18 Best Day Trips from Dusseldorf, Germany

Updated on October 24, 2023  


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If you're seeking to break away from the daily grind and explore new horizons, look no further than our comprehensive guide to exciting day trips from Dusseldorf. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or someone in search of vibrant city experiences, there's something for everyone just a stone's throw away from Dusseldorf.

18 Top Day Trips from Dusseldorf

Zeche Zollverein, Essen

My journey to Zeche Zollverein in Essen was a step back into the vibrant era of industrialization. This colossal steel and brick structure stands as a testament to Germany's rich mining history.

Once brimming with coal miners, today this UNESCO World Heritage Site has morphed into an exceptional cultural hub. [1] Uniquely blending its past and present, it proudly showcases various installations from pits, coking plants to railway lines.


Its transformation highlights the strength of cultural preservation amidst changing times.

Walking through this former mine turned architectural heritage site, I marveled at how beautifully history can coexist with modernity while maintaining its compelling charm.


Zons wins hearts at first sight with its well-preserved medieval architecture and picturesque winding streets. Nestled in North Rhine-Westphalia, this historical town is an accessible location, making it a perfect day trip from Dusseldorf.

The charm of Zons creates a beautiful atmosphere for a romantic day trip.


An array of intriguing historical landmarks adorn the area like jewels on a crown. The Zonser Gracht moat that surrounds the city wall stands out as one such marvel that brings tales from the past alive to visitors today.

You can spend hours strolling around, savoring the scenic beauty, or immerse yourself in fascinating history lessons while exploring these architectural wonders just within two-hour distance from Dusseldorf.


Monschau is this quaint town in Germany that will make you feel like you've stepped back in time. I was captivated by the charm of half-timbered houses lining the narrow, winding streets.

The beautiful cobblestone streets retain their medieval roots and add to the historic appeal.


Encountering such architectural marvels up close really brought history alive! Being there among its picturesque landscapes certainly made Monschau one of my favorite day trip destinations from Dusseldorf.

If you're looking for a charming destination steeped in times past, consider adding Monschau to your travel agenda too!

Eindhoven, Maastricht, and Utrecht

Eindhoven, Maastricht, and Utrecht are three Dutch cities that make for fantastic day trips from Dusseldorf.

Eindhoven is renowned for its innovative design and technology, offering a unique glimpse into the future.


Meanwhile, Maastricht claims to be the oldest city in the Netherlands and is conveniently located within walking or cycling distance of both Belgium and Germany.

With its beautiful canals, charming streets, and vibrant cultural scene, Utrecht is a picturesque city worth exploring.

These cities provide excellent train connections to major Dutch destinations like Amsterdam and offer a perfect blend of historical landmarks, shopping opportunities, and cultural experiences for those looking to venture beyond Dusseldorf's borders.


Cologne, Germany's fourth-largest city, is a must-visit destination for art and culture enthusiasts. The stunning Cologne Cathedral, also known as Kölner Dom, is a breathtaking landmark that showcases the city's architectural beauty.

Inside the cathedral, you'll find an impressive collection of art treasures. Museums in Cologne offer a diverse range of exhibits, showcasing works of art from various periods and styles.


And if shopping is your passion, Cologne will not disappoint with its vibrant shopping districts and markets.

Don't forget to explore the city's renowned perfume industry, which attracts fragrance enthusiasts from all over the world.


The Neanderlandsteig is a 240-km loop of hiking trails that takes you through the stunning Neander Valley. [2]

This underrated hiking destination in Germany offers breathtaking views of idyllic countryside, picturesque old towns, farmlands, and forests.


It's a perfect day trip from Düsseldorf for nature lovers who want to explore the beauty of the German outdoors.

So put on your hiking boots and get ready to immerse yourself in the peacefulness and tranquility of Neanderlandsteig.


Bonn is a charming city that offers a wealth of cultural attractions. It is home to the museumsmeile, which consists of five significant museums dedicated to art, history, and science.

The city's rich German history can be explored through its numerous historic buildings and landmarks. Bonn is also known for its beautiful parks and gardens, including the stunning botanic gardens.


Whether you're interested in art exhibitions, science exhibitions, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, Bonn has something for everyone.

