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Inner harbour in Duisburg

Trip through the Ruhr Area

Route of Industrial Heritage

8 Days / 7 Nights
Inner harbour in Duisburg

The Ruhr region captivates in its unique manner, offering cyclists an abundance of opportunities along the Ruhr Valley Cycle Route and the Emscher Cycle Route. Following in the footsteps of German industry, you'll encounter former mines, slag heaps, and steelworks, as well as iconic sites like Villa Hügel, once the residence of the Krupp family of industrialists. Where chimneys once billowed smoke just years and decades ago, today stand newly developed parks and recreational facilities, showcasing a fascinating blend of tradition and contemporary design. Your daily cycling stages are complemented by thrilling sightseeing tours, ensuring an enriching and memorable experience.

  • Great views from the Skywalk and Lake Phoenix: The Skywalk in the Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park offers a breathtaking panoramic view over the Ruhr region, making it a highlight for both photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. Adjacent to the Skywalk, Lake Phoenix provides a tranquil oasis for relaxation, as well as opportunities for water sports and scenic walks along its shores.
  • The fascination of the Zollverein colliery: The impressive industrial monument is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcasing the rich history of the former coal mine. Join a guided tour to uncover fascinating and insightful facts about this iconic landmark. Marvel at the striking design of the Bauhaus architecture, and be sure not to overlook the stunning panoramic view from the roof of the coal washing building.
  • Industrial splendor at Lake Baldeney: Villa Hügel stands as a magnificent mansion, once the prestigious residence of the Krupp family. Visitors are invited to explore its opulent interiors, wander through the ornate gardens, and delve into the rich history at the adjoining Ruhr Museum. Enjoy the serene ambiance of Lake Baldeney for a leisurely and tranquil stroll amidst its picturesque surroundings.

With only a few minor climbs, the route is relatively easy to navigate. The cycle paths in this region are meticulously maintained and offer a variety of landscapes, including sections that follow disused railroad lines, adding to the scenic diversity of the journey. Included in the tour package are a series of captivating guided tours and visits, providing participants with a comprehensive understanding of the rich history and cultural significance of the Ruhr region.

The Ruhr region may not always be at the top of our guests' dream destinations list, but their surprised expressions afterward speak volumes. Along the Ruhr Valley Cycle Route, you'll encounter breathtaking landscapes, fascinating cities, and unforgettable encounters with unique individuals. And it's the distinctive flair and industrial significance of the Ruhr area that ultimately contribute to the charm and allure of this region.

Itinerary at a glance

Get to know industrial culture amidst collieries and slag heaps! The first leg of the tour includes the Kokerei Hansa, Borussia Dortmund's stadium, and the Phoenix Lake. In Duisburg, we recommend a harbor tour.

You can combine your arrival with an excursion to the German Mining Museum in Bochum or to the heritage-listed substation in Recklinghausen with the “Electricity and Life” museum to get in the mood for the next few days.

In the morning you cycle directly on the quiet cycle path "Route der Industriekultur" along the Rhine-Herne Canal to the "Henrichenburg ship lift industrial museum", a "14 meter elevator for ships" from 1899, which was considered a technical masterpiece when it was built. The steel construction is explained in the historical machine hall and museum ships are at anchor. Then follow the well-developed Emscher cycle path towards Dortmund, where you can cycle through the first ecological sections from the generation project “Emscher conversion”. Excursions to the Hansa coking plant and the Borussia Dortmund football stadium are possible on the way. The gigantic structure of the Phoenix West ironworks, which was active until 1998, is right next to the bike path in the afternoon. This is where the Skywalk starts, a two-hour tour full of anecdotes, a fascinating tour through the complex industrial plant up to the blast furnace. Then enjoy the evening at the Phoenixsee, the new landmark and leisure area of Dortmund with a variety of restaurants on the beautiful promenade. Have a walk around the lake and taste the local beers.

The city exit leads past the Phoenixwerk once more and along the extensive green area of the Rombergpark. You will quickly reach rural surroundings with horse farms and agriculture. Here you cycle on the 'Rhenish Esel', a disused railway line, into the Ruhr Valley to Witten. Soon you come to the "cradle of Ruhr mining" with the Muttental circular route, where over 60 small mines were in operation in the 18th century and the coal seams come to the surface and the Nachtigall colliery, which was opened in the 19th century as one of the first underground mining shafts went into operation. Here you go in the visitor mine, equipped with a helmet and miner's lamp. You walk in a horizontal underground tunnel to a real coal seam and get to know the technology and difficult working conditions of the miners in the 19th century. In the historical machine house you will experience an audio-visual journey into the time of industrialization and you will understand the beginnings of the Ruhr mining industry with all your senses in an exciting and vivid way. In the afternoon you cycle on the well-developed Ruhr valley cycle path. You can take a break at the dammed lake Kemnader, and finally come to Hattingen with its half-timbered idyll in the historic center.

