I need to travel with a ferry to Kiel (Germany) and then want to travel further with a train. The ferry arrival is around 18:00 in the evening, so I will give an additional hour for delay. And the train will depart around 1:00 in the night.

What options do I have, to spend the hours between 19:00 in the evening and 1:00 at night?

(I would prever something restful, having a luggage with me. And because of the season indoors.)

(Additional Information: I have 3 shots of vaccination, last from December)

(UPDATE: Unexpected the ferry arrived at Kiel more than 12 hours later than planned. So I had no possibility to try anything, I even missed my planned train and took one 6 hours later.)

  • 1
    COVID means that availability and rules could change on short notice. The Omicron wave is gathering speed in Germany right now.
    – o.m.
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 15:53
  • 4
    Read a book, maybe? Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 20:02
  • 15
    No disrespect to Kiel, but it's really boring. A long time ago on an Interrail, I went to Kiel, figuring that at least it must have a good WWII museum given it was one of the main U-boat pens, but no, it was totally demolished. You can get more period nostalgia by playing Rammstein "Reise, Reise" and having someone slap you in the face with a wet herring. And you'd still have a herring.
    – smci
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 8:10
  • 5
    It would be nice if you came back and answered your own question with what you did.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 12:42
  • 1
    Sit on your phone at the train station and browse StackExchange. ;)
    – nick012000
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 13:10

5 Answers 5


I lived near Kiel some years ago, so I can suggest a few things, with a big caveat: I have no idea of what the current restrictions due to Covid are. For that, check the other answers. But this answer of mine might come useful in the future, when hopefully the pandemic is over.

If you leave your luggage at the station, and don't mind walking a bit, you could have a Bavarian dinner and have a good homemade beer at the Kieler Brauerei if you want to walk 15 minutes (it's a bit more than 1 km; just follow the Sophienblatt, it's where all the shops are). It's quite large, so unless it's a Friday or Saturday night it won't be too crowded and I'm sure the staff won't mind you occupying a table for long, as there will be plenty of space for other customers.

If you don't want to walk that much, I think the Vapiano near the station is a good choice, because if I remember correctly it's a self-service, that is, waiters won't come to your table, you have to take a tray and walk to the counter to get something, so if you stay for long at a table the staff will probably not mind. They serve Italian food; nothing spectacular, but it's decent.

If you want to go to a pub, there are many, just pick one at random.

If you are into clubbing, the nightlife area is the Bergstraße, mostly between the Pogue Mahone and the SubZero. There should be the Luna (currently closed due to Covid) and a few more. Otherwise, closer to the station, I remember the Ben Briggs, where everything is ship-themed (check the pictures on Google Maps).

  • I chose this from my 3 favourite answers, because you need the reputation most ;) Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 21:29
  • Well, thanks, but you should choose the answer that helped you the most, without taking into account how much rep we have. Anyway, I've seen your update, and it's a shame that your ferry was so late. Better luck next time! Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 23:50
  • I assume it was because of the storm. One day later no ferry worked and the trains were not working in some parts of coastern Germany too. -- I had three answers, I wanted to try :) Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 6:49

The Kiel train station offers Luggage lockers near the platform 6a on the main floor.

Nearby there are 5 restaurants (Gastronomie) and a waiting room shown on the PDF map of the station. Most of the restaurants will assume that peaple are biding their time waiting for a train.

Once the luggage has been deposited, you can wander around.

In the main hall there is a small information kiosk, where you can ask when exactly your train arrives. Since many of the trains start here, that may be 10-15 minutes before departure.


  • 1
    @Allerleirauh Added site that shows all the shops. Only 2 restaurants are open after 9 PM (21h). As for the cinema, only if English is explicitly stated is the film shown in English (otherwise in German). Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 11:33
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    Note that, due to Covid restrictions in Schleswig-Holstein (= the German state Kiel is located in), restaurants must close at 23:00 and you need "2G-Plus" to enter (3 shots or 2 shots and a recent PCR test).
    – Heinzi
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 15:15
  • 1
    Note also that Covid regulations change on short notice. Having a recent test PCR when you arrive would be really helpful. See also integrationsbeauftragte.de/ib-de/staatsministerin/corona/…
    – Hilmar
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 15:19
  • 12
    The Kiel Hbf is centrally located and there are many better restaurants than those in the train station within easy walking distance of the station (source: personal experience of living in Kiel) Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 15:38
  • 4
    @Heinzi you do not need a PCR test to fulfill the 2G-plus rule. 2 shots + a max 24 hour old rapid antigen test is also sufficient (german source) Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 11:03

CinemaxX is right next to Kiel Hbf.

This evening The King's Man - The Beginning is showing at 19:30 and 22:50.

Note: the movie dialogue is likely to be in German unless English is explicitly stated. The title I showed is just an example of screening times.

(Subject to Covid-19 restrictions - such as a check certificate?)