A day trip from Dusseldorf to this tourist-friendly destination is highly recommended to experience all that Bonn has to offer.


Aachen is a fascinating historic city that I highly recommend visiting as a day trip from Dusseldorf. One of the highlights of Aachen is its magnificent cathedral, which was built in the 9th century and is considered the first cathedral in northern Europe. [3]


As you explore the medieval streets, you'll also come across charming half-timbered houses and stunning architecture that showcase the city's rich cultural heritage.

A visit to Aachen wouldn't be complete without experiencing its famous Christmas market, known for its festive atmosphere and traditional crafts.

After exploring the city, why not unwind and relax at one of Aachen's hot springs? These thermal baths are popular with locals and visitors alike, offering a rejuvenating experience.


Xanten is a fascinating town that offers a step back in time with its Roman ruins and medieval architecture.

As one of the largest archaeological open-air museums in the world, Xanten Archaeological Park showcases reconstructions of Roman buildings and even a shipyard.


A must-visit attraction is St. Victor's Cathedral, which adds to the town's rich history and cultural heritage.

With its close proximity to Dusseldorf, Xanten is an ideal day trip destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in historical wonders and architectural marvels.


Wuppertal is a city that stands out for its iconic feature, the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn. This suspension railway holds the distinction of being the oldest electric elevated railway in the world and has been operating since 1901. [4]


It is one of only two suspended public transportation systems globally, making it a unique mode of city transportation.

Stretching for 13 kilometers above the river Wupper, this historical landmark symbolizes Wuppertal's identity and offers visitors an exciting way to explore the city while enjoying scenic views along the way.

Burg Eltz

Burg Eltz is a mesmerizing medieval castle nestled in the enchanting Moselle Valley. Its stunning architecture captivates visitors with its intricate design and historical significance.

Strategically located along trade routes, the castle played a vital role in connecting the Moselle River region.

Burg Eltz

Perched on an oval rock formation and surrounded by lush woodlands, Burg Eltz exudes a fairy tale-like atmosphere that transports you to another time.

Exploring this remarkable fortress is like stepping back into history, immersing yourself in the rich heritage of medieval fortresses and experiencing their architectural beauty firsthand.


Drachenfels is a mountain located near Bonn, and it's one of the top day trip destinations from Düsseldorf. This majestic mountain offers breathtaking views of the Rhine River and the surrounding landscapes.

One of its highlights is Drachenburg Castle, a fairytale-like castle that sits atop the mountain.


You can reach the castle either by hiking up or taking a ride on the Drachenfelsbahn mountain railway.

Whether you're an avid hiker or simply want to immerse yourself in stunning vistas, Drachenfels is definitely worth a visit during your stay in Düsseldorf.

The Rhine River

The Rhine River is a must-visit destination for day trips from Dusseldorf. Experience the beauty of this iconic river by taking a boat trip and immersing yourself in the stunning scenery.


Cruise along the Rhine River and be captivated by steep vineyards, hilltop castles, and charming towns along the way.

Don't miss out on the festive holiday spirit during your visit, as enchanting markets in Germany and France add an extra touch of magic to your journey along the Rhine River.

The Moselle Valley

The Moselle Valley is a wine-growing region that offers breathtaking scenery and charming villages.

As you explore the valley, you'll be captivated by the picturesque vineyards that cover its gently rolling hills.

The river bends add to the beauty of this landscape, creating a scene straight out of a postcard.


Cochem, one of the towns in this region, is particularly famous for its Riesling grapes and riverside setting.

It's no wonder that the Moselle Valley is a popular destination for wine enthusiasts who can indulge in tastings at numerous wineries along the way.

Soak in the stunning views as you sip on exquisite wines and immerse yourself in the charm of this enchanting region.


When I visited Mönchengladbach, I was impressed by its wide range of attractions that cater to different interests.

Its museums offer insights into art, history, and even football at the fascinating BORUSSIA-PARK. The city also boasts beautiful parks where you can relax and enjoy nature's beauty.


Additionally, Mönchengladbach has a vibrant cultural scene with theaters and music venues hosting performances throughout the year.

Whether you're interested in history, art, or simply want to soak up some local culture, Mönchengladbach has something for everyone to explore.

