Longing destination North Sea. For what felt like an eternity, a trip to St. Peter-Ording was pretty high on our wish list. We had seen photos of the seemingly endless sandy beaches and knew immediately: we would like it here. And what can we say: We were right!
We know a lot of places in Germany by now, but the Wadden Sea of the North Sea ranks pretty high up in our top list. In this blog article we will show you what to expect on a holiday in St. Peter-Ording. To get straight to the point: lots of rest, relaxation and beautiful nature. Ready for a load of North Sea vibes? Here are our tips for St. Peter-Ording and the surrounding area.
1. St. Peter-Ording on the Wadden Sea: Overview & interesting facts Sand as far as the eye can see. Or also: When you first see a beach 15 minutes to get to the water. Welcome to St. Peter Ording! No joke: We have never seen beaches as wide as in St. Peter-Ording in our lives.
In this chapter we will introduce you to St. Peter-Ording on the North Sea and tell you about it briefly, what awaits you on a vacation at the North Sea. If you prefer to learn about the most important sights straight away, then it’s best to skip to the next chapter.
Holiday in St. Peter-Ording: That awaits you A holiday in St. Peter-Ording (SPO for short) means North Sea feeling par excellence. If you like a warm, Mediterranean climate, then this is it the cool North Sea breeze probably less your case. But if you’re looking for a place to switch off, then you’ve come to the right place.
St. Peter-Ording is known for its long, endlessly wide sandy beaches . In summer you can of course swim in the sea (although the water temperature is more for the diehard). In the remaining months, the beaches are the perfect backdrop for long walks.
Important to know: The tides are particularly strong on the North Sea. While you can hardly tell the difference between low and high tide on the Baltic Sea, the difference here on the North Sea is several meters. It is the alternation of ebb and flow that gives the Wadden Sea its special character. This is the only way you can walk on the so-called tidal flats at low tide.
It’s not for nothing that the Wadden Sea is UNESCO World Heritage awarded. We will tell you all the information about these highly recommended mudflat hikes below in this blog article.
Orientation on site: The districts of St. Peter-Ording St. Peter-Ording is on the mainland on the Eiderstedt peninsula, about 1.5 hours by car from Hamburg. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll soon realize that the place is quite long.
St. Peter-Ording consists of four districts: In each district there is one (or more) entrances to the beach. The “centre”, if you like, is the district of Bad. There are a few restaurants and hotels here, so the district of Bad is also the one with the most activity. The other districts are a little quieter: Böhl, Dorf and Ording.
How do I get from A to B in St. Peter-Ording? Our tip: By bike If you don’t just want to stay close to your accommodation, then cycling really is the best way to get from A to B. The bike paths are well developed and also very flat. An e-bike is therefore not absolutely necessary for St. Peter-Ording itself (the situation is different for excursions in the region).
Many accommodations lend bicycles. Otherwise there are also many bike rentals throughout St. Peter-Ording. You can get a bike for about 8-10 euros per day, an e-bike costs about 25 euros per day. You usually get a discount for a longer rental period.
Most beach entrances have cycle docks so you can ride all the way to the waterfront. An exception is the pier in the district of Bad. Here you have to push the bike.
Other options: On foot, by car or bus Of course you can also reach a lot on foot (especially if you move within a certain district). However, you really shouldn’t underestimate the distances.
The bus network is said to be very well developed. We haven’t tested it, but if you don’t want to travel by bike, then the bus might be an alternative for you. You can get the timetable for the bus from the tourist information center (in Bad and Dorf). The journey is free with the guest card. (What that is exactly, we will reveal later.)
Last but not least, you can of course also get from A to B with your own car. Let’s put it this way: This is certainly a good option for more distant destinations, but we find it less practical for on-site use. While there are some car parks, some of them are paid and cycling will definitely get you closer to your destination.
What is the best time of year to travel to the North Sea? We ourselves were at the beginning of autumn (in the second week of September to be precise) in St. Peter Ording. As you can easily see from our photos, the temperatures were very autumnal. If you don’t necessarily want to go swimming in the sea, then we can definitely recommend this time of year.
