15 days in North Rhine-Westphalia Itinerary

15 days in North Rhine-Westphalia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock North Rhine-Westphalia travel route planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Düsseldorf Airport, Drive to Aachen
1
Aachen
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Essen
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Detmold
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Cologne
— 5 nights
Train to Frankfurt, Fly to San Juan

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Aachen

— 2 nights

City of Water

Aachen, a spa town, was once a prominent royal city where German kings were crowned and Charlemagne built his favorite residence.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Sat): examine the collection at Museum Huertgenwald 1944 und im Frieden, then see the interesting displays at Couven Museum, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Aachen Cathedral. On the 10th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get to know the resident critters at Tierpark Aachen, then explore the engaging exhibits at Energeticon, and then admire the masterpieces at Deutsches Glasmalerei-Museum.

Plan my Aachen trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

San Juan, Puerto Rico to Aachen is an approximately 18-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or fly. The time zone difference when traveling from San Juan to Aachen is 5 hours. In July, Aachen is little chillier than San Juan - with highs of 28°C and lows of 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can go by car to Essen.

Things to do in Aachen

Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Childrens Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Essen

— 4 nights

Shopping City

For centuries one of Germany's major coal and steel centers, Essen offers some of Germany's best shopping, religious sites, and historical atmosphere.
Bring the kids along to Irrland and Rheinturm. Museum-lovers will appreciate Museum Folkwang and LWL-Industriemuseum Schiffshebewerk Henrichenburg. Venture out of the city with trips to Xanten (LVR-Archaologischer Park Xanten & StiftsMuseum Xanten), Movie Park Germany (in Bottrop) and Dusseldorf (Konigsallee & Altstadt). Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at German Mining Museum, explore the engaging exhibits at LVR-Industriemuseum St. Antony-Hut, and get to know the resident critters at Zoom Erlebniswelt.

To find reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Essen trip planner.

You can drive from Aachen to Essen in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can go by car to Detmold.

Things to do in Essen

Museums · Shopping · Parks · Theme Parks

Side Trips

Detmold

— 3 nights
Detmold is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, with a population of about 73,400 (2013). You'll explore and learn at LWL-Open-Air Museum Detmold (LWL Freilichtmuseum Detmold) and Lippisches Landesmuseum Detmold. Venture out of the city with trips to HNF MuseumsForum (in Paderborn), Deutsches Automatenmuseum (in Espelkamp) and Modellbundesbahn (in Brakel). There's much more to do: head outdoors with Externsteine, take a stroll through Historische Altstadt, and see the interesting displays at Kilianstollen Marsberg.

For photos, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Detmold trip tool.

You can drive from Essen to Detmold in 2 hours. Other options are to take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. In July, daytime highs in Detmold are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sun) so you can go by car to Cologne.

Things to do in Detmold

Museums · Outdoors · Childrens Museums · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Cologne

— 5 nights

City of Churches

Though Cologne famously contains 12 Romanesque churches, the city's top prize remains its landmark Gothic cathedral.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Cologne Cathedral and Phantasialand. Museum-lovers will appreciate Chocolate Museum and Wallraf-Richartz Museum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Cologne: Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (in Bonn) and Classic Remise Dusseldorf (in Dusseldorf). There's still lots to do: admire the masterpieces at Museum Ludwig, don't miss a visit to Alt St. Alban, admire the natural beauty at Botanical Gardens Flora, and see the interesting displays at Duftmuseum im Farina-Haus.

For other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Cologne road trip website.

Getting from Detmold to Cologne by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. July in Cologne sees daily highs of 29°C and lows of 16°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cologne

Museums · Parks · Theme Parks · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

North Rhine-Westphalia travel guide

4.3
Churches · Specialty Museums · Landmarks
North Rhine-Westphalia is in many ways almost a country unto itself. It's noted for its dense concentration of museums, art galleries, theaters, concert halls, and opera houses. The most populous German state, North Rhine-Westphalia was created at the end of World War II. It joined two Prussian provinces and a small fiefdom. The region's landscapes include flat expanses, densely forested hills, mighty rivers, and rugged mountains. Known for more than a century as the land of coal and steel, this was one of Europe's most important industrial regions in the post-war recovery period. Facing new demands of the ever-changing European markets, the region shifted its energies in the second half of the 20th century. Now it focuses on high-tech industries, media, and culture. Your itinerary may include days sightseeing in the region's bustling metropolises, but don't miss a chance to drive out into the sprawling countryside. You'll find a trove of quiet villages virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages.