Hello! A while ago I told you about my vacation in Norderney. Now with the whole corona lockdown, I decided to travel to Northern Germany again and this time led me to Sylt. When I thought about how to explore Sylt the best, I decided I would write about everything you need to know, from packing to transportation ending with a detailed guide about all the different areas you have to see when you explore Sylt.
First of all, let me give you some basic information about Sylt. It is one of Germany’s islands in the North Sea. The things that it is famous for are probably the Wadden Sea, thatched roofs, and being a hotspot for wealthy people. (Don’t be scared now, Sylt is down to earth although you will find Germany’s most expensive town there!). What I liked best about our time there that it is very diverse and has something to offer to anyone! Read more if you want to learn more about all the different areas of Sylt!
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How to Get to Sylt
There are many ways to get to Sylt! As it has a small airport, you can reach it from most German airports. However, if you come from Germany it is more often easier to reach it with the Deutsche Bahn or if you have one, by car. If you come by car you can either enter the island by Syltferry or by the Auto Zug Sylt.
When to Visit Sylt
In Northern Germany, the weather is not really steady and even when the sun shines, it tends to be very windy and sometimes cold.
If you want the best weather, you should definitely visit Sylt from May to September, so therefore during summertime. However, if you are looking for great moody picturesque sceneries, you could also visit it during the autumn and winter months.
Packing for Sylt
The weather in Northern Germany tends to be unpredictable. Even in summer, it is always a good idea to carry your windbreaker or raincoat with you.
Therefore the best way to pack for Sylt is by bringing loads of layers with you. On a usual day, I would wear jeans, a t-shirt, a sweater above with an additional light jacket.
Also, don’t forget to bring a bikini. Yes, the water is colder than at other destinations but you can still go out for a swim or two!
Regarding shoes, I brought my Babuk Sneakers with me and they were the right choice and took me everywhere.
Getting Around on Sylt
Getting around on Sylt could be easier, to be honest. There is a bus that drives around but if you want to be able to get to both ends of Sylt with more ease, I recommend you to get yourself a car on the island. Either by renting one when you come by plane or by coming with your own car.
If you are not very fond to get around by car, you can also either bring or rent a bike on the island. This might be a little bit more exhausting than having a car but the physical activity couldn’t be more fun than with the breathtaking landscapes of Sylt surrounding you!
How to Explore Sylt
Now let’s come to the fun part, the exploring! Sylt is quite large and comes with some very special places. Before I dive into the certain areas that I think you shouldn’t miss, let me tell you a little bit more about what makes Sylt so extraordinary!
Iconic Things in Sylt
I love lighthouses! Somehow they have something steady and secure about them that I just love. On top of that, they are super photogenic and cute! Sylt has a total of five lighthouses and they are all spread around the island. My favorite ones are those of the Ellenbogen and Hörnum, since they come with the classical red/white stripes look that I absolutely adore! Another one that I also liked is the black and white one that you can find close to Kampen.
Strandkörbe or Beach Baskets
One of the most famous things in Northern Germany are the beach baskets. They are placed on almost every single beach on Sylt and you can rent them for a day if you like. They are great to give you a little shelter from the wind and are the perfect place to relax for a couple of hours!
The thatched roofs of Sylt are what the island is famous for! They are the cutest and make the houses look like they just sprung out of a fairy tale. Don’t worry you will see them everywhere, so you don’t especially need to look out for them!
As you might already experience the sea rises and shrinks in balance with the moon but in Northern Germany, it reclines in a way bigger extend than it does at other places. When the water reclines, it leaves behind a huge sandy area, that is the perfect habitat for rare bird and worm species. Having a tour through it is the must-do for everyone who sees it for the first time.
But I heavily advise you to not go into the Wadden Sea alone, since it is a deadly trap for everyone who does not know its exact topographic. You might consider a certain area safe but when the water rises back, you can be trapped in between two streams without a way out anymore. That’s why you need sure to visit it with a guide only.
What to See in Sylt
The first area I want to recommend to you is Wenningstedt! It is were my family and me had our basis for exploring Sylt. What I like about it, is that it is quite central, so we could get to every other place on the island almost within 30 minutes. This made getting around easy and convenient for us. Besides the convenience factor, Wenningstedt also comes with loads of highlights on its own!
Südkap Surfing School
My highlight of Sylt is that I learned how to surf during my stay there. I was lucky enough to live directly across the street from Südkap Sylt Surfing School where I spontaneously decided to take a 6 day surf course and I had the best time ever!
The second thing I liked about Wenningstedt was its beautiful beach! The whole western side of Sylt is one huge beach but I liked it best in the area around Wenningstedt. It is incredibly fine sanded and the perfect place for watching the sunset. If you want you can have a glass of wine in one of the beach baskets and watch the sunset, I promise you, that’s an evening you won’t forget in a long time!
The most southern point of Sylt is where you can find Hörnum. I would advise you to plan half a day to explore this area, to have a lovely little hike around the Southern kap of Sylt, and do some great shopping for sustainable fashion!
