Wuppertal – not the city that is in the top ten of most people when visiting Germany. Nonetheless, we are living nearby and thought it might be helpful for people visiting the region to have some tips on what to do, were to eat and what to discover by us as locals.
Wuppertal is actually worth a day trip if you are in the region. It is not far from Düsseldorf, Cologne and Dortmund, you can go here by train within less than an hour from all those three cities.
What to do and see in Wuppertal?
Even if many people don’t know that, Wuppertal has a lot to offer, a large variety of free time activities and sights. Those are spread all over the city, so prepare to walk up and down the hills of Wuppertal, as it’s living up to its name, the city center and the Wupper river are in a valley (Tal is German for valley) and from there on you have to go up the hills to get into the other neighborhoods.
Getting around Wuppertal is quite easy and besides the dense bus and train network, you can perfectly use your time here for a ride on the unique “Schwebebahn”, a suspension monorail running along the Wupper from Vohwinkel in the West to Oberbarmen in the East. The Schwebebahn has been opened in 1901 and has been an important mean of local transport in the city since that day. Right at the moment brand new and modern cars are being introduced, but you can still sometimes see the Kaiserwagen, a historical car which can be rented for events. You can use the Schwebebahn with a standard ticket for the public transport and it is included in unlimited day, week or month tickets.
If you are starting your tour with the Schwebebahn in the West, the first stop you can do is the Zoo of Wuppertal (Tripadvisor). The zoo is well known in the region, is home to a lot of animals from different species and the compounds are frequently updated. More infos on entry fees and so on can be found on the zoo’s homepage: http://www.zoo-wuppertal.de/
When going to the city center from here, you pass the plant of Bayer, one of the largest pharma companies which has been founded in Barmen, which today is a part of Wuppertal.
If you are interested in arts, you should definitely visit the “Von der Heydt Museum” in the city center. A big variety of artworks is exhibited here in permanent and changing exhibitions. More information can be found here: http://vdh.netgate1.net/
For lovers of architecture, the city center offers some interesting buildings such as the Historical Municipal Hall, the current municipal building or the St. Laurentius Church. Wuppertal is also known for its many stairs connecting the neighborhoods.
Here’s a video from NRW Traveler about Wuppertal’s stairs:
If you roam through Wuppertal, you might also notice, that the city is quite green: there are a lot of parks, gardens and forests in and around the city, 34% of the cities area are forests and green areas. The Botanical Garden can be visited for free and is really interesting, as well as the Barmer Anlagen, the second largest private park in Germany which is open to the public for free. On top of the hill of the Barmer Anlagen, you can also visit the Toelleturm (Tripadvisor), an observation tower from which you have a great view onto Wuppertal and the surrounding area. But keep in mind, the Toelleturm is only open during summer on Sundays and public holidays, during good weather (min. 18°C). The information can be found here: https://www.barmer-anlagen.de/news/toelleturm/
Besides all that, Wuppertal also is great to go out, eat and drink something and have fun. Especially the Luisenviertel in the city center invites you to do bar hopping after having some good food. That is how we come to our next section:
What and where to dine, go out and party in Wuppertal?
Wuppertal is home to a university, so you’ll find a lot of bars, pubs and even a brewery here. In the summer months you’ll have a lot of independent parties throughout the city, while the Butan Club (http://butanclub.com/butan2011/events/) and the U-Club (http://www.u-club.de/navigator/index.html) are popular clubs open all year with different events and DJs/Bands playing.
If you’d rather do bar hopping than going to clubs, here is a choice of bars we like the most here:
- Zum Köhlerliesen – relaxed student bar in a backyard (Tripadvisor)
- Viertelbar – small bar with really good choice of drinks and spirits (Tripadvisor)
- Zweistein – huge choice of whiskey, board and card games are available, live music (Tripadvisor)
- Katzengold – brewery style pub with good food (Tripadvisor)
- Beatz und Kekse – bar offering snacks and cookie plates which can be individually composed (http://www.beatzundkekse.de/)
If you are more a foodie, you shouldn’t miss out on those places:
- Taormina fai da te – excellent Italian food at fair prices (Tripadvisor)
- Ha Noi Street Food – Vietnamese street food (Facebook)
- Noi – Sushi and Asian food in decent atmosphere (Tripadvisor)
- Wuppertaler Brauhaus – Brewery food with localy brewed beer (Tripadvisor)
- Schlosscafé Lüntebeck – local food and coffee traditions, a little away from the city center (Tripadvisor)
How to get to Wuppertal?
From within Germany and Europe Wuppertal is easily accessible by train, coach or car. For travels from farther away, three airports are within a one hour radius by train from Wuppertal main station: Düsseldorf (DUS), Cologne/Bonn (CGN) and Dortmund (DTM). The train connections from all three of these airports are not expensive and running frequently all day long.
Düsseldorf is the largest of those three airports. Besides Eurowings and Germania connecting many cities in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa with the region, here are some major airlines connecting Düsseldorf from other continents: Aer Lingus (via Dublin), Aeroflot (via Moscow), Air China (via Beijing), Air France (via Paris), ANA (via Tokyo), Austrian Airlines (via Vienna), British Airways (via London), Delta Airlines (via Atlanta), Emirates (via Dubai), Etihad (via Abu Dhabi), Finnair (via Helsinki), Iberia (via Madrid), Icelandair (via Reykjavik), KLM (via Amsterdam), LOT (via Warsaw), Lufthansa (via Frankfurt or Munich), Pegasus and Turkish Airlines (both via Istanbul), SAS (via Oslo, Copenhagen or Stockholm), Singapore Airlines (via Singapore), Swiss Airlines (via Zurich), TAP (via Lisbon) and Ukraine International Airlines (via Kiev).
Cologne/Bonn Airport is a little smaller, but Eurowings, Ryanair and Wizz Air are offering many direct connections within Europe and following major airlines fly here: Austrian Airlines (via Vienna), Lufthansa (via Munich), Pegasus and Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul) and TAP (via Lisbon).
Dortmund Airport is a regional airport only Wizz Air and Ryanair are offering connections from within Europe here.
Thank you for reading, we hope we were able to give you some interesting tips and inspiration for your own trip to Wuppertal.
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