Shoppen am Prinzipalmarkt, © Münster Marketing / Air-klick

Mün­ster - Cycle City

Vis­it one of the world’s most live­able cit­ies

Wheth­er by bike or on foot, the city of Mün­ster was chosen as the “World’s Most Live­able City” in 2004. See for your­self all that Mün­ster has to of­fer!

As the name sug­gests, the city of Mün­ster is set in the heart of Mün­ster­land. Mün­ster has more than just his­tory to of­fer ? even though the Peace of West­phalia treaty was signed here in 1648, bring­ing the Thirty Years? War to an end. The city has ex­per­i­enced great suc­cesses in the present as well. For ex­ample, the pic­tur­esque city was chosen as the ?World?s Most Live­able City? in 2004. And life can truly be very good in Mün­ster. Even day-trip­pers and tour­ists can get an idea of the high qual­ity of life Mün­ster has to of­fer: The city­scape is char­ac­ter­ised not only by its green areas, Alt­stadt (Old Town), cathed­ral, Prin­zip­al­markt mar­ket­place and the Für­st­bis­chöf­liches Schloss (Prince Bish­op?s Palace), but also by its many bi­cycles. The bi­cycle is ac­tu­ally the most pop­u­lar means of trans­port in Mün­ster, and with around 500,000 ?Leeze? (the loc­al word for a bike) they out­num­ber the in­hab­it­ants two-to-one. Tak­ing to the saddle re­duces traffic and pleas­antly eases the city?s pace. Mün­ster was able to de­fend its title of Ger­many?s most bi­cycle-friendly city in a 2015 sur­vey by the Ger­man Cyc­list's As­so­ci­ation (AD­FC).

Wheth­er by bike or on foot ? there?s lots to dis­cov­er in Mün­ster. The first port of call for vis­it­ors to the city is usu­ally the his­tor­ic Old Town, whose city­scape breathes life in­to Mün­ster?s 1,200-year his­tory. The square around St. Paul?s Cathed­ral tells of the his­tory of the city?s cre­ation. The Hanseat­ic city?s me­di­ev­al past can be seen in the Prin­zip­al­markt, with its half-timbered houses. The Prince Bish­op?s Palace, which today houses part of the uni­ver­sity, nu­mer­ous churches and the Stadtpal­ais are a test­a­ment to Mün­ster?s prosper­ity in late Baroque peri­od. The Rathaus (City Hall), where the Peace of West­phalia brought the Thirty Years? War to an end, and the three cages hanging from the tower of St. Lam­bert?s church, where ex­ecuted Ana­baptists were put on dis­play, demon­strate the power of this former epis­copal see.

Culin­ary, artist­ic and shop­ping de­lights

Vis­it­ors can take guided tours to find out more about the city's past. One such spe­cial tour is the ?Nacht­wächter-Schmaus? (Night Watch­men?s Feast), a night-time tour of the city in which par­ti­cipants ex­per­i­ence the ar­chi­tec­tur­al, his­tor­ic­al and culin­ary as­pects of Mün­ster by lan­tern light. This at­mo­spher­ic city tour tells the tale of rich mer­chants and grimy al­ley­ways, bust­ling mar­ket life and epis­copal rule. The cli­max of this jour­ney through time is a four-course culin­ary feast: the even­ing ends in style in the tra­di­tion­al at­mo­sphere of the ?Altes Gasthaus Leve?, which has ex­is­ted since the era of the night watch­man?s guild in the 17th and 18th cen­tur­ies. Vis­it­ors gain an­oth­er glimpse in­to Mün­ster?s past dur­ing the Hansemahl feast. Every year the city cel­eb­rates the In­ter­na­tion­al Day of the Hanse and re­vives its past as a Hanseat­ic city with ban­quet tables, sand­wiches and mu­sic. An­oth­er event sure to im­press with its culin­ary de­lights is the ?Mün­ster ver­wöh­nt?, a gour­met event held in the sum­mer, where res­taur­ants and renowned chefs from Mün­ster­land dish up re­gion­al spe­ci­al­it­ies.

