Enjoy life at the Lake Aasee, delve in history as you stroll down Prinzipalmarkt, the Main Market, party in the so called Cow Quarter (Kuhviertel) or at the harbour – these are but a few of the unforgettable highlights that make Muenster so attractive for many visitors. Check out my following choice of favourite activities and useful hints. Or even better: just join one of my guided tours and experience the unique flair of the metropolis of Westphalia.
TOP 1: Stroll On The Main Market
There is no better start for a visit in Muenster than a stroll on the Main Market (Prinzipalmarkt in German). The inhabitants of Muenster call this magnificent street their „living room”. Go shopping in extravagant stores, marvel at the beautifully restored gabled houses, relax with savoury ice-cream, enjoy coffee or typical local beer – it is easy to find a reason to visit the Main Market. On Saturday, locals and outside guests flock in great crowds into the historic city centre. On Sunday and in the evening hours, the Main Markets shows off its best side. Linger a few moments in front of monumental Saint Lambert’s church with its impressive bell tower. High up, you can make out three mysterious iron cages. In the 16th century, the bodies of the leaders of the anabaptist movement rot away in them. The anabaptists were a group of rebels that had conquered power in the city and tried to implement a new revolutionary concept of society, based on egalitarian principles. The novel “The Abyss” by French-Belgian author Marguerite Yourcenar provides a thrilling introduction into these turbulent times. The stroll on Main Market represents a highlight of my guided tours through the city centre. Here, you find spectacular motives for your travel pictures.
TOP 2: Enjoy life on the shores of Lake Aasee
Voted Europe’s most beautiful park in 2009, point of attraction for thousands of inhabitants of Muenster in each season, a perfect place to relax and do sports, - the park around lake Aasee is a very special place. People meet their friends on the Aasee Terraces or on the cozy lawn area in front of the „Giant Pool Balls“. These three concrete balls were designed and installed by Claes Oldenburg in 1977 on the occasion of the first international sculpture exhibition. The view on the lake is marvelous: The trees of the park frame beautifully the reflecting surface of the water. Especially in the evening hours on days of good weather, the vista is outright spectacular. The Aasee is legendary in the whole city for the relaxed barbecue evenings that younger and older inhabitants of Muenster celebrate here. Paddle away on a boat, go sailing, or enjoy the sun in one of the cafes - the large choice of activities definitely contributes to the unique flair of the Aasee. The lake is located on the Southern end of the centre, the walk around takes around five kilometers. City planners designed the lake artificially, in order to control the small creek Aa. Prior to this measure, the Aa regularly inundated the centre and caused considerable damage.
TOP 3: Let’s go to the market – like a real Muensteranian!
For decades, the market has belonged to the most popular and well known attractions in Muenster. On Mondays and Thursdays, from as early as 7 o’clock in the morning, more than 150 selling stands of all different kinds fill up Cathedral Square. The sellers come from the area and present locally made goods that are high in demand. Different sorts of fruit and vegetables, savoury butchery and bakery products, as well as spices and flowers represent only a few examples of the colourful assortment. The market invites the visitors also to taste and try: Baked fish, hearty local stews, a small bag of cheese to snack at home, and many more good things wait to be discovered. As you stroll through the hustle and bustle, you will definitely get to know the locals. Traditionally, on Saturday morning, the dwellers of Muenster meet their friends at one of the cozy coffee stands. You find valuable practical information for your own tour of the market in the following link: https://www.wochenmarkt-muenster.de/
TOP 4: How exciting – pub crawl in the “Cow Quarter”
Who is not looking forward to an enjoyable moment with good friends at the end of a long, eventful day. For decades, the „Cow Quarter“, located at the North-Western edge of Muenster’s city centre, has been one of the hotspots of the bar scene, popular among lively student groups, outside visitors and long-established inhabitants. In the evening hours, especially on week-ends and Wednesdays, life in all its abundance is pulsating in the bars of the trendy quarter. Each of the popular places is creating its own typical atmosphere. Cavete is the oldest student bar in the city. https://cavete-muenster.de/ It originates from the tumultuous time of the late sixties. With a small wink, its name “Academic Beer Institute” expresses perfectly the contrast with the serious academic institutes of the nearby university. The Blue House as well has preserved its original furnishing from this fascinating time. https://www.blaue-haus-muenster.de/ The peculiar name of the quarter dates back to the far Middle Ages. In this time, the inhabitants traded with cattle here, especially with cows. I have a special tip for friends of good beer: The bar Finne, just a short walk of 15 minutes away, is offering an incredibly diverse assortment of self-crafted beer. https://www.finne-brauerei.de/ Why don’t you just join one of my popular pub crawl tours and go on a memorable discovery tour together with me and other curious travelers? The quaint quarter is also perfectly suited for adventurous stag parties.
