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Explore Germany: North Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine-Westphalia

North Rhine - Westphalia has over 18 million inhabitants, contributes about 22% of Germany's gross domestic product and comprises a land area of 34,083 km² (13,158 square miles). North Rhine - Westphalia is situated in the western part of Germany and shares borders with Belgium and the Netherlands. It has borders with the German states of Lower Saxony to the north and northeast, Rhineland-Palatinate to the southwest and Hesse to the southeast.

The capital city is Düsseldorf, and the largest city is Cologne (Köln). Other major cities are Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg, Oberhausen, Aachen, Bielefeld, Bonn, Bochum, Bottrop, Bergisch Gladbach, Mönchengladbach, Mülheim, Münster, Gelsenkirchen, Krefeld, Hagen, Hamm, Herne, Iserlohn, Leverkusen, Neuss, Paderborn, Recklinghausen, Remscheid, Siegen, Solingen, Witten and Wuppertal.

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Previously asked North Rhine-Westphalia questions and answers:

Here is a list of North Rhine-Westphalia questions that were already answered by our local residents and property owners. Please browse through them. In case you still have a question that is not answered here please use the form above.

Where can one get a great breakfast in the morning?

Are there any cultural highlights, museums?

Ideas for 2-3 activities and daytrips?

Good restaurants for dinner?

Typical tourist activities or places that one should NOT do, as they are not worthwhile doing.

Things can do to make it a fun and memorable evening?

How to get around and find best means of local transportation?

Where to find good quality groceries?

Are there any special local events?

Are there any local food specialties one should try out?

What makes this destination special? Why should one spend some time here during vacation?

"Hallo, family of five (three under six) and we just can't figure out which city we should live in. I really like Hilden, but I don't know if they have better schools than any other town. I will be working in Monheim, which town is best for raising a family? Monheim Hilden Langenfeld Baumberg Dormagen Leichlingen Leverkusen" (posted 05/19/2015)

Hello, unfortunately I can not comment because I do not personally know all the cities and they are also too far away from the district of Soest.
Answer provided by Petra Haarhoff on 05/19/2015
This answer is helpful
Hello, Leverkusen is almost big city with 160,000 inhabitants and a lot of industry. I would not suggest. Dormagen is located exactly on the other side of the Rhine and can be reached by ferry, but not always reliable. Bridging to long travel time. Baumberg one of Monheim (district). I myself would like to live there. Is rural, with nature reserve on the Rhine, but grossstadtnah (Dusseldorf). But Hilden, Leichlingen and Langenfeld, all the you mentioned places have many different schools, the infrastructure is very good everywhere (public transportation, and highway access) and all feature popular Wohngebiete.Die populations in all these places are between 30 and 55 thousand. Tip: our relatives live in Langenfeld and recommend Langenfeld as particularly family-friendly, excellent infrastructure.
Answer provided by Ursula Blumentrath on 05/23/2015
This answer is helpful

Is there a good local deli or restaurant with lunch menu?

Are there any points of interest or local attractions?

What are good places to go for shopping?

Any sporting activites and recommendations to stay active?

Questions around the weather, different seasons, ...

Popular Destinations - North Rhine-Westphalia

  • Cologne
    [ source: Flickr ]

    Cologne

    Founded by the Romans in 38 B.C., Cologne (Köln) lies on the Rhine river, and is the fourth largest city in Germany. Besides visiting the awesome Gothic Cathedral, visitors will want to explore the city’s even older Romanesque churches, as well its…  [ + ] More Details

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  • Düsseldorf
    [ source: Flickr ]

    Düsseldorf

    Düsseldorf is one of the economic centers of Western Germany, located in the densely populated Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, which has more than 10 million inhabitants. The city is famous for its nightlife, carnival, events, shopping, fashion, and trade…  [ + ] More Details

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  • Gütersloh
    [ source: Flickr ]

    Gütersloh

    Gütersloh is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the area of Westphalia and the administrative region of Detmold. Gütersloh is the administrative center for a district of the same name. Gütersloh has a population of 96,200 people.  [ + ] More Details

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  • Paderborn
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Paderborn

    Paderborn is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, capital of the Paderborn district. The name of the city derives from the river Pader, which originates in more than 200 springs near Paderborn Cathedral, where St. Liborius is buried.  [ + ] More Details

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  • Münster
    [ source: Flickr ]

