Tourist cards in North Rhine-Westphalia
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Many cities, and in some cases entire regions, in North Rhine-Westphalia offer tourists visitor cards which enable a large number of rebates or even free entry to attractions and leisure facilities.
The Ruhr.Topcard is probably the most comprehensive reduction card in Germany. Launched in the Ruhr area, it now also covers many offers from other regions in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Ruhr.Topcard offers visitors free entry to around 90 day trip destinations, with half-price entry to a 50 more attractions. These include zoos, museums, thermal spas, leisure parks and sports facilities. The card is valid for a year.
The Ruhr region is offering holidaymakers a new tourist ticket. The WelcomeCard Ruhr offers free travel by bus and train and free entry to various attractions, including a large number of museums. Users can choose between three areas and periods of validity, and have the option of adapting the ticket to their individual length of journey time and the location of their starting point.
The Rhineland region is now also producing its own regional card from 2017. The RheinlandCard offers free entry to around 50 attractions, from a fun pool through to climbing parks and museums between the Eifel and Ruhr areas, and is also valid for one calendar year.
“GästeCard” Eifel national park adventure region
The “GästeCard”, or visitor’s card, for the Eifel national park adventure region takes a different approach. While users need to purchase the Ruhr.Topcard and RheinlandCard, visitors to the North Eifel receive the GästeCard for free. The only condition is that they stay overnight in one of the participating accommodation options. During their holiday, they can then enjoy all the benefits of the GästeCard, which range from reductions and extra services for a large number of attractions and leisure facilities through to free use of the regional public transport. Visitors who book early enough in advance can even already use the card for travel from Aachen, Cologne or Bonn, for example. www.nordeifel-tourismus.de
SauerlandCard (Winterberg holiday world)
The SauerlandCard also enables visitors to travel on buses and trains free of charge to a large number of day trip and hiking destinations in the Hochsauerland region and the Soest area. The card also offers reductions and in some cases free offers with its many partners. The SauerlandCard is available from accommodation in Winterberg on payment of the spa tax.
Sauerland summer card (Winterberg holiday world)
During the summer months, the visitor card for the Winterberg holiday world covers an even larger range of options. During the summer season, it usually also offers free entry to the main attractions it the region, from the stalactite cave to the children's theatre. These are supplemented by other free offers, from guided hikes to wellness to shooting at the biathlon stand. The card is available when visitors spend at least two nights at one of the partner accommodation options.
Schmallenberger Sauerland card
The Schmallenberger Sauerland region also offers visitors a discount card, which is funded through the general spa tax. Holidaymakers can visit a museum or go swimming, see the wisent wilderness or spend a day in an indoor children's paradise. The use of public transport is also free, as are tours with the hiking and sightseeing bus, which takes holidaymakers to the most beautiful hiking trails and other day trip destinations in the Schmallenberger Sauerland region, as well as to the Eslohe holiday region. The visitor’s card also offers discounts on activities such as e-bike rental, golfing, skiing or shopping.
With the DüsseldorfCard, which is available for different lengths of time, visitors are offered free entry to many museums, and discounts for activities such as city tours, visits to the opera or bike rental. Cardholders also enjoy free use of buses and trains.
Bonn Regio WelcomeCard
The Bonn Regio WelcomeCard offers free entry to over 20 museums and reductions for attractions, leisure and wellness opportunities. Depending on the type of card, public transport in Bonn city centre and the surrounding area can also be used free of charge.
With the Münstercard, visitors are offered free entry to 15 museums. City tours, bike hire and the use of public transport are also free of charge. The Münstercard is also available via an app, which visitors can use at any time, not only to purchase reduced-price tickets, but also see information on the attractions covered by the card, their opening times and precise locations, as well as public transport.
In Cologne, the KölnCard may not include free offers, but does instead offer a very large number of reductions, from museum entry to the sightseeing bus to a visit to the theatre. The card is available in different versions.
The Tourist-Card Bielefeld allows free entry to nine museums in the city, as well as free participation on guided tours, such as through the Sparrenburg casemates. Discounts are available for numerous other attractions, such as theatres or climbing parks, as well as selected events.
The Essen Welcomecard offers visitors discounts and free services for around 50 partner venues, including hotels and restaurants, as well as museums, theatres and festivals. The card also covers free use of public transport, which is available at different levels.
Other rebate cards
Museum enthusiasts are given a free choice with the LVR-Museumskarte or LWL-Museumscard. Both cards offer free entry to the permanent exhibitions in 14 museums in the Rhineland region, and 17 museums in Westphalia-Lippe. Some special exhibitions and events are free or offer a reduced entry price. The tickets are valid for one year from the date of issue.