In autumn there isn’t quite as much going on as in midsummer. During our visit, the daytime temperatures were around 09 degrees and were therefore perfectly suitable for excursions – although it was very stormy in between.
The summer is naturally very popular with families with school-age children. However, the beaches are really very spacious, so you can always look for a quiet spot. In winter one spectacle has to be particularly beautiful: snow on the beach. We would love to experience that!
No matter which season you choose: Don’t forget warm clothes! We were really happy to have had a hat and scarf with us.
2. Tips for St. Peter-Ording: Sights & Activities Beaches in St. Peter-Ording Let’s get to what makes St. Peter-Ording special: The endlessly wide beaches and the wonderfully soft sand. Unbelievable but true: the beach is up to 2 kilometers wide! But that also means that you often Walking through dunes and salt marshes for minutes or more until you finally reach the sand and then the water.
On the beach itself you can either rent a beach chair or simply stroll along the water. The so-called pile-dwelling restaurants are also great. The pile-dwellings are the landmark of St. Peter-Ording. We really liked it in the beach bar 54° North.
Overall, there are very few access points to the beach, as the dune area is a nature reserve. However, each district has at least one, sometimes several entrances to the beach. Entering the beaches is subject to a charge: You will receive the so-called guest card, which gives you access to the beaches, at the hotel. As a day guest, you can also pay the fee directly on site at the entrance to the beach. In high season the fee is 3 euros per day.
Wattwandern No one should leave the Wadden Sea without having done a mudflat hike. But what is a mudflat hike anyway? As already briefly mentioned, the tides are very pronounced on the North Sea. Every 6 hours (and a few minutes) there is a change between high and low tide. At low tide, the sea recedes so much that large parts of the seabed (the so-called mud flats) become accessible.
You can do a mud flat hike on your own, but we wouldn’t do it recommend. (You should be familiar with the tides, otherwise the returning tide can become dangerous.) It is therefore best if you join one of the guided mudflat walks. These guided hikes only cost a few euros and are held by national park mudflat guides. A good investment, in our opinion.
We ourselves have decided on the watt tour called “The Small Five” : You will learn five minis here – know the residents of the Wadden Sea. Our tip: A calendar of events is published once a month, in which you can read when which mudflat tour takes place. (You can find the printed version of the calendar of events in the tourist information office.)
Such a mudflat hike is quite a funny (and also sloppy) affair. One usually goes barefoot. Be sure to wear pants that you can roll up. And: Don’t forget warm clothes! Especially because you stand with your feet in the cool sea, it can get fresh quickly even in midsummer.
Information about the mudflat hike (“The Small Five”) in St. Peter-Ording Price: 6 euros Duration: about 2 hours
Sunsets in St. Peter-Ording In good weather you can experience fantastic sunsets on the Wadden Sea. St. Peter-Ording has the advantage that it faces west . The sun thus sets on the horizon behind the sea.
A beautiful place to experience the sunset is the Seebrücke or the associated one stretch of beach. The first of the two photos was also taken there. If you like it cosy, then you can also watch the sunset from one of the stilt dwelling restaurants. The beach bar 45° North we can recommend (although it usually closes shortly before sunset).
The beach section around the beach bar is also beautiful 54° North, because there you kitesurfers can watch. But as long as you’re on the beach and the weather plays along, you can’t really go wrong: It’s beautiful everywhere.
Lighthouse Westerheversand The probably most photographed lighthouse in Germany is not far from St. Peter-Ording. Westerheversand (or Westerhever for short) is his name. It stands in the middle of an extensive salt marsh landscape, not far from the water.
The lighthouse can only be reached on foot or by bike: from the associated parking lot is it about 22 Minutes walk through a beautiful nature reserve before you reach the lighthouse. The vastness of the landscape is really impressive. During our visit there were very few people on site, but all the more sheep.
