Last updated

2018 - Petrikirche - Rostock.jpg
Rostock nordl Altstadt mit der Marienkirche.jpg
Petrikirche in Rostock IMG 1681.JPG
Hafen - panoramio - Georg Denda (1).jpg
Rostocker Rathaus at night.jpg
Der Strand bei Warnemunde 2.JPG
From top: Rostock skyline, St. Mary's Church, St. Peter's Church, seaside resort Warnemünde, city hall, Warnemünde beach
Flagge der Hansestadt Rostock.svg
Rostock Wappen.svg
Administrative divisions of Rostock
Rostock Verwaltungsgliederung.png
Germany adm location map.svg
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Mecklenburg-Vorpommern location map.svg
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Coordinates: 54°5′0″N12°8′0″E / 54.08333°N 12.13333°E / 54.08333; 12.13333 Coordinates: 54°5′0″N12°8′0″E / 54.08333°N 12.13333°E / 54.08333; 12.13333
Country Germany
State Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
District Urban district
Subdivisions21 boroughs
   Lord mayor (201926) Claus Ruhe Madsen [1] (Ind.)
  Total181.44 km2 (70.05 sq mi)
13 m (43 ft)
 (2020-12-31) [2]
  Density1,200/km2 (3,000/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 0381
Vehicle registration HRO

Rostock (German: [ˈʁɔstɔk] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), officially the Hanseatic and University City of Rostock (German: Hanse- und Universitätsstadt Rostock), is the largest city in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and lies in the Mecklenburgian part of the state, close to the border with Pomerania. [lower-alpha 1] With around 208,000 inhabitants, it is the third-largest city on the German Baltic coast after Kiel and Lübeck, the eighth-largest city in the area of former East Germany, as well as the 39th-largest city of Germany. Rostock was the largest coastal and most important port city in East Germany.


Rostock stands on the estuary of the River Warnow into the Bay of Mecklenburg of the Baltic Sea. The city stretches for about 16 km (10 mi) along the river, that flows into the sea in the very north of the city, between the boroughs of Warnemünde and Hohe Düne. The city center lies further upstream, in the very south of the city. While most of Rostock's inhabitants live on the western side of the Warnow, the area east of the river is dominated by the port, industrial estates and the forested Rostock Heath. The city's coastline east and west of the river mouth is relatively undeveloped, with long sandy beaches prevailing. The name of the city is of Slavic origin.

Rostock is the economic center of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the state's only regiopolis. The port of Rostock is the fourth largest port in Germany after the North Sea ports of Hamburg, Bremen/Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven, and the largest port on the German Baltic coast. The ferry routes between Rostock and Gedser in Denmark as well as Trelleborg in Southern Sweden are among the busiest between Germany and Scandinavia. Rostock–Laage Airport lies in a rural region southeast of the city.

The city is home to the oldest university in the Baltic region and one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Rostock, founded in 1419. The university's hospital, Universitätsmedizin Rostock, is one of two university hospitals in the state, along with Universitätsmedizin Greifswald of the University of Greifswald in Western Pomerania.


Historical population
source: [3] [ circular reference ]

Early history

In the 11th century Polabian Slavs founded a settlement at the Warnow river called Roztoc (*ras-tokŭ, Slavic for "fork of a river"); the name Rostock is derived from that designation.

The Danish king Valdemar I set the town on fire in 1161. Afterwards the place was settled by German traders. Initially there were three separate cities:

Confirmation of Lubeck law city rights, 1218 Rostocker Stadtbestatigung 1213.png
Confirmation of Lübeck law city rights, 1218

In 1218, Rostock was granted Lübeck law city rights by Heinrich Borwin, prince of Mecklenburg.

Hanseatic League

Rostock University, the oldest university in continental northern Europe and the Baltic Sea area, founded in 1419. Rostock asv2018-05 img29 University.jpg
Rostock University, the oldest university in continental northern Europe and the Baltic Sea area, founded in 1419.

