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Münster

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Castle of Münster (today used by the University)

Münster[1] is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the west of Germany.

Understand

Münster originated as a monastery founded in 794 by the Frisian missionary Liudger to aid Charlemagne's campaign to gain control over the Saxons. In 805, Münster was made a bishopric and, in 1170, it obtained its town rights. In 1648, a peace treaty was signed at the Rathaus, marking an end to the Thirty Year's War.

Today Münster is a city of about 270 000 inhabitants known for its university and as an administration centre.

Get in

Münster has good connections to the rest of Germany via the Deutsche Bahn station, Münster Hauptbahnhof.

Düsseldorf Flughafen (Airport) is about 1 hour 20 minutes by train from Münster, whereas Münster-Osnabrück Airport is about 30 minutes drive from the city. The latter has grown significantly in recent years, offering flights throughout Europe including to London (Stansted), Berlin and Amsterdam.

By car Münster can be reached by Autobahn 1 from both the north and the south and Autobahn 43 from the southwest.

Get around

Münster has a huge number of bikes which creates a really special atmosphere. There are about 40,000 students in Münster so traveling by bike and on foot are the key modes of transport. All sidewalks have a red-brick section reserved just for cyclists, and the entire city has a pedestrian/cycle path that surrounds it. The Promenade follows the route of the city's long-gone medieval walls, and it makes for a very nice walk, taking you past the lovely Aasee (a large artificial lake surrounded by a park).

Münster also has an efficient (almost) 24 hour bus system. You can purchase tickets from the bus driver.

See

The Peace Hall, located in the old city hall, is famous for the signing of the historic Treaty of Münster, a document which, as a part of the Peace of Westphalia, ended the Thirty Years War and established the Westphalian style of diplomacy between sovereign states.

Münster is also known for its vast number of churches that dot its entire cityscape, including St. Lambert's Church and Klemenskirche. St. Paul's Cathedral (German: St.-Paulus-Dom) is one of the city's most impressive features and is well worth a visit. Also, the City Museum on Salzstrasse can give you a glimpse of how the city has evolved through the years (free entry although displays are only in German).

Do

  • There is an all weather zoo in Münster.
  • Pablo Picasso Museum of Graphic Art, the only museum devoted exclusively to the graphic works of Pablo Picasso [2]
  • There is a nice modern indoor swimming pool near the town centre. [3]
  • Take a walk around the beautiful Aasee, or join a student barbecue. Rent a pedal boat and enjoy the breeze!
  • Rent a bike at the train station and bike around the city. Don't forget to lock it!
  • Relax at the Harbor area, have a drink or enjoy some food. Go dancing at the Heaven disco
  • Go skating at the famous skate park called Skater's Palace
  • Get some ice cream and do some window shopping in the city center
  • Walk or bike around the Promenade, it's Münster's bicycle "autobahn" and a beautiful tree-lined, smog free bicycle and pedestrian street

Buy

Prinzipalmarkt, the main shopping district.

Eat

There is a huge choice of restaurants in Münster. The cuisine of almost every country in the world is represented. For Italian food, the Mocca Dor is a nice choice. Recommended German restaurants and bars include Stuhlmacher (by the Town Hall/Rathaus)on Prinzipalmarkt. Or just round the corner the Kiepenkerl has tables outside by the Maypole.

If you are on a budget, try eating at one of the many student cafeterias in town. The Aasee-Mensa cafeteria offers a large variety of dishes for students and non-students.

Drink

Take advantage from being in Münster by drinking an Altbier at Brauerei und Altbierküche Pinkus Müller. The Pinkus Müller restaurant and bar has its own brewery producing some really tasty beers. Münster has a large student population so there are a range of bars such as Cafe Extrablatt and Markt Cafe (on the market square by the Cathedral).

The Jüdefelder Strasse (located north west of the city centre) gathers many bars and pubs such as Gorilla, Die Rote Liebe, Davidswache, Destille and more. Alternatively, you can find a huge amount of bars in the "Hafen" area (south east of the city centre, behind the main train station). Prices are usually reasonable (starting at around €2 for a beer and €4/5 for a cocktail).

  • Markt Cafe, a modern bar and café opposite the cathedral
  • Stuhlmacher, a traditional Pub next to the Rathaus (town hall) on Prinzipalmarkt
  • Café Garbo, Warendorfer Strasse 45-47 (east of the center), 0251-30300, [4]. 10:00 a.m. -1:30 a.m. A cafe-pub which offers good, fresh food, mostly vegetarian or vegan. A lot of fair trade and ecological products as coffee, tea, jucies, vegetables. Sandwiches for breakfast, great house-made cake, dutch and english menue (German menue also for blind people available!) free-wlan, changing table, a lot of newspapers, nice, warm and cosy atmosphere, also meeting point for LGBT. Since it's also a cinema you can always view a movie before or after dinner. Most movies are in German, but some are in their original languages with German subtitles. Mains €4-€9.


Sleep

For conveniently located hotels near the Hauptbahnhof (Main Station), the Ibis Hotel is a good option about 5 minutes walk from the main station. Directly opposite the station is the Hotel Conti. Another hotel opposite the station that is a really nice choice, with modern rooms, is the Hotel Kaiserhof. From the outside, it looks like just a modern office block type building. But inside. it is really nicely decorated it the style of a traditional older hotel. There is also a free sauna for guests.

  • Kaiserhof Hotel, [5]
  • Hotel Conti, [6],

If you are on a budget, search for the Backpacker Hostel or log in on Couchsurfing.org, since Münster has a large Couchsurfing community.

Get out


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