23 Best Things To Do In Paderborn, Germany

things to do in paderborn germany
| 12 min read

A fascinating amalgamation of old-school charm and modern pace is Paderborn, the largest city in Germany’s eastern Westphalia region. Once a power base of the Holy Roman Empire and king Charlemagne’s seat, the city finds itself a steady place in the relics of time. Stunning churches, marvellous sculptures, fine architecture, and gobs of natural beauty, there’s pretty much everything you’ll find here. While most find themselves in the city as a stopover, step outside its airport and be prepared to plunge into a truly unique experience. This list of things to do in Paderborn, Germany covers most of what will make for a great trip for you so add these to your itinerary right away.

1. Take a walk through the city center

things to do in paderborn germany | take a walk through the city center
Source: Pixabay

Paderborn’s city center is arguably one of the most fantastic neighbourhoods across German towns. Rife with beautiful sights and plenty of tourist sites, it makes for a great place to head if you’re looking to pack multiple things in a single day. The Pader Springs, the reconstructed Imperial Palace, the Paderborn Cathedral, the Adam-and-Eve-House, the Neuhaus castle, and the Rathaus building among several others–they’re all here. We’ll take you through each one of these in detail but you may even book yourselves on a conducted tour of the place.

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2. Marvel at the architecture of Paderborn Cathedral

Source: Photo by user Arne Hückelheim used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Standing tall and proud in the heart of this German town is the Paderborn Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Liborius, Saint Mary, and Saint Kilian. The current cathedral building occupies the space where once stood king Charlemagne’s bishopric which he established in the 8th century, but was damaged in the 12th century. The cathedral we see now was built in the 13th century and has since been one of Paderborn’s most historically rich places. Stunning in its appearance, the church follows the Gothic style of architecture and its easily recognizable western tower is quite a sight to behold. Step through its entrance, the paradise portal, and make your way to see the ‘Window of Three Hares’, or Dreihasenfenster – a replica of the 16th-century carving of three hares in motion. There’s hour-long guided tours that the cathedral’s authorities offer. You can book yourself on to one of those and enjoy the best of the place.

Paderborn Cathedral

Address: Domplatz, 33098 Paderborn

Website: Paderborn Cathedral

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3. Head over to the picture-worthy Rathaus building

Paderborn - 2016-09-14 - Rathaus (4)
Source: Photo by user Tsungam used under CC BY-SA 4.0

A classic example of the Weser Renaissance architectural style with its three gables, Rathaus building is actually Paderborn’s town hall. Would you believe? It was originally built in the 17th century and suffered quite a bit of damage due to a series of unfortunate events until it was rebuilt around the mid-20th century and stands till date in the heart of the city. Regardless, the place remains quite an impressive building till date. The ground floor emanates a Florentine influence and mullioned windows beautifully offset its ornamented gables further up. Right atop the building sits a weather vane. Quite a landmark–don’t forget to add it to your itinerary.

Rathaus building

Address: Rathauspl. 1, 33098 Paderborn

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4. Check out the Adam-and-Eve House

Museum für Stadtgeschichte im Adam-und-Eva-Haus, Paderborn
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ThomasLieven used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of Paderborn’s oldest yet finest half-timbered houses, this three-storey, gabled house is another sight you must not miss out on. Adam-and-Eve House’s construction dates back to the 1600s and the intricate detailing on its facade is what makes it look like something out of a story book. Interestingly, it is the carved friezes here that give the place its name. The ground floor beautifully depicts the story of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. If nothing, just head on over to marvel at these Weser Renaissance-style friezes. Unfortunately, one can’t step indoors as it hasn’t been open for visitors since 2015 when the museum therein was also wound up.

Adam-and-Eve House

Address: Hathumarstrasse 7 - 9 33098 Paderborn

Website: Adam-and-Eve-House

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5. Visit the majestic Neuhaus Castle

Paderborn, Schloss Neuhaus (Paderborn, Neuhaus castle) - geo.hlipp.de - 5155
Source: Photo by user Udo und Joan Fuge... used under CC BY-SA 2.0

We’ve all read about castles in fairytales. What if you’d get to see one in real life? Head over to the Neuhaus Castle. This four-winged 16th-century building was once the residence of Paderborn’s Prince Bishops and is now one of the city’s landmarks with thousands flocking to admire its quintessential Weser Renaissance-style of architecture, impeccable art, admirable sculptures, and the sprawling manicured Baroque gardens around. The reclining stone figure of a man on the castle’s western gable is also not to be missed. While entry to the main area of the castle is not usually permitted to visitors, you can spend hours luxuriating in the gardens and even visit its museum on site.

