13 Top Places to visit in NRW & Rheinland-Pfalz

The pandemic canceled a lot of our plans – not only travel plans. Luckily, the lockdown in Germany was not too bad like in other countries. We could still go outside and enjoy our surroundings. A good thing about Corona: We got to visit places close to where we live, we usually won’t really do as probably most of us think: Oh, I can go there anytime I want as it’s close. But in the end, we rarely do these trips. I want to give you some ideas for beautiful places in NRW and Rheinland-Pfalz in Germany you can easily visit doing a day trip. A day trip, which is worth it!

 

1. Burg Satzvey

 

Burg Satzvey is located in Mechernich in the Eifel region.  It’s a beautiful medieval castle which has been a family-owned castle for over 300 years and still is today. You can visit the castle only from the outside, which is already very beautiful and the perfect photo spot. But you can also do a guided tour. Today, the castle is used for different events and you can also stay over night there. It’s a nice stop on your way to further destinations in the Eifel or even the Eifel National Park. There are also some hiking opportunities around Burg Satzvey.

 

2. Rursee, Eifel

 

I started my short 12 km hike around the Rursee from Heimbach, a small town in the Eifel. You can extend your hike for even 42 km which will include the lakes Obersee and Urftsee. You can even do a bike tour. We just walked around Rursee which was wonderful and visited afterwards the castle in Heimbach where you can enter the ruins free of charge and have a nice view from above on the town of Heimbach.

 

3. Monschau

 

Monschau is a really beautiful, probably the most beautiful town in the Eifel region. A fairy tale place which is also called „Pearl of the Eifel“. You should not miss that place! The historic center is a must see and you can just get lost walking around, turning left, turning right, going up, going down, you won’t get lost!

 

4. Burg Eltz

 

Burg Eltz is not in NRW but Rheinland-Pfalz. Nevertheless, it’s not far away from NRW and can be done as a day trip. In general, the whole Mosel region is very beautiful and worth to visit! You can read more about Burg Eltz here.

 

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Burg Eltz

 

5. Lavender Fields Fromhausen

 

Lavender fields are not only a great and beautiful photo spot but also something very nice for your eyes. It just looks beautiful. The fields bloom from May until July, beginning of August. Fromhausen is a really nice spot close by to experience this beauty of lavender fields and only a 10 minute drive away you can find the Teutoburger Forest with the famous Externsteine. So you get to see even more beautiful places in 1 day!

 

6. Externsteine (Teutoburger Wald)

 

As mentioned before, you can visit 2 places in 1 day, a 2:1 :) The lavender fields Fromhausen are only a 10 minute ride away from the Teutoburger Wald. The giant Externsteine have been standing in the Teutoburger Forest since the ice age. They are actually sandstone pillars. It’s again really beautiful but crowded place. To make sure you get to experience the Externsteine in calmness, you should be there early in the morning. The forest itsself is also very nice and you can do quite a bit of hiking around the Teutoburger forest.

 

Not far away is Bielefeld, Paderborn or Detmold. At the end of your day trip you can visit one of these cities and have a nice drink and snack.

 

7. Drachenfels (Siebengebirge)

 

Siebengebirge – that region is just behind the city of Cologne and Bonn and means „seven hills“. Just south of Bonn you can find the beautiful Drachenfels (Dragon’s Cliff). It’s the name of one of the seven hills. More precisely, it is a hill located on the river Rhine between Königswinter and Bad Honnef. If you do the hike, which I highly recommend up to the top you get a fantastic view! On the top you also can see the ruins of a castle. On the way up you pass the castle Drachenburg. It’s a private villa styled as a palace but looks really beautiful! You can visit the castle. The entrance is 7 Euro (July 2020). The hike is very steep and if you are not in good condition you can also take the railway (don’t know about the cost) up.

 

8. Linz am Rhein

 

Linz am Rhein is also not in NRW but Rheinland-Pfalz but same as Burg Eltz, it’s very close, even closer than Burg Eltz, dependant from which region in NRW or outside NRW you’re coming from. The cute little town is located on the right bank of the river Rhine. It’s a famous destination for tourists due to its location at the river Rhine and its colourful, half-timbered houses. What can I say? Just stroll around Linz, its pretty small but very beautiful. You can also do a nice bike tour in that region.

 

Oh, and you should go to Castle Arenfels. It’s located a bit outside of the historical center. The castle is from the 13th century and constructed in the neo-Gothic style by the same architect who constructed the beautiful Cologne cathedral. Today, it serves as an event location. There is a very nice beer garden with a fantastic view not only on the vineyards.

 

9. Xanten

 

Xanten is the only german town beginning with a „X“. Xanten is situated in the region called „Niederrhein“ at the river Rhine. The historic city center is nice to stroll around and at the „Xantener Südsee“ a lake in the city, you can just chill, swim, ride your bike or rent a boat.  All this you can do at the promenade. There is also a nice restaurant where you can have a drink or some food.

 

Xanten is very famous for its Archaeological Park which is one of the largest archaelogical open air museums in the world.

 

10. Cochem

 

Also not located in NRW but in Rheinland-Pfalz and also doable as a day trip, especially in combination with Burg Eltz. There you can find another really nice castle called Reichsburg castle. The town is also really beautiful. You can read a little bit more about Cochem here. There a lot more beautiful places at the Mosel region than only the two mentioned here but so far, I haven’t explored all of them.

 

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Cochem

 

11. Hängeseilbrücke  Geierlay (Suspension Bridge)

The suspension bridge Geierlay is very nice located within nature and really cool! If you like adventure and heights the bridge is the place to visit for you! It is located in Hunsrück, Rheinland-Pfalz and also only a day trip away.

Make sure to be at the Geierlay bridge early in the morning to avoid crowds!!!

 

There are also hiking trails around the bridge which in total is 410 km long.

The length of the bridge is 360 meters and the height 100 meters.

 

12. Trier

 

Trier is a beautiful city in Rheinland-Pfalz and at the same time the oldest city in Germany. Trier used to be a Roman metropolis. Therefore you can find a large number of well-preserved Roman monuments – the city’s nickname is „Rome of the north“. The Porta Nigra gate is one of the most famous and beautiful sites of the city. But don’t miss the beautiful medieval historic city center of Trier! Also the Trier cathedral is the oldest in Germany, more than 1,700 years old.

 

13. Schloss Moyland

The castle Moyland is a beautiful neo-Gothic castle in the district of Kleve. The name appeared for the first time in 1307. Today, the castle is a museum exhibiting the world’s largest collection of the artist Joseph Beuys. It also serves as an event location surrounded by a beautiful park.

There are many more places close by to visit. I haven’t been everywhere yet. Do you have any suggestions? Please feel free to comment 🙂

 

 

 

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