Important to know: You can only see the lighthouse itself in the frame Visit (and climb) a guided tour. These tours do not take place every day and must be timely ig be booked as they are often sold out. Dates and information can be found on the official website: Lighthouse Westerhever.
You can return from the lighthouse to the car park (from June to September) on a narrow, historic brick -Path , the so-called Stockenstieg. It runs over several bridges directly through the salt marshes. You can only walk the Stockenstieg in this one direction and you are not allowed to cycle on it either.
Information on visiting the Westerheversand lighthouse Price: Tower tours 6 euros; Walk to the lighthouse for free Getting there: From St. Peter-Ording about 22 minutes by car or 30 minutes by bike.
Parking: 1 euro per started hour in daylight saving time; 1 euro per day in winter Walking time from parking lot: 30 minutes one-way (ie at least 1 hour total); correspondingly faster by bicycle
3. Tips for excursions around St. Peter-Ording The Halligen: Excursion to Hamburger Hallig The Halligen are a archipelago north of St. Peter-Ording. The special feature: They are not dyked, so they are regularly flooded during storm surges – this is called “landing under”. The few buildings that are on the Halligen are therefore on hills. The sheep can also save themselves there in the event of a flood.
We ourselves were on the Hamburger Hallig, which is actually a peninsula, since it connected to the mainland by a dike. This means that you can drive to the Hamburger Hallig by car. Strictly speaking, there is only one path on the Hamburger Hallig, which runs across the island and ends at Hallig Krog, a rustic restaurant, ends.
The path in question is about four kilometers long. You can ride it by car, bike or, of course, walk. If the weather permits, we recommend a bike ride. You can hire bikes at the entrance to the peninsula in Haus Amsinck for 2 euros.
Our tips for stops along the way to Hamburger Hallig On the way back to St. Peter-Ording you could stop by the Nordstrand peninsula. That’s where the Nordstrander pottery is located. Not only can you buy great pottery there, but the café that goes with it is also really lovely.
One Another stopover is worthwhile at the Red Haubarg. A Haubarg is a typical, historic farmhouse. There is a restaurant and a small museum in the Roter Haubarg.
Information on visiting the Hamburger Hallig Price: for free; for entry by car 6 euros Getting there: From St. Peter-Ording about 1 hour by car.
Parking: Paid parking near Haus Amsinck Walking time from parking lot: 1 hour one-way (ie at least 2 hours total); correspondingly faster by bike
Friedrichstadt Friedrichstadt is a small, Dutch town. It is about 45 by car from St. Peter-Ording. You can ideally combine a visit to Friedrichstadt with a trip to the Hamburger Hallig, as it is more or less on the way.
Friedrichstadt is indeed reminiscent of Amsterdam: on the very beautiful market square there is an ensemble of brick gabled houses. In addition, several canals flow through Friedrichstadt. You can even take a canal cruise here.
You can park your car in one of the (paid) parking lots around the old town. From there you can walk to the historic center in just a few minutes. In total, we would recommend planning about an hour on site. Friedrichstadt is quite manageable, but really worth seeing.
Büsum: Trip to the seals Seals live in the Wadden Sea – more precisely seals and gray seals. From the end of March to the beginning of November you can take a boat trip to the seal bank in front of Büsum.
Important to know: Seals – especially young animals – must not be disturbed in their peace, as this can end fatally for them. Seals have no natural enemies in the Wadden Sea, with the exception of humans. No matter where you meet seals: you should always keep enough distance and never block their way into the water.
You can take a boat trip to one of the largest seal banks in the North Sea. This is in front of Büsum. Fortunately, the boat keeps a relatively large distance from the animals, as you might see from our photos. We all took photos with a telephoto lens (54 mm) and also zoomed in on the pictures in post-processing. If you go on such an excursion, then ideally have binoculars with you.
Our conclusion on shipping: If you have never seen seals then you can do it once. However, most of the time is spent on the (less exciting) crossing to the seal bank.
Information about the shipping to the seals Price : 10 Euro Duration: approx. 2.5 hours Getting there: From St. Peter-Ording about 22 minutes by car to Büsum.
