Lubeck, Germany

Some 1,300 buildings — Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and Classical — are situated within the city’s compact center on an island that is surrounded by the Trave River and a canal that leads to the Elbe River. Barely a mile long, the island can be traversed on foot in less than an hour. But don’t rush, because there is much to explore — from quiet side streets and busy thoroughfares to historic squares and medieval churches.

An hour from Hamburg by rail or car.

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