This blog post covers 27 things to do in Osnabrück (Germany).
From exploring the city’s historic sites, to enjoying its vibrant nightlife, Osnabrück is the perfect destination for a memorable experience.
Let’s get started.
Immerse Yourself in History and Culture
Visit the Osnabrück Castle
Step into a world of grandeur at the Osnabrück Castle, an impressive Baroque-style palace built in the 17th century.
Today, it serves as the main building of the University of Osnabrück. Visitors can explore the picturesque castle grounds and marvel at the stunning architecture, while guided tours may be available upon request.
Explore the Felix Nussbaum Haus
Dive into the life and works of renowned artist Felix Nussbaum at this thought-provoking museum.
Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, the modern structure houses a vast collection of Nussbaum’s art, offering a fascinating insight into his experiences during the Holocaust.
The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions focusing on contemporary art and culture.
Stroll through the Old Town (Altstadt)
Wander the charming cobblestone streets of Osnabrück’s Altstadt, where you’ll find beautifully preserved half-timbered houses, quaint shops, and cozy cafés.
The Old Town is home to several historic sites, including the Heger Tor, a monument commemorating the fallen soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars, and the Marienkirche, a Gothic-style church dating back to the 13th century.
Discover the St. Peter’s Cathedral (Osnabrücker Dom)
This magnificent Romanesque-Gothic cathedral is a must-see for its breathtaking architecture and rich history.
Inside, visitors can admire the ornate carvings and artwork, including the famous “Osnabrück Madonna” sculpture.
Don’t miss the chance to climb the tower for a stunning panoramic view of the city.
Experience the Peace Process at the Rathaus (City Hall)
The historic Rathaus, or City Hall, is the site where the Peace of Westphalia was signed in 1648, marking the end of the Thirty Years’ War.
Step inside the beautifully restored building to learn about this pivotal moment in European history through informative displays and exhibits.
The ornate Friedenssaal (Hall of Peace) is also available for guided tours, offering a glimpse into the negotiations that took place centuries ago.
Embrace Nature and Green Spaces
Relax at the Botanischer Garten
Immerse yourself in the lush beauty of the Botanischer Garten, Osnabrück’s botanical garden.
Spread over 22 acres, the garden features a diverse range of flora, including medicinal herbs, alpine plants, and a stunning rose garden.
Visitors can also explore the tropical greenhouse, which houses exotic plants and a delightful butterfly exhibit.
Explore the beautiful Schlossgarten
Located adjacent to the Osnabrück Castle, the Schlossgarten is a beautifully landscaped park that offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city.
Stroll through the manicured gardens, admire the fountains and sculptures, or simply relax on a bench and enjoy the serene atmosphere.
The park is also home to several events and concerts throughout the year.
Take a walk along the Hase River
Discover the natural beauty of Osnabrück as you meander along the banks of the Hase River.
The riverside promenade provides a scenic backdrop for a leisurely stroll, jog, or bike ride, with plenty of picturesque spots to stop and take in the tranquil surroundings.
Keep an eye out for the local wildlife, including ducks, swans, and even the occasional otter.
Enjoy the tranquility of the Rubbenbruchsee
This serene lake, located on the outskirts of the city, offers a perfect escape for those seeking solace in nature.
Surrounded by lush greenery, the Rubbenbruchsee is ideal for a leisurely walk, picnic, or simply basking in the sun while enjoying the calming ambiance.
Anglers can also try their luck at catching fish, while birdwatchers will be delighted by the variety of avian species that inhabit the area.
Museums and Art Galleries
Wander through the Museum Industriekultur
Delve into Osnabrück’s industrial past at this fascinating museum, housed in a former textile factory.
The Museum Industriekultur showcases the city’s evolution from a rural community to an industrial powerhouse, featuring interactive exhibits, historical machinery, and multimedia displays.
Visitors can also participate in guided tours and educational programs for a deeper understanding of the region’s industrial heritage.
Marvel at the art collections in the Kulturgeschichtliches Museum
The Kulturgeschichtliches Museum (Museum of Cultural History) is a treasure trove of artwork and artifacts that trace the history of Osnabrück and its people.
Visitors can admire a diverse range of exhibits, from medieval sculptures and paintings to contemporary photography.
The museum also hosts regular temporary exhibitions, lectures, and workshops.
