15 Best Things to Do in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Vineyards in the Rhine Valley

North Rhine-Westphalia offers many exciting attractions. Undeniably, it’s a remarkable destination in Germany, with its numerous interesting activities attracting many tourists. Located in the western part of the country, North Rhine-Westphalia is filled with fascination. These are the best things to do in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The city has stunning landmarks and a spectacular tourist attraction, making it a lovely spot to explore. The list of the best things to do below will be your guide as well as a travel planning tour in Germany, on which spot is the best to visit and what to anticipate in western Germany.

Things to do in North Rhine-Westphalia & Places to Visit

Phantasialand

Phantasialand

Address: Berggeiststraße 31-41, 50321 Brühl, Germany

Looking for the best thing to do in Rhine-Westphalia? Phantasialand got your back! It is a beautiful theme park located in the charming town of Brühl, Germany. A theme park that offers unforgettable travel experiences, rides, fascinating shows, and other dreamlike holiday pleasures.

It is an adventure-filled destination; whether it’s outdoor or indoor, various exciting things await. By Gottlieb Löffelhardt and Richard Schmidt, the theme park opened in 1967 and continuously welcomed thousands to millions of visitors.

Phantasialand provides over 40 one-of-a-kind attractions for the whole family. There are fun, delightful adventures, exciting, and blood-pumping adrenaline activities for everyone. There are a total of seven world records of remarkable and thrill rides to experience.

At Phantasialand, discovering exotic jungles to marvel at Chinese Pagodas and more of its six incredible theme worlds were among the ideal things to look forward to when visiting the park.

It is not just a theme park to visit and go to because Phantasialand also offers accommodations, spectacular dinners with shows that provide an incredible dining experience, and various restaurants that cook and serve delicious delicacies.

See Related: Things to Do in Munster

UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein

Address: Gelsenkirchener Str. 181, 45309 Essen, Germany

Want to travel to Essen, Germany?

Don’t forget to add UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein to your itinerary. It is a beautiful historical site to see in town. This incredible tourist destination is the former industrial site of the Zollverein Coal Mine in the city. On the 14th of December in 2001, it has been acknowledged as a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein is a historical site that stands like no other. It is among the European Industrial Heritage’s remarkable anchor points.

A must-see destination not to miss. It is also among Essen’s popular tourist destinations for its beauty, significance, and other exciting things to do while on site.

Visitors can enjoy excellent accommodation, hit up bars, and taste delicious German food within the UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein. To those who like to take memories aside from photos and buy souvenirs, there are also shops to check out.

The excellence of this world heritage site in Essen is also incredible scenery to see from afar, but seeing every detail and exploring why it has become world-class a visit is a must.

See Related: Best Museums in Munich

Wildpark Grafenberger Wald

Address: Rennbahnstraße 60, 40629 Düsseldorf, Germany

Visiting Düsseldorf, Germany?

Wildpark Grafenberger Wald is among the best place not to miss when planning a trip. It is a beautiful Wildlife park and green oasis that is a popular destination for families. This wonderful park is a haven for those eager to experience an exciting and delightful adventure in Düsseldorf.

Aside from the beauty of nature, Wildpark Grafenberger Wald features a variety of native animals protected in a natural-looking enclosure and environment.

The park is known to be among the oldest wildlife parks in Germany. All the native animals that the park has lived in a 40-hectare area enclosure.

Wildpark Grafenberger Wald enclosure is among the park’s main highlights, providing a massive area for animals to grow and wonder. This makes the park unlike the zoo because, in this wildlife park, animals decide whether to show themselves or not.

Some native species in the Wildpark Grafenberger Wald were fallow deer, fox, wild boar, raccoon, mouflon, and wildcats. Are you looking for other spots to visit? Check out these best museums in Dusseldorf to make the most of your trip.

See Related: Best Ziplines in Germany

Eifel National Park

To tour and explore the Eifel National Park is one of the best things to do in Rhine-Westphalia. This is a fascinating national park not to miss in Germany.