The day begins with an exciting tour of the Henrichshütte Industrial Museum Hattingen. You will see the oldest blast furnace in the area, which was in operation until 1987. 10,000 people worked on the huge area, producing coke, iron and steel and casted, rolled and forged the metal. Back in the saddle, you cycle the entire day on the comfortable Ruhrtal cycle path through the green landscape, take a short excursion to the Bochum Railway Museum and relax on the shores of Lake Baldeney. In the afternoon, it is worth visiting Villa Hügel with its extensive English landscape park. The palace-like villa, was built by the industrialist Alfred Krupp as his own residential and prestigious house. It has 269 rooms which today represent the multi-layered Krupp history of the company and family in historical rooms. Back on the Ruhr valley cycle path, it is not far to Kettwig with its cute old town and the Mühlengrabenbrücke directly at the Ruhr.

Today's cycling day on the Ruhr Valley Cycle Path is again peppered with highlights. The award-winning Aquarius Water Museum in Mühlheim with its multimedia museum on 14 levels lies on the short bike stage so that you reach Duisburg in the early afternoon. You have enough time to take part in a harbor tour through the world's largest inland port. The widely ramified navigable waterways in the Ruhr area were considered to be the lifelines of heavy industry and the port of Duisburg as the most important transshipment point. In the evening you can stroll in the urban inner harbor, which serves as a prime example of the structural change in the Ruhr area. Here, where the city's central port and trading center was for over a century, is now a place that combines work, living, culture, gastronomy and leisure in an attractive location at the water.

Today's stage offers everything you can imagine on this trip: You cycle a short distance on the Rhine Cycle Path and then follow the “Route of Industrial Culture” cycle path to the Duisburg-Nord Landscape Park. This disused ironworks has become a big city oasis with around 250 cultural events and 1 million visitors per year. (The British daily newspaper The Guardian counts the Landschaftspark Nord among the ten best city parks in the world.) Here you can experience a guided tour by bike. You cycle through the 180 hectare area and learn everything about the history of the ironworks, the adjacent coking plant and the present day diverse leisure, recreation and sports offers on the spacious grounds. You then cycle on an abandoned freight railway line to Oberhausen, where you can visit the famous Gasometer. From here the “Route of Industrial Culture” cycle path continues to the Bottrop Tetrahedron, the viewing platform with an all-round view of what was once a mighty spoil dump. In the afternoon the route leads through the former colliery settlement Gartenstadt Welheim and again on a former railway line to Essen directly to the Zollverein colliery.

The day begins on foot with a guided tour through the Zeche Zollverein (UNESCO World Heritage Site and known as the most beautiful colliery in the world) and an individual visit to the Ruhr Museum in the former coal washing plant of the Zeche Zollverein. Together with the impressions of the last few days, the picture of the unique history and development of the Ruhr area is now complete. Back in the saddle, you cycle on a former colliery railway line to the iconic cycling meeting point "Holgers Erzbahnbude", where you have the best opportunity to eat the original red and white "Currywurst" (curried sausage). In the afternoon there is a real highlight on the route, you reach the Hoheward waste dump, which, together with the Hoppenbruch dump, forms the largest dump landscape in Europe with around 220 hectares. Today it is a developed local recreation area and offers a variety of viewing platforms on the balcony promenade which is leading around it. And those who make it to the top will be rewarded with the best all-round view of the entire trip. Here you can't stop being amazed - the Ruhr area is so green in front of you, no matter where you look! Over the dragon bridge it goes down again and soon Herne is reached and the eventful round tour comes to an end.

You have now got to know the Ruhr area on beautiful bike paths and on many visits on water, land, in the air and underground - and you probably fell in love with it! Even after the end of this trip, you will remember this unique cultural landscape in Europe for a long time!

Route Information


The route is flat to slightly hilly; The route runs on a very well signposted cycle path mostly away from traffic, mostly on riverside and forest paths, low-traffic roads and disused railroad lines. Short sections on moderately busy roads.

Prices & Dates

Category: comfortable middle-class hotels

Prices per person in EUR

Services & Information

Further details about this tour


  • Accommodation as already mentioned
  • Breakfast
  • Luggage transfer
  • Detailed travel documents 1x per room (German, English)
  • 1 guided tour Skywalk Phoenix-West (German)
  • 1 guided tour underground LWL-Industriemuseum Zeche Nachtigall (German)
  • 1 Guided tour LWL Industrial Museum Henrichshütte Hattingen (German)
  • 1 guided tour by bike in the landscape park Duisburg-Nord (German)
  • 1 Guided tour UNESCO World Heritage Zollverein Coal Mine (German)
  • App for Navigation and GPS-data
  • Service-hotline

Detailed information

  • The trip includes 5 exciting, varied and mostly exclusive guided tours. If you would like to do without these guided tours, you will receive a discount of EUR 50 per person. Please inform us of this wish when booking. Only possible in German language.

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Herne train station
  • Düsseldorf airport
  • Parking at the hotel, partly with costs, no reservation possible

Things to note

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price
  • This tour is a partner tour.

Join us in achieving greater sustainability by choosing our digital route book, rather than the printed version. As a small thank you we will give you a discount of EUR 20 per room.

Stefanie Rudinger

"I look forward to making your vacation dreams come true."

Stefanie Rudinger
Travel Specialist
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