Experience White Sand Beaches At This Lesser-Known Island In Germany

Germany is an extraordinary destination celebrated for its historical architecture and offerings of diverse experiences. While "beach" is perhaps not a word often associated with the country, Germany, in fact, has 43 islands, as per the European Commission. However, the largest, per Britannica, is Rügen. Located on the Baltic Sea in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Rügen is about three hours from Berlin and Hamburg. 


Rügen is primarily a tourist destination for German locals. An article from Condé Nast Traveler notes that the island is perhaps obscure to outsiders due to its location. Rügen was formally part of East Germany and, thus, was blocked from the West by the Berlin Wall. 

Notably, Rügen has crystal blue waters and spectacular white sand beaches like Sellin (pictured) and Binz. Visitors can enjoy scenic coastal views, and if the weather permits, they can swim in the Baltic Sea. Rügen is relatively chilly throughout the year, but the weather can reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit in July and August. 

That said, Rügen Bridge in the nearby city of Stralsund links the island to the rest of Germany. If you have a rental, you can drive there, or if you prefer, you can opt for a low-cost FlixBus. For instance, Flixbus takes passengers from Berlin to Sellin within five to six hours for under $21 at the time of this writing. Undeniably, this is one of the best beach vacations in Europe. Add in a swanky resort, and you'll be raving about all Rügen has to offer


Beachside accommodations in Rügen, Germany

Rügen, Germany, is perfect for a romantic beach getaway or solo trip. The island is home to various beachside resorts, including the five-star Grand Hotel Binz. Located in Binz, the resort has no-frills ocean-view rooms that start at under $200. A complimentary breakfast buffet is provided to lodgers from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The Grand Hotel Binz is feet away from the beach. However, there is also a heated indoor pool for guests to enjoy. You can book a room online


Another impressive option in Binz is Kurhaus Binz (seen in the TikTok above), which dates back to the early 1900s. The resort is directly across from the beach and Binz's pier, Seebrückenkopf. 

Kurhauz Binz has everything guests want and need, like onsite eateries and an opulent spa offering various treatments for individuals and couples. This includes a 45-minute $70 chalk ritual for two, described as a relaxing steam bath featuring finely milled chalk from Rügen. 

An indoor and outdoor pool is also available. Moreover, Kurhaus Binz offers bike rentals. For under $10, you can traverse one of many Rügen's bike paths and the island's landscape. Rooms at Kurhaus Binz start at under $200 per night, and you can book online. Breakfast and access to the spa facilities are included in your stay. 


In Sellin, you'll find Hotel Bernstein. The modern resort overlooks the Baltic Sea and is a five-minute walk to the beach. It features an onsite restaurant and spa with an indoor pool. Rooms start at under $200. 

Must-see and dos in Rügen, Germany

Rügen, Germany, encompasses 358 square miles, according to Britannica. In other words, there is much to explore on the island. So, where should tourists go? If visiting Sellin, head to Seebruecke Sellin, also known in English as the Sellin Pier. The quirky structure provides scenic coastal views and features a diving gondola. Guests enter the attraction's chamber and are plunged into the Baltic Sea, where, if conditions permit, they can view sea animals. The pier is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.  


One of Rügen's standout features is its chalk cliffs. To see these geographical limestone marvels, take a hike at Jasmund National Park. Located under half an hour from Binz in Sassnitz, this is the smallest national park in Germany. There are several breathtaking trails available on AllTrails. However, visitors can request a guided hike into Jasmund from the Königsstuhl National Park Centre for an undisclosed price online

Königsstuhl National Park Centre should not be missed. It's kid-friendly, has various scientific exhibits on display, and offers tours, guided walks, and more. Tickets to the Königsstuhl National Park Centre can be purchased online, ranging from around $7 for kids to $13 for adults. Hours vary per season.


Visitors can soar to new heights in Binz with the treetop walk at the Naturerbe Zentrum Rügen. This spiraling tower is around 131 feet high and provides expansive views of Rügen. Hours vary, and ticket prices for kids and adults are under $20. You can book this attraction online.