What to see in Westphalia in 5 days

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Westphalia is a region of Germany located in the northwestern part, on the border with Holland and Belgium. IS' crossed by the River Reno and here are wonderful cities. Among the most important are certainly Dusseldorf, the capital, Cologne, the largest city, and Bonn, where a stop cannot be missed! Between river cruises and many activities to do, we advise you to organize an itinerary well so as not to forget anything!

Here are our tips on what to see in Westphalia in 5 days!


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. 4 day
  5. 5 day
  6. How much does it cost 5 days
  7. Before leaving: useful tips
  8. User questions and comments

1 day

Start from Bonn, which for 41 years was the capital of Germany, from 1949 to 1990. Start the morning from Poppelsdorf Castle, which also houses the University Botanical Garden (Mon-Fri 10: 00-16: 00). Then stroll through the historic center and visit the Beethoven House (every day 10: 00-18: 00), museum dedicated to the famous composer.

For lunch stop at Gasthaus Im Stiefel (€ 20,00).
In the afternoon, leave the city to visit the marvelous Drachenburg Castle (variable hours, generally 11: 00-18: 00/19: 00, consult the official website; from the center of tram 66 to Königswinter Fähre, 30 min, € 2,70). The castle has been a National Monument since 1986 and was built at the behest of the financier Stephan von Sarter. The view from the top of the hill is truly wonderful.

After your visit, return to Bonn (tram 66, 30 min, € 2,70) to Bonn Central Station. For dinner you can stop at the typical restaurant Wirtshaus Salvator Bonn (€ 20,00). In the evening we recommend that you take part in the night walking tour, to discover the dark side of the city under the guidance of an expert (departure at 21:00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 38,8 km / 57 min (by car)
  • Places visited: Poppelsford Castle (free), Old Town (free), Beethoven House (€ 9,00), Drachenburg Castle (€ 7,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 60,00
  • Lunch at Gasthaus Im Stiefel (Get directions), Dinner at Wirtshaus Salvator Bonn (Get directions)

2 day

From Bonn you can take the direct train to Cologne (20 min, from € 10,90). Once in the city, take advantage of the guided tour with a local to discover the important monuments and get a general picture of the city.
Pay a visit to Cologne Cathedral, main monument and symbol of the city (Nov-Apr 6: 00-19: 30, May-Oct 6: 00-21: 00, Sun and holidays 13: 00-16: 30). We advise you to climb the tower to admire the view! Then stroll through the Alt Stadt, the historic center of the city!

For lunch, stop by Peters Brauhaus (€ 20,00).
For the afternoon we recommend you visit the Römisch-Germanisches Museum, one of the most important museums in all of Cologne, which preserves the Mosaic of Dionysus (Tue-Sun 10: 00-17: 00). Reach the Frankenwerft, a pedestrian zone on the banks of the River Rhine, characterized by many colorful houses. Here stands the Fish Market, a very characteristic square with the background San Martino Church (in German Kath. Kirche Groß St. Martin, Tue-Sun 10: 00-19: 30)!

End the day at Servus Colonia Alpina, one of the best restaurants in cologne (€ 20,00).

Consiglio: buy the KölnCard to use public transport and various discounts on attractions and guided tours

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 33,2 km / 50 min (by train)
  • Places visited: Cologne Cathedral (free, tower € 3,00), Alt Stadt (free), Römisch-Germanisches Museum (€ 3,00), Frankenwerft (free), St. Martin's Church (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 50,00
  • Lunch at Peters Brauhaus (Get directions), Dinner at Servus Colonia Alpina (Get directions)

3 day

Second day dedicated to Cologne. In the morning we recommend that you visit the Imhoff chocolate museum, one of the most visited museums in the city and dedicated to chocolate, with exhibits, interactive displays and the production department (10: 00-18: 00, it is recommended to purchase the entrance ticket online to avoid the queues at the ticket office). From the center it can be reached by tram 5 (10 min, € 3,00) or by bus 133 (15 min, € 3,00).

Once the visit is over, walk along the bank of the Rhine and reach the Haxenhaus restaurant for lunch (€ 15,00).
Just opposite is the KD Reisebüro pier, from where the panoramic city cruise departs for admire Cologne from another perspective! Once the tour is complete, cross the famous Hohenzollernbrücke and you will arrive at the Deutz district. Here you go up on the KolnTriangle, from whose panoramic terrace you can admire a wonderful panorama of the whole city (variable hours, generally 10: 00-20: 00/23: 00, consult the official website).

For dinner, stop by Sticky Fingers, at the base and with a wonderful view of the Rhine (€ 15,00).

