Lower Rhine Cycle Route from Cologne
Wide landscapes full of highlights.
Look forward to the Lower Rhine, a region bordering the Netherlands in the very west of Germany. Between the Rhine and Maas, it offers fascinating nature with its endless forests and impressive water landscapes. Dotted with lovely old towns, romantic alleys, castles, palaces and a man-made cultural landscape, the Lower Rhine offers one of the largest and most beautiful networks of bike and hiking trails in Europe. Over 2000 km of well signposted paths lead through the beautiful landscape to interesting cities. Today's Xanten was called Colonia Ulpia Traiana around 2,000 years ago and was an important Roman city. Cities like Emmerich am Rhein, Kalkar, Neuss and Wesel belonged to the Hanseatic League in the Middle Ages. The Hanseatic League played an important role on the Lower Rhine, because for over 400 years it played a decisive role in the economy and politics. In the city center of Cologne, you begin your varied bike tour, which will take you on flat paths to the Dutch border. Marvel at the small fortress town of Zons with its still completely preserved city wall, look forward to the lively Düsseldorf old town, take an impressive boat trip through the largest inland port in Europe in Duisburg, visit Germany's largest archaeological open-air museum in Xanten and enjoy the probably most beautiful Rhine promenade far and wide in Emmerich.
1. day Arrival in Cologne
Look forward to the lively Cologne and visit the world-famous Cologne Cathedral as well as the beautiful old town with its breweries, pinturesque houses and a lot of history (train arrival possible, parking in the underground car park or public car park near the hotel, rental bikes at the hotel).
2. day Cologne – Düsseldorf 53 km
Hopefully you got to enjoy the proverbial Cologne humor the evening before, before you leave the cathedral city on the banks of the Rhine today. Take a worthwhile break in the medieval town of Zons. Marvel at the the Judde Tower – a mighty Rhine Tower from 1388, with a baroque dome roof and the windmill with its wooden grinder from the 17th century. Relaxed you continue to Düsseldorf. Be sure to visit the castle square (“Burgplatz”) around the castle tower, because it has been voted one of the most beautiful squares in Germany. Enjoy the unique atmosphere in the old town with a real Düsseldorf Altbier (a type of dark beer) and a wonderful view of the Rhine.
3. day Düsseldorf - Duisburg 49 km
Continue on the Rhine cycle path to Kaiserswerth with the picturesque ruins of the "Kaiserpfalz", a castle from the 12th century that offers a fantastic panoramic view. Then take a small ferry across the Rhine to the left riverbank. Visit Linn Castle, a medieval water- castle. It is one of the most beautiful and oldest castles on the Lower Rhine! You can also marvel at the historic city center of Krefeld-Linn, which is almost completely under monument protection. If you want, you can also visit the German Textile Museum, which presents textiles from all parts of the world and from all epochs of time. Back in the saddle, the green floodplains are slowly but surely giving way to imposing industrial architecture. The cycle path brings you back to the right riverbank, where the Ruhr flows into the Rhine. The last few kilometers to downtown Duisburg are now quickly cycled. Take an interesting and exciting boat tour in Duisburg through the largest inland port in Europe! On this tour you will learn a lot about the steel industry. For the evening we recommend a visit to the Duisburg inner harbor. Dotted with many international bars and restaurants, it offers a unique atmosphere and wonderful food.
4. day Duisburg – Wesel 47 km
If you want to learn more about industrial culture, use the S-Bahn and travel to the Meiderich district of Duisburg in about 6 minutes. You only cycle a short distance until you get to the 'Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord'. This disused smelting plant is approx. 200 ha big and can be visited individually or with a guided tour. On an industrial history tour, you climb the old blast furnace, walk through the former ore bunker and through the old casting hall. Afterwards, you cycle back to the banks of the Rhine on a comfortable bike path on a former railway line. After just a few kilometers on the right riverside, you are back to the idyllic rural landscape. The wide nature reserves of the Lower Rhine line your path and tempt you to dream. Look forward to the old Hanseatic city of Wesel, which welcomes you with many brightly painted donkey statues. Visit the imposing Willibrodi Cathedral on the Great Market square and admire the filigree facade of the historic town hall, which was rebuilt in 2011. On the outskirts of Wesel, quietly in the countryside and idyllically right at the riverside, you will spend the next three nights in the 4-star Welcome Hotel Wesel in a generously equipped suite (at least 50 square meters) with a kitchenette, separate living room and bedroom and a small balcony.
5. day To the Roman city of Xanten 42 km
On the Rhine cycle path you cycle to Bislicher Insel, a nature reserve of riverside woodlands which lies in a river loop of the old Rhine. Well-signposted bike paths will bring you to Xanten in no time. Look forward to the historic city center, the richly decorated St. Viktor's Cathedral, and the archaeological park with Roman museum. Be sure to visit this special open-air museum and be amazed at the remains of historical excavations, which today have been reconstructed as a vivid Roman cityscape. Stroll through the former Roman city, discover the amphitheater and the harbor temple and let yourself be inspired by the handicraft demonstrations. After a worthwhile visit, you can grab a bite to eat on the Xanten market square before you pass the historic windmill in Menzelen on your return journey and thus reach the Rhine and your hotel in Wesel again.
