Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region is perhaps best known for its prosperous business cities, such as Bonn and Dusseldorf. Though industry and big business don’t usually coincide with family attractions, the area is filled with unexpected treasures and bona fide bargains.
Lots to do for Visiting Families in North Rhine-Westphalia
The Rhine River cuts through the region and offers a variety of recreational possibilities. Go down the river on a seaworthy vessel or rollerblade along a riverside promenade. Much of the region is rural, providing thousands of kilometers of scenic trails for hiking and biking. If your family is interested in history, you can discover noteworthy ancient sites and impressive cathedrals. If art is your cup of tea, local patrons with hefty wallets have realized a trendsetting art and culture scene.
Getting around is a breeze, thanks to an efficient network of public transportation, starring trains that run like clockwork. Budget conscious families now have the opportunity to discover the Rhineland’s under-the-radar charms at a bargain rate.
DJH Hostels Easter Weekend Special
If you are able to travel to the Rhine region this Easter, DJH Hostels, an upscale chain of 35 budget accommodations that are part of the German Youth Hostel Association, is offering vacationing families steep discounts. The Easter Weekend Special is available at select properties for a three-night stay starting on Good Friday and ending on Easter Monday. The special rate includes a three-night stay in a family room, all-you-can-eat breakfast each morning and your choice of three additional hearty meals, either lunch or dinner. The cost is an unbeatable € 49 for each adult, for all three nights (April 18-21) and six meals, taxes included. Kids receive a 30-50% discount off the adult rate. Eleven DJH Hostels, including those in Bonn, Cologne and Aachen, are participating in this Easter deal.
Upscale Hostels for the Entire family
These hostels shouldn’t be confused with dormitory-style hostels that cater to backpackers. DJH Hostels provide very comfortable private accommodations. They have long been popular with European business people, groups and families. The rooms and public spaces are comparable to three-star hotels, only at a fraction of the price. Practical amenities such as cribs, high chairs and bottle warmers are available if you are on the road with a tiny traveler.
Go2City Tourist Agency is Conveniently Located On-Site
Staying at a DJH Hostel is not only easy on your wallet, it makes touring the town effortless. The new in-house tourist agency, Go2City, sells sightseeing tours and tickets to local attractions at low prices, making the hostel a one-stop-shop for all of your family’s travel needs. City tours and guided museum visits couldn’t be simpler to book, all at an excellent value.
If you are traveling with a teenager — or even a whole youth group — Go2City specializes in experiential travel that connects young visitors to local youth. They offer an extensive range of services for students who are traveling in groups and create specific itineraries that target the group’s particular interest. A high school glee club from the Midwest might spend the afternoon at a concert performed by a local youth choral group, followed by a meet-and-greet.
Take Advantage of the Easter Weekend Deal at one of the Following DJH Hostels
Cologne: The DJH Cologne Deutz hostel is a terrific base for families. This city is famed for its spectacular Gothic cathedral, but the vivacious art scene is what’s bursting with mojo. Don’t miss a stop at the Museum Ludwig. Its vibrant pop-art collection is loaded with teen-appeal. The Cologne Zoo is another must-see. It is respected for its primate collection, insectarium and elephant park.
Aachen: The DJH property in Aachen is a family-friendly option. Aachen has been bursting with history since Charlemagne declared it the center of the Holy Roman Empire. Its stunning cathedral was the first in Germany to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many visitors come here for the healing power of its sulfur springs, and your family might want to give the medicinal waters a try.
Bonn: The DJH Bonn hostel is another worthy place for families to set up base camp. The capital of West Germany before reunification, it is one of the wealthiest cities in Europe. Music lovers from around the globe come to Bonn to pay homage to Beethoven. He was born and spent much of his childhood here. Head to his birthplace, the Beethoven-Haus museum, where kids should enjoy the interactive 3-D exhibits. The city center is closed to traffic and the extensive bike path is a fun way to get around town.
How to Get Here
If you are flying to the Rhineland, Dusseldorf is home to one of the most modern airports in Europe, with terrific train connections that will get you anywhere in the region swiftly. Air Berlin flies here non-stop from several U.S. gateway cities, as does Lufthansa. Bonn and Cologne share a large and efficient airport with good connections to many international destinations.
For information and reservations on DJH’s Rhineland hostels, including the Easter Weekend Special, please contact: DJH-Service-Center Rheinland, Düsseldorfer Str. 1A, 40545 Düsseldorf, Tel.: 0211 3026 3026, or E-Mail: [email protected]. For more information on sightseeing in Germany, contact the German Tourism office.
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