Thursday, 20 June, 2024

Read this in: German

Sometimes you live in a city and do not appreciate its beauty at all. I’ve often been like this and only when you move somewhere else, you suddenly miss the benefits of the last place of residence. In Göttingen, everything is wonderfully close together and Hanover you do not see it at the Kröpcke, but the city is gorgeous green and has great, fairy-tale corners. That’s why I do not want to make that mistake again. The last years I lived between Bremen and Oldenburg. Since you could not really see much, but at least there was enough space for bike rides in the rare good weather in the region near Ostfriesland.

In Oldenburg you will meet one or the other barracks. However, many of them are no longer used militarily today. In Donnerschwer, flats have recently been built there. This former barracks in the photo is on the horse market and dates back to 1883. Today it is a student residence.

Now I live in Oldenburg, the gateway to East Frisia and a city he does not trust, that there are a lot of tourists. But day tourists from the Netherlands come and often over to Germany. On the other hand, Oldenburg is also an exciting city for tourists from Germany, which can be easily explored in one day or as part of a weekend trip.

At Rathausplatz in Oldenburg you will not only find the Lamberti Church, but also other fascinating buildings. It’s worth taking a walk exploring not only during the day, but also at night.

Whether chocolate, cheese, Stroopwaffeln or hail – the proximity to the Netherlands you notice Oldenburg. There are several shops in the city center where you can buy Dutch specialties.

The proximity to the neighboring country

A big advantage of living in Oldenburg is definitely that you do not have to cross over the border for many things from the Netherlands. There are several small shops with Dutch specialties in the city center. So you can buy specialties such as Stroopwaffeln or Vruchtenhagel or the classic Hagelslag directly in the city. Generally, Oldenburg has all the shops you need. You do not necessarily have to drive to neighboring Bremen to buy clothes or gifts. But off the two main shopping streets worth a look in the small streets that serve not only as beautiful photo opportunities. There you will find many a small boutique, shops with books and coffee, antique shops or goldsmiths. You do not want to travel to shop in the same shops.

Of course, Oldenburg is recommended for the season and even in all weather conditions. In the city you just know that you also need a plan B for bad weather. But especially at Christmas time it is really full in the city center. The fault is the Lambertimarkt, which is well known beyond the city limits of Oldenburg. So come bus-wise groups of tourists in Advent in the city. From the bus station there are even at this time signs at the lanterns, where it goes to Lambertimarkt.

The Lambertimarkt

I do not want to say too many words about the Christmas market, because I have already planned a blog post about the most beautiful Christmas markets in northern Germany. But maybe some of you will be familiar with the Lambertimarkt, because it is considered the most beautiful Christmas market in Germany. There can only keep up with Lübeck. In Oldenburg the scenery is right, it is not too small, but not too big. Around the eponymous Lamberti Church and the castle, there is the largest collection of stalls. However, the Christmas market extends over the entire city center.

If you do not know what to do, you can find good help in the tourist information office on Lappan. This is located near the train station and centrally located in the city center. Just a few meters further you will find the central transfer point for buses, if you are traveling with them in Oldenburg.

Bad weather, biscuits and coffee

Something I love Oldenburg for are the beautiful and inviting cafes that stretch across the city. You can see the proximity to Ostfriesland, because everything is a little cozy and cuddly, perfect as a retreat for continuous rain. Especially Café Käthe and the Café Hamburg directly at the Lamberti church did it to me for a coffee in the rain. But the Veggiemaid, that is a bit out of the city center, I can highly recommend. There I have been eating vegan regularly for years when my mother is visiting. Since the beginning of the year it is now a little different with the Veggiemaid. The separate shop and café now became a café shop. You have to like that. For all others, I recommend just getting in good and warm temperatures when the beer garden is open.

Even in the dark, a walk through the night Oldenburg worthwhile. Many shops are still illuminated in the evening as the home furnishings business Ullmann.

