Looking for a quick break? Here are five great day trips from Düsseldorf, featuring everything from peaceful villages to lively cities:
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Hattingen is an picture perfect village dating back to the late 1300s. It went on to become part of the Hanseatic League in 1554, making it an important trading town. Don’t miss the many historic timber-framed houses and the town’s three unique castles: the ruins of Burg Isenberg, the centrally located Burg Blankenstein, and last but not least Haus Kemnade, which is surrounded by an impressive water-filled moat.
The climb up to Burg Blankenstein is highly recommended, not only to see the castle up close, but you’ll also be rewarded with sweeping views of the valley and neighbouring towns.
Travel time to Hattingen: about 55 minutes by car / 1 hour by train
Exploring Zons feels like stepping back in time. Once you’re inside the village’s historic, fortified walls you’ll find charming storybook architecture, cosy restaurants, winding alleyways, an amphitheater and even a full sized windmill. Insider Tip: Go to the base of the windmill once inside the village walls, look for a small kiosk and deposit a coin to give the giant wheel a spin!
Travel time to Zons: less than 30 minutes by car
The attractive medieval town of Soest was first referenced in the year 836, but its history as a settlement likely dates back more than 4.000 years. Get lost amongst its meandering streets, take a walk along the old city wall, see what’s blooming in the Rose garden, and be sure to treat yourself to a coffee & cake at one of the cafés near the town square.
Travel time to Soest: about 1.5 hours by car or train
Situated in a beautiful valley and featuring more than its fair share of historic architecture, Essen Kettwig makes for an excellent day trip. The old town is situated on a hill and is dotted with art galleries, shops and restaurants. The Ruhr river, a nice lake and great nature trails are all within walking distance.
Travel time to Essen Kettwig: about 35 minutes by car or train
As a historic university city, Münster is home to a vibrant mix of things to see & do. From the incredible Renaissance and Gothic architecture, hip restaurants and cafés to excellent cultural attractions. Don’t miss the Prinzipalmarkt historic district, the botanical Garden, and the Picasso Museum, which is home to hundreds of Picasso’s lithographs, plus 137 works by Marc Chagall. During the summer months a visit to the Aasee (lake) is also well worth the time for its many recreational options, from boating to just taking a break along the shore.
Travel time to Münster: about 1 hour 45 minutes by car / 1 hour 20 minutes by train