TOP 5: On bikes around the Promenade
A green belt of 4,5 km surrounds the centre and calls for a relaxed walk or a bike tour. This green oasis is called „Promenade“. On pleasant spring and summer days, the loop seamed by limetrees is packed by fit and active locals. Here you can experience what it means that Muenster is Germany’s bicycle capital. The promenade is also fulfilling practical aims: known as Muenster’s bicyle highway and blocked for car traffic, it is considerably shortening distances for the busy cyclists. Within the whole of Germany, only here in Muenster, such a unique natural area has been preserved in the middle of the city centre. The course of the promenade is following the old mighty city walls. The alert visitor is able to discover many fascinating attractions along this circle full of history and learn a lot about Muenster: During the dark Nazi era, the fortress “Zwinger“ served as prison and place of executions. A locomotive used to carry away the rubble is commemorating destruction and reconstruction after World War II. A real war bunker is waiting to be discovered as well! The impressive tower „Buddenturm“ is dating back to the Middle Ages. And there is a lot more to see! You can rent bikes for your tour at the rental station at the main railway station. It is best to make a reservation beforehand on the website. https://www.radstation.de/ I would be happy to organise and guide your bike tour around the Promenade!
TOP 6: Eventful incursion into the local cuisine
The regional cuisine of the Muenster area holds in store many exciting revelations. The down-to-earth inhabitants of the area appreciate high-quality local products and authentic taste experiences. The mouths of guests and Muensteranians alike starts watering, when the host serves homemade meat specialties. This is especially true of the “Mettendchen”, a delicious smoked sausage, made of pork meat. Very popular as a snack is a dark, rich black bread, that for centuries has fondly been called “Pumpernickel”. Thickly buttered and in combination with salty cheese or the famous Muensterland ham, this is the perfect entry into the local cuisine – it’s simply delicious! The offer of savory main dishes includes pan-fry dishes, regional vegetables, as for example “Dicke Bohnen” (Thick Beans) and infinite variations of sausage. “Wurstebrot” is another typical food of the region: This dish looks like a hand-sized disk, consisting of whole grain, bacon, and blood – yes, you read right! Of course, your meal needs to be accompanied by the right beer, preferably one of local production. Don’t miss out on a glass of liquor, which people in the area call “Korn” or “Klarer” (“a clear one”). At its end, the abundant feasting will reach its sinful peak: for dessert, there is nothing better than “Westphalian Lord’s Cream”, a highly calorific sweet dish based on a lot of whipped cream, a bit of alcohol and chocolate chips. Several renowned restaurants in Muenster live fully with the local cuisine, among them Das Alte Gasthaus Leve, (“The Old Inn Leve”), the oldest restaurant in the city, https://www.gasthaus-leve.de/, Drübbelken https://www.druebbelken.de/ , and Pinkus Müller https://www.pinkus.de/
TOP 7: Let's party! The Port and Hawerkamp are waiting
It’s a walk of 15 minutes from the main station to the leisure areas of the port and Hawerkamp. In the warm season, Coconut-Beach is my favorite place https://www.coconutbeach.de/ Accompanied by relaxing summer beats, there is no better location to enjoy the sun. Guests make themselves comfortable in sun loungers, order a cocktail and have a good time. Here, pure holiday feeling is spreading around – in the middle of the city! Three establishments in direct vicinity recommend themselves for the party after this relaxed prelude: the “Heaven” emphasises an ambiance that is a bit more stylish. The traditional clubs on Hawerkamp, known for their decades-long eventful history and alternative flair, promise just as much fun. “Sputnikhalle” and “Favela” are but two of the famous clubs. At the port close by, there is a lot to experience as well: here, throughout the past years, a lively leisure area with many cool restaurants and bars has developed. “Pier House“, „Café Med“, „Hot Jazz Club“ and the very popular “Rote Lola” (Red Lola) all wait for the visit of curious guests. Especially in summer, thousands of Muensteranians flock to the appealing bar street. The “MS Guenther” represents a special attraction at the port. It’s the party boat of Leon Winscheid, the famous student of Muenster university who in 2015 won the German version of the TV-show “Who wants to be a millionaire”. Today, visitors can choose the right programme from a broad variety of tours and events.