Trischedamm in Friedrichskoog Another excursion destination where you can see the endless The vastness of the North Sea can have an effect on you: the Trischedamm. It is located south of St. Peter-Ording in the town of Friedrichskoog, about an hour’s drive away.
The Trischedamm is an approximately 2 km long dam built to protect against North Sea currents . You walk on this narrow path past salt marshes in the direction of the Wadden Sea. The further you go, the windier it will probably get – so warm clothing is not a bad idea.
We were very enthusiastic about the Tischendamm. The walk at sunset must be particularly beautiful, because the sun sets on the horizon behind the sea.
Information about the walk on the Tischendamm Price: Free Duration: approx. 45 minutes (one-way), ie at least one hour in total Getting there: From St. Peter-Ording about an hour by car to Friedrichskoog. Parking: In the large parking lot in Friedrichskoog Spitze (subject to a charge). From there it is only a few minutes to the start of the Tischendamm.
4. Eating & drinking in St. Peter-Ording: Our tips A lot of fish is naturally eaten on the North Sea. You can find fish rolls & Co. on almost every corner. But don’t worry: There are also many (sometimes very hip) restaurants where you can eat something other than fried fish.
In these restaurants and cafés We particularly liked St. Peter-Ording and the surrounding area:
Strandbar 54° North: One of a total of 5 Pile-dwelling restaurant perfect for a sundowner. You sit outside with a view of the water. The kitchen is also said to be good, but we only ate one cake (which was delicious).
Dining room: Overall, we had the best place here tasted! The dining room isn’t exactly cheap, but there are delicious vegetarian options and the service is extremely courteous.
Deichkind: The ambiance at the Deichkind is pretty hip & modern. International cuisine is served: there are even Beyond Meat burgers here. We liked it!
The island: Centrally located restaurant in the pedestrian zone. There is good food here with some vegetarian options.
Fisch & Mee(h)r: Typical fish snack bar, where it is worth to stop by. The fried fish here was excellent.
Swiss house: This very nice restaurant is in the neighboring town of Tating. Tarte flambée and other dishes as well as many cakes and tarts are served.
Landcafé Éclair: Great cafe located on the way to Westerhever lighthouse. It’s particularly nice to sit in the garden under the apple tree.
Good Times: By far the best espresso throughout St. Peter-Ording is available here! The Good Times is part of a surf shop. Our conclusion: Highly recommended!
5. Hotel tips for St. Peter-Ording HotelFavoritplatz We ourselves stayed at the Hotel Gerneplatz, which is only a few minutes’ walk from the center in the Bad district. The hotel is very nicely furnished and you immediately feel comfortable. We slept in the attic family room which is really very bright and big. The remaining rooms are partly very, very small. Unfortunately there is no wellness area.
You can book the hotel here: Hotel Liebplatz
Hotel Zweite Heimat The Hotel Zweite Heimat should be highly recommended. We only took a peek inside (as we ate in the attached and highly recommended Restaurant Dining Room) and really liked what we saw.
One of the big pluses : The Hotel Zweite Heimat has a great wellness area. If the weather is bad (and that’s not uncommon on the North Sea) you can have a good time there.
You can book the hotel here: Hotel Zweite Heimat
Beach Motel St. Peter-Ording The Beach Motel is one of the hippest hotels in St. Peter-Ording. The rooms are furnished in a puristic Scandinavian style. The Beach Motel is within walking distance to the beach – some rooms also have a view of the water. Another plus: There is also a SPA area here.
You can book the hotel here: Beach Motel St. Peter-Ording
Transparency: Advertising & Affiliate Links This blog article was created in cooperation with the German National Tourist Board. We were allowed to visit St. Peter-Ording as part of the campaign #germany30Explore reunified on your own. We were free to organize the program. Thank you for this great opportunity!
This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!
Have you ever been to St. Peter-Ording or any other place on the Wadden Sea of the North Sea? Do you have any other tips? We look forward to hearing about your experiences!