Barmstedt is located in northern Germany, about a 30 minute drive from Hamburg, a city of 2 million people. Barmstedt is in the southern part of the State Schleswig-Holstein which is between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
Barmstedt has a population of about 10,000 people and is a delightful place to live. The Rantzauer See (a man-dug lake) is a popular place not only for those living here, but also for those in the surrounding areas. Along with a few restaurants, there is the possibility to play mini-golf or go paddle boating. The Rantzauer Castle is on an island in the lake and offers cultural possibilities. One building hosts art shows year round. The former castle jail is now a café where one can enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. In the spring, the rhododendron bushes are breathtakingly beautiful. Toward the west end of town, there are woods which have trails on which to walk or ride bike.
Although considered a small town, especially in comparison to Hamburg, Barmstedt has a lot to offer. Six major grocery stores, 5 bakeries, a once a week open air market, clothing stores, specialty stores, banking, doctors, churches, library and schools are all within walking distance.
The town holds different festivities through out the year. Kinderfest (children’s festival) is held the Saturday before summer vacation from school starts. The children are all in a parade that goes around the town followed by games and prizes. Stoppelmarkt is an end of the summer carnival which is held for 3 days ending with spectacular fireworks. Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) is held the weekend of the first advent, and brings visitors from all over northern Germany. Stands selling everything from Christmas decorations to homemade treats, to toys and hand-crafted items line the streets for 3 days. Other special festivals are held through out the year including activities with the partner cities in Denmark and France.