In the alleys of Lauenburg, the southernmost town of Schleswig-Holstein

A couple of weeks ago, Oliver (aka Heini) went on a day trip to Lauenburg to explore this little town near Hamburg.

While Judith (aka Helga) was running across the Alps at the TAR (this is a completely different story…), Oliver had to make the most out of the last days of summer, too. The weekend passed by without any significant exploration (too much work), so Oliver’s camera was already restless, longing for new photos. This is his story…


I didn’t want to go too far. Maybe 1 hour driving from Hamburg max. The first thought was Lüneburg, but I already explored that town and I wanted to go somewhere I haven’t been before. A quick look at the map and I decided upon Lauenburg. I had seen maybe two or three photos of it and it looked worth a visit. A quick search on the Internet (Instagram and Pinterest mainly) looked promising, too, so the choice was made: Lauenburg with an optional sunset at the river Elbe.

An hour later, I was approaching Lauenburg from the south, crossed the Elbe and followed the signs for the city center. This leads me to an unofficial parking space near the “Fürstengarten” Park. Later on, I recognized that this was quite a good place to start exploring. Lauenburg kind of consists of two parts, the old town down by the Elbe and the newer part higher up. If you are looking for the high street shops and the shopping adventure go to the new part, if you want to explore the old alleys and inhale a bit of history, the old town down by the Elbe is your goal.


After a quick look around at the “Fürstengarten” Park, from which you have a pretty nice view across the Elbe, I made my way down through one of the streets towards the old town. This first alley was already a bull’s-eye. I probably stopped at every house and corner, looked for different angles and perspectives, waited for people to pass by and cars to vanish from my frame, while slowly walking down the alley. I guess I spent an hour just here. The name of this wonderful street? “Hohler Weg”.


I followed the alley until I hit the “Kirchplatz” (Church square) and another wonderful street, named Elbstraße. This street runs parallel to the river and is a paradise when you love half-timbered houses. It’s just one after each other. Most of these half-timbered houses have been lovingly restored and my heart jumped and the camera started clicking repeatedly.

But wait. Something was wrong. It seemed I was the only person here. This couldn’t be. It was early afternoon, and normally the streets should be flooded with people. But no, it was surprisingly quiet. Only a handful of people seemed to be exploring the old town. I still have no idea why it was the way it was. Maybe because it was Monday? Maybe because it was very warm and sunny and the people rather spend their day in the sun and by the beach instead of these wonderful and shady alleys? Anyway, I enjoyed the emptiness and explored more or less every street in the old town.


A special mention needs to go to all the facades and doors I could find while strolling along the alleys. I kind of loved them all… But see for yourself!


Once in a while, I came across a café or shop, but to be honest most of them seem to have closed on Mondays. Good for me. All I wanted at some point was a coffee and that wasn’t a problem. I took a coffee-to-go (yeah I know, not very environment-friendly) and sat down by the river in the sun.

After this little refreshing break, I made my way to the castle and castle tower of Lauenburg, which sits a bit on top of the old town. It is not really that impressive as it might sound but you should pay it a quick visit and climb the castle tower (it’s free).


A lot of time has passed by already and I had one shot in mind I definitely wanted to take. That was the “skyline” of Lauenburg from the other side of the Elbe with hopefully a couple of old steamships in front (the latter didn’t work out). So I made my way back to my car, quickly drove across the bridge and found a good spot (or two) to get that skyline. Even found some nice flowers to use them as a foreground. I explored that side of the Elbe a bit more hoping for some more nice spots to get another perspective but failed miserably.


So I decided to make my way back to Hamburg to maybe get some nice sunset shots in the harbor. I voted for a more scenic route near the Elbe to go back. At least, that’s what I thought. It wasn’t really scenic and some of the “villages” I passed through seemed to stretch forever. I then finally came to a bridge crossing over the Elbe and by accident found an entrance to the “beach” and river banks nearby. So I set camp for some nice sunset shots here (instead of Hamburg harbor) and enjoyed the area and nature. If you faded out the noise from the bridge nearby, it felt a bit like in the Caribbean, nice sandy beach and an amazing sunset. Okay, not even close in terms of temperature, but that’s fine, I don’t like it too hot anyways.

The sun was dawning and it was time to go home to Hamburg, knowing I found a new little alley and half-timbered houses gem just at the gates of Hamburg.


Can’t wait to go to Lauenburg and explore these alleys on your own? Make your life easy and get our free photo spots map which shows all the exact locations of the images we used in this post on an interactive map you can use in Google Maps. Perfect right?