Hamburg Breathe in the North at St Peter Ording
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Hamburg Breathe in the North at St Peter Ording

A one-day escape to St. Peter Ording: The North Sea at its best

St. Peter Ording

Sandy beaches and other urban shores are all within an easy distance of Hamburg – a lovely feature for the many Hamburg locals who love the sea. The Elbe may smell of salt but to get the real seaside experience – the long, white beaches and breaking waves – there is just a 90-minute drive from the city centre. St. Peter Ording, or SPO as the locals call it, is everybody’s favourite coastal escape all year long. In the autumn or winter, the long beaches and maritime climate are perfect for long (romantic) walks – just remember to still apply sunscreen on your face! In spring and summer, you get the actual beach-life vibe with a lot of nice spots for sunbathing and sports.

Beach of St. Peter Ording
The way to get there

If you take a rental car or opt for the convenient car-sharing, take the first kilometres on the Autobahn heading west. It might not be so scenic at first but as soon as you leave the city behind you can enjoy the nice roads and high speed limits and have some fun. After 40 minutes, you can get off the autobahn and roll through one of the most beautiful landscapes in northern Germany, passing high bridges, big canals, beautiful old houses and thousands of cows and sheep. And once you pass the huge dike that protects the land from the sea you will know why everybody loves SPO. The beaches stretch as far as the eye can see with sand so bright you can’t even look out without shades. And what gives St. Peter Ording its original flavour and makes it very Instagrammable are the characteristic stilt houses on the beach. But we’ll get to them later.

A central square in St. Peter-Ording. On right hand side, you can see a local restaurant called Gosch, where tourists are having lunch or dinner – just a short distance from the huge stretch of beach.
Where to go - in the town

If you like to shop, buy fish or go swimming (especially indoors), you may enjoy visiting the small town of St. Peter Ording Bad. There are even more whitesand beaches along with more people that tend to gather here than elsewhere on the long peninsula. The restaurants and small booths selling fish and fish sandwiches are good to grab a bite. Try the restaurant close to the sand called Gosch. It is a classic that attracts many diners because the food quality is high… and so are the prices.

The thermal bath, Dünen Therme, is and exceptional spot right at the beach. It is very family friendly with a number of saunas, outside chill out areas and many attractions for the kids.

If you decide to stay overnight, the Strandgut Resort Hotel is your best bet with its nice views, stylish dinner options and a laid-back charm.

Strandgut Hotel in St. Peter-Ording. This hotel is newly erected and is situated directly next to the beach with a small restaurant in front.
Where to go for the best beach experience

If you want to have the real St. Peter Ording Beach experience, you should go up a bit further north and drive your car right onto the beach. There, you will find the amazing stilt houses, a parking spot on the sand and a lot of free space. Go on and rent one of the traditional roofed wicker beach chairs; they are perfect for leaving your bags, protecting you from either sun or wind and they make for a cosy, temporary setup on the beach. You will find a nice café and bar called Strandbar 54° Nord in one of the stilted houses. Another house has free, public toilets and another is home to the Baywatch team.

Here, you can rent stand-up paddle boards, watch sail boats or kite surfers and just enjoy the northern beach life a bit. The vibe on this beach is very laid back with most parking places occupied by surfer vans, many of which will spend the night for some camping in the wild. Where else can you sleep so close to the sea? Well, if you want to extend your time at this lovely place (but don’t have a van), you should try the close-by, top-notch Hotel Zweite Heimat which might offer the best rooms in the area. Zweite Heimat means second home, which will likely remind you that you should return to Hamburg soon – so much to see and do there, as well.

The showcase of trends When Alsterhaus opened in 1897, women fell in love with the fashionable hats and parasols from across the border in France, as well as the selection of food and products imported from the far East. Nothing has changed for more than a century, and Alsterhaus is still a reference point for what’s hot in town... and all over the world.
Hanseatic modernity The atrium of the Alsterhaus at the ground floor has been completely renovated by designer Sebastian Herkner. The Luxury Hall hosts international brands in a neoclassical structure with a contemporary maritime ambience.