Football has been a hugely important feature of North Rhine-Westphalian life since the year dot, with stadiums acting as places of worship for the game's legions of fans. The 800km German Route runs right through the region's footballing heart, taking in the sites of great national and international footballing events.
Taking football as its theme, this modern take on the 'fairytale route' is a great way to visit stadiums across North Rhine-Westphalia, from the edge of the Eifel as far as the Hermannshöhen trail in the Teutoburg Forest. Unforgettable goals, spectacular parades, sublime victories and tragic defeats, blood, sweat, tears and triumph: all of these are as necessary to football fans, as water is to a man lost in the desert. The Football Route links elements of the beautiful game with interesting tourist destinations and cultural attractions. Places to visit along the way include World Heritage sites in Aachen, Cologne and Essen, Prinzipalmarkt square in Münster, Wuppertal's suspended monorail, Nordkirchen Palace, known as the 'Westphalian Versailles', and many more besides. And football is the beating heart at the centre of it all.