The Schwebebahn system – suspended from massive girders above the course of the River Wupper – was an ingenious solution to the problem of providing a rapid-transit system in an extremely narrow valley where space was at a premium. The idea of Cologne engineer Eugen Langen, it was built in the 1890s. Kaiser Wilhelm II took the inaugural ride in 1900 and the system opened to the public a few months afterwards. It takes some getting used to, as the trains are noisy and sway from side to side in slightly disconcerting fashion, but the Schwebebahn has a good safety record, and on weekend afternoons you can take a “Kaffeefahrt” on one of the original 1900 trains, departing from Vohwinkel station.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Germany features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Get on board: the 5 best European river cruises

Among a certain segment of travellers, cruising is sometimes maligned: the dismal buffet and watered-down cocktails. Those kitschy lounge acts. The contrived sh…

29 Mar 2016 • AnneLise Sorensen insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month