Bergisches Land is a low mountainous region in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Its natural areas are dominated by woods, rivers and grasslands and a large number of artificial lakes. Its lush green setting has long been a popular day trip and short stay destination for the city dwellers of Bonn, Düsseldorf, Cologne and other large cities in the region. More recently, the three main cities in Bergisches Land, Remscheid, Solingen and Wuppertal have joined forces to promote the touristic appeal to a wider region - and with increasing success.
- 1 Bergisch Gladbach - an amalgamated city encompassing municipalities with long history and many monuments
- 2 Gummersbach - an idyllic green town in a valley, known for its ubiquitous linden trees - a household name among Handball fans
- 3 Mettmann - a town dating back more than a millennium, home of the Neanderthal, where human remains from 40 millennia before have been discovered
- 4 Remscheid - on one end of the Müngstener Brücke, an early railway engineering marvel, with a host of buildings from the industrial revolution, including an imposing town hall
- 5 Solingen - at the other end of the bridge, a town famous since the Middle Ages for the finest swords and knives
- 6 Wuppertal - home of the Schwebebahn, a suspended monorail over the river Wupper, dating back over a century
The region takes its name from Berg, a county and later duchy and grand duchy occupying a slightly larger territory, with a capital in Düsseldorf. The hilly Bergisches Land developed an independent identity from the lowlands along the Rhine, especially when the industrial revolution brought affluence to the cities along the river Wupper.
The region's main long-distance train stations are in Wuppertal and Solingen, served by an hourly cross-country ICE train between Cologne, Hannover and Berlin. The two main stations also see multiple trains a day going to and from Frankfurt Airport, as well as other major cities such as Bremen, Dortmund, Hamburg and Leipzig. Some of the trains calling at Wuppertal and Solingen originate or terminate in Basel in Switzerland.
On top of that, there is a busy schedule of regional trains connecting both stations to other major cities of the Rhine-Ruhr region, such as Bonn, Düsseldorf, Essen, Krefeld and Neuss, as well as farther destinations with North Rhine-Westphalia, including Aachen and Münster. There is even a cross-border regional service from Wuppertal to Venlo in the Netherlands. Local S-Bahn trains connect the Wuppertal and Solingen stations with neighbouring municipalities, such as Mettmann and Remscheid.
The city of Bergisch Gladbach is somewhat isolated from others in the region railway-wise, only served by the S11 S-Bahn from Düsseldorf Airport.
The southern part of the region, including Bergisch-Gladbach and Gummersbach, belongs to the public transport association Verkehrsverband Rhein-Sieg, while the north with the cities of Wuppertal, Solingen and Remscheid are part of Verkehrsverband Rhein-Ruhr. Both transport associations have unified fare schemes throughout their areas, moreover they have a cooperation scheme between themselves providing for fares for travelling into the other associations' area. While mastering the zone-based fare scheme may be a daunting task, you will find getting around quite convenient overall.