With the unique atmosphere of its harbour, maritime flair is at the heart of Rostock. It's also home to major events, such as the Hanse Sail in August, which pulls in hundreds of sailing vessels and a million visitors each year.

You know the event is in town when up to 300 tall ships, traditional ships, cruise ships, ferries, vintage yachts and other sea-going vessels are paraded in front of delighted spectators in and around Rostock's harbour. This maritime festival is a special occasion for the entire Baltic Sea region. All of this takes place against the magnificent backdrop of Rostock's Old Town with its characteristic deep-red brick buildings that date back to Hanseatic times and house numerous major historical attractions. One of the city's particularly endearing landmarks is Warnemünde Lighthouse, an ideal place for a day trip.

Distinctive pedestrian zones have been established from the Doberaner Platz square to the Neuer Markt square, and from the Universitätsplatz square to the city port. These areas are also great for eating out, offering everything from fresh fish to international cuisine, while those with a sweet tooth should pay a visit to the Schokoladerie de Prie, a chocolatier by the port. The trendy Kröpeliner Tor district also has cosy restaurants, bars and cafés serving refreshing beer. But wherever you go, it's always worth taking a closer look either side of the main streets, where independent shops in old warehouses and lovingly restored town houses are just waiting to be discovered. And what you will find, no matter where you look, is the soul and charm of this extraordinary city.

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