Overlooking the Jade Bight, Wilhelmshaven is a historic port town on Germany’s North Sea coast. It’s home to excellent museums exploring its maritime and coastal history, as well as a swing bridge that was once the largest in Europe. Wilhelmshaven serves as a popular base for exploring the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Lower Saxon Wadden Sea National Park.
Things to do in Wilhelmshaven
Wander through the heart of Wilhelmshaven to admire the Kopperhörner Mühle, a 19th-century mill that stands as one of the oldest buildings in the town. Soak up the spectacular views across Wilhelmshaven from the tower of the Town Hall, a monumental building designed in a Brick Expressionist style by the Hamburg-based architect Fritz Höger.
When visiting Wilhelmshaven, you can’t miss the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm Bridge, which was the largest swing bridge in Europe when it was completed in 1907. Connecting the Südstrandpromenade with the town’s South Quarter, it is best viewed from the walking trail that hugs the northern side of the Ems-Jade Canal.
Spend a day museum hopping along the Maritime Mile, which is home to the Wilhelmshaven Coastal Museum, the Aquarium Wilhelmshaven and the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea Visitor Center. Highlights of the German Naval Museum include the 40-metre-high mast of the missile destroyer Mölders and the Frankenthal-class mine-hunter Weilheim. You can tour the corridors and cabins of the submarine U 10 or embark on a leisurely cruise aboard the MS Harle Kurier.
Getting around Wilhelmshaven
Bremen Airport is just over an hour’s drive from Wilhelmshaven and has flights to destinations across Europe while regular trains connect to the Wilhelmshaven railway station from Oldenburg, Bremen and Osnabrück. Buses travel throughout Wilhelmshaven and the city centre is compact enough to explore on foot.