During the first partition of Mecklenburg following the death of Henry Borwin II of Mecklenburg in 1226, Rostock became the seat of the Lordship of Rostock, which survived for almost a century. In 1251, the city became a member of the Hanseatic League. In the 14th century it was a powerful seaport town with 12,000 inhabitants and the largest city in Mecklenburg. Ships for cruising the Baltic Sea were constructed in Rostock. The formerly independent fishing village of Warnemünde at the Baltic Sea became a part of Rostock in 1323, to secure the city's access to the sea.

In 1419, the University of Rostock was founded, the oldest university in continental northern Europe and the Baltic Sea area.

15th to 18th centuries

Rostock in the 16th century Rostock 1550-60.jpg
Rostock in the 16th century
Rostock in the 17th century Rostock um 1650.jpg
Rostock in the 17th century

At the end of the 15th century, the dukes of Mecklenburg succeeded in enforcing their rule over the town of Rostock, which had until then been only nominally subject to their rule and essentially independent. They took advantage of a riot known as Domfehde, a failed uprising of the impoverished population. Subsequent quarrels with the dukes and persistent plundering led ultimately to a loss of the city's economic and political power.

Rostock 1780-90 Plan von Rostock gez 1780-1790 J.M. von Tarnows.jpg
Rostock 1780–90

In 1565 there were further clashes with Schwerin that had far-reaching consequences. Among other things, the nobility introduced a beer excise that favoured the dukes. John Albert I advanced on the city with 500 horsemen, after Rostock had refused to take the formal oath of allegiance, and had the city wall razed (slighted) to have a fortress built. The conflict did not end until the first Rostock Inheritance Agreement of 21 September 1573, in which the state princes were guaranteed hereditary rule over the city for centuries and recognizing them as the supreme judicial authority; this bound Rostock for a long time. The citizens razed (or slighted) the fortress the following spring.

From 1575 to 1577 the city walls were rebuilt, as was the Lagebusch tower and the Stein Gate, in the Dutch Renaissance style. The inscription sit intra te concordia et publica felicitas ("You enter a state of harmony and happiness"), can still be read on the gate, and refers directly to the conflict with the Duke. In 1584 the Second Rostock Inheritance Agreement was enforced, which resulted in a further loss of former city tax privileges. At the same time, these inheritance contracts put paid to Rostock's ambition of achieving imperial immediacy, as Lübeck had done in 1226.

The strategic location of Rostock provoked the envy of its rivals. Danes and Swedes occupied the city twice, first during the Thirty Years' War (1618–48) and again from 1700 to 1721. Later in the early 19th century, the French, under Napoleon, occupied the town for about a decade until 1813. In nearby Lübeck-Ratekau, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, who was born in Rostock and who was one of few generals to fight on after defeat at the Battle of Jena, surrendered to the French in 1806. This was only after furious street fighting in the Battle of Lübeck, in which he led some of the cavalry charges himself. By the time of the surrender, the exhausted Prussians had neither food nor ammunition.

19th century

Colourful gabled houses of Rostock Rostock asv2018-05 img38 NeuerMarkt.jpg
Colourful gabled houses of Rostock

In the first half of the 19th century, Rostock regained much of its economic importance, due at first to the wheat trade, then, from the 1850s, to industry, especially its shipyards. The first propeller-driven steamers in Germany were constructed here.

The city grew in area and population, with new quarters developing in the south and west of the ancient borders of the city. Two notable developments were added to house the increasing population at around 1900:

20th century

In the 20th century, important aircraft manufacturing facilities were situated in the city, such as the Arado Flugzeugwerke in Warnemünde and the Heinkel Works with facilities at various places, including their secondary Heinkel-Süd facility in Schwechat, Austria, as the original Heinkel firm's Rostock facilities had been renamed Heinkel-Nord. The world's first airworthy jet plane prototype made its test flights at their facilities in what used to be named the Rostock-Marienehe  [ de ] neighborhood (today's Rostock-Schmarl community, along the west bank of the Unterwarnow estuary).