The little details

In Oldenburg it is like in many cities. You can find a hotspot, but there are many small details that you also like to miss. These include beautiful buildings such as the Kaiserliche Post or the Rondellrestaurant, which stands alone in the middle of a roundabout. If you want to take a look at the castle, you do not have to book a guided tour right away. In the lobby in late Classicist style you can enter for free and in good weather you can then also straight to the castle gardens. This one is already right on the town hall market and the Lamberti Church with its distinctive 5 towers. If you would like to join a church tour, you should be at the church by 11 am on Sunday, the tour is really worthwhile and very interesting. Which shop is not for me personally, but nevertheless one of my favorite shops of the whole city, is the Kekserei, a sweet, old-fashioned shop, whose name already says everything.

Why go shopping in stores you find in every city? In Oldenburg there are many boutiques and shops, which can only be found there. Among others for Dutch and East Frisian specialties, but also specialty shops for biscuits and liquorice.

Bad weather?

If you get really bad weather in Oldenburg then you have the opportunity to visit numerous museums in Oldenburg. Anyone who is interested in Oldenburg’s city history is in good hands in the Stadtmuseum. Directly on the grounds I can personally recommend the Horst-Jannse-Museum, an art museum around the illustrations of the eponymous artist. He is considered one of the most important illustrators of the 20th century. And there are other museums to choose from, including art, history and culture.

If you do not like museums, you can also visit the University Botanical Garden. Generally, I find it always relaxing to be surrounded by green, regardless of the season. And the water rats among you will find various baths in Oldenburg, the Olantis also has numerous saunas on offer. So there are also enough opportunities to deal with bad weather.

Not only the proximity to Bremen is an advantage in Oldenburg. There are around Oldenburg numerous destinations that can be reached by car or bike. At Westerstede, for example, there is a large rhododendron park.

Excursions to the countryside

The nice thing about Oldenburg is that there are many possibilities for excursions by bike and car. If Oldenburg alone is too small or boring, you will find many nice ways to explore the area. If you are in the area around May, you should definitely visit the Rhododendron Park near Westerstede. This is not just a popular location for getting married in spring and summer. For flowering the park shines in a color splendor that is second to none.

If you do not want to leave Oldenburg in good weather then I can recommend the Hörgarten (sound garden) to you. A garden to listen to sounds strange. Especially with children, it is a lot of fun and an interesting experience.

The best place to visit is a rhododendron park such as Westerstede or Bremen in May or June. I always watch geotags on Instagram, how far the flowering is already over recent posts, to see when I can pay a visit to the park.

Arriving by train is often the best way to get to Oldenburg. 

Arrival and overnight stay

Personally, the most comfortable way to travel to Oldenburg is by train. If the booked hotel has a parking space, you can of course also arrive by car. But if not, then you should rather do without the car, because the parking lot location in Oldenburg is already disastrous. Finding a parking space is not an impossibility and is not nearly as difficult as in Hamburg, for example, but there are still some costs to pay. At hotels I do not really have concrete recommendations, as I have always visited Oldenburg as a day trip. And so I can do it very much to your heart, for example in Bremen to pitch your camp and from there by train for a day to Oldenburg.

In December to Lambertimarkt there are every night good opportunities to enjoy themselves. Outside of Advent you have to be on the weekend rather, on weekends is equal to Oldenburg latest from 22 clock or 23 clock a sleepy small town.


In Oldenburg, it’s not like being in the neighborhood and you do not usually go to Limmern like in Hannover-Linden or whatever you call it in which city. In Oldenburg, celebration is more like a social gathering with cocktails. And here, too, you find yourself back in various bars in the city center, which are of course often influenced by the student scene.

Connected to Northern Germany

Oldenburg looks a bit out of the way, but it is well connected to the rest of the North. Near Bremen you can travel by train up to 40 minutes, in Hamburg or Hannover you are in 2 hours. Therefore, in my opinion, even orders super as a stopover on a round trip through the north. Unfortunately, in Ostfriesland one is often lost without a car. If you prefer to travel through cities, you can travel directly from there to Hamburg or in the other direction and across the border to Groningen or Amsterdam. But if you prefer to visit smaller cities, I recommend Oldenburg in northern Germany cities such as Stade, Lüneburg, Lübeck and Goslar. Basically, the former small-country diversity in the north has given each of these cities, especially the little ones, who have often been spared war damage, their very own charm and are all different and unique in their own way.

So you can see Oldenburg alone, but also as a puzzle piece in the small cosmos of the many unique cities in Germany.

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