    Münster

    Münster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region. The city is most well known as the location of the Anabaptist Rebellion…  [ + ] More Details

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  • Aachen
    [ source: Flickr ]

    Aachen

    Aachen is a historic spa city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It was a favored residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the medieval Kings of Germany. It is the westernmost city of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and…  [ + ] More Details

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  • Essen
    [ source: Flickr ]

    Essen

    Essen is situated in the center of the Ruhr Area in North Rhine-Westphalia. Located on the Ruhr River, its population of approximately 580,000 (2008) makes it the 7th- or 8th-largest city in Germany. The city was appointed by the EU as the European Capital…  [ + ] More Details

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  • Dortmund
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Dortmund

    Dortmund is a city in Germany, located in the Bundesland of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr area. Its population of 587,830 (20 June 2005) makes it the 7th-largest city in Germany, and 34th-largest in the European Union.   [ + ] More Details

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  • Möhnesee
    [ source: Flickr ]

    Möhnesee

    Möhnesee is a municipality in the district of Soest, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The Möhnesee municipality is situated around the Möhne Reservoir (hence the name), approx. 10 km south of Soest.  [ + ] More Details

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  • Brühl
    [ source: Flickr ]

    Brühl

    Brühl is a city in Germany, located 20 km south of Cologne, in the Rhein-Erft-Kreis. The town of Brühl was the residence of the Prince Bishops of Cologne. In the 18th century the Prince Bishop Clemens August replaced a former ruined castle and built…  [ + ] More Details

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Browse our comprehensive collection of Germany travel guides organized by destination, with detailed, personal destination guides for many different locations in Germany. Our combination of vacation rentals and travel guides will let you truly 'Live like a German' during your Germany vacation.

Most Popular Destinations in Germany

Germany has numerous cities of interest to tourists; these are the top nine travel destinations:

Berlin - the reunified and reinvigorated capital of Germany; known for its division during the Cold War - and the Berlin Wall. Today its a metropolis of diversity with elegant clubs, galleries and traditional restaurants. It is also a haven for shoppers.

Bremen - one of the most important cities in northern Germany, its old town will be of interest to travelers who want a slice of history.

Cologne - Germany's fourth-largest city. Cologne was founded by the Romans and is 2000 years old with its huge cathedral, Romanesque churches, and archaeological sites. Cologne also well known for its carnival and its Christopher-Street-Day parade. Don't forget to try the local cuisine and of course the local beer, called "Kölsch".

Dresden - once called Florence on the Elbe, and world-famous for its Frauenkirche and historic center which was destroyed during the war, the city offers more than what the average traveller can expect: Great festivals, all kinds of cultural entertainment, vibrant night life, and surrounded by beautiful natural vistas. Dresden hosts the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections) which is one of the world's most impressive museums and collections. The art collections consist of eleven museums, of which the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and the Grünes Gewölbe are the most well-known.

Dusseldorf - Germany's capital of fashion, the capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia offers a wide scale of fascinating new architecture. Right along the shores of river Rhine, the "Altstadt" and the "Medienhafen" are among the best places in Germany to enjoy a vibrant nightlife. Being one of the country's wealthiest cities, the atmosphere is very pleasant. Germans call it "the only metropolis ending with -dorf (German for village)".

Frankfurt - Germany's leading financial center, transportation hub, seat of the European Central Bank (ECB), international trade fair center (Book Fair, Motor Show), hub of multicultural activity (30% Immigrants), and site of numerous world-class museums and theaters. It is also Germany's only city with enough skyscrapers to have a skyline.

Hamburg - Germany's second-largest city, famous for its harbour as well as its liberal and tolerant culture. Don't miss the Reeperbahn with its night clubs and casinos. Hamburg is also popular for its many musicals.

Hannover - One of Germany's newer tourist cities, having hosted various international events in recent times.

Munich - Bavaria's beautiful capital city and Southern Germany's primate city. Third largest city in Germany, Munich is the site of the famous Oktoberfest and the gateway to the Alps.

Nuremberg - Second largest city in Bavaria, after WW2 over 90% of the old-town was destroyed. Today it has already been reconstructed, including the Gothic Kaiserburg Castle (Emperor's Castle of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation). You can also visit the Nazi party rally grounds, the Documentation Centre and Courtroom 600 - venue of the Nuremberg Trails.

[ source: Wikitravel ]

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