View of Düsseldorf Rhine bank , © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Big met­ro­pol­ises Route

Roadtrip through NRW

With 220 weekly direct flights from the UK, Düsseldorf, less than a 2 hour flight away, is practically your next door neighbour in Germany. For the non-car driver, it is also the ideal base from which to start your holiday adventures - is there not something so exciting, so full of anticipation as a holiday by train? Easy connections from the airport make this possible. So take your seat, sit back, relax and watch the world go by. 
Discover the cosmopolitan atmosphere of our vibrant and distinctive cities.

The Historic Town Hall in Münster, © Oliver Franke, Tourismus NRW e.V.

Düs­sel­dorf Air­port to Mün­ster

1:15 hour by train

First stop: the cosmopolitan city of Münster – a youthful, laid-back, student city with a history going back more than 1,200 years. This is where the Thirty Years’ War was brought to an end; today Münster is often called Germany’s ‘Most beautiful city’. In 2004 it was chosen as the “World’s Most Liveable City”! Even on a day trip, you’ll get an idea of the high quality of life Münster has to offer, with its enchanting Altstadt (Old Town), cathedral, Prinzipalmarkt marketplace and the Fürstbischöfliches Schloss (Prince Bishop’s Palace). It’s also one of Germany’s most bike-friendly cities, if you want to stop off and take a leisurely cycle around Münster’s centre. 

Ruhr area landscape park Duisburg illuminated, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Mün­ster to Ruhr Area

1:00 hour by train

Industrial heritage is one of the most distinctive aspects of North Rhine-Westphalia and some of its most impressive sites are less than an hour’s train ride away from Münster. Complexes like the Zollverein Coal Mine (a World Heritage Site) or the Landschaftspark in Duisburg-Nord in the mighty Ruhr region present a fascinating homage to the area’s industrial past. 
Good to know: The Ruhr Area conurbation has undergone an amazing transformation in recent decades. Where once steel was produced and coal formerly mined, you can now find rehabilitated green spaces and recreation areas for walking and cycling. Industrial facilities have been converted into state of the art venues for art, culture, sports and entertainment. The Ruhr region’s many cities exude a metropolitan flair and visitors come to enjoy spectacular events and a wide variety of attractions here. 

Bonn Panorama Innenstadt, © Michael Sondermann, Bundesstadt Bonn

Ruhr Area to Bonn

1:30 hour by train

From the Ruhr Area, climb once more into your train for a quick, 1 ½ hour ride to Bonn. This elegant, baroque city is known not only as the birthplace of Beethoven, but for it’s beautiful open spaces, picturesque charming centre and delicious regional food. Good to know: Bonn may no longer be Germany’s capital city, but it offers visitors a mix of culture and international flair, a historic old town on the banks of the romantic Rhine. The gentle, surrounding landscapes offer easy hiking trails if you wish to stop here. The house where Beethoven was born (‘Beethovenhaus’) is now a museum, housing the world’s largest Beethoven collection of artefacts and memorabilia and the annual Beethovenfest, which takes place in September, has earned a devoted following from music lovers the world over.

The Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne in the evening, © Oliver Franke, Tourismus NRW e.V.

Bonn to Co­logne

0:30 hour by train

The most populous city in North Rhine-Westphalia and the fourth largest in Germany, Cologne should be on every bucket list; arriving here by train into the heart of the city centre, which provides a first glimpse of the cathedral, is an experience not to be missed. More than 2000 years ago, Cologne was already highly developed and known as the Roman city of Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. After a visit to the Cathedral, stroll along the riverbanks of the Rhine, to the „delicious“ Schokoladenmuseum, wander through the popular Schildergasse and discover delightful hidden corners. 
Good to know: “The heart of the world, yes that's Cologne” is a famous carnival song about the city’s good life; it captures the central character of this beautiful Cathedral city, which is visited annually by millions of people from around the world. 

Aachen city center in summer, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Co­logne to Aachen

0:35 hour by train

North Rhine-Westphalia’s cities are intriguing and individual in their own way; right next door to Cologne is Aachen – steeped in ancient history and not to be missed. Good to know: this popular city was the centre of Charlemagne’s empire. Today, there is plenty to see and do, yet Aachen still retains its tranquil atmosphere. Most of its impressive, world-famous attractions can be reached on foot along the old and winding streets. The city is dominated by the cathedral, which along with its treasury became the first German building to be included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1978. Aachen is also known for its thermal springs, which are said to be the reason Charlemagne established his imperial court here. 

View of Düsseldorf Rhine bank , © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Aachen via Düs­sel­dorf to Düs­sel­dorf Air­port

1:00 hour by train to Düs­sel­dorf | 10 minutes by train to the Air­port

Within an hour you can reach your last stop: Düsseldorf itself. From shopping to architecture, from art to the longest bar counter of the world… be curious!

Good to know: The state capital lies at the very heart of North Rhine-Westphalia: Düsseldorf is a gateway not just to NRW, but to the entire world. Business people and tourists from countries far and wide arrive at the international airport and disperse in all directions. So it is no surprise that Düsseldorf has gained a cosmopolitan reputation, a city where art, fashion, lifestyle and the Rhinelanders’ zest for life all come together in a perfect melting pot. The city’s cultural diversity can be seen in its calendar of events: from the traditional Carnival with its speeches and high-stepping dancers to Japan Day.

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Rursee from above, © Dominik Ketz, Tourismus NRW e.V.

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Aachen city views, © Tourismus NRW e.V.


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Beer wreath with Kölsch, © Ralph Sondermann, Tourismus NRW e.V.

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View of Düsseldorf Rhine bank , © Tourismus NRW e.V.

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Old stain, Freudenberg in Siegen-Wittgenstein, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

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