Thomas Mann, winner of the 1929 Nobel Prize for Literature, was born in Lübeck in 1875, and his family’s former home is now the Buddenbrookhaus. Named after Mann’s novel about a wealthy Lübeck family in decline, The Buddenbrooks (1901), this museum is a monument to the author of such classics as Der Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice) and Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain).

The museum also covers his brother Heinrich, who wrote the story that became the Marlene Dietrich film Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel). There’s a rundown of the rather tragic family history, too.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lübeck attractions

1. Marienkirche

0.04 MILES

This fine Gothic church boasts the world's highest brick-vaulted roof and was the model for dozens of churches in northern Germany. Crane your neck to…

2. Rathaus


Sometimes described as a ‘fairy tale in stone’, Lübeck’s 13th- to 15th-century Rathaus is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in Germany. Inside,…

3. Katharinenkirche

0.17 MILES

Art lovers will enjoy the Katharinenkirche for its sculptures by Ernst Barlach and Gerhard Marcks, plus The Resurrection of Lazarus by Tintoretto. It has…

4. Willy Brandt House

0.19 MILES

Besides Gunther Grass, Lübeck's other big Nobel Prize winner was chancellor of West Germany (1969–74) and was honoured for his efforts to reconcile with…

5. Petrikirche

0.19 MILES

Thanks to a lift, even the fitness-phobic get to enjoy panoramic views from the 50m-high platform in the tower of the 13th-century Petrikirche. No longer…

6. Günter Grass-Haus

0.21 MILES

Born in Danzig (now Gdańsk), Poland, Günter Grass had been living just outside Lübeck for 13 years when he collected his Nobel Prize in 1999. But this…

7. Theater Figuren Museum

0.22 MILES

Even if you think you don't like puppets, don’t miss this wondrous collection of some 1200 puppets, props, posters and more from Europe, Asia and Africa…

8. Füchtingshof

0.24 MILES

Among Lübeck's famous Höfe (courtyards), this is one of the most beautiful, although it's not always open.