Regional Overview

Wild Westphalia

The wildlands of Westphalia are a rugged mountainous region sitting between the rolling fields of Hessen and the industrial Rhine Valley. The region was once home to the rump Duchy of Westphalia, a remote area under the control of the Cologne Prince-Bishops, who governed from the town of Arnsberg. Aside from Hagen, Siegen, and Soest, it’s almost uninhabited, known best for dense forests and forgotten mines.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • Surviving monuments of industrial architecture and the Art-Nouveau along the Ruhr
  • Distinctive white and green half-timbered homes, often covered in wood or slate shingles
  • Dense forests and hidden villages far off the beaten path





Justin Bunch | CityscapeTravel My suggested travel destinations with the top three destinations highlighted.

What is the Sauerland?

The Sauerland is a rugged beauty. Despite a rich bounty of natural resources, the region largely escaped industrialization, and access to Sauerland is limited to only a few major railroads and highways. For us today, it is a remarkably remote destination for travel. Full of dense forests, hidden villages, and crumbling castles, there are few other places in Germany where one can so easily disappear. Among the highlights in the region are a plethora of museum mines, carefully maintained by their local communities and thus accessible to interested tourists. 

Cities of the Sauerland

My Quantitative Travel Rankings

To understand where the categories come from, see this article here.

Social Score

3.4 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Hype: 1.4
  • Growth: 3.3
  • Wealth: 5.8
  • Recognition: 1.8
Ease of Travel

5.7 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 7.4
  • Transportation: 2.0
  • Ease of Planning: 5.5
  • Infrastructure: 6.0
  • Interactivity: 1.8
  • Airport: Yes
Historical Immersion

3.8 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Historical Context: 3.0
  • Monuments: 6.8
  • Quality*: 3.0
  • Landscape: 9.8
  • Vineyards: 0

3.8 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Undiscovered: 3.2
  • Cultural Immersion: 2.4
  • Tradition*: 8.0



Timeless villages and moated castles

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