TOP 8: A Moment Full Of Surprises – A Visit To The Museum
LWL-Museum for Arts and Culture, City Museum, Picassomuseum, and many more – the metropolis of Westphalia is widely known for its variety of first-class collections. A walk around the exhibitions guarantees you countless great moments. The city museum conveys deep insight into the historic development into the city. The museum is home to a very special attraction: several elaborated models show Muenster at different points in time and demonstrate its development. The part on bombing and reconstruction is equally impressive. https://www.stadt-muenster.de/museum/aktuelles.html In the arts and culture museum, located directly on Cathedral Square, real treasure wait for the curious visitors. Precious and unique pieces of medieval art are the highlights of the collection, such as the oldest altar piece North of the Alps and stunning sculptures of Saints and Apostles, which the anabaptists had dismantled and buried in the city walls. Wide space is provided for modern and contemporary art as well. https://www.lwl.org/LWL/Kultur/museumkunstkultur/ Changing exhibitions of modern art lure the visitors into the Picassomuseum, the only one of its kind in Germany! Journalists and critics usually comment very warmly on the events, however there is no direct relation to Muenster. https://www.kunstmuseum-picasso-muenster.de/home/ Furthermore, Muenster comes up with a Natural Museum, a unique museum for lacquer art, a nicely arranged open-air museum, and a bible museum. The last one has just recently opened its doors, after long renovation. One hint for you: Please plan enough time for your visit of Muenster and eat a hearty breakfast! I am sure your visit will ask for all your attention, and you will be very satisfied. I am happy to give advice on the different houses and assist you with the planning of your museum day.
TOP 9: Castle Park, Canal, Zoo – Open-air activities in Muenster
Enough of shopping, visiting, eating and partying? You will find recovery in several beautiful green areas in and around Muenster. The city is offering an astonishing number of open-air activities. Do you prefer to relax or to get active? The choice is yours. The wide castle park, located behind the city’s castle at the West end of the centre, kicks off the list. The monumental castle building is housing the main administration of the University of Muenster. In the park, a renowned botanical garden is inviting the guests to a stroll through the exquisite collection of exotic and domestic plants. The personnel of the garden organises very interesting tours. https://www.uni-muenster.de/BotanischerGarten/ A summer afternoon spent at the Dortmund-Ems-Canal represents an extremely interesting adventure for outside guests. The artificial waterway surrounds the city at its Southern and Eastern sides. The shallow banks are the perfect place for a relaxed get-together – best with barbecue and picknick. You will not believe it: The water is so clean, that without any problem you can jump into the canal and go for a swim. It is just advisable to pay attention when a heavy cargo barge is coming your way. Just move off to the side and do like all the Muensteranians who spend the main part of their time off from school and study here. It’s a real authentic local experience. Just as well known among small and tall guests: The Allwetterzoo (“All Seasons Zoo”) that is open on every day of the year. https://www.allwetterzoo.de/#
TOP 10: Real Treasures Along The River Werse - Dyckburg, Angelmodde, Wolbeck
A bicycle tour along the river Werse usually causes much astonishment among the visitors. Three extremely precious sights are situated at the banks of the small river. The church Dyckburg is just another artistic gem created by the local star architect from the baroque era Johann Conrad Schlaun. A little bit further South, the small church Saint Agatha in Angelmodde presents a nearly flawless example of Romanesque architecture. Only a few buildings have preserved their pure original forms through the storms of time. Inside, the dim incidence of light through the typical small windows creates a special mystic atmosphere. Only three kilometers away, the Drostenhof is embellishing the beautiful village of Wolbeck. The place used to be an important administrative centre of the Bishops of Muenster. The “Burgmannen” (knightly men), as the sovereign’s representatives were called, turned the Drostenhof into a respectable residence. Masterfully executed gables and facades take the visitor back into the time of its construction in the 16th century. Under the Burgmann Dirk von Merveldt, the Drostenhof became especially famous. The energetic warrior arrested alive Jan van Leyden, the King of the Anabaptists, and he received an impressive gratification out of the hands of the bishop Franz von Waldeck. The inside of the building is luring with numerous treasures, and the inhabitants of Muenster are awaiting in suspense a possible opening of an exhibition. It is easy to explore these three attractions in one day. On the way, the café Pleistermühle invites the cyclists for well-deserved refreshments. https://www.pleistermuehle.de/
Are you looking for a suitable hotel for your trip to Muenster? The Hotel Feldmann, located directly beside the Church Saint Clement, is well-known for its cozy atmosphere. There is a restaurant as well. I love the Drostesaal (a special dinner room) for its beautiful decoration. The room is commemorating Annette von Droste-Huelshoff, Germany's most famous poetess. https://www.hotel-feldmann.de/ Genauso gerne empfehle ich das Stadthotel: https://www.stadthotel-muenster.de/ I also like to recommend the Stadthotel. This establishment offers first-class service around your stay in the city. In neighbouring Telgte, you find a real gem of the local hospitality scene: The Heidehotel Waldhütte. Here, you are surrounded by splendid nature, and after your adventures in the city, this is right place for a relaxing walk or a bike tour.https://heidehotel-waldhuette.de/de/start.html Another excellent address in the beautiful surroundings of Muenster: The Hotel Clemens August in Davensberg: https://www.hotel-clemens-august.de/