North Rhine-Westphalia Culture & history

Our most recommended North Rhine-Westphalia Culture & history

Cologne: Chocolate Museum Entrance Ticket

1. Cologne: Chocolate Museum Entrance Ticket

Awaiting the visitors is a walk-in tropical house, natural history information on cocoa, exhibits from the pre-Columbian cultures of Central America, an important porcelain and silver collection from the Baroque period, as well as numerous old machines from the time of industrialisation. In a glass chocolate factory and in the chocolate atelier, visitors can experience how chocolate products are made industrially, but also individually by hand. And: there is a 3-meter-high chocolate fountain in which 200 kg of delicious chocolate constantly bubble up for tasting. Tasting is expressly encouraged!

Cologne: The Night Watchman Old Town Walking Tour in German

2. Cologne: The Night Watchman Old Town Walking Tour in German

Explore the old town of Cologne on a guided tour and see the historic buildings at night. Follow the night watchman in his historical costume by the light of his lantern to another time, when every full hour was proclaimed. Learn all about the duties of the historical night watchman and life in the Middle Ages as you wander through the narrow streets of Cologne's Old Town. Learn why pigs were beaten in front of Cologne's churches and why stray dogs were so well-fed in centuries past. Discover how Cologne's citizens resisted the authorities and listen to many legends and anecdotes about Cologne's history.

Dortmund: German Football Museum

3. Dortmund: German Football Museum

In this modern exhibition with around 1,600 exhibits, embark on a fascinating journey into the past and experience football history in all its facets and with all your senses. Meet the world champions of 2014 in the 3D cinema, and become a commentator yourself in the reporter's cabin. On the small playing field in the multifunctional arena, the little ones can prove that they can kick a ball just like the adults. The spectacular scenography will unite fans and referees, amateurs and professionals and women's and men's football. Discover an interactive world of adventure for young and old alike at the German Football Museum.

Executioner's Tour of Cologne in German

4. Executioner's Tour of Cologne in German

Who could practice the profession of an executioner? When did an executioner receive his master craftsman’s diploma, which enabled him to let heads roll on behalf of the state? Who exiled lepers and plague-infested harlots? Who walked through medieval dark alleys and killed wild dogs and stray hogs? Who burnt spell books and could build gallows? The executioner – somebody had to do it!  Join a medieval headsman on a bloodcurdling guided tour of 1.5 hours, leading you through Cologne’s historic centre. Find out what could go wrong during an execution and how a headsman supplemented his own low income as a knacker, dog-catcher or gold-seeker.  Learn all the gory and grisly details... if you dare to join. 

Duisburg: Schimmi Guided Tour in the City

5. Duisburg: Schimmi Guided Tour in the City

Follow in the footsteps of Germany’s favorite regional detective drama characters on this guided tour of Duisburg. See all of Tatort character Horst Schimanski’s usual hangouts. Visit the city’s famous spots and discover places where the show was filmed.  Check out where Schimanski, affectionately known as Schimmi, goes to the bakery and where he lives. Ponder how a toy store is essential in one of the episode’s storylines. Discover the filming locations of a new TV series, WaPo Duisburg.  Last but not least, go to the museum where Schimanski’s famous jacket is kept. Learn the ins and outs of Duisburg through the creative lens of a beloved, long-standing TV series.

Cologne: Historical Crime Tour in German

6. Cologne: Historical Crime Tour in German

Discover some of Cologne's crime scenes from 1900 to the present together with your expert guide. In recent decades, Cologne has repeatedly made headlines with Hollywood-like burglaries, robbery, child abduction and murder, with resolved and unresolved crimes. Some of the cases have been remembered, but others have been completely forgotten, although the media interest was great. Not only have the media played a major role in the recent criminal cases, but also the criminals' and investigators' methods have changed a lot. Immerse yourself in the dark side of the city from the cathedral to the Neumarkt and find out more about Cologne's horrendous history.

Cologne: Entertaining History Tour

7. Cologne: Entertaining History Tour

Embark on a journey through time and Cologne's city history and follow your guide through Cologne's beautiful old town. Take a look at the city's highlights, admire the impressive cathedral and listen to interesting anecdotes about Cologne's carnival. Learn in a fun way, where Cologne's inhabitants come from and how the city came to be. Hear all about the wars of the past and the facets of Cologne's traditional carnival. Learn how the Cologne dialect evolved and what the red and blue sparks mean.

