Travel Germany: Norderney - 20 things to do on an island in the North Sea

It is cold, it is rainy, it is grey, it is windy … there is really only one thing I can do in all these misery, and that is to hope conditions will improve soon. I am on my way to an East Frisian island in the North Sea off the coast of Germany in Lower Saxony. The island Norderney is 14 km long, 2.5 km wide and a group of only 6150 people call this pretty special stretch of sand home. The weather gets better, and that on the very first morning of my stay. 

A white pavilion by the sea under a blue sky, a colourful kite flying overhead.

One thing I like best is to walk along the lonely beaches. The further I walk away from town, the fewer people I meet. A walk along the shore towards the end of the island is like unplugging from everyday life. It is a very quiet place to visit, excellent for recharging batteries. I have been thinking of what else to do in Norderney. I ended up with a fairly long list for a small island like this.

Two people, under a big blue sky, walking on a white endlessly long sandy beach.



20 things to do in Norderney


1. Bike through the dunes
2. Visit the lighthouse and climb its stairs to the top
3. Go on a 14 km long beach walk and find the shipwreck at the end of the island
4. Go on a scenic flight to see the North Sea and the island from above
5. Eat at Café/Restaurant Weisse Duene
6. Use the wind and go Land sailing (in a wind-driven go-cart)
7. Go for a paddle or swim at one of the many patrolled beaches
8.  Go on a guided tour through the mud flats during low tide (please don’t do this without a knowledgeable person to protect the nature and your own life, you surely would not want to drown when the tide rises)
9. Go windsurfing
10. Go kite-surfing
11. Go surfing
12. Go sailing
13. Have a drink at the Surf Café
14. Visit the island museum and learn about the history of Norderney and the establishment of this seaside resort
15. Read a book while sitting in a Strandkorb
16. Go on a boat trip to the nearby island of Helgoland (depending on the season)
17. Look at fishermen while they sail out to work
18. Watch the sunset at Café Milchbar
19. Listen to an open-air concert in the middle of town at the Conversationshaus
20. Have a spa treatment at Badehaus Norderney


People walking in the golden light of sunset through the UNESCO heritage listed Wadden sea.

UNESCO heritage listed Wadden sea with a passenger ferry in the distance.

A row of seven red rental bikes in front of a red painted shed under a bright blue sky.

Rows of red benches on the upper green painted deck of a passenger ferry.

A small white passenger ferry leaving the passenger port.

Two people standing next to their bikes looking over the glistening sea at twilight.

A red birdhouse with a round entrance hole hanging in a white blooming tree.

A group of 16 blue and white striped beach chairs under a bright blue sky.

Two blue and white striped beach chairs marked 330 and 329 on a white sand beach by the sea under a bright blue sky.

Standing on a beach on the western side of the island, I can clearly see the island of Juist. To be more precisely I can nearly touch her, she is barely 3 km’s away. I think of a popular local joke: What is the best thing about Juist? The Norderney view. They are most certainly right with their observation and I can do nothing but laugh heartily at this naughty banter.

How to get to Norderney 


By car to Norddeich, Norden: 165 kilometres from Bremen, Germany. 285 kilometres from Hamburg, Germany. 310 kilometres from Amsterdam, Netherlands. 340 kilometres from Luebeck, Germany. 565 kilometres from Berlin, Germany. 610 kilometres from Copenhagen, Denmark. 710 kilometres from Strasbourg, France. 


Take the ferry from Norddeich. Travel time (roughly) 1 hour. 

From Berlin with love