Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park

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Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park

Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park

Islands In The Elbe River

The Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park is made up of of three islands that are at the mouth of the River Elbe and the mud flats that surround them. The park is situated 13 kilometres from Cuxhaven and around a 100 kilometres from Hamburg. Nevertheless, the islands and park belong to the city.

Founded in 1990 as a place of conservation for seabirds, the park was registered as a biosphere reserve and is now part of the UNESCO world heritage sites along with similar island areas in Germany and the Netherlands.

A Smaller Natural Reserve

The Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park is not huge, It covers 13.750 hectares and is one of the smaller nature reserves in Germany but it has a large and diverse population of seabirds. On the eastern part of Neuwerk Island you can see black headed gulls, oyster catchers, swallows and herring gulls to name but a few.

The park is divided into two areas and visitors are only allowed into zone 1 with some restrictions to ensure that breeding birds are not disturbed. Zone 1 is on Neuwerk Island and zone 2 is on Scharhörn island which is normally out of bounds to visitors but at certain times you may be able to gain access if the ornithologist gives permission.

Access To The Islands

Scharhörn island is accessible at low tide by walking across the marked pathway through the mud flats that surround it. The island of Nigehörn is protected as a zone 2 area and visitors should stay away. The only person who is allowed on this protected island is the ornithologist who comes to count the number of nests. However, you can look at the island through binoculars and see some of the rarer species of seabirds that live there in colonies.

A Paradise For Bird Lovers

Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park is a true paradise for bird lovers and those who love nature in all its glory. A haven that was partially constructed especially for seabirds and local flora, the park has a natural appeal to everyone who loves nature.

Accommodation At Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park

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Hotel Wernerwald

The pretty Hotel Wernerwald has a range of amenities that many other hotels cannot offer. The large rooms have a modern bathroom and cable TV. There is a spa centre where you can enjoy a wide range of treatments including a back massage.

Hotel Wernerwald is 9.57 kilometres from the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park and is only a 2 minute walk to the nearby beach. The restaurant offers both local and International dishes and
outside there is a terrace and children’s playground. For local nature, fun and cycling this is a great choice of hotel.

Hotel Sahlenburger Strand

Situated right next to a sandy beach at Cuxhaven-Sahlenburg, the Hotel Sahlenburger Strand is also close to the Wadden Sea National Park being just 9.29 kilometres distant. The views of the North Sea from the rooms are spectacular and it is quiet and relaxed although Cuxhaven is only 15 minutes away by car and ferry.

A wide variety of dishes at the buffet breakfast is served each day and you can enjoy North Sea speciality dishes in the local restaurants. For relaxation, fun and the sea this is an excellent choice of accommodation. The welcoming staff, who speak English will make you feel right at home.


The Wattenkieker is a small and friendly hotel that is situated 9.32 kilometres from the Hamburg Wadden National Sea Park. Sited right on the beach you will soon find yourself relaxing on your balcony which will have a wonderful view over the North Sea.

The restaurant provides a large range of dishes on the breakfast buffet and there is a sauna and steam bath if you want to while away your aches and pains. In the evening you can enjoy one of the local speciality North Sea fish dishes or choose from other regional foods. Parking is free for all guests.

How To Get To The Hamburg Wadden National Sea Park

The Hamburg Wadden National Sea Park can only be reached by ferry from the mainland at Cuxhaven.

By Air

Fly into Hamburg airport and then take either public transport or drive to Cuxhaven where the ferry regularly departs for the island. Hamburg airport is 142.5 kilometres from the National Sea Park.

By Train

The trip by train to Cuxhaven to reach the ferry takes around two and half hours. Take the Deutsches Bahn S82499 train from the airport to Hamburg-Ohlsdorf. Change to the U1 to Hauptbahnhof Süd, trains run every 5 minutes. From Hamburg Hbf take the Metronom to Cuxhaven, a journey of 11 stops. Then make your way 1.5 kilometres to the harbour at Alte Liebe, the ferry terminal. Ferry times will depend upon the tides.

By Road

The journey by car from Hamburg airport to Cuxhaven takes around 2 hours and 12 minutes. Use the B73 and then the A26, B73, B73n and take the exit for Papenstraße/B73. Continue to Konrad-Adenauer-Allee in Cuxhaven then take the ferry to the island.

Other Things To See And Do

Eating and Drinking

The speciality fish dishes that are served in the local restaurants are always unique and will open your eyes to the delights of fresh fish. Restaurants are found at the harbour at Alte Liebe where the ferry leaves for the island. Franke’s Seestern am Steubenhöft is a favourite with visitors so you can enjoy a leisurely lunch between sightseeing trips.

A Nature Trip

During the summer months the MS Flipper travel to the island of Neuberg once a day. You can take the trip and see the seals in the mouth of the Elbe where the islands that make up the Sea Park are situated. A lovely day out when you can get some stunning photographs of the seals and other sea life.

Have you seen our Top 10 Unesco Sites in Germany?

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