Helgoland - Facts about the island  

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 Situation and geographical    Nature and climate

Helgoland is Germany's only high sea-island. It lies approximately 70 km away from the german bay and has a surface of about 1 km². The bathing dune has a surface of about 0.7 km² and lies nearby the main island. In former times the dune and the main island were once connected with one another. But this connection was separated in 1720 by a heavy storm tide.

The island is divided into low, middle and upper country. The difference in height is about 61 m, so that a regular road con-nection is not possible. So there are 3 stairs with 182 - 260 stages an a elevator to overcome the difference in height.

Helgoland consists of red sandstone rock and offers a unique vegetation. The mild climate, which is affected by the close gulf stream, is responsible for this. In winter it never gets so cold like on the mainland. For this reason Helgoland is a health resort and a therapeutic bath at all 4 seasons.

The iodine and oxygen-rich air is clearer here than on Germany's hightest mountain, the "Zugspitze" and there is no harmful exhaus gas, because of there are nearly only battery-operated cars driven here. This are ideal conditions for allergy-troubled people and to heal breath way complaints.

 Population  Customs regulations

Helgoland has approx. 1400 inhabitants and belongs to Pinneberg in Schleswig-Holstein. The inhabitants live mainly on catering, trade and tourism. After the main season in autumn or winter many of them leave the island for vacation.

Helgoland is excluded from the Schengener agreement. That means, that the island is a tariff and value added tax-free area. For this reason Helgoland is the place to buy alcohol, cigarettes, perfume and so on.


But take care to consider the amount of goods you can take with you withoutpaying tariff. There are random controls when you leave the island and so some favorable purchase can become very expensive in this kind.

Remember also not to put your goods into your suit-cases. The suit-cases are controlled also, but you have to carry all your bought goods in the hand baggage to give the customs the possibilty to control you.

Here is what you can take with you:

Tobacco goods (at least 17 years)

  • 200 cigarettes

  • or 100 Zigarillos

  • or 50 cigars

  • or 250 gram smoke tobacco

Alcoholic beverages (at least 17 years)

  • 1 litre distilled beverages or liquor with wine spirit contents of more than 22% of volume

  • or 2 litres distilled beverages

  • or liqour of alcohol with a wine spirit content of 22% of volume or less

  • or 2 litres of liqourwine

  • besided 2 litres of other wine


  • 50 gram

Coffee (at least 15 years)

  • 500 gram coffee

  • or 200 gram of coffee excerpts

An indivisible commodity with a values that exceeds 178,68 EURO is not free of charge (articles of clothing or decoration, technical or optical devices etc.).


The history of Helgoland is so extensive, which would blow up a description in the framework of this side. In the internet as well as on the official homepage of Helgoland you can find further information in addition.

Here are only two small historical facts :

The poet Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben stayed on Helgoland in the year 1841 and wrote here "Das Lied der Deutschen". This became first the national anthem of the "Weimarer Republik" and later those of the Federal Republik of Germany.

The famous child- and youth book author James Krüss was born on 31 May 1926 on Helgoland. Its texts and works are read and loved in the whole world.

 Catering and night life

The catering trade on Helgoland has many things to offer. Here you find fish dishes in all varities. There are for example

  • Helgoländer Pannfisch
  • Schollenfilet
  • Dorsch
  • Matjes

and of course the "Helgoländer Knieper". The "Knieper" are the shears of cancers and are served with different dips and bread. You shouldn't miss this special dish.

And after a great meal you can burn the calories when dancing in one of the two discotheques.

 Helgoland Live - Webcams on the island
On Helgoland there are 3 Webcams installed. You can watch the live pictures by clik-king on one of those following links.