Reaching Lübeck by air (directly)
The most convenient and surprisingly often also cheapest way of travelling to Lübeck is to directly fly to Lübeck's airport Blankensee (LBC). The low cost carrier Ryan Air offers daily scheduled flights from/to London (Stansted), Milan (Bergamo), Pisa, Stockholm (Skavsta), and Palma. With some luck and advance booking, you may get tickets from London for less than £10. Look for "Hamburg-Lübeck" as destination.
Blankensee airport is conveniently connected to the city center, central train station and central bus terminal. City bus #6 runs every 20 minutes and needs approximately 25 minutes to the central bus terminal (direction "Hamburger Straße"). The fare is EUR 2.70; tickets are available from the driver. The bus stop is right in front of the airport terminal building. Don't confuse the city buses with those buses operated by Ryan Air, which connect Blankensee Airport to Hamburg. Of course, taxis are also available.
Reaching Lübeck by air (indirectly)
The closest bigger airport is Hamburg (Fuhlsbüttel). Flights from other German airports arrive almost hourly. Hamburg (Fuhlsbüttel) is also well-connected to all important European cities, and all major European airlines fly to Hamburg several times a day.
Unfortunately, there are no intercontinental flights to Hamburg. If you come from outside Europe, the best choice is to take any European airline and book a connection flight to Hamburg from the respective hub, e.g Lufthansa via Frankfurt, Air France via Paris, British Airways via London, or KLM via Amsterdam. Alternatively, you may want to fly to Copenhagen and try the EuroCity train service as explained below. Copenhagen's airport Kastrup is well-connected to the central station by frequent and convenient suburban trains.
From Hamburg Airport to Lübeck
The easiest and most convenient way of travelling from Hamburg Airport to
Lübeck is the coach service TraveLiner
operated by Autokraft. There are daily connections in both directions:
Hamburg Airport - departures:
0:00, 5:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30, 18:30, 19:30, 20:30, 22:30
Lübeck ZOB - departures:
2:50, 3:50, 4:50, 5:50, 7:50, 9:50, 11:50, 13:50, 15:50, 16:50, 17:50, 18:50, 20:50, 22:15
The journey takes approximately 80 minutes. The single fare is EUR 17.50, plus return fare the combined fare is EUR 25.00. Tickets are available from the driver.
The only alternative to the coach service is to take a local bus to Hamburg central station and a train from there to Lübeck. However, this choice takes longer, is more expensive and definitely less convenient.
Reaching Lübeck by train
Almost all train connections from other German cities to Lübeck are via Hamburg and German Rail. Local express trains ("Regionalexpress" or "Regionalbahn") run between Hamburg-Hbf ("Hauptbahnhof", main station) and Lübeck-Hbf at least hourly with many additional connections during the day. The journey takes about 45 minutes and the single fare is about EUR 12.00.
All EuroCity trains between Hamburg and Copenhagen also call at Lübeck. Advance reservations are required for the EuroCity service between Copenhagen and Lübeck. The journey is quite enjoyable as it includes a 45 minute ferry service between the Danish island of Lolland and the German island of Fehmarn during which the trains go on-board the ferry.
Reaching Lübeck by car
From Hamburg or Puttgarden take motorway A1, then exit "Lübeck Zentrum". Follow the signs towards "Zentrum" or "Innenstadt" to get to the city center.
Reaching Lübeck by ferry
The ferry port at Lübeck-Travemünde offers frequent and convenient services from/to Trelleborg/Sweden (TT Line), Helsinki/Finnland (FinnLines), and other Baltic Sea ports. From the ferry terminal Skandinavienkai take the hourly train service to Lübeck Hbf (15 minutes) or the more frequent but much slower city bus connection.