German island of Sylt chosen for TIME Greatest Places in 2023

German island of Sylt chosen for TIME Greatest Places in 2023

The German obsession with the North Sea island holiday has just been validated: TIME magazine has listed Sylt as one of the world’s greatest places in 2023. 

TIME magazine includes Sylt in World’s Greatest Places list

The Ostsee is about as good as it gets for a German holiday. And in the German collective imagination, Sylt is the crème de la crème of the Frisian holiday islands. Pale blue skies, a grey-blue sea and pale white sand dotted with those iconic, cobalt blue-striped Strandkörbe - Sylt is where the other half holiday. 

Now, thanks to TIME, the swank and glamour of Sylt have been granted international recognition. Named a “chic beach hideout”, the US magazine lauded the 800-year-old island for its “concept shops”, spas and restaurants, more specifically Tipken’s, run by “famed German chef Nils Henkel”. 

Slyt was in good company - albeit company a little more cosmopolitan, canonical, classic and Caribbean than the shores of Schleswig-Holstein. In no particular order, TIME also named Kyoto, Naples, St. Moritz, Giza and Dominica among the top 50 World’s Greatest Places of 2023.

9-euro ticket German punks brought Sylt back into the spotlight

Sylt’s sandy stretches have been a beloved destination of Germany’s great and good for decades, so why is it only getting its recognition in the proverbial glossy pages of TIME in 2023? There is only one answer: in the summer of 2022, punks brought Sylt back to life.

As the 9-euro ticket took the country by storm in June, Germany’s punks took to the internet to organise a group holiday outside their usual stomping ground. The Sylt “Chaostage” (days of chaos) were added to the calendar, and in early June, thousands of punks descended on the island to get themselves a slice of upper-crust German beach life. We can only assume that this was the weekend TIME sent their most experienced travel reporter.

Blaring Slipknot, sipping Sterni beers and paddling in the town’s fountains with an inflatable unicorn, one punk was asked by Focus magazine why he had made the public transport pilgrimage, “I’ve come to make friends and have fun. I’ve never been to Sylt. But I’m also never coming back.”

Thumb image credit: Thorsten Schier /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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