Aussicht auf den Elisabeth-Treskow-Platz, © Oliver Franke / Tourismus NRW e.V.

In­sider tips for city breaks

trendy and hip places in NRW

Where cre­ativ­ity and aes­thet­ics meet whim­sic­al ideas: in­sider tips for an ex­cep­tion­al urb­an ex­per­i­ence. Look­ing for something out of the or­din­ary? Our in­sider tips for urb­an ex­cur­sions show you where cre­at­ive city life and aes­thet­ics mingle with whim­sic­al ideas.

Inspiring places in the Ruhr Area

Unperfekthaus Essen

Experience urban lifestyle revisited plus a covered roof terrace in Essen: Unperfekthaus is a 4,000-square-metre creative quarter that is used as a meeting place for networkers, artists, tourists and businesspeople. Participation is entirely welcome at the many studios and workshops, rehearsal rooms and interest groups. Unperfekthaus is open daily and offers visitors unlimited coffee, tea, soft drinks, water, internet access, co-working space, table tennis, relaxation, table football, art and cosy corners in exchange for a € 6.50 admission fee, which is valid for up to five hours. You might also like to stay the night there: The “family-style for a while” hotel offers six double and two single bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a shared kitchen and a private sauna. The guest apartment can only be rented as a whole.

Kugelpudel in Bochum

Fancy cucumber ice cream? In Bochum, the art is in the scoop. Kugelpudel offers unusual and even vegan ice cream creations, a mix of retro and upcycled furniture, as well as exhibition and retail space for creative Bochum. The cult ice cream shop makes all its dishes itself from locally-sourced and all-natural ingredients, serving up a sumptuous portion of art and culture along the way.

Heimatdesign in Dortmund

The Heimatdesign (Home Design) in Dortmund offers up creative ideas – both virtual and completely real – from around the region. The Heimatdesign shop gives young designers the opportunity to sell their products, both in-store and online. In addition to magazines and books, visitors will find furniture, accessories and fashion. Opportunities to present the latest shoes or freshly-purchased shirts are provided through the exhibitions and concerts that are advertised on the online platform.

Trendy districts in Düsseldorf and Cologne


Many small boutique shops, pubs, cafés, galleries and a small theatre are typical of the borough of Düsseldorf-Flingern. Musicalhaus Capitol and the adjacent Tanztheater (Dance Theatre) NRW are located in the far eastern part, whilst the Zakk Cultural Centre lies at the southern tip of this trendy district. Die Toten Hosen, a German band, also have their roots there. The backyards of Flingern-Nord are amongst the most decorative anywhere in the city.
www.flingern.net | www.einkaufen-duesseldorf-flingern.de

Cologne’s Belgian Quarter

Belgian cities and regions are immortalised in the street names of the Belgisches Viertel (Belgian Quarter) of Cologne, which is located just off the Schildergasse and Hohe Straße and invites visitors to come and enjoy an exclusive shopping spree. The shops located here offer a relaxed shopping atmosphere without the hustle and bustle of a busy city centre. Often housed in decorative old buildings, the extravagant interiors of the premises are equally eye-catching. The general slogan of the shops in the Belgian quarter is: quality, not quantity. Designer fashion and rare clothing labels are to be found on the sales racks here. Whether clothing, shoes or accessories, anyone on the hunt for unusual acquisitions and eye-catching new favourites will find what they are looking for here. Numerous young fashion designers have stores in and around the Belgian Quarter, bringing the latest trends to Cologne. Many trendy bars, cafés and restaurants line the streets, making it possible to experience Brussels and Liege in the heart of Cologne. An overview of the fashion and jewellery shops in the Belgian Quarter is provided in the Chic Belgique brochure, which is also available online.

Cologne Ehrenfeld

The Ehrenfeld district of Cologne is yet another creative place with an ever-growing scene. Ehrenfeld’s Design Quartier provides access to Interior Design Week Cologne every January. During Design Parcours Ehrenfeld local designers, shops, galleries, showrooms and workshops get involved in the multi-faceted programme.

Freistaat Odonien in Cologne

Creative minds are able to gather new ideas and creative forces in Odonia, a self-proclaimed Free State of Art and Culture: In northern Cologne independent artists, cultural workers, media activists, technicians and scientists have created a place that offers development space for art, culture and research. The beer garden is characterised by large metal sculptures, home-made furniture, water features and fire installations. The range of events spans from live concerts, theatrical productions, flea markets, public viewings, open-air cinemas, art workshops to parties and festivals.

Creative Spaces in Münster and Wuppertal

Port City of Münster

The mix of converted warehouses and modern architecture brings a special appeal to Münster's harbour. Many creative minds have found their niche here: advertising agencies, architectural firms and publishing houses have settled here, including the Coppenrath Verlag with its rabbit friend, Felix. During the day, we recommend a visit to the Kunsthalle Münster gallery, which is housed in a converted warehouse and is home to a further 30 artists' studios. Evening activities might include a trip to the cinema or a detour to the Wolfgang Borchert Theatre. When the weather is nice, the harbour features a large open-air theatre, where you can enjoy a cocktail whilst lounging under the palm trees.

Utopia Stadt at Wuppertal Train Station

In Wuppertal, the old Mirke train station has become a magnet for creative and cultural industries. The area in and around the train station has seen the emergence of a Utopian city (Utopia Stadt). It begins at the former stationmaster’s apartment: the first offices and studios have set up shop here and a co-working space with a meeting room is open to everyone – and is already being put to use. In addition, the local urban gardening movement has chosen Mirke Station as a base for its activities due to its ideal location along the nascent Rad- und Wanderweg Nordbahntrasse (Northern Railway Line Hiking and Cycling Trail). The current activities on offer begin with the "Essbare Stadt" (Edible City) theme day and range from workshops to an open garden. Hutmacher offers local food and drink: The house beer is served at a bar held up by books. The coffee comes from a local roasting facilities and the soft drinks are produced by an environmentally friendly manufacturer in Hamm. And another colourful eye-catcher in the area is the Lego Bridge. Artist Martin Heuwold designed the bridge that carries the Northern Railway Line over Schwesterstraße in the style of Lego bricks, complete with bold colours.

In­sider tips for...

Rheinradweg NRW, © Tourismus NRW e.V., Ralph Sondermann

Ex­cur­sions on the Rhine

Eifelblick Eugenienstein , © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Nature Fans

Das Restaurant "Glück und Seligkeit" in Bielefeld ist in einer früheren Kirche untergebracht., © glückundseligkeit.de

Un­usu­al gast­ro­nomy in NRW

In­spir­ing ideas for city trips in NRW

Duisburg Harbour, © Duisport / Hans Blossey

Dis­cov­er the west in your next city break

Aachener Innenstadt im Sommer, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

City trips in NRW

Life in Düsseldorf, © Jenna Davis

GO­ING #urb­a­nana

JuicyBeats Festival, © H&H Photographics

CEL­EB­RAT­ING #urb­a­nana!