock of the Birds

    Germany’s smallest nature reserve consists of one single rock. It is a it is a huge condo, densely occupied. Five specieses of sea birds nest here: guillemots (Trottellumme, Uria aalge) and the closely related razorbill (Tordalk, Alca torda), kittywake (Dreizehenmöwe, Rissa tridactyla), a small seagull), fulmar (Eissturmvogel, Fulmarus glacialis)...

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  • The Protestant Church

    The protestant church in the middle of Oberland settlement dates from 1959. It contains a couple of art works from the old church, like ship models, tombstones and a chandelier. Helgoland was christianized already in the 8th century. The old patron saint of merchants and sailors, St Nikolaus, is still the namesake of the protestant church. The...

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  • 1950s Architecture

    Due to the complete destruction of 1947, everything on the island was rebuilt from scratch in the post-war era. After Britain had returned Helgoland to Germany in 1952, the local population was able to return. They had to reinvent their home. Instead of “wild” building, careful urban planning was applied and a functional settlement was designed....

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  • Cute Cows

    I have no idea what a race this is! I assume it is an old, almost extinct one. These cows are whiteish and rather small. They have a curly, almost woolly fur which makes them look like big sheep. Three of them, a bull and two heifers, were in a pasture in Oberland by the round walk (close to the public toilets and the allotment gardens). They...

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  • Düne

    Helgoland consists of two islands: the sandstone rock as the main island, and the small sandy one called Düne (dune). The existence of one single solitary rock in the middle of the sea is amazing enough, but I am even more astonished about the persistence of this patch of sand. Düne is the beach of Helgoland with white sands and clear waters for...

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  • The Berlin Bear

    At the southernmost point of Oberland the statue of a standing bear is overlooking the sea towards Southeast. The inscription on the pedestal says it’s 456 kilometres to Berlin. A piece of nostalgy from cold war times – many cities and towns in West Germany had such bear statues indicating the distance to Berlin.

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  • The Sandstone Cliffs

    Helgoland consists of one single rock of red sandstone. Its layers show all shades of deep red with some white in between. The layers are slightly inclined, which explains the shape of the island with the steep cliffs in the North a dn West and the lower part in the Southeast. The layers of rock form a striped pattern that continues over all the...

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  • Round Walk on the Edge of Oberland

    A walk along the Klippenrandweg around the edges of Oberland is a must. To reach it from the port you can either take the elevator or climb one of the three stairways. Its total lenght is approximately 3 kilometres, but plan enough time, I’d estimate about one and a half hours. There are plenty of viewpoints to all sides. The views of the cliffs...

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  • Lange Anna

    The rock pillar named Lange Anna is Helgoland’s landmark and most famous attraction. At the Northern tip of the sandstone cliffs this freestanding tower remained while the rocks around crumbled about 140 years ago. Some day it will crumble, too, although the bottom is protected by concrete barriers. The total height is 47 metres. The rock is a...

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  • Duty-Free Shopping

    Helgoland is a duty-free zone. Instead of the usual souvenir shops which would usually assemble in tourist hotspots like this one, you have duty-free shops with cigarets and tobacco, alcoholic beverages, perfumes, chocolate and such, and a just small selection of souvenirs. The highest density ca be found around the port and in the centre of...

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  • Hummerbuden

    The colourful shacks that are lined up in a long row along the quay once were the work sheds of the lobster fishers where they kept their tools and traps. The lobsters have become rare around Helgoland recently, though, and the trade is down. According to a documentary I recently saw on TV there is one single fisherman left who still uses his shack...

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  • Helgoland Museum

    Price is cheap, just 2 euro per adult, and for children 1 euro.It is a very nice museum near the pier.You will learn about the history of the island, the first inhabitants. There are many fishing artefacts.It is a must in Helgoland Island.

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Helgoland Hotels

Helgoland Restaurants

  • ericaj.'s Profile Photo

    by ericaj. Updated Nov 25, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Living In Northern Germany I have always been at odds with the fact that it's difficult to find moderately priced seafood restaurants given our proximity to the North Sea. On the tiny sea island of Helgoland, Die Bunte Kuh (or Colored Cow) is a quaint little Godsend of a place that offers tasty seafood dishes, simply prepared, at resonable prices with a dash of color from tourist day trippers and quiet local folk. As is the general feeling throughout the rest of the island, the feeling and ambiance of the place is a curious and delightful mix reminiscent of coastal America's upper New England, and the 90's CBS TV series "Northern Exposure"...

    Favorite Dish: I would suggest as a general reccomendation to try any number of the salmon (lachsfilet) or plaice (scholle or schollenfilet) offered in Helgoland or anywhere in Germany. These two fish, along with walleye (zander filet) and pollack (seelachs filet) are standard staples of Northern German seafood cuisine, and are best enjoyed with a simple butter or hollandaise sauce , accompanied with parsley potatoes. Try this alongside with one of the local German wines produced in the south of the country and you have the formula for a satisfying meal.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Budget Travel
    • Historical Travel

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Helgoland Transportation

  • Getting There: Katamaran from Hamburg...

