Trams and Trains of Northern Germany

The Wuppertal elevated monorail travels through the city - © GNTB/Merten, Hans Peter
Miniatur Wunderland - © FouPic
Castle Drachenburg at Königswinter overlooking the Rhine
Drachenfels Railway
Essen Stadbahn - © Stefan Baguette, Tübingen, Germany
Hamburg at night - © GNTB/Pollak, Jürgen
The Schwebebahn, straddles the river at  Wuppertal
Schwerin Castle
Steam-locomotive at Bochum Railway Museum
Zollverein Coal Museum, Ruhr

Holiday Highlights

  • Public transport tickets for  Düsseldorf, Essen, Hamburg and Bonn
  • Ride on Wuppertal’s Schwebebahn Kaiserwagen with English speaking guide
  • Visit to the Ruhr Museum
  • Railway Museum in Bochum
  • Entry into Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland
  • Ride the Drachenfels Rack Railway
  • 14 days from £1,560pp
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Tour Dates:
Saturday 9 September to Friday 22 September 2017

A comprehensive look at the tramways and trains of Germany’s industrial heartland. We visit Düsseldorf, Essen, Hamburg and Bonn where we have plenty of free time to explore and ride the local tram and rail systems using our local transport passes.


Day 1 – London to Düsseldorf

We start our tour by taking an early morning Eurostar from London St Pancras International to Brussels where we connect to a high speed Thalys service to Cologne. We depart Cologne on a regional train and arrive in Düsseldorf late afternoon.

Day 2 – Hanging around in Wuppertal

The Schwebebahn, or hanging railway, which runs along the Wupper Valley in the Ruhr is quite unique. Built over 100 years ago, this monorail straddles the river and is not only a tourist attraction but a serious part of the region’s transport infrastructure, carrying over 20 million passengers a year. We ride the entire route of the Schwebebahn in the Kaiser Saloon with an English speaking guide.

Day 3 – Onwards to Essen

This morning we travel onwards to Essen and check in to the InterCity Hotel for a 5-night stay. In the afternoon your tour leader will guide you on an exploratory tour of the city’s tram network which combines standard and metre gauge operation with some mixed gauge track.

Day 4 – Ruhr Museum

We take the tram this morning to the Ruhr Museum at the Zollverein Coal Mine. The museum showcases the history of the Ruhrgebiet, from the formation of coal 300 million years ago to the current structural change towards the Ruhr Metropolis. The afternoon is free to explore the extensive tram network.

Day 5 – Eisenbahnmuseum Bochum

This morning we visit the Railway Museum in Bochum. The museum displays over 120 historical railway vehicles and gives a comprehensive overview of the development of German locomotives and carriages from 1853 to the present day. We return to Essen in the afternoon via Gelsenkirchen.

Day 6 – Mülheim Tram Network

Today we take the tram to Mülheim, known as the ‘City on the River’ and spend the day exploring the city’s tram network.

Day 7 – Free Time to Explore

Our final day based in Essen allows free time to explore the area independently or you can join the tour leader on an optional excursion to look a little further afield at the Duisburg tram network.

Day 8 – Onwards to Hamburg

Some free time this morning before catching a midday train to Hamburg. We check in to our hotel for a 4-night stay. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore some of the city’s U-Bahn network (sadly, no trams here!).

Day 9 – Miniatur Wunderland

This morning we visit Hamburg’s famous Miniatur Wunderland. This is the world’s largest model railway offering more than just trains. There is something for everyone here and you are free to spend as little or as much time as you want looking at all the exhibits. The rest of the day is free to continue exploring the city.

Day 10 – Schwerin Tram Network

Today we take the train to Schwerin to explore the city’s standard gauge tram network. The city is famous for its romantic palace, 7 lakes and its well preserved old town so there is plenty to see here if you don’t want to spend all day on the trams.

Day 11 – Free Time to Explore

Our final day in Hamburg is free for you to explore on your own or you can join the tour leader on an optional excursion to the beautiful old city of Lübeck.

Day 12 – Onwards to Bonn

We move south again today to the old West German capital of Bonn, one of Germany’s oldest cities and perhaps most famous as the birthplace of Ludwig van Beethoven. We check in to our hotel for the final 2 nights of the tour. The tour leader will guide a trip on the city’s trams this afternoon.

Day 13 – Drachenfels Railway

This morning we take a tram to Königswinter and ride on the electric rack railway to the Drachenfels for a superb view of the Rhine. This afternoon will be free for further tram exploration, perhaps on the through route to Cologne.

Day 14 – Homeward Bound

We head back to London this morning via Cologne and Brussels and arrive at London St Pancras International Station late afternoon.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

InterCity Hotel, Düsseldorf

InterCity Hotel, Essen

InterCity Hotel Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, Hamburg

InterCity Hotel, Bonn

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • All rail travel as stated in standard class
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis with public transport tickets included
  • Entrance fees for Museums and Miniatur Wunderland as specified
  • Excursion on Wuppertal Schwebebahn
  • Excursion on Drachenfels Rack Railway
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £1,560
Single room supplement: £537
Deposit for this holiday: £100
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2016

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.