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2,4 km / 35 min
  • Places visited: Imhoff Chocolate Museum (€ 12,50), panoramic cruise (€ 11,00), Hohenzollernbrücke bridge (free), Deutz district (free), KolnTriangle (€ 5,00)
  • Daily shopping: € 60,00
  • Lunch at Haxenhaus (Get directions), Dinner at Sticky Fingers (Get directions)

4 day

Reach Dusseldorf, the capital of Westphalia, by direct train from Cologne (25 min, € 12,50).
Start in the historic city center, which is why we recommend taking a guided tour of the Altstadt for a first approach to the city! Don't miss the main squares, Burgplatz and Marktplatz, where the town hall is located.

For lunch, stop by Bob & Mary for a good burger (€ 15,00).
Then walk (1 km, 13 min) to the K21- Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, one of the most famous and beautiful museums in the city, truly unmissable (Tue-Fri 10: 00-18: 00, Sat-Sun 11: 00-18: 00). Once the visit is over, you can reach the Rheinturm, the famous tower with observatory (variable hours, generally 14: 00-23: 00, consult the official website; it is recommended to purchase the entrance ticket online to avoid the queue at the ticket office)

End the day with a dinner at Stadtstrand-Düsseldorf Rheinkniebrücke (€ 10,00) and a walk on the Rheinuferpromenade, overlooking the Rhine.

Consiglio: buy the Düsseldorf Card to use public transport and various discounts on attractions and guided tours

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 50,3 km / 1 h 6 min (by train)
  • Places visited: Alt Stadt (free), Burgplatz and Marktplatz (free), K21-Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (€ 12,00), Rheinturm (€ 9,00), Rheinuferpromenade (free)
  • Daily shopping: € 50,00
  • Lunch at Bob & Mary (Get directions), Dinner at Stadtstrand-Düsseldorf Rheinkniebrücke (Get directions)

5 day

For this last day we advise you to take a step back into the past, with a day trip from Dusseldorf. Then set off to discover the Neander Valley and Neanderthal Museum (from Düsseldorf HauptbahnhofI to ME-Neanderthal, S-Bahn 28, 15 min, € 2,00). In the morning visit the museum which, through texts, films and audio presentations, will allow you to learn about the whole history and how the discovery of Neanderthal man took place (Tue-Sat 10: 00-18: 00).

For lunch, stop outside the museum, at Restaurant Becher (€ 20,00).
Just 400 m away is the Neanderthal Fundstelle, place where the body of the Neaderthal man was found (admission included in the cost of the museum; Tue-Oct 10: 00-17: 00, Nov-Feb 10: 00-16: 00). Here you can walk in nature, come across the Ice Aged Animal Park and walk the Human Trail art path (always accessible). Once your visit is over, take S-Bahn 28 back to the center of Dusseldorf.

Who spend your last evening in the historic center, having dinner at the Brauerei Schumacher (€ 25,00), for a typical German last dinner!

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 31,9 km / 40 min (by train)
  • Places visited: Neanderthal Museum and Neanderthal Fundstelle (€ 11,00, free Human Trail art trail)
  • Daily shopping: € 60,00
  • Lunch at Restaurant Becher (Get directions), Dinner at Brauerei Schumacher (Get directions)

How much does it cost 5 days

NB: The costs expressed in the table above are to be intended per person.

In Westphalia the costs are as high as in all of Germany, we can also compare them to the Italian ones. A lunch or dinner in a restaurant will cost you on average € 15,00, keep in mind that the cost of water is higher than the Italian one, beer costs less! For accommodations, it usually starts from € 40,00 per night for a room, breakfast is not always included. For this reason we recommend that you book a little in advance, thus managing to find different offers.

To save further, you can buy the city cards of the different cities that you will visit, in the case of this specific itinerary the KölnCard for Cologne and the Düsseldorf Card for Dusseldorf. Where possible, we recommend that you also buy tickets for attractions already online, so as not to waste time in the queues at the ticket offices, especially if you are traveling during a weekend!

  • for Cologne / Bonn Airport from € 30,00 -
  • starting from € 40,00 -
  • Total cost of 5 days, flight included: from € 462,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Westphalia: from May to September, when temperatures are milder, the sunniest days and cities are full of events
  • Westfalia is served by Cologne-Bonn Airport (the main one), Dusseldorf Airport and Dortmund Airport, all connected to Italy
  • in the historic centers of cities, ideal for getting around easily and on foot. Wide range of hotels, b & bs and apartments
  • Getting around: in the historical centers you can easily move on foot, for longer distances you can count on buses, trams and metro. Between the cities you can move by car or with the efficient railway network, always punctual and very efficient

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