More tips for a city break in North Rhine-Westphalia?
What, please, is a Veedel? Fans of the "Bläck Fööss" know what it is, of course, because in their classic song "In unserem Veedel," the Cologne cult band sings about what is called a neighborhood elsewhere. Or Kiez. Such atmospheric neighborhoods with local color, interesting people and unusual shopping addresses far from the big department store chains can be found in many cities in NRW. We introduce you to the most beautiful ones for a special shopping trip.
In Wuppertal, the best place to store is the Luisenviertel in the Elberfeld district. The city's nightlife district shines with small stores, numerous restaurants and exciting pubs, such as the Cafe du Congo or the Feline Gold. From here you can also take a detour to the Nordstadt with its impressive multi-story apartment buildings in the style of historicism and the Gründerzeit. Don't miss: a ride on the Wuppertal suspension railroad. The world's only single-rail suspension railroad runs from Vohwinkel to Oberbarmen in just under 30 minutes. On the 13.3 kilometers, 20 old restored or ultra-modern stops await you, as well as completely new insights and views of Wuppertal's two largest districts, Elberfeld and Barmen.
And this is how you get to Wuppertal by train: Plan arrival.
Would you like a dose of cultivated, urban quality of life? Then let's go to Rüttenscheid, the lively district between the southern city center and Grugapark. An attentive contemporary once counted nearly 400 retailers here - the vast majority of them owner-operated! Most of the stores are located directly on the Rüttenscheider Strasse, affectionately known as the "Rü," which is dead straight, two and a half kilometers long and one of the most popular shopping streets in the entire Ruhr region. What is there to store for? Simply everything, from hip to traditional, from classic to contemporary, from handmade to recycled to brand new. So what to do? Put on comfortable shoes and start marching!
And this is how you get to Essen-Rüttenscheid by train: Plan arrival.
We are happy to forgive the fact that Bonn's old town is not that terribly old, because although the former workers' and craftsmen's quarter in the north of Bonn is only a hundred years old, it has plenty of charm and atmosphere to offer: Residential culture and commerce casually alternate to this day, romantic cobblestones prevail in the streets, and the backyards hide craft and factory rooms that often function as art spaces or studio communities. The best breeding ground for unusual little stores, cafés and pubs that thrive on the creativity of their owners.
And this is how you get to Bonn's old town by train: Plan arrival.
The Belgian Quarter, or Veedel, to the west of the Old Town is Cologne's trendy district par eccellence. Publishers, agencies and galleries have set up store in the chicly renovated Gründerzeit buildings between Brüsseler, Maastrichter and Flandrischer Strasse, along with plenty of cool shopping addresses. All are well connected, and crossover is popular: There are fashion boutiques where hair is also cut, "Büdchen" where excellent coffee specialties are brewed, and the neo-Gothic church of St. Michael, which is ideally suited as a backdrop for summer open-air concerts. In casually styled cafés, exhausted strollers can fortify themselves with soy milk drinks, bagels and cupcakes.
And this is how you get to the Belgian Quarter in Cologne by train: Plan arrival.
Münster's most charming surprise? The Kiepenkerl quarter north of the cathedral. A romantic ensemble of crooked alleys, cobblestones and the Aa River flowing hidden under dense greenery. Pure atmosphere! Also because many hip restaurants, fine cafés and stylish galleries have settled in the nostalgic ambience. Instead of offering everyday goods, the small stores specialize in art and architecture books, toys, the finest natural cosmetics, Japanese tableware, Westphalian textiles and much more. We can already guarantee you a proper shopping frenzy!
And this is how you get to Münster's Kiepenkerlviertel by bus and train: Plan arrival.
Aachen is almost 2,000 years old and, with its cathedral and town hall, romantic alleyways and old town houses, is the perfect setting for a shopping spree in the spirit of good taste. Fine things and fine delicacies attract shoppers to the small, lovingly run stores: Aachen Printen and tea from the Far East, salty licorice and colorful comics, basketry and vintage fashion. The Dutch trend of sprucing up old things instead of throwing them away has also taken hold in Aachen where creative designers are turning grandma's old woolen scarf and the 50s polka dot dress into current new favorites. Let's have an absinthe first! (Of course, there's also an original 1920s-style bar in Aachen's old town).
And this is how you get to Aachen's old town by bus and train: Plan arrival.
Of course, there is also the Kö with its luxury labels and expensive boutiques. But the many charming independent boutiques in the Unterbilk district also show that Düsseldorfers know a thing or two about fashion. Pretty old buildings, many stores and plenty of life on the street - the neighborhood between Lorettostraße and Bilker Kirche is ideal for a stroll. But plan enough time for visits to small jewelry studios, boutiques furnished like apartments, or the seamstress who tailors the perfect suit for men from an assortment of 5,000 fabrics. Also worth a visit: the weekly market on Friedensplätzchen and the many relaxed, small restaurants.
And this is how you get to Düsseldorf-Unterbilk by train: Plan arrival.
Cover photo: Small but mighty! A shopping tour in North Rhine-Westphalian cities also works great in small neighborhoods © Georg Hopp aka Fänger der Zeit
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