Düsseldorf Airport to Aachen Cathedral
Set off from Düsseldorf Airport and head to your first cultural hotspot, Aachen and Aachen Cathedral. It is immensely significant in terms of both architecture and art history and one of the best preserved architectural monuments of the Carolingian period.
Good to know: In 1978, Aachen Cathedral became the first ever German cultural monument to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Palaces of Augustusburg and Falkenlust
The Augustusburg and Falkenlust palaces, in Brühl, are two of Germany’s most important examples of Baroque and Rococo architecture and have served as models for numerous other noble German court buildings. The adjacent Schlosspark (Palace Park) links the two Brühl palaces.
Good to know: The Schlosspark is an internationally recognised monument to the art of gardening. While it is designed in the French style, it has recognisable English landscaped garden features, too.
Brühl to Cologne is about a 30 minute drive, so head now to the most visited sight in North Rhine-Westphalia. Cologne Cathedral is truly awe-inspiring and one of the most acknowledged masterpieces of European Gothic architecture. Hugely popular with art lovers, tourists and pilgrims alike, it is one of the most important pilgrimage churches in Europe.
Good to know: Cologne Cathedral attracts more than six million visitors a year, making it the most popular tourist destinations in Germany.
The Zollverein Coal Mine
The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2001 and is one of the most impressive industrial monuments on the planet. The final working shift here, as a working mine, was in 1986 and since then, the Zollverein has been transformed into an inspiring and important site for the art, culture and creative works.
Good to know: the Zollverein attracts more than two million visitors a year and as a building, this former coal mine - which was built on Bauhaus principles - has come to represent the immense structural and cultural changes which have revitalised the Ruhr area.
Corvey Castle to Düsseldorf Airport
This former Benedictine abbey at the small, historical town of Corvey is unique: its “westwork”, or western façade, is not just one of the only nearly fully-preserved Carolingian structures, it is the only Carolingian westwork to survive at all.
Good to know: The former monastery and convent of Corvey were awarded the coveted UNESCO World Heritage title in 2014, providing the city with its first UNESCO World Heritage Site. .