Mün­ster is also a centre for dis­cern­ing shop­pers. The area around the me­di­ev­al ar­cades of the Prin­zip­al­markt is home to both ex­quis­ite shops and lux­uri­ous de­part­ment stores. The city centre is also home to the Kiepen­kerl dis­trict, which fea­tures shops on the ground floors of his­tor­ic mer­chants? houses. Vis­it­ors can com­bine their shop­ping sprees with artist­ic en­joy­ment. Now fam­ous far bey­ond the bor­ders of Mün­ster­land, the Pablo Pi­cas­so Art Mu­seum houses over 800 litho­graphs by the fam­ous artist. Vis­it­ors can ad­mire a thor­oughly unique col­lec­tion at the Mu­seum of Lac­quer Art. The Mu­seum has a col­lec­tion of around 100 pieces of lac­quer­ware from East Asia, Europe and the Is­lam­ic world, some of which are more than 2000 years old. Vis­it­ors can ex­per­i­ence the his­tory of Mün­ster­land up close at Müh­len­hof-Frei­licht­mu­seum (Müh­len­hof Open-Air Mu­seum). Some 30 his­tor­ic build­ings have been re­built here, giv­ing vis­it­ors to the mu­seum a taste of how people in the re­gion ex­per­i­ence life and work across four cen­tur­ies. The Mün­ster Christ­mas mar­ket on the Prin­zip­al­markt, is one of the most pop­u­lar Christ­mas mar­kets in Ger­many, is also of great cul­tur­al im­port­ance of course. Shin­ing with lights, the mar­ket is held in the Old Town every year dur­ing the Ad­vent sea­son and en­chants vis­it­ors with its re­flect­ive at­mo­sphere.

Ex­per­i­ence nature around Mün­ster

Mün­ster also of­fers sev­er­al op­por­tun­it­ies for re­lax­ing out­door pur­suits. The city?s many green areas com­bine to form a spe­cial fea­ture: parks like the Ae­gidiis­chan­ze, the Engelenschan­ze or the Kreuz­schan­ze were cre­ated on the site of former for­ti­fic­a­tions. Today these new green areas are ideal for pic­nics, re­lax­ing or ball games. Vis­it­ors can ad­mire the exot­ic plants on dis­play in the Botan­ic­al Garden next to the castle. And the Aasee in­vites vis­it­ors to take a rest on the wa­ter­front. There, ped­es­tri­ans will also stumble upon some artist­ic finds: Though ?Skulp­tur Pro­jekte Mün­ster? (?Sculp­ture Pro­jects Mün­ster?), a pub­lic-space sculp­ture ex­hib­i­tion, only takes place once every ten years, many of the sculp­tures re­main on per­man­ent dis­play around the Aasee for art lov­ers to en­joy.

The Mün­ster­land area sur­round­ing the cycle city also proves in­vit­ing for vis­it­ors in­ter­ested in tak­ing long bike rides. The 100-Schlöss­er-Route (100 Castles Route) is par­tic­u­larly re­com­men­ded, as it leads cyc­lists to a num­ber of Ro­mantic castles, moated castles and man­sions in Mün­ster­land. Only six kilo­metres north of Mün­ster lies a nature re­serve, which, al­though it seems like a nat­ur­al para­dise, was ac­tu­ally made by hu­man hands. Avid bird-watch­ers in par­tic­u­lar get their money?s worth at the Nat­urge­biet Rie­s­elfeld­er (Rie­s­elfeld­er Nature Re­serve) in Mün­ster; with more than 130 lakes, this lake dis­trict provides an im­port­ant roost­ing and moult­ing area for mi­grat­ory birds. Many exot­ic an­im­als can be ad­mired at Mün­ster Zoo, which is a pop­u­lar des­tin­a­tion even in the rain: sev­er­al "all-weath­er paths" al­low vis­it­ors to walk to many en­clos­ures without get­ting their feet wet.


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Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

Blick auf die St. Lambertikirche, © Oliver Franke / Tourismus NRW e.V.
Shoppen am Prinzipalmarkt, © Münster Marketing / Air-klick
Ansicht auf das Historische Rathaus, © Oliver Franke / Tourismus NRW e.V.
Blick auf das beleuchtet Schloss Münster, © Münster Marketing
Kunstmuseum Pablo Picasso in Münster, © Presseamt Stadt Münster / Bernhart Fischer
Der St. Lamberti Kirchplatz, © Oliver Franke / Tourismus NRW e.V.
Aussicht auf die Rieselfelder, © Münsterland e.V.
Mit dem Rad zu Schloss Hovestadt auf der 100 Schlösser Route, © © Münsterland e.V.

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Martje Saljé Türmerin, © Ralph Sondermann, Tourismus NRW e.V.

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