If you want to break away from the concrete of the city for a while, you don’t have to go far at all. Münster’s very own lake, Aasee, is a fine place to laze, stroll or go boating or sailing. There is a sprawling, award-winning park surrounding the lake, as well as a zoo. And, as you’d expect, there are rows of restaurants, hotels and coffee shops in the area.
The secular Gothic architecture of Münster’s City Hall (Rathaus) next to the Cathedral is gorgeous enough to stop anybody in their tracks. The intricacy of its facade, including that of the windows, arches, gables and pinnacles, makes it obvious why this structure is considered one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in Germany.
Historisches Rathaus, Prinzipalmarkt 10, Münster, Germany, +49 251 4922724
Prinzipalmarkt is the ancient main market square of the city and stands as proof of Münster’s glorious past dating back to the medieval and Renaissance eras. Here, rows of gabled limestone Renaissance houses, excellent restaurants and shops stand alongside the most significant landmarks of the city: City Hall, St Lambert’s Church, Townhouse Tower and the Cathedral.
The Catholic Parish of St Lamberti was built in the 14th century and has immense significance in the Westphalian late Gothic style of architecture. When you visit, don’t forget to look up at the three iron cage-like structures above the clock (see picture below) in which corpses of the leaders of Münster’s Anabaptist Rebellion were displayed after a public execution.
St Lamberti Kirche, Lambertikirchplatz 1, Münster, Germany, +49 251 44893
The 16th-century Renaissance castle of Burg Hülshoff sits like a painting on a moat. It houses a museum that offers an audio-guided tour through the lives of the city’s nobles during the periods of Classicism and Romanticism. It also has a great collection of artifacts pertaining to the life of poet Annette von Droste-Hülshoff who was born in this castle. If you visit in the spring or summer, you’ll find an explosion of colourful blooms in the castle’s park.
Burg Hülshoff, Schonebeck 6, Havixbeck, Germany, +49 2534 1052
Allwetterzoo Münster is the perfect destination for a day out with the family. Here, almost 3,000 animals (including several rare and exotic species) roam in an almost-natural habitat, allowing visitors to get delightfully close to many and watch them at their antics—even pet and feed some of them. The zoo also boasts a huge greenhouse with beautiful birds and an aquarium.
Allwetterzoo Münster, Sentruper Straße 315, Münster, Germany, +49 251 89040
The super-specialized Pablo Picasso Museum is the only one of its kind in Germany. It preserves more than 800 lithographs, photos and documents related to the lives of the legendary Pablo Picasso and his gifted colleagues. The museum, housed in a lovely historic building, holds temporary as well as permanent exhibitions.
Pablo Picasso Museum, Königsstraße 1, Münster, Germany, +49 251 4144710