In the early 1930s the Nazi Party began to gain among Rostock's voters, many of whom had suffered economic hardship during the 1920s. In elections in the summer 1932, when the Nazis achieved 37.3 percent, their greatest national showing in a free election, they polled 40.3 percent in Rostock. A year later, after the Nazi seizure of power and the suppression of other political parties, the Rostock city council (Stadtrat) was composed entirely of Nazis. During Kristallnacht on 10 November 1938, the synagogue in Rostock's Augustenstrasse was destroyed by arson and dozens of Jews were beaten and imprisoned.

Feverish rearmament by the Nazi regime boosted Rostock's industrial importance in the late 1930s, and employment soared at the Heinkel and Arado factories, and at the Neptunwerft shipyard. The city's population grew from 100,000 in 1935 to 121,192 in 1939.

During World War II, Rostock was subjected to repeated and increasingly heavy bombing attacks, especially by the British Royal Air Force. Targets included the Heinkel and Arado plants and the shipyard, but churches and other historic structures in the city centre were also heavily damaged, among them the 14th-century Nikolaikirche (St Nicholas Church) and Jakobikirche (St Jacob's Church). The ruins of the latter were torn down in 1960.

The city was eventually captured by the Soviet 2nd Belorussian Front on 2 May 1945 during the Stettin-Rostock offensive operation.

After the war, Rostock – now in the German Democratic Republic – became East Germany's largest seaport. The state expanded the national shipyards in the district of Warnemünde. The city's population, boosted in part by resettled ethnic German refugees who had been expelled from territories in the east, increased in the GDR years to a peak of 260,000. Following the reunification of Germany in 1990, Rostock lost its privileged position as the No. 1 port of the GDR, and the city's population declined to about 200,000. However, after 2006, the population increased again. Today, Rostock and Warnemünde are significant tourist destinations on the Baltic Sea.

Since the late 20th century migrants have come to Germany from Turkey and Africa seeking work. In response to high rates of joblessness and increased levels of crime, some Germans took part in the Rostock-Lichtenhagen riots which occurred from 22 to 24 August 1992.



1788 historic map of Rostock, showing earlier district names
Rostock subdivisions.svg
Modern Districts of Rostock


Coat of Arms Rostock Wappen.svg
Coat of Arms
Motto: Within your walls may be harmony and happiness (in Latin) Rostock Wahlspruch.jpg
Motto : Within your walls may be harmony and happiness(in Latin)

Rostock has had three different coats of arms, known as the Signum, the Secretum and the Sigillum. The Signum, which can be traced back to 1367, was developed last and is to this day the coat of arms of the city.

The Signum depicts a golden griffin on a blue background, with bars of silver and red, the colours of the Hanseatic League, below. It can be seen not only on flags and houses, and at bus stops, but also on bridges, gullies, fences, ships and restaurants.


Restored Rostock City Hall, a mixture of Baroque and Brick Gothic architecture. Rostock asv2018-05 img37 NeuerMarkt.jpg
Restored Rostock City Hall, a mixture of Baroque and Brick Gothic architecture.

Since the 13th century, the governing body of the city has been the city council (Rat), first consisting of ten, later of 24 elected aldermen (Ratsherren). The chairman of the city council was the city mayor. In the 19th century there were three mayors. Since 1925, the head of the city has borne the title of Lord Mayor. Having been elected by the city council for centuries, since 2002 this position is now elected directly by the citizens of Rostock, following a reform. If a candidate does not achieve an absolute majority in the first round, the two candidates with the most votes stand in a second round.

Results of the second round of the 2019 mayoral election. 2019 Rostock mayoral election (2nd round).svg
Results of the second round of the 2019 mayoral election.

