Köln, Düsseldorf, Ruhrgebiet and Münsterland:
Our Favourite Lakes in North Rhine-Westphalia
We spent an entire summer retracing our fondest childhood memories in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). This densely populated and urbanised region of western Germany is characterised by industrial romanticism and working-class communities. It wasn’t until we embarked on more extended trips out into the countryside that we truly began to grasp how diverse the landscapes between Weser River and Rhein River really are. Why drive all the way to Norway when Rursee evokes fjord-like feelings? Is it really necessary to fly to the Provence’s lavender fields, if the moor in the Rothaar Mountains erupts into an equally mesmerising pale sea of pink? And who really wants to traverse Germany’s Alps if hikes in the Eifel are right at your doorstep?
We biked through Heider Bergsee’s forests, rented pedal boats in Borken, and got great tans at Baldeneysee’s public beach in Essen. In no other region in Europe will you come across such a high density of reservoirs as in Bergisch Land. And we can’t think of a lake with waters as turquoise as Venekotensee’s—a glittering gemstone the border to the Netherlands. Setting out from Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, and Münster, here are our favourite lakes to swim in throughout NRW.
Our Take Me to the Lakes – Nordrhein-Westfalen Edition features 50 stunning lakes in NRW. In this unique travel guide, we bring you over 130 bathing spots in the Ruhr area. Beyond tips for swimming and hiking, we also provide you with a small selection of holiday home and hotel recommendations near the water’s edge. Guided by slow living principles, we selected nine unforgettable getaways between Lüttich and Sauerland. You are invited to engage with your environment, start a dialogue with nature, and live sustainably.
Please note that our NRW Edition is currently only available in German.