Germany′s 16 states: North Rhine-Westphalia | DW Travel | DW | 09.10.2019
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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%) 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

Rhine metropolis Cologne

Most of the residents do not live in the state capital Düsseldorf, but in Cologne. The Rhinelanders are considered cheerful, cosmopolitan and tolerant. The presenter of the DW travel magazine Check-in travel magazine , Nicole Frölich, explains her love for the "kölsche Lebensjeföhl," the local term for Cologne's way of life! 

Watch video 06:22

Cologne: A vibrant cathedral city

State capital Düsseldorf

What does Düsseldorf have that Cologne doesn't? For Frölich, the schedule includes shopping, a visit to the Japanese community and, of course, enjoying an 'Alt' local dark  beer at the longest bar in the world in the North Rhine-Westphalian state capital.

Watch video 11:01

Düsseldorf: City on the Rhine

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

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

UNESCO World Heritage in Essen

Like Cologne would be unthinkable without its cathedral in Cologne, the Zeche Zollverein colliery is part of Essen. Its striking winding tower is the landmark and symbol for the era of coal in the entire region. Instead of three million tons of coal per year being mined today, art, cultural events and concerts are being produced in the middle of the industrial backdrop.

Watch video 02:29

Essen's Zollverein Coal Mine Complex

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.   

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Your trip to Germany

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


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