Home of Salty Elements
Well, I already told you about my new passion for surfing and as I want to pursue that hobby in style, I simply had to have a look at the Home of Salty Elements. They offer a wide range of sustainable clothing and surfing gear. From shirts to sweaters to caps, they have it all, so you can have dress yourself to match the surf aesthetic we all secretly strive for.
When you did your little shopping, make sure to have a little lunch in Hörnum, before you embark on your small hike around the Hörnum cap. Admire the breathtaking dune landscapes before you come to the beach where you can climb on top of the breakwaters until you come back to the town of Hörnum again. Make sure to inhale the fresh air as much as you can. Especially when you are allergic, the salty air will be great for your lung. That’s a fact and not something I make up. A lot of people decide to have their vacation in the North Sea of Germany because the air is great for people with allergies!
Morsum is another great area of Sylt! We explored it for half a day but if you want, you can spend a lot more time thereby having an extended bike ride around the area. Say hi to some sheep and cows or hike the local beaches. But if you are a little bit short in time, simply make sure to check out Morsum’s highlights as we did!
It is a little secret but on Sylt, everyone gets their breakfast eggs from the Hansenhof. They run a chicken farm and in their small store, they sell their eggs along with some delicacies like homemade chutneys, pestos, and strawberry limes! It is definitely the perfect place for food lovers!
Once you got everything you need for a delicious stay on Sylt, you should head off to the Cliff Walk of Morsum! It is a beautiful small walk along the cliffs which will give you some breathtaking views upon the ocean. You know whenever I am at a place like this, I like to spread my arms wide and pretend I am a bird. Have a try yourself and feel the freedom! The walk itself is super easy and not hard to do, so it is the perfect distance to get started on your island adventure.
If you are a little bit like me, you love anything that smells nice! Especially when it is soap, shampoo, body lotion, or anything. And one thing I love even more is to find stores that sell their own hand made products from these ranges. The Sylter Seifenmanufaktur produces beautiful soaps and sanitary articles, which is perfect if you are looking for a gift from your trip for your loved ones. My personal highlight is the soap that has the typical shape of Sylt!
By now you should get a taste of how cute the thatched roofs really are. If you now want to see the ultimate collection of cute thatched roofs, I think you should visit Keitum. It is another town of Sylt but when it comes to the cuteness level, Keitum is on almost out of the competition. Just have a walk around the area and admire these cute houses that look like small fairytale houses and maybe go on a little shopping spree since most of the houses are actual stores and nice boutiques!
If you like to observe the rich and famous, you can’t miss visiting Kampen. It is a fact that there is no area more expensive in Germany than this little town on Sylt. It is the number one place to go if you are looking for some nice little gifts like an Hermès bag for example. But even if you are not that keen to spend thousands of euros, there is still a small reason to visit Kampen. The sight I am talking about is the highest point of Sylt and no other than the Uwe Düne.
A must-do sight of Sylt in my opinion. The Uwe Düne is the highest point of Sylt and on top is a viewpoint. From there you can see the whole surrounding area, which is simply magnificent. From there you can also do a small hike to the red cliff of Sylt and have a walk there. When I was visiting Sylt for the first time, it was right there my mother and I saw a family of dolphins, so if you are there, keep your eyes open!
When you drive to the most northern town of Sylt, you will find List. If you came by ferry, you also arrived in List. Directly in the harbor area, you will find some shops that will sell you all the obligatory clothing items (in case you forgot your all wetter jacke). You should also have a stop there and eat a Matjesbrötchen when you have time.
Sylter Meer Salz
There are many cute shops in List but one that I really want to tell you about. In the Sylter Meer Salz shop, you can buy salt that is harvested directly from Sylt. I think that souvenirs like these are simply the best, and therefore you need to get a little piece of Sylt for your cooking at home!
Now we come to my favorite part of the entire island. This was by far the most impressive landscapes that we found on Sylt! The dunes of the Ellenbogen stretch across a wide area that is under protection due to its beauty and importance to the local ecosystem. You have to pay for entering the area but it is only 6€, so not that much money in exchange for breathtaking landscapes.
There you will find my favorite lighthouse on Sylt which is always surrounded by free-roaming sheep. In my opinion, they are incredibly photogenic and therefore I couldn’t put down my camera whilst being on the Ellenbogen.
Once you saw all of the dunes, make sure to go to the beach and surround the Northern kap of Sylt, where you will also reach the most Northern point of Germany. This is the perfect place for a sunset, so make sure to set an alarm for sunset time so you don’t miss it!
And that’s my guide to Sylt! I hope that you liked it and that it was helpful to you! If you want to know where you can find all the things described in this blogpost are, please also refer to the map below. Also make sure to pin this post in order to find it again, if you want to reread something. Thank you for reading and I hope you will have the best time when you explore Sylt!
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If you want to learn more about my camera and photography essentials, check out my post about everything you need for travel photography.
Sony Alpha 6600 – the best travel camera out there!
Sony 35 mm f 1,8 lense – perfect for sharp shots with blurred background!
Amazon Basics Tripod – small light tripod, that fits in any bag!
Cullman Camera Bag – well padded camera bag, that will fit your camera body and two lenses. Ideal for the light traveler!