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A broad network of circular cycling routes can be discovered all across the state of NRW. Red-white or green-white coloured displays placed at along the wayside reveal the route and its length. Short and long distance trains as well as trams are a great help too, since they facilitate the transport of bikes.

Ruhrtal Radweg

A particularly fascinating local experience is the Ruhr valley cycle route, Ruhrtal Radweg. It stretches almost 150 miles from Duisburg in the west across relatively flat terrain to the last twenty or so miles of undulating hills to Winterberg in the east. That’s 230 kilometres of cycling with a difference.

Whilst Winterberg is high enough to offer skiing during the winter, the town of Duisburg is famous for Europe’s largest inland harbour with recreational spaces offering bistros, restaurants and terraces. In between, the river valley reveals beautiful vistas and many more urbanisations including Oberhausen, Mülheim, Essen, Hattingen, Bochum, Witten, Wetter, Herdecke, Hagen, Dortmund, Schwerte, Iserlohn, Holzwickede, Fröndenberg, Menden, Wickede, Ense, Arnsberg, Meschede, Bestwig and Olsberg.

Farther Afield

The most liked and beautiful landscapes to explore by bike are the nearby Munsterland, the Lower Rhine and the Sauerland. Many of these pathways lead through nature parks and preserved landscapes. With an eye on streams, woods and cottages, it is possible to gain an impression of the region and the people living here. Another example is the Erlebnisweg Rheinschiene, which leads along both banks of the Rhine for over 360 kilometres. 

Finally, a competition across Germany elects the friendliest city for cyclists every year. A visit to Munster reveals why this city has been chosen more than once. The finest facilities for cyclists are to be found everywhere and rumour has it, that there are more bicycles than inhabitants.

By Vincent Green, Apr 4 2021

Ministerium für Verkehr des Landes Nordrhein-Westphalen

Stadttor 1
40219 Düsseldorf

+49 211 384 342 72


Many open spaces entice hikers into the surrounding countryside. Try heading out to wonderful hillsides and woodlands or reclaimed industrial areas. The Ruhr region also offers pathways and trail around impressive lakes or former important waterways.

Beach scene with sunbathers


It may come as a surprise of newly arrived expats that beaches can be found in the Ruhr Metropolis. Fine sand and shingle are ideal for walking, playing, relaxing and picnicking. People flock to enjoy spaces beside the rivers and lakes, especially on warm and sunny summer days. Photo © Ralph Lueger.

City guides for expats

Amazing Capitals Ruhr overflows with insights for expats. The eGuide is dedicated to helping international residents make choices, settle and participate. Enjoy!

Japanese plate, chopsticks, soy bowlfor sushi