Difference between revisions of "Kiel"
Revision as of 17:08, 25 September 2009
During the Second World War, Kiel was severely bombed, because of its submarine-producing shipyard. Both civil and military ships are being built in Kiel nowadays and the tall cranes dominate the eastern shore of the Förde (fjord).
The bombing destroyed almost all historic buildings in Kiel and even the older looking buildings were built after WW2. So, if you come to the "Kieler Schloss" (Kieler Castle) don't be disappointed. There isn't much left of the original building. During the rebuilding after WW2, mostly modern architecture was used.
Kiel Hauptbahnhof is located directly adjacent to the main bus terminal and across the road from the central shopping district. Kiel is connected to the DB rail system with regular RE and IC services to Hamburg and beyond. Transfers can be made in Flensburg or Lübeck to Danish Rail.
A number of bus lines run services to - or through - Kiel. A weekly bus leaves Kiel and travels via Poland and the Baltic states to Tallinn, Estonia. A comfortable bus operates daily from Germany's capital, Berlin, to Kiel via Lübeck and vice versa (6 hours, 41 Euros one-way).
Kiel has its own airport (IATA: KEL) (ICAO: EDHK) in "Holtenau" (north-west). Planes of the size of a BAe 146 can start and land. Charter flights leave for other Scandinavian destinations. At the moment, there are no regular services.
Kiel has a relatively good public transport system based on buses and ferries, both operated by VRK . The taxi service is good, but expensive.
Kiel is very flat, and bicycles can be hired at various places. It is quite an easy day to ride from Kiel to Laboe, catch a ferry to Strande, and cycle back to Kiel.
Besides being world's largest sailing event the Kieler Woche is one of Germany's largest festivals. Apart from the sailing, the entire center of the town is transformed into an international food and craft fair, with regular big name performers appearing nightly. Due to Kiel's high latitude nights in the summer are short. If you intend to visit Kiel during this time book your hotel well ahead and bear in mind that the waterfront and major parts of downtown will be inaccessible for cars.
Information on events isposted all over town and through a free magazine which will be distributed about a month before the event. Events include entertainment for kids during daytime throughout the entire week and lots of open air concerts. Most concerts end around 11PM and nightlife moves to indoor venues as well as the Eggerstedtstrasse.
Aside from an abundance of food and drink outlets along the streets the International Market on the Rathausmarkt is the place to go for food and drink. A few dozen countries operate booths on the open-air market offering food and drinks from the particular countries. The Kieler Nachrichten newspaper runs a special about food on the market in its Saturday edition. If you cannot decide from the endless choices head over to the Scandinavian area or to wherever crowds are gathering.
There are two free monthly magazines listing activities and events. Paper copies of both Station  and Ultimo  can be found in most cafes. Online information is available via Kiel Magazin  and Fördeflüsterer .
A variety of shops are located in the pedestrian zone Holstenstraße and the mall Sophienhof. Another relatively big mall is the Citti-Park from where you can also access the huge Ikea shop. Numerous cafes are located in the old town center at the northern tip of the Holstenstraße near the "Nikolaikirche" (Nikolai church). An outdoor shopping area is the busy Holtenauer Straße with lots of cafes and more upscale stores towards the south end near the Dreiecksplatz.
The best ever German/Turkish Döner kebabs can be found at Garips Imbiss, located on the corner of the Metzstrasse and Wörthstrasse(off of the Westring). There are convenient food courts in Kieler Hauptbahnhof (train station) and the shopping mall across from the train station (Sophienhof). For something different, try the "Kartoffel Keller" (Potato cellar), where everything has potato as the theme - the potato pizza is very good. Other good cafes and pubs can be found in the old city centre. Nice breakfast buffet in the weekend in Cafe Louf next to the water near the "Reventloubrücke".
Cafes and Pubs
Kiel's clubs are spread out all across the city. Although some locals prefer doing the one-hour drive to Hamburg to go out, Kiel has some clubs that are worth being checked out. Make sure you have had a look at the Fördeflüsterer site  before going out to get the most accurate information on all night live events. Most clubs have a 5 € cover fee.
Not exactly in the category of clubs are the various parties that take places in different parts of the city. Traditionally on Thursdays between October and April all the big university departments organize Studentenparties on and off campus. Expect somewhat cheap drinks and hundreds of university students dancing to a mix of pop, rock and r'n'b. Sometimes there are even live bands or second dance floors. On the weekends several fancier parties are hosted in unusual locations throughout Kiel. You'll be dancing to house music in a show room of a car dealer or in the terminal of the ferry to Scandinavia. Tickets for these parties can bought in advance which will save you money and time. Check the Kiel4Kiel site to find out where tickets are sold or ask a local student.
When it comes down to live music, Kiel is not the city where you'll be able to see big headliners. If you into that you have to go to Hamburg. Still, you might be able to listen to some decent live music while staying in Kiel. The Halle400, the MAX and the community-operated Pumpe host local and international acts. Surprisingly good German or Scandinavian acts can sometimes be spotted in the Schaubude or the Nachtcafé for very little money. On occasion, some clubs like the Luna host national-recognized DJs. The best place to find out who's playing and to get a ticket is Konzertkasse Streiber close to the Ostseehalle.
The Youth Hostel is close to the Hauptbahnhof. There are a number of moderately priced hotels in the city centre. For some Olympic history, stay at Olympiazentrum in Schilksee, the sailing athletes village for the 1976 Munich Games. Top end is the Strande Hotel in Strande, or the Kieler-Kauffman just north of the city centre.