Visit the Museum am Schölerberg
This unique museum combines natural science and local history, offering an engaging and educational experience for all ages.
Discover the region’s geology, flora, and fauna through interactive exhibits, dioramas, and live animal displays.
The Museum am Schölerberg also features an impressive planetarium, where visitors can embark on a journey through the cosmos in captivating multimedia shows.
Explore the Diözesanmuseum (Museum of the Diocese)
Learn about the religious history and art of the Osnabrück Diocese at this fascinating museum.
Housed within a historic building, the Diözesanmuseum features an extensive collection of sacred art, including sculptures, textiles, and manuscripts.
Highlights include the 12th-century bronze baptismal font and a rare collection of medieval vestments.
Guided tours and special events are also available, providing further insight into the region’s spiritual heritage.
Uncover Local Cuisine and Delights
Try traditional German dishes at a local Gastropub
Experience the authentic flavors by dining at a traditional Gastropub, where you can savor hearty German dishes such as schnitzel, bratwurst, and sauerkraut.
These cozy establishments often feature rustic interiors, friendly service, and a warm atmosphere, making them the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal after a day of exploring.
Indulge in local pastries and baked goods at the Osnabrücker Puppenbrücke
Treat your taste buds to the delightful pastries and baked goods available at the historic Osnabrücker Puppenbrücke, a charming bakery located near the city center.
Here, you’ll find a variety of mouthwatering treats, including traditional German cakes, breads, and cookies, all prepared with love and care using time-honored recipes.
Discover local flavors at the Osnabrück weekly market
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Osnabrück weekly market, held every Saturday in the heart of the city.
Browse the colorful stalls offering an array of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and artisanal products, all sourced from local farmers and vendors.
This lively market is an excellent opportunity to sample regional specialties and engage with the friendly locals.
Sample regional beers at the local breweries
Quench your thirst with a refreshing pint of locally brewed beer, as you embark on a tour of Osnabrück’s breweries.
Many of these establishments offer tastings and guided tours, providing a unique opportunity to learn about the brewing process and the various beer styles produced in the region.
Don’t miss the chance to try some of the city’s signature brews, which often feature distinctive flavors and aromas that reflect the area’s rich brewing heritage.
Festivals and Events
Attend the Maiwoche Festival (May Week)
Celebrate the arrival of spring at Osnabrück’s Maiwoche Festival, a lively annual event that takes place in May.
The city comes alive with music, street performances, and fun activities for all ages. Food stalls offer delicious local and international dishes, while various stages host live concerts featuring local artists and bands.
This vibrant festival is an excellent opportunity to experience the festive spirit and camaraderie of the people.
Experience the Osnabrück Christmas Market
Immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of the Osnabrück Christmas Market, held annually during the Advent season.
The historic market square transforms into a winter wonderland, adorned with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and charming wooden stalls selling handmade crafts, gifts, and seasonal treats.
Warm up with a steaming mug of mulled wine or indulge in traditional German delicacies as you soak in the festive ambiance.
Enjoy the International Film Festival Osnabrück
Movie enthusiasts will delight in the International Film Festival Osnabrück, an annual event showcasing a diverse selection of films from around the world.
The festival focuses on promoting independent cinema and fostering cultural exchange through the medium of film.
Attendees can enjoy a variety of screenings, workshops, panel discussions, and special events, providing an engaging and thought-provoking experience for film lovers and aspiring filmmakers alike.
Outdoor Activities and Recreation
Go hiking or cycling in the Teutoburg Forest
Embrace the great outdoors by venturing into the majestic Teutoburg Forest, a vast wooded area that offers numerous hiking and cycling trails for all skill levels.
The forest’s diverse landscape, rich with flora and fauna, provides a serene and invigorating setting for nature enthusiasts to unwind and connect with the natural beauty of the region.
Explore the Dörenther Klippen (Dörenthe Cliffs)
Discover the rugged beauty of the Dörenther Klippen, a striking geological formation located within the Teutoburg Forest.
These impressive sandstone cliffs offer a challenging yet rewarding terrain for hikers and climbers, while the panoramic views from the top are truly breathtaking.
Don’t miss the famous “Hockendes Weib” (Crouching Woman) rock formation, a popular local landmark.
Take a boat tour on the Alfsee
Experience the tranquil waters of the Alfsee, a picturesque lake situated just outside Osnabrück.
