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North Rhine Westphalia Attractions

Places to visit, points of interest and top things to see in North Rhine Westphalia

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Located in the town of Brühl, Phantasialand is a popular theme park that has been attracting punters since 1967. It was created as a family-oriented destination by Gottlieb Löffelhardt and Richard Schmidt but has since grown to include nu-merous thrill rides that make it a popular destination for young and old alike.

Journey through the park’s Wild West section on the mine roller coaster of the Colorado Adventure or brave the high-speed roller coaster TARON that has bro-ken four world records. It boasts the fastest catapult drive in the world and is the longest multi-launch roller coaster in the world, flying through its tunnel just a hair’s width from the rock face.

Other popular rides at Phantasialand include the Raik (the fastest and longest family boomerang in the world) and the Black Mamba, an inverted roller coaster that snakes its way through abysses and gorges... read more arrow

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Rising spectacularly out of the wooded hills near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg, the Externsteine is a collection of distinctive sandstone rock formations. They are considered one of the most impressive natural features of the Teutoburg Forest region, having been shifted into their vertical position millions of years ago and carved by the friction of ice during the Ice Age.

The Externsteine are believed by some to have magical powers and were identi-fied as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons and the location of the Irminsul idol that was said to have been destroyed by Charlemagne. A hermitage was established at the site during the Middle Ages and a Christian chapel was built here by the high medieval period, with a grotto, grave and relief showing biblical scenes all visible today... read more arrow

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Positioned overlooking the Rhine River on the Drachenfels near the town of Königswinter, Schloss Drachenburg was built as a private villa by Baron Stephan von Sarter between 1882 and 1884. It features a diverse array of architectural styles, including medieval castle elements and Gothic cathedral-like spires that have made it one of Germany’s most striking and unusual landmarks.

Drachenburg translates as “Dragon’s Castle” and this eclectic villa was recently restored by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia because of a mounting apprecia-tion for “historicism”. This 19th-century trend saw various architectural styles replicated to reflect historical buildings, something that is truly apparent with Schloss Drachenburg.

Schloss Drachenburg has had a storied history, starting out as a private villa be-fore being transformed into a museum, an “Adolf Hitler” college for boys, a US army base, a home for war refugees and a squat for the homeless... read more arrow

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Translating as “King's Avenue”, the Königsallee is the most famous boulevard in North Rhine-Westphalia, carving its way through the center of Düsseldorf. It's affectionately known as Kö by local residents and lined with designer fashion boutiques, jewelry stores and high-end hotels, making it the city’s most exclusive address.

Königsallee was created following the removal of Düsseldorf’s fortifications at the end of the 19th century, with the spacious boulevard designed by court architect Caspar Anton Huschberger. It was originally named “Kastanienallee” after the chestnut trees planted along its central canal but the name was later changed to “King’s Avenue” to appease King Friedrich Wilhelm IV.

The eastern side of Königsallee is lined with flagship brand stores, including Bul-gari, Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Prada and Tiffany while the western side is mostly occupied by banks, offices and hotels... read more arrow

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Located on the outskirts of Düsseldorf, Schloss Benrath is an opulent Baroque-style pleasure palace. It was built in the mid-18th century by court architect Nicolas de Pigage for the Elector Palatine Charles Theodor and his wife, Countess Palatine Elisabeth Auguste of Sulzbach. Its central corps de logis was occupied by the couple, with two symmetrical arched wings on either side where the servants resided. To the north lies the palace pond while on the south is the Spiegel-weiher or “mirror pond”.

Today the corps de logis of Schloss Benrath has been transformed into a museum where you can get a glimpse of the elector’s lavish lifestyle. Join a guided tour to explore its period-furnished rooms and wander through the magnificent gardens... read more arrow

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Located in the Meiderich quarter of Duisburg, the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord is a unique park that combines industrial heritage elements with natural landmarks and a fascinating light installation. It was created in 1991 to celebrate the industrial heritage of the area (rather than eliminate it), encompassing the abandoned coal and steel production plant of the Duisburg-Meiderich steelworks and agricultural land that had been in use prior to the mid-19th century.

The Landschaftspark was designed by Peter Latz and divided into different areas according to its existing conditions and the plants growing in that space. Walk-ways and waterways were then created to weave the different areas together, fol-lowing the old railway and sewer systems. Concrete bunkers were used to create a series of gardens while old gas tanks became scuba diving pools and concrete walls were transformed for use by rock climbers... read more arrow

* Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

You can also rate and vote for your favorite North Rhine Westphalia sightseeing places, famous historical landmarks, and best things to do in North Rhine Westphalia by visiting the individual North Rhine Westphalia attraction pages.