North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen) is a state in the northwest of Germany.
Regions of North Rhine-Westphalia
 Other destinations
North Rhine-Westphalia (short version NRW) is a German state and founded 1946 by the British government. The state capital is Dusseldorf while Cologne is the most populated. It consists of, as the name indicates, the province Westphalia in the east and the northern Rhinelands in the west. The hyphen symbolizes the attempt to bind people whose nature is so very incompatible and stands also for the gap between the ethnic groups. This gap runs from the southeast to the northwest for 283 km across the state.
The Westphalian is said to be a little bit tight-lipped but very reliable while the Rhinelanders are full of life and sometimes a little bit noisy. Knowing this makes it easier for a visitor to understand some attitudes, furthermore handle it like the locals: take it lightly.
The northern part of North Rhine-Westphalia is flat farmland and is known for its expertise in horse breeding, while the southern part is mountainous, up to 1000 m above sea level. Its numerous brooks turned the wheels of numerous handicrafts before the steam engine was invented.
In the middle of all aspects, geographic and ethnic, there exists the Ruhr Area (Ruhrgebiet), the name of the river at whose banks the region is situated. It arose during the past 150 years by immigrants from all over Europe but has strong roots in Westphalia and the Rhinelands also. The region was and still is a bit the heart of heavy industry in Germany, based on coal and steel. Althrough mining has come to an end, the people strongly derive their identity from heavy industry.
North Rhine-Westphalia has about 18 million inhabitants, which makes it the most populous state in Germany and the fourth largest in area. The Ruhr is the third largest urban region in Middle Europe, after London and Paris. Also, 34 of the 100 largest companies in Germany and 9 of the 100 largest European companies have their headquarter in North Rhine-Westphalia.
 Get in
 Get around
Public transport is very good with a high density. You need only one ticket for local, regional and express trains (no high-speed trains), light rail systems, trams and buses in the whole North Rhine-Westphalia. You don't need to purchase another ticket when you change from local train to bus, light rail and tram.
Example: You purchased a ticket from Aachen to Wuppertal for local, regional and express trains. Whith this ticket, you can use the monorail (Schwebebahn) and the city buses in Wuppertal.
 Get out