- Where to fly into: Düsseldorf International Airport offers easy access to the North Rhine-Westphalia area.
- Best luggage: For a trip of this length, the Nomatic Check-In roller bag is the ideal choice. It offers polycarbonate construction that stands up to the rigors of travel, silent wheels, low-profile handles, and a three-stage aluminum handle to fit your height. With space for 78 liters of gear, this bag has plenty of room for a 5-day trip or longer.
- Attractions & Things to Do: Take time to explore the many castles in the area, including Schloss Drachenburg and Schloss Nordkirchen.
- Best Time of Year to Visit: Late spring and early summer (April-July) usually offers warm temperatures and great weather.
- Check the weather in the Düsseldorf area right now.
Monschau, Germany. Photo by Siegmund Bergemann.
The North Rhine-Westphalia area is one of Germany’s most diverse, fascinating and less-traveled regions.
The post-industrial Ruhr district, north of Cologne, is home to some of the world’s most unusual industrial heritage sites. The Zollverein complex in Essen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was once the largest coal processing facility in the world. Known as “the world’s most beautiful coal mine”, Zollverein is renowned for its architecture and historical significance and offers intriguing compositions and colors for photographers.
The Zollverein coal complex. Photo by Siegmund Bergemann.
The Zollverein coal complex. Photo by Siegmund Bergemann
In nearby Duisburg, tour Landschaftspark, the turn-of-the-century steel works decommissioned in the 1980s, with its photo-ready blast furnaces, inclined lifts and casthouses.
Landschaftspark, Duisburg, Germany. Photo by Siegmund Bergemann.
Aachen, west of Cologne, bordering on the Netherlands, is an iconic Westphalian town renowned as the capital of Charlemagne's Frankish empire and a destination for royalty over the centuries. Aachen offers photographers stunning medieval structures, including Aachen Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site, combined with a lively street scene.
Aachen Cathedral. Photo by Siegmund Bergemann.
Aachen street scene. Photo by Siegmund Bergemann.
In May, 2020, the world-famous city of Cologne hosts Photokina, the world's leading fair for imaging, introducing the very latest in new products, trends and new model announcements.
The famed Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and an iconic example of High Gothic architecture set amid a reconstructed old town, is a short taxi ride from the fair location.
Photokina, Cologne. Canon Pro Stock Photo.
Cologne Cathedral. Photo by Alan Kesselhaut.
Approximately 45 minutes south of Aachen sits the quintessential German town of Monschau, with its picturesque narrow cobblestoned streets and traditional half-timbered houses, largely unchanged for over 300 years.
Monschau. Photo by Siegmund Bergemann.
The area surrounding Monschau offers photographers pretty views of the Westphalian and Belgian countryside.
Monschau area. Photo by Siegmund Bergemann.
All of these destinations are included in Princeton Photo Workshop’s North Rhine-Westphalia-Photokina Photography Tour & Workshop, May 24 - May 30, 2020.
Other Tips for Planning a North Rhine-Westphalia Photography Trip