Neuhaus Castle

Website: Neuhaus Castle

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6. Spend time amidst nature in the Schloss und Auenpark parklands

Posted by Schloss- und Auenpark on Thursday, 26 April 2018

Adjacent to the Neuhaus Castle is the Schloss und Auenpark parklands, which translates to the Neuhaus Castle and Floodplain Park. Created around the late 20th century, this 42 ha (100 acres) of parkland is a combination of an ecological recreational space formed by floodplains and a park of the Neuhaus Castle. Following a strict geometrical layout plan, the park is adorned with ornamental flower beds, colourful pebbles, and a breathtaking landscaping. If you happen to head to Paderborn from May to October, you might even get to attend one of the famous Summer in the Palace (Schlosssommer) events held in the gardens.

Schloss und Auenpark parklands

Address: Schloßpark und Lippesee GmbH Im Schlosspark 10 33104 Paderborn

Website: Schloss und Auenpark parklands

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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7. Camp near the Lippesee Lake

Lippesee Wehr
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ProfessorX used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Sill not over the exquisiteness of the castle, its parks, and the neighbourhood? Spend your time camping by the Lippesee Lake amidst the quietude, crisp airs, and views to kill for! Whether you’re planning long-term or short-term camping, you’ll have several stay options to choose from. Pitch a tent or even rent a barrel to stay in! How cool, no? There are caravans available, too. Regardless of the type of stay arrangement you go in for, you’ll have access to the open-air barbecue and fireplace as well! And, to top it all, the entire area is WiFi-enabled! Not just these facilities, there’s even some pre-planned day activities you can book yourself in. These are some great programs for all age groups that are not only enriching but also tons of fun.

Freizeit- und Wohnpark am Lippesee

Address: Hermann-Löns-Str. 165 D-33104 Paderborn

Website: Freizeit- und Wohnpark am Lippesee

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8. Stroll along the Pader River

Source: Photo by user UkillaJJ used under CC BY 3.0

A tributary of the Lippe River, Pader River flows its way through Paderborn and is one of Germany’s shortest rivers. Regardless of this fact, its banks make for a superb place for a refreshing stroll. It is walking distance from the Paderborn Cathedral so you can easily head there for a relaxing time after soaking in the beauty of the cathedral. Walk along its well-paved trails and enjoy the ambience of crisp airs, gentle waters, lush greenery, and pleasant bird songs. You can even take yourself a seat at the many benches and spend hours soothing your eyes with the sight of the river. Quite a relaxing experience, this one.

Pader River

Website: Pader River

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9. Go on a Segway tour of the city

Segway tour - panoramio
Source: Photo by user Roman SUZUKI used under CC BY 3.0

How about exploring this lovely little German town in a slightly different manner? Book yourself a Segway tour from Seggy Touren and explore the nooks and crannies of the town in an entirely fun way. Each individual is allotted a Segway vehicle and taken around the town as groups of four to twelve people. Tour guides are super friendly and provide tons of useful information about the several pit stops on the tour. The Imperial Palace, Rathaus Building, Neuhaus Castle, and several other landmarks, all fall along its route. The whole tour takes about two or two-and-a half hours so keep that kind of time aside to enjoy the best of the experience. If not this route, you can even choose to go on a Lippesee Tour. Regardless of which one you choose, just wear your comfiest clothes and flat shoes to avoid any mishaps. Although, do note that only those above 15 years of age with valid driver’s licenses are allowed to hitch rides. They also don’t allow pregnant females on the tours.

Seggy Touren

Website: Seggy Touren

Price: 60 EUR (67.2 USD)

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10. Explore the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum

Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum 002
Source: Photo by user Marcin Wichary used under CC BY 2.0

If you’re a technophile, there’s no way you should not include a trip to the largest computer museum in the world, the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum. Housing more than 2,000 exhibits, the museum is a repository of information and communication technology artefacts, encapsulating a history of about 5,000 years in its many models! Mind-boggling, right? Right from Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics to the modern-day robotics, you’ll find it all here. While the upper floor exhibits take you through the modern-day machinery, the lower floor is where you’ll find early printing machines and pinwheel calculators. You can even book yourselves on the guided tour and gain valuable insights about the various showcases and their history. There’s also some gaming consoles on the ground floor to entertain you.

Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum

Address: Fürstenallee 7, 33102 Paderborn

Website: Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9am - 6pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 5 - 8 EUR (6 - 9 USD)

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11. Visit the German Tractor and Model Car Museum

Also known as the Deutsches Traktoren-und Modellauto-Museum, this place is ideal for automobile enthusiasts. Placing automobiles within history, the museum’s many exhibits walk you through agricultural technology right up till modern-day models. They boast of something like 100 different reconstructed tractor models and about 10,000 car models. You can even buy mini-sized models of these exhibits from their souvenir store, which make for a great keepsake or a gift for a loved one back home. The museum arranges special group tours so if you’re more than 15, give the museum authorities a call and they’ll set something up for you. These tours can also be arranged in English so don’t worry about the language problem. There’s even a playroom on site for little ones so leave them there if you see them getting bored and continue your tour of the place.