The national park is a conservation that borders Belgium and the Rur Lake reservoir. It was founded in 2004 and holds an area of 110 sq. km in North Rhine-Westphalia. It’s a green oasis to visit, especially for travelers wanting to experience an incredible outdoor experience in Germany.

The lush forest of the Eifel National Park is red deer, owls, wildcats, and other exciting wildlife’s home. An adventure to the wilderness awaits within its extensive forests and open landscapes.

Eifel National Park offers a variety of fun things to do on its land, and there are guided tours that are ideal for families and groups of tourists.

For those who want to hike and tour on their own, the park also allows it. Taking the park’s wilderness trails was among the exciting things to enjoy. This makes this national park an ideal and popular place for families.

See Related: Best Hotels in Dusseldorf

Cologne Cathedral

Historic Spires of the Cologne Cathedral
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Domkloster 4, 50667 Köln, Germany

Beholding and witnessing the beauty of the Cologne Cathedral is among the incredible things to do in Rhine-Westphalia. It is a majestic Church known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter.

This wonderful Cologne tourist attraction and iconic site to explore is in the North Rhine-Westphalia town of Cologne in Germany. Due to its beauty and cultural significance, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Cologne Cathedral stands at 157 m, making it the longest twin-spired church globally and among the most visited monuments in Germany.

Cologne Cathedral’s Gothic interior with stained glass and ribbed vaults
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The construction of the Cologne Church began in 1248 but was halted around 1560. Nevertheless, it is still Northern Germany’s biggest Gothic church. After it was left uncompleted in the 60s, it was continued and finished by 1880.

The Cathedral is close to some of Cologne’s outstanding tourist attractions, which are easy to reach and access before, during, or after visiting other spots in town.

See Related: How to Find Cheap Flights to Germany

Cologne Chocolate Museum

Address: Am Schokoladenmuseum 1a, 50676 Köln, Germany

Love sweets? Then don’t forget to check out the pleasant Cologne Chocolate Museum. The ideal place for those looking for exciting things to do is Rhine-Westphalia.

It is a captivating museum that displays chocolate in different and creative forms. On October 31, 1993, Hans Imhoff established the peculiar and fascinating chocolate museum.

Located in the Altstadt-Süd of Cologne area in Germany, various chocolate displays await. Displays inside the gallery illustrate the history and narrative of how and where chocolate originated. Cologne Chocolate Museum is among the most famous museums in Germany for the number of visitors and guided tours.

The museum offers fun and exciting activities as well as displays for all of its visitors to enjoy. A live demonstration shows how the chocolate is made on its 10-meter square tropicarium.

As well as a shop to buy and taste different products of chocolate. Some of the highlights to enjoy in the museums are the 3-meter chocolate fountain and life-size statues made from chocolate.

See Related: Best German Christmas Markets to Visit

Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord

Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, Germany

Address: Emscherstraße 71, 47137 Duisburg, Germany

Looking for a lovely park to visit in Duisburg? Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord is among the best parks to hit in town. In 1991, Latz + Partner (Peter Latz) designed this public park. It is created to appreciate and recognize the fantastic contribution of the past industrial period rather than reject it.

Landschaftspark is strongly correlated with the site wherein the mid-nineteenth century was once a former steel and coal production facility and an agricultural area.

The site is divided into two based on the site and its structure’s condition. A part of the park is turning into a green haven with all the plants growing on its side.

On the other hand, the park is equipped with pre-existing industrial fragments such as railways and roads due to the unique feature of the park, a variety of fun and excellent recreation to enjoy. Among them were taking trails, enjoying waterways, rock climbing, scuba diving pools, and more.

See Related: Breweries in Düsseldorf

Heimat-Tierpark Olderdissen

Address: Dornberger Str. 149A, 33619 Bielefeld, Germany

Heimat-Tierpark Olderdissen is a beautiful escape to seek while in Bielefeld, Germany. It is a park and a zoo that houses various animals in the region.

