Osnabrück is a city of 165,000 people (2018) in Lower Saxony. It is one of the four largest cities in Lower Saxony, and sits in a valley penned between the Wiehen Hills and the northern tip of the Teutoburg Forest. After over two thirds of the city was destroyed in World War II, the Altstadt (old town) was eventually reconstructed extensively with designs faithful to the original medieval architecture.
Osnabrück is a typical mid-sized Lower Saxon city. Osnabrück has become well known for its industry. There are many companies in the automobile, paper, steel and grocery sectors in the city and its surrounding area.
Osnabrück's modern, urban image is enhanced by the presence of more than 22,000 students studying at the University and the University of Applied Sciences. Surveys have shown its residents to be the most satisfied citizens in Germany.
Although part of the state of Lower Saxony, historically, culturally and linguistically Osnabrück is considered part of the region of Westphalia.
The founding of Osnabrück was linked to its positioning on important European trading routes. Charles the Great founded the Diocese of Osnabrück in 780. The city was also a member of the Hanseatic League. At the end of the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), the Peace of Westphalia was negotiated in Osnabrück and the nearby city of Münster. In recognition of its role as the site of negotiations, Osnabrück later adopted the title Friedensstadt ("city of peace").
The city is also known as the birthplace of anti-war novelist Erich-Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front) and painter Felix Nussbaum.
Osnabrück was also the home of the largest British garrison outside the United Kingdom.
1 Münster Osnabrück International Airport (FMO IATA) is the closest option. The majority of the flights are scheduled and public charters to holiday destinations arround the Mediterranean, as well as some domestic flights within Germany.
The shuttle bus X150 [dead link] brings you to central Osnabrück in about 30 minutes for €9.50.
Many travellers choose to use other nearby airports for budget airlines and international connections. These include: Bremen for Ryanair, Dortmund for easyJet and Wizz Air, Düsseldorf and Cologne or Hannover for Eurowings. Consider the cost of ground transportation from these airports as train tickets can cost upwards of €70 if not pre-booked.
Osnabrück is well connected as it is a railway junction. Trains on the Amsterdam-Berlin route meet here with trains on the Hamburg-Cologne route. Deutsche Bahn operates most trains and connections for around Europe and Germany. The Dutch Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) sells discounted tickets from places like Amsterdam. Osnabrück is about 3 hours by express train from Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin and Cologne.
Other railways operate many of the local services but are always included in the DB search engine and tickets.
Osnabrück is also an Autobahn junction:
A33 from Bielefeld
- See also: Intercity buses in Germany
Intercity buses from domestic and international destinationsarrive at the main bus station ZOB Osnabrück, which is next to the train station.
- Ecolines carries passengers from Riga.
- Touring Eurolines Germany has some bus routes, for instance twice weekly to London via Lille.
- Flixbus is by far the biggest player in the German market
The Mittellandkanal has a tangent running directly into Osnabrück (from Kilometer 30,4). There are no public boat services.
The city is most easily navigated by city/regional bus. The Stadwerke Osnabrück operates standard daytime as well as NachtBus (night) [dead link] service on Friday and Saturday. They have an online trip planner and digital signs at many bus stops to inform you of the current predicted wait time.
Fare information is posted inside all bus shelters and most bus operators speak some English. Tickets are bought from the bus operator of from vending machines on the Neumarkt. Bus operators are obliged to give change if you over-pay in cash.
Many Osnabrückers choose to ride a bicycle as transportation since the compact size and good infrastructure make it easy to get around. While utilizing the red-colored cycling lanes in Osnabrück one should exert caution. These lanes are often narrow, at street level, and/or shared with the city buses and taxis. Dangerous conditions lead to at least one bicyclist death a year in Osnabrück. Please use your best judgement and walk your bike on the sidewalk if you feel uncomfortable. Additionally there are many places where bicycles (and all cars) are forbidden in the city center. If you are riding on a street where there are no cars, be sure to double check that bicycles are not forbidden, because the police will stop you.
Osnabrück, like most other larger cities in Germany, suffered extensive destruction during World War II, about two thirds of the historical city center were in ruins. Most destroyed buildings were not reconstructed, so there is limited historical architecture to visit.
- 1 St. Peter's Cathedral (Dom Sankt Peter), Große Domsfreiheit. Daily 07:00-19:00 except during services. Charlemagne founded the diocese of Osnabrück. Today's late-romanesque cathedral was erected from 1218 to 1277 and consecrated 1277. The shape is dominated by the two Western spires, which were built with 400 years in between. The triumph cross in the church was manufactured in the 12th century and is the largest cross in Lower Saxony. Free.