The current Lord Mayor of Rostock is Chris von Wrycz Rekowski, who became mayor in 2022 after independent politician Claus Ruhe Madsen resigned to join the second Günther cabinet. Madsen was elected in the 2019 local elections with the support of the CDU and FDP. As Danish citizen, he became the first person of foreign nationality to serve as mayor of a major German city. [4]

The most recent mayoral election was held on 26 May 2019, with a runoff held on 16 June, and the results were as follows:

CandidatePartyFirst roundSecond round
Votes %Votes %
Claus Ruhe Madsen Independent (CDU/FDP)35,04634.643,34157.1
Steffen Bockhahn The Left 19,17718.932,61742.9
Chris von Wrycz Rekowski Social Democratic Party 13,43313.2
Dirk ZierauIndependent Citizens for Rostock11,95811.8
Uwe Flachsmeyer Alliance 90/The Greens 10,37810.2
Sybille BachmannRostock Alliance6,2406.2
Tom Reimer Independent 2,4752.4
Edgar Schulze Independent 1,5981.6
Matthias Bräuer Independent 1,1181.1
Valid votes101,42399.075,95899.4
Invalid votes1,0671.04550.6
Electorate/voter turnout173,65059.0173,18744.1
Source: City of Rostock (1st round, 2nd round)
Winning party by precinct in the 2019 city council election. 2019 Rostock City Council election - Wahlbezirke.svg
Winning party by precinct in the 2019 city council election.
Seat distribution in the 2019 city council election. 2019 Rostock City Council election - Results.svg
Seat distribution in the 2019 city council election.

The city parliament (Bürgerschaft) represents the citizens. Representative are elected for five years. The number of representatives is currently 53. The city parliament is presided by the Präsident der Bürgerschaft, who heads and prepares the sessions and, together with the Lord Mayor, represents the city. The most recent city council election was held on 26 May 2019, and the results were as follows:

PartyVotes %+/-Seats+/-
The Left (Die Linke)58,40519.9Decrease2.svg 6.511Decrease2.svg 3
Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne)55,61619.0Increase2.svg 7.510Increase2.svg 4
Christian Democratic Union (CDU)42,42214.5Decrease2.svg 6.08Decrease2.svg 3
Social Democratic Party (SPD)42,26914.4Decrease2.svg 2.58Decrease2.svg 1
Alternative for Germany (AfD)28,2949.6Increase2.svg 5.25Increase2.svg 3
Independent Citizens for Rostock (UFR)21,4837.3Decrease2.svg 0.84±0
Rostock Alliance (RB)12,0864.1Decrease2.svg 0.52Decrease2.svg 1
Free Democratic Party (FDP)9,6453.3Increase2.svg 0.82Increase2.svg 1
Die PARTEI (PARTEI)7,3732.5New1New
Free Voters (FW)3,7901.3New1New
New Start 09 (A'09)2,8971.0Decrease2.svg 0.51±0
The Grays – Gray Panthers (Graue)1,8690.6Decrease2.svg 0.10Decrease2.svg 1
Pirate Party Germany (Piraten)1,7140.6New0New
National Democratic Party (NPD)1,6330.6Decrease2.svg 1.20Decrease2.svg 1
Independents 3,7791.30±0
Valid votes293,27598.6
Invalid votes4,1791.4
Electorate/voter turnout173,65058.9Increase2.svg 18.4
Source: City of Rostock
Geographical position of the Rostock Regiopolis Regiopole Rostock Verflechtungen.jpg
Geographical position of the Rostock Regiopolis

Regiopolis Rostock

Rostock is the first city region that defines itself not only as a city in its boundaries, but as a regiopolis, with a supra-regional sphere of influence. A regiopolis can be compared to a metropolis, but on a smaller scale. This is a sign for the inter-regional cooperation and economic dynamics that can be found in the Rostock area. A taskforce with different actors such as the hanseatic city of Rostock, the administrative district of Rostock, the Regional Planning Association Middle Mecklenburg/Rostock and the local business organisations are working on the promotion and advancement of the concept. [5]


Geographic location

Rostock is located nearly centrally on Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's Baltic Sea coast. The city is crossed by the Warnow.

The seaside part of Rostock, Rostock-Warnemünde, is about 16 km (10 mi) to the north of the historic city centre. The west and the southeast are the most densely populated parts of town. The overseas port is to the east of Rostock. Rostock stretches 21.6 km (13.4 mi) from the Baltic Sea to the south and 19.4 km (12.1 mi) from east to west.


Rostock has an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb) with strong influence of the Baltic Sea, more similar with Denmark and far southern Sweden than to the rest of Germany. The Warnemünde station is located on the open sea and thus has a stronger maritime influence and slightly smaller variations than the downtown that is further inland.