  • 1
    > Bei uns gilt ab 22.11.2021 die 2G-Regel! So either Vaccinated ( EU compatible QR code) or Recovered ( Positive test X(?) months old)
    – Tejas Kale
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 19:34
  • 8
    Put the luggage in a locker; have dinner; go to cinema (perhaps leave before movie ends); don't fall asleep. Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 19:48
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    Since the OPs main objection to reading was they wouldn't feel comfortable alone in a station, sitting in a movie theatre showing a bad movie in German might be a good (or at least safe) place to read. Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 14:00
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    @Allerleirauh I posted from what the cinema's website said ir was showing on one of its screens on the day of posting the answer, and I added a footnote Subject to Covid-19 restrictions. Please check the conditions on the day that you travel. Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 16:24
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    @DJClayworth Movie theaters are generally too dark to read a paper book, and if it's an e-reader or tablet of some kind, you'll be disturbing your fellow movie patrons, so I'm not sure that logic checks out... Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 15:19

Others have already mentioned the urban stuff, obv. it depends what you like and what is currently allowed for you. But there are also nice outdoor things. If you can store your heavy luggage you could:

  • Walk at the pier, along the way are bars and nice parks, like in this.

  • Visit the beach. Take a bus to "Falckensteiner Strand Kiel" or "Schilksee Strandbad" or "Hafen Strande" on the Weest-Side or "Laboe" on the East-Side. The rides will take some time 40min+ but they are very beautiful locations at the beach. In Laboe and Strande are nice Restaurants, check google-maps for open hours. You can take nice long walks at all those beaches. In Strande & Schilksee you could even walk all the way to the light-lighthouse "Bülk". Bus rides however become sparse at late time, so check them first.

  • 6
    I think you have missed that the OP wants to do something "between 19:00 in the evening and 1:00 at night", "and because of the season indoors". You don't want to go to a beach when it's dark and cold. Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 15:00
  • 3
    I might have missed the text in the parentheses. That said - and i say this politely - "season indoors" is at the very least extremely subjective. Lots of folks enjoying being outside in winter and I find walking at the beach at night very relaxing. Walking with luggage can be a problem, depending on many factors. Idk if OP is an old lady with foot problems or a young hippie with backpack traveling barefoot, that would ofc make a difference, so my suggestions are completely optional. The sights are still nice, even without much hiking, and as mention bars are there. Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 19:09
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    If OP simply wanted to sit 5h in a bar in the inner city, well, there's plenty of options I guess, as well as for shopping. I figured, for that kind of stuff, you don't need to ask. There's also a spa very close to the station for relaxing in a sauna or hot tub. Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 19:12
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    Thank you :) With the luggage locker in mind a walk is possible. But if one do not know Kiel, I guessed the train station in the inner city and no "walking in nature" near by. And with 5 hours in mind... plenty of time. Is the bus running also in the evening, or only at day? With the bars at the pier I would assume some people until around 21:00 at weekdays walking there, right? Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 6:37
  • 1
    Ofc it depends on the weather too. More people bars at the pier closer to the center, probably more ppl jogging at the far side. Don't know the bus plan by hand, there's online info, but you could get info at the station at the info point. Generally there should be regular busses until something 23:xx. If the bus system scares you, ofc you could also take a taxi. I would however make sure you know the bus connection and probably check some opening hours for the restaurants beforehand. GoogleMaps has some info on both. (But re-check the bus info from google) Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 16:18
  • If it’s the ferry’s terminal stop, ask the ferry operator whether you can stay any longer on board because of your connecting train departing later in the night. I guess the ferry will reverse its direction. At least the long-distance ferries do. Nevertheless sooner or later passengers for the reverse direction get aboard, so you’ll definitely have to left the ship by then. It is probably the most convenient option, though, if/because there are (not-disgusting) toilets on the ship and you possibly have access to electricity/WiFi.
  • Various activities listed at WikiVoyage. E.g. go to the movies as Weather Vane mentinoed, or you can go to a public swimming pool „Hörnbad“ (till 10 p.m. except Sundays). We all have been a bit short of exercise lately, right?
  • In general, take the slow train in the direction of your destination until a common stop. Like smci said Kiel is boring. No reason to stay there longer than inevitable.
  • If you feel safe with doing that: Meet someone. Maybe you’re a member of, I don’t know, a worldwide chess player community. Arrange a meeting with someone living there. Or just talk to someone in the streets. Make a curious observation and strike up a conversation with a passer‑by.

@Sebastian: I’m not sure which way Allerleihrauh is going. IC 390/398 aren’t listed in the departure table yet, because there will be a „minor timetable change“ midyear (2022‑06‑12).

  • The swimming pool is a good idea :) Also the meet someone could be. To take a slow train would not help, because the trains all seem to have a break somewhere between 23:00 and 4:00 the next morning. So the train starting around 1:00 is already a luck for me. Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 6:40
  • The ferry itself is no option. As soon as all cars and trucks are gone the new cars and trucks will be led inside. The staff already starts cleaning while the guests wait to go of board... Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 6:44

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