City Profile: Flensburg

Flensburg is the third largest city in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. It is Germany’s northernmost city, located less than 10km from the Danish border. This proximity to Denmark as well as to the Baltic Sea which made sea travel an important part of Flensburg’s identity, have characterised the city and its surrounding area.

Things to see and do:

Flensburger Förde

Sailing boats in the evening light
Sailing students ride across the Flensburg Firth near Gluecksburg, Germany, 20 May 2015. Photo:�Carsten Rehder/dpa | Verwendung weltweit© picture alliance / dpa

The fjord-like Flensburger Förde is a 40 to 50 kilometre-long inlet of the Baltic Sea marking the German border to Denmark. It is a popular destination for sailing and kitesurfing but with beautiful scenery, the firth is also nice to explore ashore. There are several beaches and hiking trails on the German as well as on the Danish side which is within walking distance from the city centre.


Historische Dampfschiffe in Flensburg
Als Gast der Veranstaltung "Flensburger Dampf Rundum" liegt am Freitag (08.07.2005) der Raddampfer "Freya" im Hafen von Flensburg. Mit Volldampf und dem Pfeifen dutzender Dampfschiffe wurde das siebte internationale "Flensburger Dampf Rundum" er�ffnet. Auf der F�rde und an den Kais im Innenhafen zischt, faucht und dampft es vier Tage lang aus allen Rohren. Das Festival mit mehr als 100 Dampfschiffen, Lokomotiven, Dampfmaschinen und anderen historischen Fahrzeugen gilt als gr��tes Treffen dieser Art in Europa. Bis zu 350000 Besucher werden bis zum Auslaufen der Schiffe am Montag (11.07.2005) erwartet. Foto: Horst Pfeiffer dpa/lno (zu dpa/lno 0315) +++(c) dpa - Report+++ | Verwendung weltweit© picture-alliance/ dpa/dpaweb

Its history in sea travel has brought Flensburg many traditions and festivals. One of the most popular ones is the "Rum-Regatta", Northern Europe’s biggest meeting of gaff rig sailing ships. More than a 100 partly historical ships take part in a regatta and while the first one to arrive only receives a symbolic prize, the second place gets awarded a three-litre bottle rum from one of Flensburg’s last rum producers. During the regatta, that usually takes place in June, there is an international market alongside the harbour.Moreover, every other summer Flensburg hosts the "Dampf rundum" a festival for steamships. Flensburg’s most famous participant is Alexandra, a steamship from 1908. The festival also includes a fair and attracts several hundred thousand people.

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Beer and Rum

Flensburger Schifffahrtsmuseum vor Wiederer�ffnung
Der Kolonialwarenladen des Flensburger Kaufmanns C. C. Petersen von 1894 steht am Mittwoch (07.03.2012) im Flensburger Schifffahrtsmuseum. Im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert wurde Flensburg reich durch den Handel mit den Kolonialwaren Rum und Zucker. Das Museum wird am Wochenende wiederer�ffnet. Foto: Martina Scheffler dpa/lno (zu dpa/lno) | Verwendung weltweit© picture alliance / dpa

In the 18th and 19th century when Flensburg was Danish, the city imported sugar cane from the Danish West Indies to produce rum. It became the most important commodity for many years. Today you can still find a few rum producers in the city. Flensburg is also known for its beer produced by a private brewery. It is colloquially known as "Flens" and comes in an iconic swing top bottle. Starting with two types of Pilsener in 1888, Flensburg's brewery (Flensburger Brauerei) produces ten different types of beer and six different non-alcoholic drinks today.

Glücksburg Castle

Wasserscloss / Gluecksburg
Wasserschloss, Gluecksburg, Ostsee, Schleswig-Holstein, Deutschland / Gl�cksburg | Verwendung weltweit© picture alliance / Arco Images

Only ten kilometres from Flensburg’s city centre, located on Flensburger Förde, is Glücksburg Castle. The important Renaissance building is the seat of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg which the Duke of Edinburgh descends from. Today the 16th century castle and the surrounding parks can be visited daily from May to October and at weekends in the winter months.

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Other famous landmarks

Deutschland - Flensburger Nordertor
Das Nordertor von Flensburg. | Verwendung weltweit© picture alliance / Bibliographis

Other famous landmarks in Flensburg are: North Gate (Nordertor) a city gate from the 16th century, the historic wharf and the maritime museum, St Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche) on the marketplace "Südermarkt" and the Naval Academy Mürwik which is protected as a cultural monument and is open to public several times a year.

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