Climate data for Rostock (Warnemünde), elevation: 10 m, 1981–2010 normals
Record high °C (°F)14.0
Average high °C (°F)3.4
Daily mean °C (°F)1.4
Average low °C (°F)−0.7
Record low °C (°F)−17.8
Average precipitation mm (inches)47.6
Average precipitation days10.
Mean monthly sunshine hours 46.466.4119.6191.8257.9230.0248.6219.8158.9108.653.838.01,739.8
Source: Météo Climat [6] [7]
Climate data for Rostock (Warnemünde), elevation: 10 m, 1961–1990 normals and extremes
Record high °C (°F)12.4
Average high °C (°F)2.2
Daily mean °C (°F)0.2
Average low °C (°F)−1.9
Record low °C (°F)−17.8
Average precipitation mm (inches)46
Average precipitation days10810989109991111113
Mean monthly sunshine hours 37.264.4108.5174244.9246232.5226.3156105.45437.21,686.4
Source: HKO [8] and NOAA [9]

Main sights


Panorama of Rostock from the bank of the Warnow river during the Hanse Sail
Aerial view of marina and Yacht Harbour Residence "Hohe Dune" at the Baltic Sea, close to Warnemunde. Aerial view Yacht Harbour Residence Rostock Yachthafenresidenz Hohe Dune 1.jpg
Aerial view of marina and Yacht Harbour Residence "Hohe Düne" at the Baltic Sea, close to Warnemünde.
Heiligengeisthof (Holy Spirit Courtyard). Rostock Heiligengeisthof.jpg
Heiligengeisthof (Holy Spirit Courtyard).

One of the most picturesque places in Rostock is the Neuer Markt (New Market Square), with the Town Hall – that was originally built in the 13th century in Brick Gothic style, but extensively transformed in the 18th century, with the addition of a Baroque façade and a banqueting hall. The square also preserved six original, carefully restored gable houses from the 15th and 16th centuries. The other historical houses in Hanseatic style that once bordered the square were destroyed in an Allied air-raid in 1942, and rebuilt in a simplified manner. [10]

The 15th-century Kerkhofhaus (at Große Wasserstraße, behind the Town Hall) is considered the best-preserved brick Gothic house in Rostock. [ citation needed ]

St. Mary's Church Marienkirche, on Ziegenmarkt, is an imposing Brick Gothic church. Built in the 13th century, it was enlarged and modified at the end of the 14th century into the present cross-shaped basilica. The huge tower was not completed until the end of the 18th century. Inside there is an astronomical clock erected in 1472 by Hans Düringer.

Kropeliner Strasse - main shopping street Rostock Kropeliner Strasse.jpg
Kröpeliner Straße – main shopping street

The main pedestrian precinct is Kröpeliner Straße, which runs east from the Neuer Markt to the 14th-century Kröpeliner Tor, a former town gate. The main buildings of Rostock University lie at Universitätsplatz, near the middle of the street, in front of the lively fountain of zest for life (Brunnen der Lebensfreude), known colloquially as Pornobrunn (fountain of pornography), for its nude sculptures.

The Kloster St Katharinen (Convent of St. Catherine), is an old Franciscan monastery founded in 1243, and extended several times during the 14th and 15th centuries. Now used as the seat of the Academy of Music and Theatre (HMT-Rostock).

The Brick Gothic Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church), which is the oldest church in Rostock, was built in the mid-13th century. Heavily damaged during World War II and subsequently restored, the building is now used as an exhibition centre and concert hall, due to its outstanding acoustics.

Some parts of the medieval city wall, with four city gates, have survived to the present day.


Alexandrinenstrasse in Warnemunde. Warnemunde Altstadt (03) 2006-09-21.jpg
Alexandrinenstraße in Warnemünde.
Speicher (office buildings) at night. Headquarters of AIDA Cruises. Rostock22.jpg
Speicher (office buildings) at night. Headquarters of AIDA Cruises.

