Quiet and laid-back, Cuxhaven is a seaside town set at the mouth of the Elbe River. Visit in summer to bask on the beach, stroll along the promenade and explore the vast mudflats. Cuxhaven is also an ideal base for exploring offshore islands where you’ll find rust-coloured cliffs, sandy beaches and rolling dunes.
Things to do in Cuxhaven
Dotted with colourful shelters, the beach is the main attraction in Cuxhaven. Shelters are available to rent for a small fee and are great for escaping the strong North Sea winds. Bring lunch and enjoy a beach picnic on your foldout table. A pedestrian promenade skirts the beach and offers fantastic views of the harbour.
Cuxhaven has some of the biggest tidal variations in Europe, with water often receding for several kilometres. At low tide, you can wander along the seabed and discover rocks, shells, seaweed and other marine treasures.
Housed in a striking wood-and-glass building, the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea Visitor Centre Cuxhaven spotlights the incredible biodiversity of the region. Exhibits focus on local wildlife, tidal action and the historic fishing industry. A nature trail starts at the centre and takes you through the grasslands and down to the mudflats.
At low tide, it’s possible to walk to Neuwerk, a tiny island set just off the coast of Cuxhaven. Horse-drawn carriages also make the trip and are a novel way to access the island. Spend a few hours exploring the salt marshes and spotting local bird species.
Getting around Cuxhaven
Cuxhaven is compact and easy to get around on foot. The main beach, as well as most sights and attractions, are within walking distance of the train station. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore Cuxhaven at your own pace. The town is a 2.5-hour drive from Hamburg.