6. day Excursion to Emmerich 52 km
If the weather is nice, pack your swimwear today. First you cycle to the small ferry "Keer Tröch II", which takes you to the left riverside. There you will be welcomed by the lakes “Südsee” and “Nordsee”, both of which invite you to take long breaks. You then continue through the Rhine water meadows on the Rhine Cycle Path past the “Wunderland Kalkar” amusement park. Close to Emmerich you can enjoy your bike ride over the longest suspension bridge in Germany, which is also known as the Golden Gate of the Lower Rhine. If you want, you can take a short detour to the border (+ 5 km each way) before rolling to Emmerich. Look forward to the old Hanseatic city of Emmerich, because it offers one of the most beautiful promenades in the Lower Rhine. The Rhine promenade in Emmerich is a popular excursion destination, peppered with beach chairs, many restaurants and inviting cafes. You can then take the train back to Wesel in a relaxed manner (direct connection, travel time approx. 1 hour).
7. day Wesel Abreise
After breakfast, your bike tour ends today in the hotel. If you want to go back to Cologne, you can book our practical return transfer (return trip in a minibus with luggage and your own bike) or use the regional train (travel time approx. 2 hours with a change in Duisburg).
prices & services
Individual tours: Here you decide when and with whom you would like to travel. We provide you with detailed tour documents and practical planning tips, and you enjoy our all-in, worry-free package with separate luggage transport throughout your tour.
Guided tours: You can simply get on your bike and enjoy a group holiday (8–20 participants). Your tour guide will take care of everything, and your luggage will be transported separately.
This overview shows you the grade of difficulty for our tours:
In the case of our original Velociped tours, we are the tour operator. We organise and accompany these tours personally.
So that you have an even bigger selection to choose from, we also cover additional routes in collaboration with long-standing partners. With these Velociped partner tours, we are the tour broker.
Prices are per person.
09.04. – 29.04.2023
01.10. – 15.10.2023
30.04. – 13.05.2023
17.09. – 30.09.2023
14.05. – 16.09.2023
bookable additional nights
bookable additional services
- From 6 persons daily arrival possible
- accommodation incl. breakfast
- room with shower/bath/WC
- luggage transport
- map of bike trails with marked route
- detailed route description
- GPS tracks on request
- tips for tour preparation
- touristic information
- 7 days hotline service
Below you will find specific information about the bike trip on the Lower Rhine. If you have further questions about this trip, you simply call us: Phone: 06421 – 886890.
Arrival by train
Cologne can be easily reached by train from all major cities in Germany. Our partner hotels in Cologne are all in the city center and can be easily reached by public transport from the main train station. You can find information on timetables and prices at:
Our partner hotels in Cologne offer good parking options for the entire duration of your bike trip. You will also find various parking garages near the hotel. Please calculate with costs of approx.12,00 € per day.
You will receive detailed information about the parking options at the hotel booked for you with the detailed travel documents two weeks before the start of your journey.
Condition of the bike paths
The route along the Rhine runs almost exclusively on paved cycle paths and dam paths or on quiet country roads. Driving directly in traffic is rare.
Available rental bikes
If you would like a rental bike for the tour, we will bring it to your starting hotel and of course pick it up at your destination. You can choose from unisex and men's bikes with either 7-speed gear hub and coaster brake or 27-speed derailleur and freewheel. All unisex bikes have a deep step-through and men's bikes are available in different frame sizes. Our unisex bikes are suitable for all persons from 150 cm in height and the men's bikes from 165 cm. 8-speed unisex e-bikes are also available on request. This is where the high-quality, robust and well-engineered e-bikes from the Velo de Ville brand are used. Simply state your bike requirements when booking.
Transfer back to the starting point of the journey
Every Saturday there is the possibility of taking a minibus (with a bicycle trailer) back to Cologne at 9:00 a.m. (arrival there around 11:00 a.m.). The driver comes to your hotel and has space for you, your luggage and, if necessary, your private bike.
Extra costs which are not included in the tour price
Rhine ferries, S-Bahn train ride in Duisburg and a possibly applicable city tax are not included and have to be paid locally.
7 days hotline service
Just in case the bike chain breaks, flooding makes it impossible to continue your tour or any other nasty surprise: You can reach us seven days a week and we will do anything to help you as fast as possible.
Passport and visa requirements, health regulations
For EU citizens, there are no special passport or visa requirements and no health formalities to be considered for this trip.
Corona travel information:
Before booking your trip, please inform yourself about the measures in place to contain the Corona pandemic.