Boat tours provide a leisurely way to explore the lake’s scenic surroundings, offering stunning views of the lush greenery and abundant birdlife.
Visitors can also enjoy a variety of water sports, such as sailing, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding, or simply relax on the sandy beach.
Enjoy a round of golf at Gut Winkelacker
Tee off at Gut Winkelacker, a beautifully maintained golf course set amidst the idyllic countryside.
Golfers of all skill levels can test their abilities on the challenging 18-hole course, which features rolling fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and well-manicured greens.
The club also offers a driving range, practice facilities, and professional coaching for those looking to improve their game.
Explore the Nettebad Water Park
Make a splash at the Nettebad Water Park, an aquatic paradise featuring a variety of pools, slides, and water play areas suitable for all ages.
The park offers both indoor and outdoor facilities, making it a perfect destination for year-round family fun. Relax in the whirlpools and saunas, or enjoy a thrilling ride on one of the many water slides available.
Play and learn at the Museum and Park Kalkriese
Immerse yourself in history at the Museum and Park Kalkriese, an archaeological site and museum dedicated to the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.
This interactive and educational attraction encourages families to explore the ancient battlefield, participate in hands-on activities, and learn about the region’s rich past through captivating exhibits and guided tours.
Take a trip to the nearby Hansa-Park amusement park
For a day of excitement and adventure, visit Hansa-Park, a popular amusement park located just a short drive away.
With thrilling roller coasters, family-friendly rides, and entertaining shows, the park offers endless fun for visitors of all ages.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the park’s themed areas, which celebrate the Hanseatic League and showcase the rich history and culture of Northern Europe.
In conclusion, Osnabrück offers a diverse range of activities and attractions that cater to different interests and age groups.
From embracing nature and green spaces to exploring the city’s rich history through its museums and art galleries, there is something for everyone in this charming German city.
Food lovers can uncover local cuisine and delights, while families will find plenty of fun-filled activities to keep everyone entertained.
With its picturesque landscapes, vibrant festivals, and engaging outdoor recreational opportunities, Osnabrück is a truly memorable destination that invites visitors to discover its unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty.
Where is Osnabrück located?
It is located in Lower Saxony, Germany. It lies in the northwest part of the country, situated between the cities of Bremen and Münster.
How can I reach Osnabrück?
You can reach Osnabrück by train, bus, or car. The city is well-connected to major German cities via the national railway network (Deutsche Bahn). Alternatively, you can fly into the nearest airports, such as Münster-Osnabrück International Airport or Bremen Airport, and then take a train or bus to reach the city center.
What is the best time to visit Osnabrück?
The best time to visit Osnabrück is during the spring and summer months (April to September), when the weather is pleasant and outdoor activities can be enjoyed. However, the Christmas market in December also attracts many visitors, making it a popular time to experience the festive atmosphere.
What are the must-visit attractions in Osnabrück?
Must-visit attractions include, the historic Old Town, Osnabrück Castle, St. Peter’s Cathedral, the Museum Industriekultur, and the Kulturgeschichtliches Museum.
Are there accommodation options in Osnabrück?
Yes, Osnabrück offers a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals, catering to different budgets and preferences.
Are there any outdoor activities in Osnabrück?
Outdoor activities include hiking and cycling in the Teutoburg Forest, exploring the Dörenther Klippen, taking a boat tour on the Alfsee, and playing golf at Gut Winkelacker.
What events or festivals take place in Osnabrück?
Notable events and festivals include the Maiwoche Festival (May Week), the Osnabrück Christmas Market, and the International Film Festival Osnabrück.
Is Osnabrück a family-friendly destination?
Yes, it is a family-friendly destination with attractions such as the Zoo Osnabrück, Nettebad Water Park, Museum and Park Kalkriese, and nearby Hansa-Park amusement park.
Can I sample local cuisine in Osnabrück?
Yes, you can sample local cuisine by dining at traditional Gastropubs, indulging in pastries and baked goods at the Osnabrücker Puppenbrücke, visiting the weekly market, and sampling regional beers at local breweries.
Are there any day trips or nearby attractions from Osnabrück?
Day trips and nearby attractions include visiting the historic city of Münster, exploring the Teutoburg Forest, hiking at the Dörenther Klippen, and enjoying the thrill rides at the Hansa-Park amusement park.