    The fastest connection to Cuxhaven is the katamaran "Halunder Jet" which takes you there from Cuxhaven in a little more than one hour. The katamaran runs at a speed of 35 knots (almost 70 kph), twice as fast as a normal ship. It actually starts in Hamburg, the only direct connection from the city to Helgoland. Unlike the ferry ships which have to...

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  • Getting Up: The Elevator

    The elevator to Oberland is located at the end of the shopping street – hard to miss, just follow the crowds from the port. Two lift cabins run all the time according to need and request. Both are manned, the guy inside will collect the tickets. On the way up you buy tickets from the cash box which is impossible to miss, on the way down you can buy...

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  • Getting around: The Börte Train

    This little train vehicle does round tours starting from the port. They have a tour of the lower prt of th island (Unterland) and, with only one little bus, a tour of the top part (Oberland). Each takes about 40-45 minutes and starts one per hour. A time-saving option to see a bit of the island. Tickets are sold on the spot.However, on a normal...

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Helgoland Shopping

  • For The Ladies: A Cosmetics Paradise

    ...up to 40% less than the price of designer scents and toiletries found in the States or many large cities in Europe- with wonderful clearance specials as well. Being a haven for sales tax-free shopping, on the lower level of the Island you can find an endless variety of cosmetic shops that offer top European perfume and toiletries for men and...

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  • Duty free on Helgoland

    For us germans it is a special place, cause we can buy duty free there, even though it is german ground. But of course the common restrictions concerning the amount of alcohol, parfume or coffee have to be considered!Compare and calculate! Alcohol, parfume, coffee.

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  • Helgoland Hotels

    8 Hotels in Helgoland

Helgoland Local Customs

  • Allotment Gardens

    Allotment gardens are no Helgoland speciality, they are common and popular all over Germany, but I found these especially cute and worth a look. They are perched on the edge of the cliff on the Northeastern side outside Oberland settlement. The round walk takes you right past them. They are all walled in with high fences and hedges to protect them...

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  • Boating when arriving and leaving...

    If you take the traditional boat (means: not the katamaran) then you will take part in the boating procedure. Everybody has to exit the ship and take a small boat to land. Especially when the waves are higher, it is something funny.

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Helgoland Warnings and Dangers

  • Beware of the Wind

    The strong sea wind will grab everything. One easily loses lightweight pieces like hats, scarves, plush animals (Russell was strictly confirmed to staying in my bag...) Along hte cliffs there is no way of retrieving a lost item. Secure your belongings.

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  • Use Sunscreen

    Helgoland is famous for its clean air, but the consequence of clean air is a high intensity of UV radiation. Use sunscreen, and use a high protection factor. SPF 20 was hardly enough for three hours in August.

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Helgoland What to Pack

  • ericaj.'s Profile Photo

    by ericaj. Updated Nov 25, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Unless you're a backpacker, rolling bags are best ,as you will probably have a 5-10 minute walk to your hotel after disembarking your boat, and this is one of those "bike only" locales.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Most importantly, comfortable walking shoes or sneakers are key here. For sightseeing around the island, and tackling the climb of THE STAIRS from upper to lower Helgoland...which you are bound to do daily...at least 2-3 times.... In summer, have sturdy flip flops in case you manage to get to the beach on a sunny day. Lastly, a light windbreaker or rain poncho is always useful, because Northern Germany is no stranger to rainy days....

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: As is usually the case in Germany, bring your own ibuprofren or tylenol for minor aches and pains, as pain relievers can only be dispensed by pharmacies (at exorbitant prices)...

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Never hurts to have your own beach mat or towel in summer to avoid paying high prices at local tourist shops!

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Helgoland Off The Beaten Path

  • Bird Watching

    If you take a walk on this little island especially near the "Long Anna" you can watch a lot of bird from the sea..

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  • Helgoland in the off-season

    I spent two weeks on the island of Helgoland, and was almost declared crazy over that. After all, the island lies far out in the north sea and is tiny, only about one square kilometre, i.e. you can walk around the entire island in an hour. Also, I went in early spring, when there were hardly any tourists around.I was glad I went. I love islands,...

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  • Helgoland Hotels

    8 Hotels in Helgoland

Helgoland Favorites

  • Oberland, Mittelland, Unterland

    Helgoland town consists of three parts: the “upper land” (Oberland) on the plateau, the “lower land” (Unterland) on the Southern and Eastern shore around the port and, on the step halfway, the “middle land” (Mittelland). Unterland has the port, the authorities and the busy shopping streets with loads of duty-free shops for day visitors. Oberland...

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  • The “Big Bang” of 1947

    Surely not a "favourite" of anyone on the island... The ragged surface of the once smooth Oberland tells of World War II. It has been shaped by countless bomb craters. After decades of fights, occupations and returns the Brits, who had occupied Helgoland in World War II, planned to set an end to the German lookout in the middle of the North Sea,...

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  • The Flag and the Colours

    Everywhere on the island you’ll see the flag and the colours: green, red and white. There is an old verse: Grün ist das Land,rot ist die Kant,weiß ist der Strand - das sind die Farben von Helgoland. Green is the land,red is the edge,white is the beach -those are the colours of Helgoland. The use of the flag has a lot to do with local pride, the...

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