Once a member of the Hanseatic League, Osnabrück is a historically rich city in the north-west German state of Lower Saxony. Its old town was largely reconstructed following World War II and Osnabrück has since flourished to become a modern industrial and university city.
Things to do in Osnabrück
One of Osnabrück’s most famous architectural landmarks is the Gothic-style Town Hall, where the Peace of Westphalia was negotiated in 1648 to end the Thirty Years’ War. It watches over the Marktplatz and stands opposite the Marienkirche, a medieval church with a magnificent winged altar and a 13th-century triumphal rood. Gabled houses and Osnabrück’s historic weighing house also frame the square.
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to Kunsthalle Osnabrück, which is located within a former monastery church. Its light-filled interior houses changing exhibitions of contemporary art. Further south is the Felix Nussbaum House where works by the German-Jewish Surrealist painter are showcased. Its labyrinthine galleries were designed to reflect the experiences of Nussbaum’s life and there is an exhibition space dedicated to themes of racism and intolerance.
If you’re travelling with kids, don’t miss a visit to the Osnabrück Zoo, which is famed for its grolar bear (a grizzly-polar bear hybrid). Opening to the public in 1936, it houses around 3,000 animals representing 300 species that include Canadian beavers, orangutans and African forest buffalos. California sea lions and Humboldt penguins are a highlight of the Water Worlds exhibit.
Getting around Osnabrück
Osnabrück is around an hour’s drive from Münster and 1.5 hours from Dortmund. Münster Osnabrück International Airport is 30 minutes away and has flights to destinations across Europe. Trains connect from cities throughout Germany and the Netherlands to the Osnabrück railway station while buses travel through the city centre.