THE WADDEN SEA CENTRE - Gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage

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World heritage is something that is so valuable that it must be passed to the next generations. Something to be cherished and well-cared-for so that posterity can experience it, and because the world heritage is vital to mankind and our understanding of the world.

The Wadden Sea in Denmark was appointed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2014, and today the Wadden Sea in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark is world heritage all together. In the whole world, there are 200 natural sites appointed World Heritage Sites.

In the village of Vester Vedsted, southwest of Denmark's oldest town Ribe, lies the visitor centre for the World Heritage: The WADDEN SEA CENTRE – GATEWAY TO THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE. The centre houses exhibitions of international class about migratory birds of the Wadden Sea, landscape, wildlife of the Wadden Sea and storm surges.
The centre is also the starting point for guided outdoor activities throughout the year. You can retrieve oysters, experience starling magic - where starlings dance in the dusk, trudge across the tidal flats to the seal banks on the edge of the depths or get a family experience on the tidal flats with Sea Explorer - and many other activities.

The new WADDEN SEA CENTER is high quality all the way linking unique architecture of Dorte Mandrup architects with the exhibition "Wadden Sea Migratory Birds" by architect Johan Carlson. The exhibition connects communicating knowledge with an incredibly beautiful expression and design that in every way shows worthiness towards the Wadden Sea stories and the World Heritage classification.

The architecture
The architecture is a new interpretation of the marshland’s building traditions through thousands of years. The archaeological excavations made "on location," before the new build began, revealed settlements all the way back to 600 years AD.
Dorte Mandrup Architects has created an architectural gem of a building that includes Danish reeds fully in the development of a communication centre of the present.

"Look carefully at nature, and you will understand everything better" – Einstein said. Therefore, the WADDEN SEA CENTRE aims to bring the visitor closer to the Wadden Sea's great nature so that we can understand it, appreciate it and thereby take better care of it. Therefore, it is a good idea to start in the WADDEN SEA CENTRE’s exhibition before exploring the world of the Wadden Sea.

The exhibition WADDEN SEA MIGRATORY BIRDS is an exhibition where you, through the migratory birds, gain insight into the tide, the landscape and its dynamic, in the incredible life of the tidal flats as one of the world's largest larders for migratory birds on the global, vital East Atlantic migratory route. Through the exhibition, you get some idea of why the Wadden Sea is classified as a World Heritage Site.
We follow the migratory birds through the exhibition. Watch them in the Wadden Sea – Denmark’s savannah - showing a diversity and an incredible adaptability. Life on the tidal flats, in the air, on high water staging areas is outstanding, and 15 million migratory birds rely on the Wadden Sea as a resting and foraging place. During migration, there is take-off and landing every second - The Wadden Sea is an international airport.

In the exhibition, you can explore the Wadden Sea larder and touch an oversized diatom, try the food web, and in the touching pool, you meet life in the shallow water with crabs, flatfish, whelk snails, shellfish and much more.

In the Anatomical Cabinet and the Gallery, we hope your curiosity is "nerdy", because here we go in depth. Can you create wind, so that the bird can fly? Or make your own bird - who flies best? There is something for both children and adults.

THE WADDEN SEA CENTRE’s professional nature guide arrange trips in the Wadden Sea throughout the year, but we take account of and adapt to the rhythm of nature.

In late summer, from August and forward, it is time for walking tours to the major seal banks. The seals have now reared their pups, and there is quiet on the banks. The seals are an impressive sight when the banks can count 200, 300 and sometimes even more than 700 seals. THE WADDEN SEA CENTRE’s guides only go to the seal banks from August, because in May, June and July the seals breed and suckle their pups. Pups only drink twice a day and must have peace to suckle. The right thing is to give them peace and quiet on the banks until late summer.

A great family experience linked to a visit to the WADDEN SEA CENTRE is to go on the summer activity, Sea Explorer. Here the families come along to the tidal flats bringing field equipment to explore the large wildlife. A few hours with a nature guide, father and mother on the tidal flats is a great experience. Subsequently, we bring along the catch of the day to the WADDEN SEA CENTRE and study it more closely under the microscope.

Fall, spring and winter is the time for oysters and black sun. Oyster tours are both arranged as long and unique trips out to the big oyster beds with between 3-500 tonnes of oysters or as oyster trips for all: where most can participate. Black Sun is when starlings from all over Scandinavia and the Baltic regions make a stop in the marshes before flying to England or further south for the winter, or when they are on their way to breeding grounds. Black sun attracts many tourists, and when the starlings dance in the sky, the enthusiasm is high.
Book tickets in advance on our website.