Warnemünde is the seaside part of Rostock and a major attraction of the city. Locals and tourists alike enjoy the maritime flair of old houses, a large beach, a lighthouse and the old fisherman's port.


The economy is mainly characterised by maritime industries (especially shipbuilding), high-tech industries (IT, biotechnology/life sciences, medical engineering), the University of Rostock, tourism and the service sector. Major companies include:

Maritime Industry
Other engineering
Tourism industry


Historical Botanical Garden of Rostock University, greenhouse Rostock Botanischer Garten 1.jpg
Historical Botanical Garden of Rostock University, greenhouse

Rostock is home to one of the oldest universities in the world. Founded in 1419, the University of Rostock is the third oldest university in Germany in continuous operation, and one of the oldest universities of the world. It also maintains a botanical garden, the Botanischer Garten Universität Rostock.

The Academy of Music and Theatre (Hochschule für Musik und Theater) offers graduate degrees in artistic fields. Founded in 1994, the institution combined Ernst Busch, the former drama school, and the outpost school of the Hanns Eisler Music School Berlin. Today, the combined school is a member of the Association of Baltic Academies of Music (ABAM), a union of 17 music conservatories at the Baltic Sea and Israel. Unique in Europe is the postgraduate degree in piano duo performance. The school possesses a large opera stage (Katharinensaal) and two chamber music halls. There are concerts every day throughout the year.

Rostock also hosts the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis, as well as two branches of Fraunhofer Institutes, one for Computer Graphics and one for Large Structures in Production Technology.


Volkstheater Rostock Rostock Theater im Stadthafen.jpg
Volkstheater Rostock


The municipal theatre is the Volkstheater Rostock where the Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock plays.


The city is home to the annual Hanse Sail festival, during which many large sailing ships and museum vessels are brought out to sea, drawing over 1.5 million visitors.

An annual jazz festival, Ostsee-Jazz ("Baltic Sea Jazz"), takes place in June.


The Lichtspieltheater Wundervoll is the art house cinema of Rostock. It opened in 1993 and offers a daily programme in two venues, the Metropol and the Frieda 23 with three cinemas. At Frieda 23 is the Institut für neue Medien (IFNM), Rostock's Institute for New Media, which includes a media workshop. Both Liwu and IFNM are active members of the Landesverband Filmkommunikation Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Special screenings for schools, educational programmes and special programmes are offered as well. It is the central venue for Rostock's Film Festival, the Festival im Stadthafen (FISH), the German Federal Festival for Young German Film.

Museums and zoo

Walter Kempowski archives Kempowski Archiv 2014.JPG
Walter Kempowski archives

Food and drink

Rostock manufactures its own local beer, called Rostocker Pilsner, manufactured at the Hanseatische Brauerei Rostock GmbH (Rostock Hanseatic Brewery Ltd.). The beer is well known throughout the city and is also sold in cities nearby. To celebrate Rostock's 800th birthday, a special light beer called Heller Freude was brewed to commemorate the occasion.


Ostseestadion, home ground of Hansa Rostock Ostseestadion.JPG
Ostseestadion, home ground of Hansa Rostock
ClubSportFoundedLeagueVenueHead CoachWebsite
Hansa Rostock Football 1965 2. Bundesliga Ostseestadion Jens Haertel
Rostock Seawolves Basketball 1994 ProA (2nd division)Stadthalle Rostock Dirk Bauermann
Rostocker FC 1895 Football 1895 Verbandsliga Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (6th division)Sportpark am Damerower WegJan Kistenmacher
HC Empor Rostock Team handball 1946 3. Bundesliga Rostocker StadthalleMaik Handschke
SV Warnemünde Volleyball 19903rd league (men and women team)Sporthalle Gerüstbauerring
Piranhas Rostock Ice hockey 1953 Oberliga (3rd division)Eishalle RostockHenry Thom
Rostocker Nasenbären Skater hockey 2005Inline-Skaterhockey-Bundesliga (1st league)OSPA-ArenaDimitri Kramarenko [11]
HSG Warnemünde Water polo 1971Oberliga SH-MV (3rd league)Neptun-Schwimmhalle


Rostock Hauptbahnhof (main station) Rostock-hbf-nord.jpg
Rostock Hauptbahnhof (main station)
Transit map of Rostock Liniennetz Rostock und Umgebung.png
Transit map of Rostock
Rostock harbour at sunset Sunset over Rostock harbour.jpg
Rostock harbour at sunset


Rostock can be reached by motorway ( Autobahn ) A 1 from Hamburg via Lübeck on A 20 and by A 19 from Berlin and A 20 from Stettin in Poland.

