Lower Rhine: Places to Visit

A complete list of all the places I consider worth visiting.

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

The Complete List

NameTypeDescriptionScore out of 5
DüsseldorfCityOne of the most interesting cities in Germany to visit. The old-town lacks any specific destination, but is overall full of charm and things to experience.4
Brauweiler MonasteryMonasteryOne of the best preserved monastic complexes in North Germany. The late Romanesque church offers an incredible collection of original inventory, and the rest of the complex offers a number of preserved areas to explore.2.5
Altenberg MonasteryChurchA beautiful cathedral in a beautiful natural landscape. Unique in Germany, as a French-Gothic church of this size set in a forest. The monastery complex did not survive, but the church and surrounding landscape is spectacular.2.5
XantenTown with Church and Roman MuseumOne of the best places to visit in the Lower-Rhine, Xanten offers a partially preserved old-town and a massive Roman archaeological part.2.5
BrühlPalace and GardensThe Augustusburg Palace is on the UNESCO World Heritage list for a reason. Representing the pinnacle of the South German Rococo in the school of Balthazar Neumann, the palace and its gardens are spectacular. The town itself did not survive the war.2.5
Monschau VillageMonschau offers some of the stereotypical images of Germany, with its half-timbered houses perched on a cliff above a mountain stream.2
Bad MünstereifelTown with Castle and ChurchA beautiful village with a number of interesting churches and a castle ruin. The town follows the course of the river Ahr and has a number of pretty vantage points.2
StolbergVillage with CastleStolberg was a castle of the Duchy of Jülich, and was later restored in the 19th century. The old town is full of pretty vantage points.2
BonnCityBonn is a mixed bag. Though not fire-bombed it was heavily damaged in the war, which destroyed virtually anything of interest. The cathedral is beautiful and worth seeing, but the main draw would be the massive 19th century villa and university districts.2
CologneCityCologne is not a city worth visiting, that is unless you are there explicitly to see the Cathedral or any of the other 12 Romanesque churches. There is nothing else to do here.2
GerresheimVillage with ChurchA charming village on the outskirts of Düsseldorf with a beautiful late Romanesque church2
KaiserswerthVillage with Castle and ChurchOnce of the nicest towns on the Lower-Rhine itself, complete with romantic castle ruin and meandering old-town.2
KempenVillage with ChurchA charming village with several well preserved streets and buildings dating back to the 14th century. The church and city museum have a rich inventory of artifacts.2
KevelaerVillage with ChurchA beautiful town in the Gelderland famous as a pilgrimage destination. Complete with a 19th century cityscape and two small churches from the 17th century.2
KalkarVillage with ChurchA remarkably well preserved village in the Gelderland with strikingly Dutch influence in the architecture. The church, along with the one in Kempen, has a complete inventory.2
Zeche ZollvereinMuseumOne of the best open-air industrial museums in Germany. Here you can explore the mining industry that propelled the industrialization of the Rhineland.2
BlankenheimVillage with CastleA cute village in the Eifel with a restored castle perched above the old-town.1.5
EuskirchenTownA mid-sized town that was heavily damaged in the war. There are still large section that have been well preserved, especially around the old market.1.5
JülichFortressThis town simply ceased to exist during the war, and literally nothing has survived. The main reason to go here is the citadel of the old fortress, which has been, to some degree, faithfully reconstructed.1.5
Knechtsteden MonasteryMonasteryA fantastic monastery complex, with an interesting Romanesque church and well preserved frescoes from the time of construction.1.5
Burg PalaceCastleA 19th century reconstruction of the ancestral capital of the Duchy Berg. The palace has original inventory from the 19th century.1.5
Benrath PalacePalaceOne of the best preserved palaces in the Lower-Rhine, another expression of the German Rococo.1.5
NeussCityAn under-explored city, given the amount of surviving old-town exceeds that of most German cities. The main drawback is that Neuss wasn't very interesting before it was destroyed. Of interest is the cathedral and several well preserved streets.1.5
RatingenTownA village north of Düsseldorf with a partially preserved oldtown.1.5
KrefeldCityA city with a surprisingly large neighborhoods of preserved 19th century historicist architecture.1.5
UerdingenTown A small town near Krefeld with a preserved market square.1.5
Kloster KampMoansteryOne of the most important Cistercian Monasteries in Germany, but was largely destroyed in the 30 Years War.1.5
Essen-WerdenVillage with ChurchA nice village with a large church dating to the late Romanesque.1.5
RecklinghausenTownA city with a partially preserved old town, the only one in the Ruhr valley to have this distinction1.5
Zeche ZollernMuseumAn interesting industrial museum with a number buildings from the art nouveau. 1.5
MechernichVillageA village in the Eifel with one of the most picturesque castles in the region.1.5
NideggenVillage with Castle RuinA small village with a rather extensive castle ruin.1.5
HeimbachVillage with Castle RuinA small village beneath a large castle in a secluded mountain valley.1.5
HennefVillage with Church and CastleA picturesque town in the forest with a monastery and castle ruin.1.5
Schloss DyckCastleA large palace built on the foundations of a moated castle. Very pretty, some preserved interiors.1.5
EssenChurchThe only thing to see in the city itself is the Carolingian/Ottonian church, faithfully reconstructed after the war. There is also the suburb of Magarethenhöhe with its inter-war architecture and the Villa Krupp, but these are more special interest destinations.1.5
SchleidenVillageA small village that suffered greatly in WWII, there is an interesting church and a castle.1
HellenthalVillageReally just a picturesque collection of houses with a castle1
KallVillageA nice village in the Eifel1
SimmerathVillage with Castle RuinSmall village with a castle on a lake.1
MönchengladbachChurchNot much to see here other than the late Romanesque monastery church, the reconstructed monastery itself and a couple of side streets.1
SolingenMuseumOne of the more interesting museums about metallurgy in Germany is located here. The town is famous for its "Solingen Steel" Knives (and in previous centuries, swords).1
WuppertalCityA large urban complex spread out along the Wupper River. Very little survived the war, but you can find glimpses here and there, of its pre-war splendor.1
Linn CastleCastleA reconstructed castle museum, but back to its medieval state. Probably the only "Medieval" castle in the Lower-Rhine, to have interiors reflecting that time period.1

Return to the Lower-Rhine

Lower-Rhine Valley

As the industrial heartland of Germany, this region suffered greatly in WWII and today is home to modern cities with few remnants of their prewar legacy

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