The park is accessible to the public and among the popular family holiday or mini getaway destinations. This fascinating animal park provides a great green space, a sanctuary for animals, and a spot for the community to enjoy leisure and see wildlife.

The Heimat-Tierpark Olderdissen is the home of more than 450 animals, including 90 different species. Some animals to see and encounter in the park’s 16 hectares of land were buffalo, bears, and eagles.

The park’s main highlights and attractions were the animals living in the enclosure’s spacious and natural habitat. But there are also other activities to enjoy aside from checking out each animal they have.

These were fun outdoor activities like hiking and biking on Heimat-Tierpark Olderdissen wilderness trails.

See Related: Best Museums in Frankfurt

Movie Park Germany

Entry of Movie Park in Bottrop

Address: Warner-Allee 1, 46244 Bottrop, Germany

In Movie Park Germany, a spellbinding adventure awaits. In Bottrop, Germany, this is a spectacular park that should not be missed.

As the name suggests, Movie Park Germany is a 40-hectare movie theme park. This park provides the opportunity to have a wonderful escapade in the western part of Germany.

The amusement park field is divided into seven areas based on popular movies and TV shows: Federation Plaza, The Hollywood Street Set, and Streets of New York. There’s also The Hollywood Studio Set, Old West, Auckland, and Santa Monica Pier. Seven areas are definitely to explore.

Movie Park Germany is a popular destination for families, movie fans, and vacationers searching for a great outdoor adventure experience. Kids can enjoy and play at the park’s PAW Patrol Adventure Bay, a paradise where they can see and interact with the show’s characters.

The park’s adventures include witnessing performances, spotting attractions, experiencing thrilling rides, and even availing of the PAW Patrol birthday bundle.

See Related: The Zugspitze Region

Westfalenpark

Westfalenpark In Dortmund

Address: An der Buschmühle 3, 44139 Dortmund, Germany

Dortmund is among the cities that offer countless opportunities to have fun. The town has various recreation spots, and Westfalenpark is among the best. It is a charming public park that has an area of 70 hectares.

Due to its vast land, it is recognized among Europe’s largest inner-city parks. Westfalenpark is a popular destination for locals and tourists to enjoy excursions and recreation. Visiting and enjoying different entertainment in the park is among the best things to do in the Rhine-Westphalia northern area.

Aside from enjoying the recreation of jogging, biking, and strolling on trails to enjoy and bask in the beauty of nature, Westfalenpark offers. A fascinating highlight in the part makes it an excellent spot in town.

It has a Deutsches Rosarium and a garden of roses with 3,000 rose varieties. A trip to this park would also be unsatisfactory without a ride on the chairlift, an excellent way to see the scenic view of the park and the town.

See RelatedInteresting Facts about Germany

Schloss Drachenburg

Schloss Drachenburg

Address: Drachenfelsstraße 118, 53639 Königswinter, Germany

Schloss Drachenburg is a beautiful palace to tour while in Königswinter, Germany. The castle is among the most visited and popular tourist attractions in town.

It is a private palace with a villa-style design, but visitors are encouraged to see and explore some of its rooms and charming gardens. The castle, located on Drachenfels hill, was built in only two years in the late nineteenth century.

It’s a delightful tourist destination; it has an intriguing interior and exterior layout and is extensively cultivated greenery and nature’s beauty. After parts of the fortress are torn down and reconstructed, Schloss Drachenburg becomes a well-known summer retreat for royals.

The castle has been redeveloped, with an eatery in its basement and filled with great rooms and furnishings.

Aside from its beauty, visitors can experience life living in a palace with the rooms, suites, or apartments it offers. Weddings can also be held in the castle’s halls or garden, supplying a romantic and royal setting.

