TouriSpo Magazine

The ten best sights in North Rhine-Westphalia

In my profession I have the rare fortune to combine my two greatest passions: travelling and writing. Even as a child, I couldn't get excited about a week of pure beach holidays. At that time I was content to bother my parents with Italian vocabulary and facts from the travel guide while driving south. While I was studying comparative linguistics and cultural studies at the University of... Read more
created on Aug 3, 2017

Full of history and up-to-date, art, culture and nature – North Rhine-Westphalia is a surprisingly varied travel destination. The most populous region in Germany attracts million of visitors every year- for valid reasons! You can easily combine the density of culture with a shopping trip or an excursion into the beautiful nature – perfect for a short holiday. TouriSpo helps you through the endless choices and presents the 10 absolute highlights in North Rhine-Westphalia!

Architecture and the 'Rhenish' joy of life

© KölnTourismus GmbH / Andreas Möltgen

As Germany's No. 1 visited sight and part of the UNESCO heritage is the Cologne Cathedral quite rightly our Number one as well. Cologne's landmark, by full name 'Hohe Domkirche Sankt Petrus' forms the center of the city. The Gothic architecture is not only interesting for art and culture lovers since especially the impressive west facade is impressive for everyone. Admire the several artworks surrounding the the massive place of worship.

© Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus GmbH – Fotograf U. Otte

One of the most prominent boulevards of Düsseldorf is the Rhine promenade Düsseldorf. Located between old town and media harbor, you'll notice the Mediterranean flair on the promenade and you'll totally forget that you are in the capital of the state North Rhine-Westphalia. In the summer time it's especially a popular destination and people come here from everywhere in Germany. More than ten thousand vehicles pass the tunnel underneath the promenade daily, while visitors enjoy the peaceful atmosphere on the promenade. Countless events throughout the year and the diverse culinary treats make your trip here worthwhile.


Only a 30 kilometer car ride away from Düsseldorf, you can explore Wuppertal. The landmark and cultural crossroad of the city is the Wuppertal suspension tramway. Since more than 100 years has the tramway with the full name 'Electric Elevated Railway Installation, Eugen Langen System' been rattling on the 13 kilometer long route through Wuppertal. The tramway was even a host to an elephant for a marketing gag in the 1950s. The suspension tramway transports more than 85.000 passengers through the major city every day. It passes 20 train stations along the way, every single one is architectural pretty interesting. If you want a special experience, take the red 'Kaiserwagen' to get the nostalgic feeling.

The mountain and steel industry in the Ruhr area – a cultural heritage

© Jochen Tack Stiftung Zollverein

Also a part of the UNESCO world heritage is the Zeche Zollverein Essen. No other German area compares to the Ruhr area, since it's totally shaped by the former mountain and steel industry. The terrain in the heart of Ruhrpott represents the new variety and the structural transformation of the whole area. Walking on the monument path Zollverein gives you great insights of the earlier mining era. Zeche Zollverein is also a culture and art location nowadays. Visit top-class museums like the Ruhr museum and the Red Dot Design museum, explore the unique industrial habitat or get excited about different concerts, performances, exhibitions and festivals!

© CentrO Management GmbH

The 'Neue Mitte Oberhausen' shares a similar historical background with the Zollverein Essen and is shaped by the mining and heavy industry. The leisure- and shopping center of the special kind was built on the terrain of a former ironwork and is now the center of the city. Next to Europe's biggest shopping mall, the CentrO, you can discover numerous recreational activities, like the Adventure park, the Legoland Discovery Center, Sea Life, the Tree 2 Tree climbing garden or the AQUApark Oberhausen. Entertainment at night time guarantees the König-Pilsner Arena or the Metronom theater. One of the obvious highlights is the Gasometer, which reminds of the industrial history in an impressive way. The exhibition hall can just be described by superlatives and creates a special background for cultural events.

Museum and amusement park – here is something for everyone!

© Stiftung Haus der Geschichte/Axel Thünker

You can make an exciting travel through Germany's past in the Haus der Geschichte (House of history) in Bonn. An abundant of exhibits, documents, pictures and movies present the contemporary history. It will recall your memories and helps to understand political and historical correlations. Next to the permanent exhibition you can visit authentic locations that are conveniently located close to the museum. The Palais Schaumburg, the Kanzlerbungalow or the former Federal Council hall are just a few to name. Changing exhibitions complete the museums offer.

© ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen

One of the species-richest and most popular zoos in Germany is the zoological garden Duisburg. Next to classic zoo animals like monkeys, elephants, giraffes, zebras and lions, you can discover exotic animals in the zoo that opened in 1934 already. Highlights are the koala house, the tropical hall Rio Negro, the Equatorium, the Dolphinarium, lemur island and Chinese garden. The zoo welcomes about one million visitors every year.

© Phantasialand

The Phantasialand in Brühl is one of the oldest and most popular amusement parks in Germany. Action-filled attractions, breathtaking shows and a ton of surprises expect all visitors. The theme park separates in six different areas. Fantasy lovers should explore the Wuze part, China fans will feel comfortable in the country of smile and Mexico-friends should head to the world of Aztecs and Maya. Additional, you can expect an outstanding evening program and cool events. In Phantasialand everyone will get their money's worth.

Let's get out of the city!

© Foto A. Hub - Teutoburger Wald Tourismus

Close to Horn Bad Meinberg unique shaped, huge rock formations expect you. The external stones, that also wear the name Stonehege of the Teutoburg Forest, are one of the best known nature and cultural memorials in Germany. Already millions of years ago the impressive stone group developed out of nothing. They have been shrouded in myth until today. The information center on-site gives visitors all the knowlegde they need to know. They take you with you on an interactive time travel.

© Stiftung Museum Schloss Moyland

In the Lower Rhine area the water castle Moyland invites for some fun hours. Next to the neo-Gothic architecture and the beautiful garden inclusive sculpture park the historical ruins scores with a museum for modern and contemporary art. Moreover, the castle hosts an international research center for Joseph Beuys. Also really striking is the museum library. More than 60,000 media about visual and applied art of the 19th and 20th century can be found here.

At TouriSpo you can find additional and outstanding sights in North Rhine-Westphalia!

Travel Deals & Tips


No posts available yet:
  • Nobody posted on the wall
  • Be the first to comment!
News about other destinations
Login with Google+
  • Share your personal insider tip and create new entries
  • Explore fantastic outdoor destinations when and where you want
  • Find your dream destination or discover the world on the interactive map