Vennbahn 125 Reichensteiner Viadukt©vennbahn.eu, © vennbahn.eu

Ven­n­bahn Cycle Route

A jour­ney through three coun­tries on old rail­way lines

The rail­way line that once trans­por­ted coal and iron ore from Aachen to Lux­em­bourg now provides a mainly flat route for leis­urely cyc­ling.

The Ven­n­bahn Rad­weg (Ven­n­bahn Cycle Route) leads from Aachen to Mon­schau and on to Bel­gi­um and Lux­em­bourg. At 125 kilo­metres, it is one of Europe’s longest cycle paths that runs on dis­used rail­way lines. It crosses the bor­ders between the three coun­tries more than a dozen times.

In the 19th cen­tury the Ven­n­bahn rail­way was used to trans­port coal and iron ore from Aachen to Lux­em­bourg and back again. The dis­used rail­way line has now been trans­formed in­to a cycle path, with many towns, vil­lages and sights to dis­cov­er along the way.

High­lights in­clude the UN­ESCO World Her­it­age Site of Aachen Cathed­ral and the cloth-mak­ing town of Mon­schau, as well as St. Vith with its mu­seum of loc­al his­tory and Burg-Re­u­land, both of which are in Bel­gi­um. The di­verse coun­tryside along the route is equally ap­peal­ing: the trail heads past hedgerows, across moor­land and heath land­scapes, through deep forests and along idyll­ic river val­leys.

Those who want to learn more about the route can dis­cov­er the Ven­n­bahn Stor­ies. These en­ter­tain­ing an­ec­dotes ex­plain the back­ground to cof­fee smug­gling, the beech hedgerows and the im­port­ance of the Ven­n­bahn as a trans­port link up un­til the early 1960s.

The Ven­n­bahn of­fers fun and vari­ety for re­cre­ation­al cyc­lists, fam­il­ies and those with sport­ing am­bi­tions. The stretch can eas­ily be com­pleted in two to three daily stages. Only the be­gin­ning of the cycle path has a few slight slopes to over­come, with easi­er ter­rain the rest of the way.

Map of NRW

Tour overview

Info, data & tour route

Distance in km
Duration in days
Walking/Journey time in hours

Highest point in metres
Uphill altitude difference
Downhill altitude difference
Tour Level
Level of difficulty
  • Round trip
  • Family-friendly
  • Wheelchair-accessible

Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

At the Vennbahn along the hedges, © Dominik Ketz
Die Vennbahn führt durch ursprüngliche Heidelandschaften, © Tourismusagentur Ostbelgien, Dominik Ketz
Beeindruckende Buchenhecken liegen am Wegesrand der Vennbahn, © Dominik Ketz
Die Vennbahn, ein Bahntrassenradweg, führt auch übers Reichensteiner Viadukt, © vennbahn.eu

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