Top 7: Day trip tips for summer
Bauhaus, Germany’s biggest hiking festival and forest bathing
The open-air season has officially started! We’ve compiled a list of things you mustn't miss this summer in North Rhine-Westphalia.
1. Bauhaus is celebrating its anniversary
In 2019, Germany celebrates one hundred years of Bauhaus – and NRW is involved in the anniversary too. Exhibitions are being set up, thematic routes developed and guided tours designed to give visitors a better understanding of the ideas and impact of the Bauhaus. Not just in the cities of Essen, Hagen and Krefeld – the so-called Bauhaus triangle – but throughout the whole of NRW, certain places invite you to go on a journey of discovery.
2. German Hiking Day in Sauerland
The 119th German Hiking Day from 3 to 8 July 2019 will be a “Gathering of the Generations” in Sauerland. In the regions of Winterberg and Schmallenberg, local guides will take you on an excursion through the their homes and take you to their favourite places. It’s “off to see the bison with the ranger” on hikes specially for families and children. And anyone who would prefer to take it a little easier can register for an “appointment with Dr. Forest”.
3. Music Picnic in the castle park
To mark the 200th birthday of the Cologne composer Jacques Offenbach, the most beautiful castles in Rhein-Erft and the Oberbergisch district will be offering a combination of concerts and picnics. From 7 July to 22 September 2019, Offenbach’s familiar melodies will ring out under the open sky, immersed in the historic ambience. The eight stately homes that are to become concert venues include, for example, the Kommandeursburg country estate in Kerpen, where the ensemble of Kammeroper Köln will play in the park on 11 August 2019. Visitors will also be purchasing a filled picnic basket and blanket when they buy their tickets.
4. Refreshingly relaxing: Forest bathing
Shinrin-Yoku means ‘forest bathing’, or ‘breathing in the forest atmosphere’. This is a Japanese tradition in which people consciously spend time in a forest, breathing in the healthy air and finding peace. It has even been scientifically proven that forest air has health benefits. After just an hour of forest bathing, blood pressure and stress hormone levels are reduced. The Kneipp therapy also makes good use of the positive effects of the forest: In the Sauerland forests around Olsberg, for example, Kneipp instructor Gudrun Hagemeister offers Kneipp walking tours.
5. Watch films on the smelting furnace
Nowadays, there are plenty of open-air cinemas on offer. However, the one in the Duisburg-Nord landscape park has become an institution. Enjoy great films in front of the impressive backdrop of a former smelting furnace - a unique experience that attracts so many people that you have to be quick to reserve tickets. However, anyone leaving empty-handed will find other unusual open air locations in NRW.
6. New tips for a summer of cycling
A cycling tour including a leisurely picnic is just what you need for a lovely summer’s day. There are around 14,000 kilometres of cycling paths in NRW – and there’s always something new to discover: On the one hand, there are five new recommended sections of the Rhine cycle route in North Rhine-Westphalia, with which cyclists can discover the varied landscapes and cultural diversity on both sides of the river, from Bad Honnef to the border of Lower Saxony.
On the other hand, there are 15 new themed routes in the Ruhr area. The cycling routes with names like “Stahlküche” (steel kitchen), “Grubenfahrt” (underground tour) and “Wasserlandschaft” (water landscape) lead to special locations in the region – the shortest route being 29 kilometres long and the heavyweight round at 68 kilometres being for more experienced cyclists.
7. Along themed routes through the Bergische Land
Six themed routes lead motorists, motorcyclists and camper van drivers along scenic roads past some of the region’s most remarkable sights. For example, you can choose the half-timbered route, which goes past typical Bergische half-timbered houses, the Bonte Kerken tour, which leads to small churches with colourfully painted interiors, or the reservoirs route, which goes around the large lakes. The Bergische Land panorama tour combines all of the region’s highlights on a sightseeing tour that passes Altenberg Cathedral, Burg Castle, Bever Reservoir and Agger Reservoir and the Panarbora Park treetop walk.