Kiel is the gateway to northern Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands
The approaching warm season and the green views of nature through the window are increasingly encouraging exploration of possible summer vacation routes. Countries recovering from a pandemic are already waiting for future travelers and inviting them to visit the most beautiful places to visit. For those who want to change their environment and experience new adventures, it is worth remembering the favorite Lithuanian countries of Western Europe: the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.
These countries attract not only with a rich list of attractions, but also with smaller tourist flows, convenient and cheap transportation. It is convenient and safe to reach these countries by taking a ferry from Klaipeda to the northern German port of Kiel and continuing to drive your own car. When you arrive in Germany, you will be able to admire the breathtaking views not only of it, but also of neighboring countries within a short distance. You will be attracted by the astonishing architecture, exemplary amusement parks, and the charm of wildlife.
Culture and entertainment in Southern Denmark
When you arrive in Kiel, you can visit the beautiful Egeskov Castle in Denmark in just a few hours by car. It is one of the best-preserved Renaissance-style water castles in the world. Despite the fact that this castle was built as a defensive fortress during the turmoil of the 16th century religious wars, it now invites visitors to get acquainted with the majestic arts, interiors, trophies and other exhibits used by the most prominent members of the Danish royal family. The castle is built in the middle of the lake, surrounded by gardens of rare beauty, inviting you to take a walk and enjoy the well-kept environment. In 20 hectares of Renaissance and Baroque-style gardens, you will be able to see fountains, various types of plants and carefully maintained hedges.
If you walk around the castle and gardens reminiscent of a childhood fairy tale, it would be useful to get acquainted with a real creator of fairy tales, perhaps the most famous Danish of all time - Hans Christian Andersen. The museum of his name is located in the old town of Odense, the largest city in the region of Southern Denmark. This museum is 253 km from Kiel and is a 2.5-hour drive away. In the museum you can get acquainted with the childhood-reminiscent life of the author of "Queen on a Pea", "Snow Queen" and "Ugly Duck": manuscripts, letters, copies of books, paintings. In the library you can find editions of H. K. Andersen's works not only in Danish, but also translations into more than a hundred foreign languages. It is also fun that immediately after your visit to the museum, you will find a cozy and bright walk on the trails of the city of Odense.
Those traveling with the family and wanting to visit not only cultural sites, but also have fun and excitement, must visit the Legoland theme park in Billund. The park was established in 1968, next to the Lego brick factory. Legoland is 215 km from Kiel, so it only takes a little over a couple of hours to get there. Obviously, you will not regret this time spent on the road: in the park you will find nine themed areas, dozens of attractions, many shops and restaurants. One of the most memorable objects in the park is Miniland. In the mini-land, built of as many as twenty million Lego blocks, you can find many times reduced copies of the world’s most famous buildings.
Wildlife and urban center in the Netherlands
After leaving Kiel, it is worth thinking about getting to know the lesser-known regions of the Netherlands. Everyone should stumble: not only those who want to take pictures surrounded by exotic animals, but also those who cannot imagine their lives without exhibitions of contemporary art. The Wildlands Zoo, located near the town of Emmen, gives visitors an indelible impression. Visitors to the park are invited to engage in four main thematic areas to explore the world’s vast wildlife. In the jungle-themed area, you can admire tropical birds, menacing reptiles, and Asian elephants. Not to mention the world's largest indoor rainforest hall! In addition, you will be able to dedicate your walks to get acquainted with the animals found in the African savannas: lions, zebras, giraffes.
Those who want to experience the authentic spirit of the Dutch city should visit the city of Groningen in northeastern Holland. This city is 380 km away from Kiel, so it is also possible to travel by car. In the city you can see the impressive tower of the 14th century Martinitoren church. Stroll through the nearby Prinsentuin Gardens and feel the oasis of peace in the heart of the city. Still, perhaps the most fascinating place in Groningen is the Groninger Museum. This museum stands out from the others in that it impresses not only with its exhibits, but also with its eye-catching modernist architecture. In the museum itself you will see exhibits of contemporary art by both local and international artists, as well as works from the museum's permanent collections.
Arriving in Kiel, you can have a great time and generally without leaving it. Just 100 km from Kiel is Hamburg’s second largest city, the center of business, industry and culture, Hamburg. Visitors to the city can enjoy not only the historic Old Town, but also the unique Miniature Museum around the world. The museum is equipped with the world's largest operating railway model: it consists of about 15 thousand meters of railway tracks, which run over 1,000 trains. Trains run through miniature cities, their architectural monuments, mountains, gorges and bridges. The museum currently has several thematic exhibitions depicting Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Scandinavia and America.
For those who want to touch the old history, architectural monuments, you can visit the impressive Gothic St. Paul in Lübeck, about 80 km from Kiel. St. Mary's Church, the construction of which dates back to the 13th century. This church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a building of enormous architectural significance in Germany. St. The Church of Mary has long been considered a symbol of the power and prosperity of the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. The impressive Gothic church has the tallest brick vault in the world, and the height of the central nave is as high as 38.5 meters!
Tourism is recovering
Accelerating vaccination around the world is opening the door to holidaymakers longing for travel and new experiences, and the European Union's plans to introduce a green passport are giving some optimism to the travel market. According to Vaidas Klumbis, DFDS's Head of Public Relations and Communications for the Baltic States, it is very likely that Western European countries will receive more and more attention from Lithuanian travelers. This will be affected not only by the aforementioned longing to travel, the desire to escape the tired carnival routine, but also the money saved during the pandemic and the popularity of new travel routes to Western Europe.