Located just south of Denmark on the Jutland Peninsula, Kiel is a city with a rich maritime heritage. Life in Kiel has always revolved around the sea, and even today, the city continues to be a major high-tech shipbuilding center. Kiel even plays host to the largest sailing event in the world, known as Kiel Week. The event is not only a parade featuring thousands of boats and ships of all kinds, but it’s also a festival that dominates the city each year for the last full week of June. If all the fanfare inspires you to take a maritime adventure of your own, hop on board a ferry leaving the harbor to one of several stops in Scandinavia, like Copenhagen, Malmo, or Gothenburg.

Kiel has a storied history, focusing on World War II, when Allied forces bombed the U-boat pens in the harbor and destroyed much of the city itself. Today, visitors can see the actual German U-995 at the Laboe Naval Memorial, a somber place that honors the thousands of lives lost on board German submarines during the war.

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