Heading outside the city of Hamburg you will find a number of small coastal towns and historic sites. You will not get photos of castles perched on mountainsides in the north of Germany, but if you love the seaside the north has its own attractions, including good seafood.

About one hour or 70 km outside Hamburg is the beautiful Luebeck, former foundation of the Hanseatic League of trade across the Baltic Sea. The old town square with its 13th and 14th century church steeples accents the narrow roads and medieval feel of the town. Other interesting cities and towns to visit along the Baltic Sea include Wismar, Flensburg, Kiel, Rostock and Warnemuende, Stralsund, Kappeln and Damp. Islands such as Ruegen, Fehrman, and Usedom offer coastal views and exploration. Visitors to Usedom, for example, can rent a bike very easily and ride for miles along the coast to enter Poland (part of the island) for a real culture shock. The most interesting sights cannot be seen from a car; walking or biking around the island offers a more exciting visit.

Northern Germany is mainly flat so it's great for bike tours. Using a tour company to book hotels, transport luggage and provide bikes and maps allows tourists to see bigger and smaller towns and villages they may have otherwise never considered visiting. Walking tours are also available in some areas.

The North Sea is also home to a number of interesting cities and towns to visit, including Husum, Emden, Otterndorf, Büsum and Tönning. Sylt, one of the North Frisian islands, is popular with German vacationers.

If you're interested in history consider Kalkriese where Varus and his Roman legions were beaten in 9AD.

** Note:  The original information for this thread came from the following forum thread: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-...