Public transport

Rostock Hauptbahnhof offers fast rail connections to Hamburg and Berlin and from there to almost any other European city.

Rostock is served by the Rostock tramway network, with six tram lines that serve the inner city as well as the suburbs. The city is also served by an extensive bus fleet, as well as a handful of ferries that cross the Warnow.


Rostock is Germany's largest Baltic port. Rostock is also home to a large ferry port. It is a main base for ferry operators Scandlines and TT-Line, which both connect Rostock with major Scandinavian destinations. Furthermore, Rostock receives the highest number of cruise tourists in Germany every year.

Ferries leave for


The Rostock–Laage Airport offers connections to major German and international destinations; regular flights to e.g. Munich are offered. The nearest larger international airports are in Hamburg and Berlin. There are also a number of airfields for smaller aircraft, such as Purkshof.

Twin towns - sister cities

Rostock is twinned with:

Notable people

Simon Paulli Portret van Simon Paulli, RP-P-1878-A-961.jpg
Simon Paulli
Albrecht Kossel Albrecht Kossel nobel.jpg
Albrecht Kossel
Ernst Heinkel Ernst Heinkel.jpg
Ernst Heinkel
Peter Schulz Peter Schulz 2010.jpg
Peter Schulz
Jan Ullrich Jan-ullrich.jpg
Jan Ullrich
Before 19th century
19th century
20th century


  1. Closest border point with Pomerania from Rostock in Ribnitz-Damgarten between Ribnitz (Mecklenburg) and Damgarten (Pomerania). Border constituted by River Recknitz.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wismar</span> Hanseatic city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Wismar, officially the Hanseatic City of Wismar is, with around 43,000 inhabitants, the sixth-largest city of the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and the fourth-largest city of Mecklenburg after Rostock, Schwerin and Neubrandenburg. The city was the third-largest port city in former East Germany after Rostock and Stralsund.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stralsund</span> City in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Stralsund, officially the Hanseatic City of Stralsund, is the fifth-largest city in the northeastern German federal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania after Rostock, Schwerin, Neubrandenburg and Greifswald, and the second-largest city in the Pomeranian part of the state. It is located at the southern coast of the Strelasund, a sound of the Baltic Sea separating the island of Rügen from the Pomeranian mainland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Greifswald</span> City in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Greifswald, officially the University and Hanseatic City of Greifswald is the fourth-largest city in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania after Rostock, Schwerin and Neubrandenburg. In 2021 it surpassed Stralsund for the first time, and became the largest city in the Pomeranian part of the state. It sits on the River Ryck, at its mouth into the Danish Wiek, a sub-bay of the Bay of Greifswald, which is itself a sub-bay of the Bay of Pomerania of the Baltic Sea.

Bad Doberan (district) District in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany

Bad Doberan is a former district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It was named after its largest town, Bad Doberan, the German Bad meaning spa. The district surrounded the City of Rostock, bordering the Baltic Sea in the north as well as the former districts of Nordvorpommern, Güstrow and Nordwestmecklenburg. The district was disbanded at the district reform of September 2011. Its territory has been part of the district of Rostock since.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Güstrow</span> Town in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Güstrow is a town in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is capital of the Rostock district; Rostock itself is a district-free city and regiopolis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ribnitz-Damgarten</span> Town in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Ribnitz-Damgarten is a town in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, situated on Lake Ribnitz. Ribnitz-Damgarten is in the west of the district Vorpommern-Rügen.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Warnemünde</span> District of Rostock in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Warnemünde is a seaside resort and a district of the city of Rostock in Mecklenburg, Germany. It is located on the Baltic Sea and, as the name implies, at the estuary of the river Warnow. Warnemünde is one of the world's busiest cruise ports.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Warnow</span> River in Germany

