Emden, Germany

Guide for the rail traveller


Local languageGerman
Country Germany


Although it’s a largely industrial town, Emden is popular for day trips. As well as the river Ems, it’s home to several smaller canals, and its proximity to the North Sea means that watersports like sailing and canoeing are typical activities. Harbour and canal cruises run frequently too, through what locals have affectionately nicknamed the “Venice of the north”. There are several floating museums; among them is the Lightship which focuses on nautical history. It even has a restaurant and civil registry onboard.

Much of Emdem was destroyed during World War II, and it took almost two decades to rebuild the town centre; the Bunker Museum gives an impression of the town during the Nazi era. Fortunately there is a healthy industry here now; Volkswagen operate a plant and a manufacturer of submarines and cargo vessels is based in the shipyard.

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