Germany′s 16 states: North Rhine-Westphalia | DW Travel | DW | 27.02.2019
  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages

Federal states of Germany

Germany's 16 states: North Rhine-Westphalia

A cosmopolitan approach to life in Cologne, industrial heritage in the Ruhr region, open countryside in Westphalia: North Rhine-Westphalia is a state of contrasts.

North Rhine-Westphalia, in the far west of Germany, is the state with the highest population and the greatest contribution (21 percent) to the domestic economy, even though the coal and steel industries are now history. An especially impressive testament from the heyday of industry in this region is the Zollverein Industrial Mine Complex in Essen, a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Watch video 01:31

Travel tips for North Rhine-Westphalia


Most residents here don't live in the state capital Düsseldorf, but in Cologne, the metropolis on the Rhine. The Rhinelanders are considered cheerful, cosmopolitan and tolerant. A love letter from Check-in travel magazine host Nicole Frölich to the Cologne mindset. 

Watch video 06:22

Cologne: A vibrant cathedral city

Aachen Cathedral 

In the far west, on the border to the Netherlands and Belgium, lies the old royal city of Aachen. This is where Germany's first UNESCO World Heritage site, Aachen Cathedral, stands. It's part of the imperial palace built for Charlemagne in the late 8th century, and was for many centuries the church where German kings were crowned.

Watch video 02:19

UNESCO World Heritage Site: Aachen Cathedral

The cycling city of Münster

The greenery of Westphalia is in stark contrast to the Rhineland with its large cities. This is where Germany's bicycling capital, Münster, lies. Cycling is an integral part of life in this university town, and not just for students. From the mayor to the bishop, everyone rides a bike. So does Check-in host Lukas Stege, of course.

Watch video 09:16

Münster: Cycling capital

Dortmunder U

Dortmund is the Ruhr region's largest city, once the center of coal mining and steel production in North Rhine-Westphalia. And it's a beer-making city. The former fermenting and storage tower of the Union Brewery in Dortmund – Dortmunder U for short – is a reminder of that. Below the roof with the giant "U," the Center for Arts and Creativity has been hosting contemporary art exhibitions since 2008. 

Watch video 00:53

#DailyDrone: Dortmunder U

A Highlight in our 360 degree video

One of Germany's most popular theme parks is also in North Rhine-Westphalia: Phantasialand in Brühl, near Cologne. Visitors can enjoy the whole day here, and ride on the roller coaster or Germany's steepest log flume.   

Use the mouse on your computer or your finger on your smartphone to choose what you want to see. Click on the video and drag the image sections wherever you want. If you are using a PC, use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as a browser. And if you have VR glasses, you can watch the video in virtual reality.

Your trip to Germany

Are you looking for recommendations for your visit to Germany? We've got them: Tips for Germany - state by state.

DW recommends

WWW links

Audios and videos on the topic