Ludwig van Beethoven, Heinrich Heine and Joseph Beuys – Germany's biggest federal state in terms of population has produced many influential artists and is one of the biggest cultural regions in Europe. Its numerous museums, theatres, orchestras and concert halls, and its musicals and events, attract millions of visitors every year. Other cultural highlights include the five UNESCO World Heritage sites: Cologne Cathedral, Aachen Cathedral, Augustusburg Palace and Falkenlust Palace in Brühl, the Zollverein coal mine in Essen and Corvey Palace. Cologne's signature landmark is the most visited attraction in Germany.
North Rhine-Westphalia is a region for active holidaymakers. Around 14,000 kilometres of cycle routes run through extensive parks and riverscapes, and lead to palaces, castles and breathtaking industrial heritage. Walkers will find a multitude of certified trails, most notably the picturesque Rothaarsteig ridge route. But as well as on land, North Rhine-Westphalia also has lots to offer on the water: 1,500 kilometres of river and 200 lakes are perfect for rowing and canoeing, and the 78 first-class reservoirs provide plenty of scope for recreation and leisure activities.
But North Rhine-Westphalia is more than just a place to get out and get active. It also plays host to traditional events such as the carnival and the Kirmes fair and offers some fantastic shopping opportunities. The region is home to two of the largest city-centre shopping malls in Europe: CentrO in Oberhausen and LimbeckerPlatz in Essen. After a hard day's shopping you can relax and unwind in the many health resorts and spas, whose modern thermal baths, saline and peat treatments, and 'wellness cycling' will help to recharge your batteries.
North Rhine-Westphalia also has plenty to offer for those with refined tastes, including more than 40 restaurants bearing Michelin stars. Connoisseurs are also invited to try our many regional specialities – from Aachen's Printen gingerbread to Westphalian ham.
© Tourismus NRW e.V.