One of the most impressive palatial builds of the region is located half an hour south of Münster. Schloss Nordkirchen carries the nickname ‘Westphalian Versailles’ due to the sheer size and grandeur of the complex. The best way to explore the lavishly-decorated rooms and sprawling parks and gardens is by joining a guided tour. English-only speakers should inquire about availability in advance.
History fans shouldn’t miss out on a trip to the Roman museum in Haltern. Approximately 2,000 years ago, the Romans erected a military post on the site from where they strategically planned the conquest of the surrounding region. Among them were soldiers of the XIX Legion of the Imperial Roman army, which later lost the spectacular Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. The museum showcases thousands of authentic artefacts which give some indication of what life in the camp was like.
Historical documents first mentioned Lüdinghausen in 800 AD and to this day, the city, which lies 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of Münster, oozes with medieval charm. The city is known for its three moated castles which you can explore within a day. While not much is left of Burg Wolfsberg, both the picturesque 12th-century Burg Lüdinghausen and Burg Vischering should go on your list. Being surrounded by water and lush greenery, the castles create a fairytale-like scene.
If you want to escape the urban areas and enjoy a day of nature, an hour-long drive north to the Recker Moor nature reserve offers just that. The landscape is composed of wet meadows, bogs and moorlands which give a home to dozens of bird species, some of which are on the endangered list, frogs, lizards, vipers and more. You can explore the reserve along the hiking trails and climb up several raised vantage points for better views and watch the unique mix of flora and fauna.
One of Germany’s most popular hiking trails connects Rheine and Horn Bad Meinberg with one another, and along the way passes adorable hilltop villages, natural wonders and cultural hotspots. Münster is the perfect gateway to explore various sections of the 156 kilometre (97 mile)-long trail. Depending on your interest, you can pick and choose a destination for a day-long hike. The trail’s highlights include the bizarre Externsteine rock formations and the village of Tecklenburg.
Those warm summer days are best spent at a lake, and the Münster region leaves you spoilt for choice. One of the most popular waters is the Silbersee lake, 45 kilometres (28 miles) southwest of the city. The lake does not only offer the perfect spot to go for a swim, but also has a plethora of other activities in store for both kids and adults – be it building sandcastles of the wide sandy beach, windsurfing, cycling tours, hiking or even scuba diving. On top of that, the Treibsand restaurants puts on a range of events and parties throughout the summer
Germany’s Ruhrgebiet region boasts a ton of sights and activities which celebrate the industrial heritage of the area. One of the most prominent sites is the Maximilian colliery in Hamm, which was redeveloped as leisure park in 1984. The coal preparation plant was turned into a piece of art in the form of a giant glass elephant, which now looks over the vast parkland. Kids can run riot on playgrounds and enjoy the butterfly house, while grown-ups flock to the park to see one of the many events happening each year, ranging anywhere from live music performances, stand-up comedy and dance to flea markets.