- 2 Osnabrück Castle and its gardens (Osnabrücker Schloss). It is now a university.
- 3 Rathaus. The Osnabrücker Rathaus (city hall) played a key role in the end of the Thirty Years War. The "Peace of Westphalia" was signed here and in nearby Münster because most Catholic and most Protestant states did not wish to attend the same peace conference at the same place.
- 4 Heger Tor. A monument of Osnabrück soldiers who died at Waterloo and the neighbouring old town are remnants of an earlier manifestation of Osnabrück.
The following museums are close to each other in the "museum quarter".
- 5 Felix Nussbaum Haus, Lotter Straße 2, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su, M closed. A museum dedicated to the Osnabrück native, Felix Nussbaum, a Jewish painter who was executed at Auschwitz during the World War II. The extension of the building was designed by Daniel Libeskind (of Berlin Jewish Museum fame). €5, reduced €3.
- 6 Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Osnabrück.
- 7 Villa Schlikker.
- 8 Akzisehaus.
Among other (technical) schools Osnabück is home to a university. The university has several campuses dispersed throughout the city.
R&R Ice Cream , Eduard Pestel Straße - English Friendly.
The favourite shopping area is the pedestrian zone Große Straße (Big Street) in the city centre starting at the Neumarkt.
Osnabrück offers an array of foreign cuisine in addition to the "typical German food".
The best place to get a quick bite is at a döner (Turkish kebab) stand or restaurant. There are several local operations offering this type of food throughout the city.
- 1 Comeback Pub & Restaurant, Lotter Str. 19,, ☏ . M–Sa from 17:00, closed on Sundays. Very good home cooking at reasonable prices.
- 2 Lagerhalle Kneipe, Rolandsmauer 26 (Heger Tor bus stop - Alstadt). Pub inside the Lagerhalle Cultural Centre. Pizza, pasta and salads.
- 3 Joe Enochs Sportsbar, Heger Str. 4/5, ☏ . Tu-Su from 17:00 Monday closed. The pub of a retired American soccer player who spent the majority of his career at German Second Division club VfL Osnabrück. Sandwiches (baguette) and salads (Greek, Scandinavian and Potato salad)
- 4 Mc Döner, Johannisstraße 51, ☏ . Kebab.
There are many "Gasthäuser" and "Lokale," the local old school sit-down German food places.
- 5 Hausbrauerei Rampendahl, Hasestraße 35. Traditional German dishes and craft beer. Offers a buffet menu at a reasonable price.
You will never have to look far to find a drink. There are many youth and student oriented bars and clubs as well as bars and clubs for the more sophisticated. On a nice summer evening you will find many people congregate in the Schlossgarten (Palace Graden) to drink together.
- 1 Grüner Jaeger. An original beerhall serving the local Osnabrücker Pils.
- 2 Cafe Orient. It serves a variety of German beers and offers Shishas (hookah/water-pipes) in a warm den-type environment.
- 3 [dead link] Cubana Cocktailbar & Restaurant, Donnersbergring 20, ☏ . It serves Caribbean style, on the premise of being a cocktail bar/salsa club.
- 4 Alando. If you like pop music, go to the Alando, which is near the central train station. There may be drunk and misbehaving people, though.
- 5 Kleine Freiheit. Behind the train station is the best alternative club. 21+.
- 6 Hyde Park. If you like metal better, the Hyde Park is for you. Every Thursday and Friday, there is rock and metal night. For Goths: visit Hyde Park on the second or fifth Friday each.
- Trash, Meller Str. 16 (Near Rosenplatz (Bus Station)). Alternative/student bar with vintage interior and rock music. Mainly students and locals, not too pricey. Smoking and in the summer some places outside.
- 1 Penthouse-Backpackers, Moeserstraße 19, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Free WiFi, small breakfast, rooftop terrace, laundry, sauna. Dorm €14, bed in double €20, bedsheets €3.
- 2 Hotel Advena Hohenzollern, Theodor-Heuss-Platz, Neustadt, Innenstadt (next to train station). Westermann.
Osnabrück is quite safe. There are break-ins and sometimes drunks getting lagered up, as well as rowdy, trouble making kids. Overall there are still very few violent crimes.
Still, the Neumarkt and the Rosenplatz should be avoided at night.
In some parts of Osnabrück, locals resented the British military bases in town and are reluctant to speak English unless you have made an attempt in German. In others, people may automatically recognise that you aren't German and may thus begin a conversation in English. Since the British left Osnabrück in 2008 this may be diminishing.
Nearby Kalkriese is an archeological site that is widely considered one of the most likely candidates for the site of the 9 CE battle in which three Roman legions led by Varus perished to Germanic warriors led by Armininus.