Note: A newer version of this blogpost is on our new blog Wander Women: https://wanderwomen.nl/en/2018/06/21/a-daytrip-to-leer-in-germany/. Please visit and follow us there!
Admitted: a daytrip to Leer was never appealing to us. I mean: it’s too small, has nothing special to offer, it’s just 10 kilometers across the border… A couple of years ago we were there by coincidence in December. It had already been snowing, temperatures were below zero and we did not have any tires on the car that were suitable for winter circumstances on the road. So a Christmas market in Oldenburg or Bremen was off limits. We decided to go to Leer, as it was just across the border. But our hearts kept shouting: we really want to go to Oldenburg, a REAL Christmas market in an actual cool German city! You can probably already guess our experience in Leer that day wasn’t a good one. And we left after about 30 minutes. Now we were planning on visiting Tecklenburg but we did not have money to spare for an overnight stay. A one day trip to Tecklenburg, which is about 200 kilometres and just a little village, sounded a bit too far. So we decided to give Leer another chance. Let’s go!
We were really lucky with late Summer sunny weather on the first day of September. While the clouds seemed a bit dark sometimes, we left our jackets off and we enjoyed probably our last terrace (or 2) of this season.
The first look at the city center got no recognizion in our minds. It just looked like a regular German shopping street with chains like H&M, Leffers, Depot, Esprit and New Yorker … While we walked towards the train station (we were curious about the connections and wanted to buy some magazines like Slow, Green Lifestyle Magazin, Vegan World and Vegan für mich- they are sometimes hard to get at regular selling points) we even encountered a pretty large organic supermarket Kücks. Impressive!
Leer is a town by the water. The Eems canal flows through the village. There’s a path along the river, where you’ll also find some terraces in Summer plus the tourist information. The best terrace of Leer is the one looking at the small harbour right next to the guardhouse. You probably guessed already that it is possible to take a river cruise from Leer and it’s quite popular with the tourists. We decided not too as we prefer sitting on a terrace enjoying a lovely drink and some people watching.
Talking about coffee: Leer has a great spot for coffee called Kaffeerösterei Baum. It’s in the shopping street, has a good offering of hot and cold beverages and some sweets. In summer there’s a little patio outside. Definately a must check out if you like a good coffee.
We had lunch at Café-Bar Celona, located in the central square in the center. Great views from the terrace (for the most part, that is ;-)) and they also have some vegan food on offer, though most of it is fried.
Vegan food is quite difficult to find in small cities like Leer. Other than bar Celona you can also try the restaurant of suspense bookstore Tatort Taraxacum. They always serve a few hot vegan dishes like a soup and a curry. And sometimes there’s also vegan cake available. In summer you can sit outside on the patio in the back.
What more can we tell you? Nothing really … just have a look for yourself. Try to choose a day when you can sit outside and enjoy the sun for a bit. If it is raining, there are a few museums, one of them about the local tea. We really had a lot of fun!
Addresses in Leer:
Tatort Taraxacum, Rathausstrasse 23
Café-bar Celona, Mühlenstrasse 95
Kaffeerösterei Baum, Neue Strasse 5
Restaurant Zur Waage, Neue Strasse 1
Landleckereien, Rathausstrasse 9 (small store with products made locally sourced foods like pestos, jam, wine and chocolate)
Jurine Second-Hand Mode, Mühlenstrasse 24
Fesh Mode, Bahnhofsring 27 (secondhand fashion)
Bio-markt Kücks, Mühlenstrasse 128
Wohntheater, Brünnenstrasse 4 (antiques and secondhand interior stuff)
Bünting theemuseum, Brünnenstrasse 33