Information on current decisions of the German Federal Government can be found here:
Current information on entry requirements to Germany can be found here:
You can also find more information on our website at:
Corona virus and holiday planning
The tour price already includes the statutory insolvency insurance. In addition, we recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance upon receipt of your travel confirmation in order to protect yourself against financial disadvantages in the event of travel cancellation, interruption of travel, illness or accident.
The new program of public tours offers something for every interest and every budget. Are you visiting the city for the first time and would like to get an overview of the most important sights to start your stay? Then you have come to the right place with the "Cologne Classics". Or would you like to learn a lot of interesting and unusual things about the city? Then you should be there at “Cologne for connoisseurs” or “Cologne Special”.
The Cologne Cathedral is not only one of the largest and most important cathedrals in the world, but its furnishings also include works of art that have been known and famous far beyond the borders of Cologne for centuries.
With a height of 157.38 m, Cologne Cathedral is the second tallest church building in Europe after the Münster in Ulm and the third tallest in the world.
The museum was completed in 1974 over the site of the Dionysus mosaic. The collection conveys a lively picture of Roman culture on the Rhine on three floors. Everyday objects such as vessels, coins and toys, a valuable Roman glass collection and other finds from the early days of settlement in the Rhineland can be seen.
Historic fortress town of Zons
The former Electoral Cologne customs fortress Zons, owned by Archbishop Friedrich III. von Saar were founded in the 14th century and, in its excellent state of preservation, is a unique example of a fortified medieval town in the Rhineland.
The mighty Rhine Tower from 1388 is particularly worth seeing. But the Juddeturm with its baroque dome and the windmill with its still original wooden grinder from the 17th century are popular photo motifs as well.
Düsseldorf - longest bar in the world
The selection of pubs in Düsseldorf's old town is huge. Because of this the old town is celebrated as the “longest bar in the world” in the song “Altbierlied”. Whether music bars, artist get-togethers, culture bars, sport bars, Irish pubs, jazz bars or the traditional corner bars - Düsseldorf has it all. Here you will find an overview of pubs, breweries, restaurants, bistros & cafes, bars, clubs and snack bars.
MedienHafen Düsseldorf with Gehry buildings
Warehouses under monument protection have been restored and equipped with the most modern IT and media equipment, old rooms shine in a new outfit.
German and international architecture stars have helped the MedienHafen to become nationally and even internationally known. Regardless of all these innovations, the special harbor atmosphere is palpable. The Gehry buildings are considered a new Düsseldorf landmark.
Inner harbor, forum, casino, landscape park, zoo - the list of highlights is long. Duisburg is a diverse city in every aspect: marvel at the sights, experience the sun and water, discover nature and animals and enjoy international gastronomy. The offer is very diverse and offers both citizens and visitors a wide range of options.
Landscape Park Duisburg Nord
As a result of industrialization, collieries, mine dumps, steelworks and landfills were created in Duisburg where there was previously agriculture. However, after its closure, nature quickly reclaimed its former terrain. In Duisburg, as in the rest of the Ruhr area, an interesting and varied new landscape was created.
Perfectly located at the intersection of the flows from north to south (Rhine) and from west to east (Ruhr), the location with its excellent connections to the water, rail and road modes of transport offers optimal conditions for efficiently bundling global trade and bringing it to the European markets.
Xanten's old town is charming, contemplative and worth a long stroll. Numerous architectural monuments have been preserved that deserve a close look.
For friends of Roman culture, Xanten is a paradise. Roman history comes to life on the site of the ancient provincial town of Colonia Ulpia Traiana - in the LVR Archaeological Park Xanten - or APX for short. Imposing reconstructions of Roman buildings are the heart of the Xanten "Roman Park".
Donkey from Wesel
Every child knows the name of the mayor of Wesel. Because the "Esel" echo from Wesel's question about a mayor is known far beyond it‘s borders (Esel means donkey in German). You can find the famous trademark with a wink in a wide variety of ways all over the city - whether as a souvenir, as a life-size, painted donkey figure in a front yard or in the pedestrian zone and even as a living animal. Because the "Donkey from Wesel" called Vesalius Dahlkamp from Stockum to Wesel can be viewed live on the Grav-Insel camping site and of course he likes to get petted.
Emmerich on the Lower Rhine
Emmerich, the beautiful city on the Rhine has numerous sights to offer. For example, the beautiful St. Martini Church with the treasury or the 1000 year old St. Vitus Church. The Rhine promenade is also worth seeing. The Drusus-well on the Eltenberg also attracts numerous tourists. Not to be forgotten are the city's museums. The Rhine Museum with over 130 ship models or the poster museum with over 90,000 posters are always worth a visit. Those who like to relax can go for a walk in the beautiful park at H. Borghees and look at the little castle at the same time.
Emmerich suspension bridge
The total length of the bridge is 1,228 meters, of which the free span across the river between the pillars is 500 meters. This makes it the longest suspension bridge in Germany.
The structure spans the Rhine between Kleve and Emmerich at a height of around 30 m at kilometer 853.2. It is the northernmost German Rhine bridge.