The Warnow is a river in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany. It flows into the Baltic Sea near the town of Rostock, in its borough Warnemünde.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barth, Germany</span> Town in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Barth is a town in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is situated at a lagoon (Bodden) of the Baltic Sea facing the Fischland-Darss-Zingst peninsula. Barth belongs to the district of Vorpommern-Rügen. It is close to the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park. In 2011, it held a population of 8,706.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glasin</span> Municipality in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Glasin is a municipality in the Nordwestmecklenburg district, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

Bad Kleinen–Rostock railway

The Bad Kleinen–Rostock railway is a double track electrified railway in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The Ludwigslust–Bad Kleinen section of the line is double track. The line was opened in 1850 by the Mecklenburg Railway Company and is one of the oldest railways in Germany and is part of the Leipzig–Magdeburg–Schwerin–Rostock main line.

The region of Middle Mecklenburg represents that area of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with the most developed infrastructure in a state that is otherwise rather underdeveloped structurally. Middle Mecklenburg includes the largest urban centre in the state, the Hanseatic city of Rostock with its 200,000 inhabitants together with the surrounding district of the same name. The most important river in the region is the Warnow. Its transport links radiate from Rostock in a star configuration and the metropolitan region of the port city is served by a public transport network that includes the Rostock S-Bahn. Other important centres are the county towns of Bad Doberan and Güstrow. The main tourist attraction is the Baltic Sea coast along the Bay of Mecklenburg with the Salzhaff, the sea cliffs and the seaside resorts of Rerik, Kühlungsborn, Heiligendamm, Warnemünde and Graal-Müritz. In the south Middle Mecklenburg transitions into the naturally very unspoilt region of the Mecklenburg Lake District. In the east the River Recknitz forms its boundary with West Pomerania, in the west it merges gradually into West Mecklenburg.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rostock S-Bahn</span>

The Rostock S-Bahn is a S-Bahn network in Rostock in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It consists of three lines with a total length of about 90 km. Line S1 runs from Rostock Hauptbahnhof to Warnemünde within the Rostock urban area. S-Bahn operations started in 1970s. Later, the lines to the north-east to the port (Seehafen) of Rostock and to the south to the town of Güstrow via Schwaan were included in the S-Bahn network. The line to the port was discontinued in 2012, but at same time the line to Güstrow via Laage was included as line S3 of the S-Bahn. Until 2014 they were mainly operated as push–pull trains with double-deck coaches. Since then all lines have been operated with new Bombardier Talent 2 railcars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Western Pomerania</span> Historical region in present-day northeast Germany

Historical Western Pomerania, also called Fore Pomerania, Front Pomerania or Hither Pomerania, is the western extremity of the historic region of Pomerania forming the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, Western Pomerania's boundaries have changed through the centuries as it belonged to various countries such as Poland, the Duchy of Pomerania, Sweden, Denmark, as well as Prussia which incorporated it as the Province of Pomerania.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rostock Port</span> Seaport in Germany

Rostock Port is a large German port on the Baltic Sea, it is located on the Unterwarnow estuary in the city of Rostock. Most of the port infrastructure is owned by Rostock Port GmbH, a joint venture between the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (25.1%) and the Hanseatic City of Rostock (74.9%). The port operations are carried out by Euroports Germany GmbH & Co. and other private companies. With a total throughput of 28.8 million tons (2017), the ports of Rostock is the fourth largest German port.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Warnemünde station</span> Railway station in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Warnemünde station is located in the seaside resort of Warnemünde, a district of the Hanseatic city of Rostock in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The station opened on 30 September 1903 and is located on the Neustrelitz–Warnemünde railway. It is the terminus of all three Rostock S-Bahn lines. In addition, some long-distance trains serve the station. Until 1995, it was the starting point of ferries to Gedser in Denmark. The station building and some other facilities of the station have heritage protection.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Rostock, Germany.


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