A compact Altstadt is one sign that GREIFSWALD was always a bit player in the Hanseatic League. Another is the lack of grand edifices compared to those of fellow leaguers in a pretty Altstadt that was immortalized in the paintings of local son Caspar David Friedrich. Instead it is north Germany’s second oldest university, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität, that is the focus of a neat town you can tick off in a day. Thanks to its large student population, Greifswald has a youthful energy out of all proportion to its size, and a few bars to boot.

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