Eifel National Park

The Eifel National Park is a breathtaking destination that showcases the natural beauty of Germany's border with Belgium.

With its dark blue lakes, rivers, and bubbling streams, the park offers a stunning setting for nature exploration.


Dense forested mountain ranges and rolling hills create scenic landscapes that are perfect for hiking enthusiasts.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the peaceful surroundings while exploring endless trails that showcase the park's biodiversity and wildlife habitats.

From themed tours to the four-day Wilderness Trail, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and experiencing the wonders of this protected area.


Phantasialand is a must-visit theme park located in Brühl, Germany. With its thrilling rides and family-friendly attractions, it offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

From multi-award-winning roller coasters to captivating shows, Phantasialand seamlessly combines immersive theming with exhilarating rides.


Opened in 1967, this popular amusement park attracts approximately 2 million visitors annually. [5]

Whether you're a thrill-seeker looking for adrenaline-pumping adventures or a family seeking fun-filled activities, Phantasialand has something for everyone to enjoy.

Bergisches Land

Bergisches Land, located just east of Düsseldorf, is a hidden gem for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. This region boasts stunning scenic landscapes that are perfect for exploring on foot.

With charming villages sprinkled throughout the area, you can immerse yourself in rural communities and experience local traditions.


Hiking trails meander through woodlands, alongside river valleys, and across picturesque countryside.

And don't forget about Solingen, a city within Bergisches Land famous for its knife-making tradition. Soak up the beauty of Bergisches Land while enjoying outdoor adventures and discovering traditional crafts along the way.

Conclusion: Day Trips from Dusseldorf

From exploring the medieval charm of Zons to immersing yourself in the bustling energy of Cologne, there are endless day trip options from Dusseldorf.

Whether you're in the mood for history, romance, or outdoor adventures, these nearby attractions offer things to do for everyone.

So grab your map and get ready for an unforgettable journey just a short distance away from Dusseldorf's vibrant city center.


Key Takeaways

  • Zeche Zollverein in Essen offers a unique blend of history and modernity, showcasing Germany's mining heritage through its installations and architecture.
  • Zons is a romantic medieval town near Dusseldorf, with well - preserved architecture, picturesque streets, and intriguing historical landmarks like the Zonser Gracht moat.
  • Monschau is a charming and picturesque town known for its half - timbered houses and narrow streets that will transport you back in time.


1. What are some popular day trips from Dusseldorf?

Popular day trips from Dusseldorf include visiting Cologne to see its famous cathedral, exploring the picturesque town of Aachen, or taking a scenic drive along the Rhine River.

2. How long does it take to get to Cologne from Dusseldorf?

It takes approximately 30 minutes by train or around an hour by car to travel from Dusseldorf to Cologne.

3. Can I visit Amsterdam as a day trip from Dusseldorf?

Yes, it is possible to visit Amsterdam as a day trip from Dusseldorf. The journey takes around 2-2.5 hours by train or about 2 hours by car.

4. Are there any natural parks near Dusseldorf for a day trip?

Yes, there are several natural parks near Dusseldorf that make great day trip destinations such as Bergisches Land and Eifel National Park in Germany.

5. Is it necessary to book tours for day trips from Dusseldorf in advance?

While booking tours in advance is not always necessary for day trips from Düsseldorf, it can be helpful during peak tourist seasons or if you have specific attractions or activities you want to experience on your trip.


1: Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen, retrieved from https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/975/
2: Der neanderland STEIG, retrieved from https://www.neanderland.de/aktiv-erleben/wandern/der-neanderland-steig
3: Aachen Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Northern Europe and one of the greatest examples of church architecture, retrived from https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/01/10/aachen-cathedral-is-the-oldest-cathedral-in-northern-europe-and-one-of-the-greatest-examples-of-church-architecture/
4: The History of the Wuppertal Suspension Railway, retrived from https://schwebebahn.de/en/geschichte-der-schwebebahn
5: Phantasialand, retrived from https://academic-accelerator.com/encyclopedia/phantasialand
3: KIDS’ CITY RALLY, retrieved from https://www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de/files/assets/pdf/brosc

About the Author

Stephan Drescher, founder of germanytravel.blog, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.