German Tractor and Model Car Museum

Address: Karl-Schoppe-Weg 8, 33100 Paderborn

Website: German Tractor and Model Car Museum

Opening hours: Fri - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed from Mon - Thu)

Price: 6 - 18 EUR (7 - 20 USD)

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12. Appreciate art at Diocesan Museum

Rc cathedral paderborn Dom
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Efgeka used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Built in the late 20th century, The Diocesan Museum, with its extensive collection, encapsulates art from the 10th to the 20th centuries, including some of Germany’s most important pieces of art. Housing more than 12,000 pieces of work, the museum is one of the oldest across the country and sees many an art admirers heading there to marvel at the exquisite works. It was originally founded as a space to hold liturgical works but soon became a treasure trove of medieval art. There’s the Romanesque Imad Madonna from the 1050s and even the superb portable altar by the 12th-century Roger of Helmarshausen. In fact, not just its collection, the museum’s architecture is equally a work of art. Hitch on one of their 60-minute or 90 minute-long guided tours and you’ll learn all about the place. Also, the museum regularly hosts themed exhibitions so have a look at their events calendar and plan your visit accordingly.

The Diocesan Museum

Address: Markt 17, 33098 Paderborn

Website: The Diocesan Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 1.50 - 11 EUR (2 - 12 USD)

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13. Catch a game at Benteler Arena

2012-02-26 Paderborn02 (6791757874)
Source: Photo by user Markus Unger used under CC BY 2.0

Are you a sports enthusiast feeling like Paderborn’s all about history, architecture, and museums? Fret not, you can make your way to the Benteler Arena and spend your time watching a game! Opened in 2008, the stadium is about 3.5 km (2.1 miles) from the city center and has the capacity to host up to 15,000 spectators in its pavilions. Also known by its former names, the Paragon Arena and Energieteam Arena, the stadium is actually not all that large in size. However, this works to the spectators’ advantage as there really are no bad seats. You can enjoy a great view from all stands! There’s also some food stalls and a few souvenir stores within the premises of the stadium.

Benteler Arena

Address: Paderborner Str. 89, 33104 Paderborn

Website: Benteler Arena

Price: 12 - 30 EUR (14 - 34 USD)

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14. Scale walls at BlocBuster

If you’re done with the heavy duty, here’s an option for some lighthearted but slightly trying enjoyment. BlocBuster is a recreational facility that offers wall climbing and power yoga to its guests. They have scaling heights suitable for all age groups and ensure optimal safety standards. They even offer learning lessons to first timers, which are tailor-made for all age groups so even if you’re not confident, leave it to them to make it a thoroughly fun experience for you.


Address: Schulze-Delitzsch-Strasse 17, 33100 Paderborn

Website: BlocBuster

Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Fri: 2pm - 10pm; Tue, Thu, Sat - Sun: 10am - 10pm

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15. Take your kids to Pader Bini Country

Posted by Pader-Bini-Land das Kinderspielparadies in Paderborn on Sunday, 8 December 2013

Take your little ones to the Pader Bini Country and let them go wild. A through and through gaming and swings paradise for children, there’s slides, air hockey, billiards, toddlers’ play area, indoor soccer field, and so much more here! However, do note that outside food or drinks aren’t allowed. There’s a cafe inside so if you or your little one get peckish, you can always pick up some snacks and drinks from there. Also, do note that the tickets counter does not accept payments via cards so carry enough cash with you.

Pader Bini Country

Address: Frankfurter Weg 11, 33102 Paderborn

Website: Pader Bini Country

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 2pm - 8pm; Sat - Sun: 11am - 8pm

Price: 3 - 8 EUR (3 - 9 USD)

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16. Play a live escape game

Posted by TeamCrack - Live Escape Game on Thursday, 15 February 2018

Another hugely fun experience is this live escape game, a clue-based puzzle game that you need to decode within 60 minutes. This game is played in groups and really tests your thinking ability with creative and interesting twists and turns. There are several different types of rooms that you can choose from. The game starts with a short introduction which takes you through what you need to do. From there on, you’re left to uncover the scattered clues and set yourselves free. The music, sound, and other special effects add to the overall fun of the game and make it an entirely thrilling experience.

