Germany off the beaten track

LWL Museum of Art and Culture: 1,000 years of art and cultural history! © Roman Mensing

Your Life!

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Practical information

Why go?

Münster's history begins with Charlemagne and the Missionary Liudger who founded the settlement on the Aa River in 793. The cityscape, which was almost totally destroyed in a 1943 air raid but rebuilt as virtually an exact replica, dates from the 13th century. Steeped in history but with a youthful dynamism, Münster stands out for its high quality of life and was honored with the LIVCOM livable community award in 2004.

Münster's long cultural heritage is omnipresent throughout the historical part of the city. The heart of the city and its main eye-catcher is St. Paulus Dom (St. Paul's Cathedral), built over some 40 years on the threshold from Romanesque to Gothic with one of the most lavishly decorated naves in Germany.You will also be delighted by the Prinzipalmarkt (Principal Market). Lined by houses with pointed roofs and arched pathways, it is one of Europe's most beautiful inner-city squares. Do not miss the Lambertikirche (St. Lamprecht's Church) and the Rathaus (Town Hall) with the historic Friedenssaal (Hall of Peace) where the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia brought an end to the Thirty Years' War.

Another big draw are the splendid baroque buildings by Johann Conrad Schlaun, Westphalia's great baroque master builder. His chief work is the Castle (Prince Bishop's Residence) which is now part of the university. The Erbdrostenhof (Erbdrosten Courtyard House) and the St. Clemens-Kirche (St. Clemens' Church), reminiscent of Italian Baroque, are further gems of his creative spirit. Together with the Dominikanerkirche (Dominican Church) they form the "Barockinsel" (Baroque Island) in the city center.

When to go?

/assetimage_1175_251w170.jpgGermany is a popular travel destination all year-round, with a typical four-season climate. Winter temperatures vary from west to east, with around freezing temperatures in the west and well below freezing in the east of Germany. Summer temperatures are typically between 20°C (68°F) and 30°C (86°F). In terms of tourist numbers, May through to September are the most popular months to visit Germany. However, the winter holidays with their enchanting Christmas Markets are also a major highlight. Those who enjoy the benefits of uncrowded attractions will favor January through to April.

Summers in Münster are warm and pleasant. Rain showers are frequent but do not last too long: the sunshine index is high, whilst the amount of rainfall guarantees a green and fertile landscape. The winter in Münster is fairly mild and snow is rare.

Long periods of fine weather can be followed by unsettled conditions.  To be on the safe side, make sure you bring a sweater and wet weather clothing with you.

What to eat?

/assetimage_1180_240w160.jpgThe gastronomy in Münster is active day and night. More than 900 restaurants and bars offer something for every taste. The large number of students guarantees a wide selection of pubs, although Münster is also the ideal spot for regional, international and upscale cuisine. It is easy to find traditional fare like Westphalian ham, pork ragout, hearty stews, Pumpernickel (the black bread "born" in the region) and Rote Grütze (a cooled, just lightly boiled and sweetened ragout of fresh berries, topped with cream).

Such heavy fare requires a glass of fresh, slightly bitter beer from the local "Pinkus Müller" brewery or of Altbier (top-fermenting beer with a mellow, slightly sweet, almost wine-like character). At the same time, the wine list of many restaurants leaves nothing to be desired. Or try the local schnapps known as Korn.

Typical Münster hospitality is found above all in the Kuhviertel (Cow District) with its little, lovingly restored, old pubs - many of them the favorite haunts of Münster students. Here, young and old sit harmoniously around the scoured wooden tables at which generations of carvers have immortalized themselves.

An entirely new city district has developed over the past few years in Münster's old harbor, the area surrounding the Kreativkai (Creative Quay) on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. Many freelancers and innovative entrepreneurs have settled here, profiting from the dynamic rebirth of the waterfront district and attracting a new generation of "in" restaurants. Especially in summer, the harbor area resembles one enormous open-air restaurant at the water's edge.  

Münster Gallery

Map of Germany

That´s Germany

Münster is also called “bicycle capital” because here the bicycle is the most commonly
used means of transport and there are twice as many bicycles as residents.

VIP: Tower keeper

A tower keeper on St Lamberti’s tower is mentioned for the first time in records from 1481, whose copper bugle can be heard every night (9-12 pm on the half-hour, except Tuesdays).