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Lost in NRW, please help

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Lost in NRW, please help

Hi all,

I'm usually a thorough vacation planner, starting months before the trip. However, our planned trip to Thailand had to be cancelled, and I spontaneously bought tickets to Cologne - we'll be there in three weeks and I'm pretty lost :-)

I'm coming with my 2 children - 15 and 10 for two weeks. We'd like a mostly outdoor vacation of walking, some cycling, nature parks, swimming, adventure parks, but also visits to small ancient cities. Ideally I hope to find 1-2 places to stay - with a lot of things to do and sights to see in a 100 km radius or so. Some trails nearby would be nice. We'll have a car.

Sorry for the rambling, but could somebody point me in a right directions - what regions should I research first? What places are interesting for kids? Should we stay for a couple of days in Cologne before going farther away or just come for a day trip from the countryside?



Cologne, Germany
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1. Re: Lost in NRW, please help

Cologne is good for 2 days I would say. Climbing the cathedral is big fun for kids, as well as taking the cable car across the river. Then there is a chocolate museum that might interest them and a big zoo. (combine that with the cable car ride). Then very close to Cologne there is the Phantasialand, where you can spend another day with the kids: http://www.phantasialand.de/en/home

From Cologne it's an easy train ride to Amsterdam, where you can spend 2+ days. Should be nice for kids too.

For relaxing, I suggest settling down in Boppard on the Middle Rhine valley. From there you can explore the beautiful countryside of the Rhine and Mosel valleys by hiking or biking or train and boat excursions. There are plenty of castles that your children will love!

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2. Re: Lost in NRW, please help

walking, cycling etc.

Middle Rhine Valley


Moselle Valley


Lahn Valley


There are hiking trails


even small via ferratas (Klettersteige)



There are castle, e.g. Burg Eltz


Easy walking from Moselkern parking, a more challenging route down from car parking "Müdener Berg".

There are traces of volcanic activities in the Eifel which you can easily visit by car.

Lake Laacher See


Andernach Geyser


The Maars e.g. near Daun



Trier for its Roman heritage in the Moselle Valley


a medieval copper mine at Fischbach (in the Hunsrück near Idar-Oberstein, south of the Moselle)



Now some ideas for the Cologne / northern part of the Eifel /Aachen area

Eifel National Park


Monschau (cute small town)




From there you can drive a bit north to the viewpoints of the lignite open pit mine Garzweiler to see the biggest machines on the planet at work





Generic links

NRW tourism (still working on their new pages in English)


Rhineland-Palatinate Tourism


Ruhr Area, Germany
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3. Re: Lost in NRW, please help

Well, you got already a lot of suggestions.

Perhaps I can add a few as well.

From Cologne you can visit Xanten and the Archaeological Park (Roman)


My kids liked it very much. There is a lake close to it where you can hike around or even swim at some parts.


There is an OpenAir Museum of Folklore at Kommeren (Eifel)


and another one at Lindlar (Bergisches Land)


If your kids are fond of adventure parks you could have a look at Movie Park in Bottrop/Kirchhellen


but I would probably prefer Phantasialand/Brühl (Bonn).

Edited: 1:32 pm, June 26, 2012
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4. Re: Lost in NRW, please help

Thanks a lot, everybody!

Edited: 3:35 pm, June 26, 2012
5. Re: Lost in NRW, please help

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