The Best of North Rhine-Westphalia
The North Rhine-Westphalia region is one of Germany’s most populous states and boasts many of the nation’s most popular attractions.
Millions of tourists flood this region every year to take advantage of its soaring Gothic cathedrals, award-winning museums, and gorgeous palaces.
Renting a holiday home in North Rhine-Westphalia is a wonderful way for you and your family to get the most out of your trip here.
Most tourists start their trip in North Rhine-Westphalia in the beautiful city of Cologne. This massive city on the Rhine has many impressive Gothic buildings, the most important of which is the UNESCO-recognized Kölner Dom.
No matter where you are in the city, your eyes will always be drawn back to this central cathedral’s gigantic towers. Take your time admiring all of the gorgeous Gothic architecture inside Cologne Cathedral before taking a trip up over 500 steps to enjoy panoramic views of the city.
Once you’ve finished exploring Cologne Cathedral, it’s time to visit a few of the many surviving Romanesque churches throughout the city. A few of the more popular basilicas include St. Gereon’s Basilica, the Basilica of St. Severin, and the Basilica of St. Cunibert. Cologne is also home to many unique museums including the Diocesan Christian Art Museum, the Museum of East Asian Art, and the delicious Museum of Chocolates.
Cologne also hosts many of Germany’s most popular festivals every year. Without a doubt, the largest of these annual events is the Winter Carnival, which takes place in the weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday. A few other beloved Cologne festivities include the Opera Festival in September, Cologne Lights in July, Gamescom in August, and the Christmas Markets in December.
Düsseldorf is yet another impressive city in this region on the Rhine River. Unlike Cologne, however, Düsseldorf suffered extreme damage during World War II. While the city has an Old Town, many of the buildings you’ll see here were re-built after the war.
One historic building that’s still standing is the 16th century City Hall (aka Rathaus) and the 17th Franciscan convent called the Maxkirche. An important museum in Düsseldorf is the Classic Remise Düsseldorf, which, as the name suggests, features many impressive vintage cars.
While in Düsseldorf, be sure to schedule a visit to the nearby Benrath Palace grounds, which is about a 20-minute drive south of the city’s center. Now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 18th century Benrath Palace is a gorgeous example of Baroque architecture and has a lovely garden area.
Music lovers visiting North Rhine-Westphalia can’t leave without paying a visit to the city of Bonn. It was in this city that the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770. Be sure to visit Beethoven’s Childhood Home to learn more about the famous musician’s early life. If you’re really in love with Beethoven’s music, try to visit Bonn during Beethovenfest from September till October.
Although Bonn is best-known as the birthplace of Beethoven, there are many other exciting attractions well worth your time here. A few other brilliant Bonn destinations include the Egyptian Museum, Bonn Basilica, and Poppelsdorfer Castle & Botanical Gardens.