See RelatedThings to Do in Kaiserslautern

Hofgarten

Outside Of Hofgarten Munich

Address: 40213 Düsseldorf, Germany

The enthralling Hofgarten is located in the heart of Düsseldorf. It’s a park that offers green areas for the public as well as a site for leisure activities and similar activities. Many chairs are dispersed throughout Hofgarten’s premises, including a play area, sports courts, and fields, walking paths, and picnic areas.

It is an excellent place for all to enjoy different activities and leisure. The park also has a pavilion that serves as an event and concert stage for every festivities held in Hofgarten.

During a pleasant stroll through the garden, Hofgarten never runs out of refreshments—food and drinks to enjoy through the cafes nearby.

See Related: Best Museums in Frankfurt

Botanischer Garten Grugapark

Bonsaigarten, Grugapark Essen
Image by Wiki05 / CC BY-SA 3.0

Address: Virchowstraße 167, 45147 Essen, Germany

In the middle of one of the former centers of Essen, Germany’s coal and steel industry city, the Botanischer Garten Grugapark is a green oasis.

This is a charming park and botanical garden, also known as Botanical Garden Grugapark or Grugapark Essen. Among the exciting things to do in North Rhine-Westphalia’s northern area is to explore the park.

The park is the city’s heart and provides a green space for the town’s community and visitors. Various spectacular plants and flower varieties are great things to behold in Botanischer Garten Grugapark. Chinese Spice Rind, Cucumber Magnolia, Lavender star bloom, and rose variety were some of the pretty flowers in the park.

Checking out the park and its botanical garden opens an opportunity to discover a variety of fun activities as well as see captivating sceneries.

Botanischer Garten Grugapark’s land space of 60 hectares makes a lot of excellent recreation and leisure activities accessible. Visitors can enjoy the park’s trails, Barbeque and picnic areas, and special gardens.

See RelatedThe Ultimate Black Forest Itinerary

Stadterhebungsmonument

Stadterhebungsmonument City Monument

Address: Marktpl., 40213 Düsseldorf, Germany

Düsseldorf is among the historical towns in Germany, with several historical sites and monuments to see. Among the exciting monuments to witness is the Stadterhebungsmonument.

It is a fascinating sculpture made in bronze to commemorate Dusseldorf’s city rights in the 13th century. The memorial was a relief made by Bert Gerresheim, a sculptor.

The monument is situated at Joseph-Wimmer-Gasse and Ecke Müller-Schlösser-Gasse in Düsseldorf. In 1988, Stadterhebungsmonument was built for the 700th anniversary celebration—a festivity and commemoration for the battle of Worringen.

Stadterhebungsmonument is part of the iconic and popular attraction in town. It is 2.4 meters in height 5 meters long, and the bronze weight is 5.5 tons.

The sculpture captures Count Adolf and the Duke of Brabant’s war against the Archbishop of Cologne. Based on their win, the 5th of June 1288 from the Battle of Worringen led to urban development.

See Related: Things to Do in Düsseldorf, Germany

Nord Park

Nordpark, Düsseldorf
Buendia22, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: Kaiserswerther Str. 365, 40474 Düsseldorf, Germany

Nord Park is an exceptional spot in Düsseldorf, Germany, that you should not overlook. It’s a great space and haven that gives a never-ceasing beauty of rolling greens, landscape sceneries, and opportunities to achieve fun adventures in town.

Nord Park is an ideal meeting place, recreation site, and oasis opened in 1937. As Nord Park is a popular community and family destination, it offers ample space for everyone to enjoy leisure, from after-work picnics to afternoon strolling, jogging, and sports.

Nord Park extends from Kaiserswerther Straße’s west to east lands—areas with different theme gardens, trails, and fountains.

A feature of fascinating symmetrical flower beds, gardens, and Elongated water basins welcomes every visitor to the Park. There’s also a Japanese garden and a charming water lily garden to take photos and admire in Nord Park.

Aside from the plants and flower species, there is also a spectacular museum near the Park, Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum, featuring about 500 animal species and various unique contemporary sculptures by international sculptors.

Related Resources

Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.