Graffitimaler an der Graffitimauer Busdorfgalerie in Paderborn im Teutoburger Wald, © Karl Heinz Schäfer, Tourist Information Paderborn

Urb­an sur­prises

Ex­per­i­ences in un­der­rated cit­ies

Duisburg, Mönchengladbach, or Paderborn are probably not found at the very top of your bucket list for your next city trip. Why not, though? Colourful street art on the monastery wall, harbour walks through winding alleys, or city tours supported by augmented reality – let us show you which cities in North Rhine-Westphalia are still undiscovered but have a few urban surprises in store for you.

Graffitikünstlerin CCR an der Graffitimauer Busdorfgalerie in Paderborn im Teutoburger Wald, © Karl Heinz Schäfer, Tourist Information Paderborn, Verkehrsverein Paderborn e.V.

Pader­born’s East Side Gal­lery

Tip 1

The cityscape of Paderborn is growing increasingly colourful. That’s hardly surprising when even the mother superior of the Vincentian convent there is a fan of graffiti. She has invited artists to decorate more than 100 metres of a monastery wall in graffiti art – launching Paderborn’s “East Side Gallery”. Tours around Paderborn Cathedral lead to the works of art in the city – either on an analogue walk or digitally using the app. 

Graffiti on the house wall of museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach, © Johannes Höhn

In­ter­act­ive ex­per­i­ences with aug­men­ted real­ity in Krefeld and Mönchenglad­bach

Tip 2

Leave your city map, information brochures, and photo camera at home. All you need to carry to get to know the cities of Mönchengladbach and Krefeld is your smartphone. The Yona app will help you discover the area on your own as it brings dead objects to life on digital tours that cover a number of subjects. They allow visitors to get creative on their own, or to take part in a quiz, too.

Duisburg Ruhrort Hafen im Ruhrgebiet, © Jule Körber

The lights are still on in the Duis­burg har­bour

Tip 3

Have you seen Duisburg’s harbour district? Skippers and sailors from around the world used to mingle in the Ruhrort quarter, which has even been compared to Hamburg’s St. Pauli. Many reasons to visit the place remain even now. Follow in the tracks of Schimanski through the winding old town alleys, admire art on the waterfront, and go on a harbour round trip to view the promenade from a boat – Ruhrort is a properly creative quarter with harbour flair. 

Lego bridge in Wuppertal, © Johannes Höhn, artist Martin Heuwold

Cre­ativ­ity in the Ber­gisches Land re­gion

Tip 4

Wuppertal offers inspiration on every corner: be it the 112 brightly coloured steps of the Holsteiner Treppe stairs, a rainbow bridge on the Schwarzbahntrasse, or the abandoned Mirk train station turned into a place for creativity. Let the lively, trendy districts surrounded by mountainous natural idylls cast their spell on you.

BonBonBude, Der Retro Kiosk im Ruhrgebiet, © Ruhr_Tourismus Reinaldo Coddou

An ode to the Büd­chen kiosks on the Rhine and Ruhr rivers

Tip 5

Bergkamen or Bottrop, Duisburg or Düsseldorf – The “Büdchen” stores can be found in towns of all sizes in the Rhineland and in the Ruhr area. Authentic, improvised, and lovingly operated, they are iconic and always there for us, no matter if we need a mixed bag of snacks, newspapers, a coffee to go, or a drink for the road. These kiosk shops have it all. We have assembled a list of some very unusual ones for you.

Keen to vis­it more cit­ies?

View to the old town of Münster, © @een_wasbeer XD X3


Read more
The Luisenviertel in Wuppertal, © Malte Reiter


Read more
The upper town in Siegen, © Universitätsstadt Siegen


Read more
Essen Kettwig, © Johannes Höhn


Read more
View of Bielefeld, © Johannes Höhn


Read more
Street Art by the artists Majabrothers, Ben Mathis and the Föns Crew in Kiefernstrasse in Düsseldorf., © Johannes Höhn


Read more
Winterberg in the autumn fog, © Ferienwelt Winterberg


Read more
KD-Ship on the Rhine in Cologne, © Johannes Höhn


Read more
House facades of the Frankenberger Viertel in Aachen, © Johannes Höhn


Read more
Museum Ostwall Dortmunder U, © Frank Vinken | dwb


Read more
Old town Mönchengladbach, © Andreas Lousberg


Read more