You know the feeling, it’s the start of your summer holiday. It’s hot and sunny; you’ve got your playlist ready and your route mapped out. For a driving holiday to remember, head to Germany – the home of the car. The eclectic and historic North Rhine-Westphalia region is home to some of Germany’s most iconic sights and flamboyant cities – including Cologne, Dusseldorf, Essen, Aachen - and some great driving routes. With Dusseldorf airport as your start point, here’s a guide to the best places to see, things to do and unforgettable attractions. Home to more than 900 museums, five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 91 theatres and over 40 Michelin-starred restaurants, North Rhine-Westphalia is officially the most culturally rich region in Europe. It could be the coolest place to spend your summer.
Düsseldorf airport: known as Germany’s “Smart Hub” it’s the perfect starting place for a memorable driving holiday through beautiful North Rhine-Westphalia. As the third largest airport in Germany, Düsseldorf serves 70,000 passengers every day and provides connections to 190 destinations across Europe and worldwide (it offers over 220 weekly connections to 12 destinations all over the UK alone!). With 60 shops, 40 bars and restaurants, there are plenty of places to explore and enjoy, or the next time you’re taking a flight from here, or just relax in one of the airport’s luxurious lounges.
Did you know that Germany’s stunning North Rhine-Westphalia region (NRW) is home to five UNESCO World Heritage sites? Incredible monuments, such as the cathedrals of Aachen and Cologne; Brühl’s impressive baroque and rococo palaces, the atmospheric Benedictine abbey at Corvey and even, in this collection, a converted coal mine - the Zeche Zollverein – now a sleek, modern arts and culture centre. Want to find out more? Just follow our handy guide.
The great thing about NRW is a number of various metropolises that can be easily explored, not only by car but just as easily by train. Beautiful Cologne, Aachen and Bonn can all be reached within an hour and are definitively worth a visit. Don’t forget about Münster, called ‘World´s most liveable city’ for a reason.
Experience a completely different sight of Germany along with its rich history. Explore the beautiful nature of the Eifel region, discover old towns of Monschau or Bad Münstereifel, and learn about Roman History and Roman traces that can still be found in that region.
On this route you will experience the regional differences that make every beer in Germany so incredibly unique. Find out the fascinating history of Pilsener in Bochum, stop for an Altbier in Düsseldorf, and do not miss the pint of Kölsch in Cologne!
Not many people associate wild flamingos or wild horses with Germany, but this is precisely what you'll find if you follow the wildlife route from Münsterland to Dülmen! Also look out for the European bison, better known as the Wisent, that lives in the Wittgenstein forests.
Its flair is world-famous, its narrow streets are vibrant and the multifaceted cultural scene produces spectacular events and exhibitions. The state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia holds many highlights for all tastes and interests in store and welcomes every guest by providing the necessary information as well as a great barrier-free offer.
The North Rhine-Westphalia region is the ideal geographical start point to explore more in Germany. Looking for ideas? Enjoy ‘Scenic Routes’ on www.germany.travel – fantastic, pre-planned travel itineraries to suit all interests. Head south for the Romantic Road, down to Munich, through impossibly pretty towns and villages, where the welcome is so warm you won’t want to leave. South West is the Black Forest Panoramic Route, with unforgettable views over mountain ranges and taking twisting roads through fairy-tale villages and cool green valleys. There is also a completely separate Fairy Tale Route, heading north to Hamlyn and Bremen. Or take a tour through the Avenue Route…This breath-taking route that goes all the way from Rügen to Reichenau is nearly 3000 km and is one of the longest scenic routes in Germany. Wine routes, foodie routes… there’s even a football route! Map your memories - experience driving holidays in Germany.
The 85 km route has wound its way through the Palatinate from the German Wine Gate on the French border in the district of Schweigen-Rechtenbach to Bockenheim in the north of Germany since 1935.
Let the 600 km German Fairy Tale Route transport you to the magical world of the Brothers Grimm, from their birthplace in Hanau to Bremen, the home of the famous four-legged town musicians (Tiercombo).
The Hamaland Route, a border-crossing cultural and historical experience tour of roughly 250 km, runs from Northwest Münsterland and into the east of the Netherlands in search of a 3rd century Germanic tribe.
Anyone visiting this route is greatly rewarded with treasures such as magnificent stately homes, palaces of courtly splendour and romantic medieval timber-framed houses following in swift succession.