Cologne: The Dark Side of the City Walking Tour

8. Cologne: The Dark Side of the City Walking Tour

Enjoy a guided walk through Cologne and discover the dark side of the city as you hear about rogues, kidnappers and other rapscallions. Stroll through the streets and marvel at the famous cathedral, St. Andrew's Church and other sights. Start with the talking punishments of the Middle Ages and follow the manifold deeds, judgements and punishments down to our own day. Who was the last poisoner sentenced to death in Germany, and who was the vampire of Düsseldorf ? Do heads really roll in Cologne at carnival ? Where was the red light at home in Cologne and what did Romy Schneider have to do with Cologne pimps? Enjoy a spooky city walk you won't forget. Go home with lots of interesting facts about Cologne's ghoulish past and stories about this sometimes dark, sometimes red-lit city.

Cologne: Private Walking Tour of City Center

9. Cologne: Private Walking Tour of City Center

Discover some of Cologne’s most relevant sites on a private walking tour in the city center. Wander along the river Rhine, gaze at the Cologne Cathedral, and cross the Hohenzollern Bridge while chatting with a local guide. Begin the tour in front of the city’s famed cathedral and take in this hallmark, historical structure that lies adjacent to the Rhine. The cathedral is the city’s second tallest building and boasts the title of UNESCO World Heritage site. Next, take the opportunity to see the Dionysus Mosaic, which dates from around A.D. 220 and is the centerpiece of the Roman-Germanic Museum. After checking out the mosaic, stroll along the Hohenzollern Bridge, which overlooks the Rhine, and snap some photos to capture this memorable experience. From the bridge, continue the tour in Cologne’s Old Town and experience its unique historical appeal. Take in the traditional old housing and local breweries, which are located directly along the Rhine. As you pass through Old Town’s narrow alleys, next stop at the Great St. Martin Church located at the city’s historical fish market. Observe the church’s distinctive design that has shaped Old Town’s skyline throughout the years. Next pass by the Willi Ostermann Fountain and then stop by the historical Cologne City Hall, famous for its Renaissance façade. After that check out the city’s largest shopping strip, Hohe Street, where everything can be found from electronics to clothes and shoes. Wrap up the walking tour by stopping at Heinzelmännchen Fountain, a monument dedicated to a local myth about little people who used to work all night so the people of Cologne could take it easy during the day.     

Cologne: Search for Historical Traces of the Romans

10. Cologne: Search for Historical Traces of the Romans

More than 2,000 years ago the Romans founded an early settlement in the area of Cologne’s city center, which received full city rights in the middle of the first century as well as a new name: Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium. The Romans built a city wall, a street network, a water supply, a sewage system, and established residential areas, businesses, temples and stately buildings. With these measures, the Romans created an urban infrastructure, which still influences Cologne's cityscape today. Even the main shopping streets align with those from 2,000 years ago. Depending on availability, you will explore the Ubiermonument and/or the excavation underneath the monastery church Groß Sankt Martin.

  • Entry tickets
  • Guided tours
  • Private tours
  • Adventures
  • Other experiences
30 activities found
Sort by:
Page 1 of 2

Frequently asked questions about North Rhine-Westphalia

What top attractions are a must-see in North Rhine-Westphalia?

The must-see attractions in North Rhine-Westphalia are:

Other Sightseeing Options in North Rhine-Westphalia

Want to discover all there is to do in North Rhine-Westphalia? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about North Rhine-Westphalia

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,147 reviews

The experience was just great, but the meeting point and arrival time of the guide did not quite match and unfortunately it took us a while to find him.

Good experience to learn about chocolate making. Not a bad choice to spend an hour here. Taste the chocolate straight out of production lane was yummm!

A football museum absolutely worth the visit! The history and the detail to it all is second to none and it was quite fascinating. 100% recommend it.

Had a lot of fun even without a guide. Very informative. Tasty chocolate samples!

Very interesting not only for the locals, made exciting and beautiful to look at.