Magnificent buildings, internationally renowned museums and theaters and, in the midst of an enchanting lake landscape, one of the most beautiful castles in the world - Schwerin is the cultural capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Owner-operated, small stores and charming cafés round off the city's pleasurable and cultural offerings. Our recommendations for a perfect weekend in Schwerin:

Schwerin

Schwerin convinces with a relaxed mix of city and culture, cozy bars and the proximity to the water. Even though the distances in the historic center are short - take your time to experience the cultural treasures and the charm of the city and stay overnight.

Friday evening: Arrive relaxed

You come to Schwerin well and environmentally friendly by train. From the train station it is only a few minutes walk to the city center and the numerous attractions of the capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. After a first look at the castle, the park and the great churches of Schwerin, you can spend the evening relaxing in one of the numerous recommendable restaurants or coffee houses let the evening come to an end. Alternatively offers a Tour with the night watchman through the historic city center of Schwerin. Accompanied by a costumed city guide, you have the opportunity to learn more about Schwerin's history and landmarks every Friday evening after dark.

Saturday morning: Visit of the Schwerin Castle

The Saturday morning It's best to start with one of the city's great highlights - Schwerin Castle and the surrounding gardens. Nestled between the museum, theater, collegiate buildings and the palace grounds, a masterpiece of romantic historicism awaits you. Countless turrets, domes, oriels, balustrades and ornaments rise into the sky at Lake Schwerin.

Before you set off to the old town, you should definitely take a detour to the castle garden. This is located directly around the castle and is perfect for a relaxing stroll in a truly princely ambience with its orangery, grotto, charming colonnade courtyard and baroque garden parterre.

An iron swing bridge then leads you directly to the palace garden. The grounds, designed by Peter Joseph Lenné, were reconstructed according to historical plans for the Federal Garden Show in 2009. Thanks to the sculptures of ancient gods, the mighty tree giants and the elegant view of the palace, the palace garden is rightly considered a particularly impressive garden monument of high national rank.

Saturday afternoon: Old town stroll

Only a few minutes from the castle medieval alleys invite you to take a stroll. Several hundred architectural and cultural monuments, including many half-timbered houses as well as imposing residence and government buildings, make it possible to experience the city's history from its founding in 1160 to the present day. In the cozy cafés, the typical Schwerin coffee house culture is celebrated, and many restaurants specialize in good home cooking.

Around the Old Town Market with the Lion Monument, the 14th-century City Hall and the classical-style columned building, a large pedestrian zone full of exclusive boutiques, small galleries and many individual stores awaits you. In addition, Schwerin is home to one of the largest shopping complexes in northern Germany with the large centers around Marienplatz.

A breathtaking view over the city, the castle and the surrounding lake landscape from the 117.5 meter high tower of Schwerin Cathedral. The mighty church is one of the major works of North German brick Gothic architecture and impresses inside with a Gothic cross altar, a bronze baptismal font from 1325 and a triumphal cross from 1420. Every year, organists from all over the world play on the magnificent Ladegast organ with its 5,100 tin pipes.

Saturday evening: theater performance at the Mecklenburg State Theater

Just the right mix of grand-ducal pomp and talented actors can be seen in the evening hours on the premises of the Mecklenburg State Theater. Located directly opposite Schwerin Castle, red plush armchairs, magnificent stucco and gold ornamentation, and figures glowing in red, white, and gold await you here - all illuminated by a huge ceiling chandelier. Of course, you don't have to do without contemporary comfort in the 540 comfortable theater chairs. The theater is known far beyond the state's borders for its first-class program and diverse selection of plays. Theater lovers can enjoy excellent performances all year round in Schwerin. Highlights include the Schwerin Castle Festival in the summer.

Sunday morning: The State Museum

For the next program item you should plan enough time, because the Staatliches Museum Schwerin is one of the most important museums in Germany and has a lot to offer. For example, the museum houses one of the highest-ranking collections of Dutch and Flemish painting from the 17th to 18th centuries, once created by the dukes of Mecklenburg. Works by world-famous masters such as Rubens, Rembrandt, Jan Brueghel the Elder and Frans Hals are on display, as are works by Jean-Baptiste Oudry and Marcel Duchamp. A special treasure is the gate guard by Carel Fabritius.

Another focus consists in the world's largest collection of the works of the French animal painter Jean-Baptiste Oudry. Here, a life-size image of the rhinoceros lady Clara is particularly impressive. The oil painting, around 3.50 meters high and five meters wide, whose living model saw the light of day as a baby rhinoceros in India in 1738, is an absolute highlight of the Schwerin museum.

Sunday afternoon: round trip on the Schwerin lake

After so much culture you can round off the weekend with a relaxing boat trip on a White Fleet steamer on Lake Schwerin (April to October). The city lies in the middle of a wonderful lake landscape, which offers a home to numerous wading birds and waterfowl. Various species of fish cavort in the water. Otters feel at home on the shores. The castle is a perfect photo motif seen from the water. Along the shore, the view of small islands, secret bays, cute boathouses and the beautiful scenery of Schwerin opens up again and again.

Beautiful and best explored on a boat tour - the lake landscape around Schwerin © Timm Allrich

Cover photo: Especially beautiful from the lake side - Schwerin Castle © TMV, Felix Gänsicke

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