TeamCrack - Live Escape Game Paderborn

Address: Westernmauer 12-16, 33098 Paderborn

Website: TeamCrack - Live Escape Game Paderborn

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17. Learn waterskiing at Wasserki Paderborn

Grossbeeren - Wasserski Park (Waterski Park) - geo.hlipp.de - 41154
Source: Photo by user Colin Smith on ge... used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Get a full-throttle adrenaline rush and go waterskiing in Paderborn. All you need to do is to book yourselves the excellent services of Wasserki Paderborn and prepare to have the time of your life. They offer wetsuits, life jackets, and other necessary gear so you don’t need to worry about a thing. Don’t worry if you’re a newbie, they offer several lessons for learners of different age groups! Also, not just waterskiing, there’s also wakeboarding services and lessons. After you’re done with all the activity, just sit by the lake and enjoy panoramic views of the German landscape or indulge in a game of beach volleyball!

Wasserki Paderborn

Address: Sander Str. 160, 33106 Paderborn

Website: Wasserki Paderborn

Opening hours: Varies monthly

Price: 28 - 40 EUR (32 - 45 USD)

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18. Shop at Südring Center Paderborn

Paderborn Südring Center
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Daniel Brockpähler used under CC BY-SA 3.0

How can a trip be complete without some shopping? No way! Get yourself to the Paderborn’s 50 year-old indoor shopping mall – the Südring Center Paderborn. Head on over and plunge yourself into a world of retail therapy and some dining too. This place is home to some 45 shops offering the best of food, entertainment, books, electronics, clothing, and even souvenirs. While you can pick up some stuff from the showrooms of Adler, Hunkemöller, Tobacco Berens, Depot and many others, you can grab a bite at McDonald’s, Bakery Schäfer’s, Hendel’s, or one of the other places.

Südring Center Paderborn

Address: Pohlweg 110, 33100 Paderborn

Website: Südring Center Paderborn

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 8pm (closed on Sun)

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19. Shop for antiques at Hagedorn

Source: Pexels

Set up some 40 years back, Hagedorn is a family-owned store that sells second-hand products. What makes this store unique? The fact that each item sold here is an antique piece, carefully maintained and restored. Furniture, art, china, glass products, you’ll find it all here. Understandably, the items sold here are slightly on the expensive side, but every penny worth it. Just pay a visit and see if you’re able to resist yourself.


Address: Str. 66 33102 Paderborn

Website: Hagedorn

Opening hours: Thu: 1pm - 6pm; Fri: 10am - 6pm; Sat: 10am - 2pm (closed from Mon - Wed & Sun)

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20. Grab a few drinks at Sputnik

Posted by Sputnik on Saturday, 10 March 2012

All that sightseeing and now craving some drinks and a bite? Head to Sputnik, a local bar in Paderborn to enjoy some great music and a lively ambience. They regularly host local music band performances so this place makes for a great venue to immerse oneself in music and just have a chill time outside. The bar is not too large but has a welcoming vibe to all its guests. The owners of the place are equally amazing and enjoy mixing with the guests.


Address: Imadstrasse 7, 33102 Paderborn

Website: Sputnik

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 7pm - 1am; Fri - Sat: 7pm - 3am (closed on Sun)

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21. Enjoy some German cuisine at German House Restaurant

❤️Ein leckeres gebratenes Seelachsfilet am Freitagmittag!❤️??#paderborn @deutscheshauspaderborn #freitagmittag...

Posted by Deutsches Haus Paderborn on Friday, 25 January 2019

Make your way to the German House Restaurant and try some German cuisine. Open practically all day long, this hugely famous restaurant in the city sees many hungry diners savouring the dishes. Not just their food and atmosphere, but the staff is equally fantastic. If you’re stuck anywhere, just ask them for help! And, they speak English, too. Also, be careful not to over-order as their dish portions are quite generous. Do order their schnitzels, they’re notoriously yummy!

German House Restaurant

Address: Kisau 9, 33098 Paderborn

Website: German House Restaurant

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10:30am - 12am; Sat - Sun: 8:30am - 1am

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22. Visit the Wohlsein nightclub

Party till the crack of dawn at one of Paderborn’s most recent yet chicest nightclubs, Wohlsein. With awesome drinks, pulsating music, and a chilled out vibe, the place easily makes for a classic venue for a fun time. Their DJ nights are absolutely rocking and so are the live music nights. They also keep hosting themed nights regularly so check their website for details and plan your outing accordingly. The club is owned by two DJs themselves so they really know how to get the party going and ensuring that the atmosphere is lit at all times.


Address: Brückengasse 4, 33098 Paderborn

Website: Wohlsein

Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 8pm - 12am; Fri - Sat: 11pm - 5am (closed from Sun - Tue)

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23. Catch a movie at Cineplex Paderborn

things to do in paderborn germany | catch a movie at cineplex paderborn
Source: Pixabay

If nothing else, just head on over to the Cineplex Paderborn and catch yourself a movie. Nothing beats buttery, hot popcorn, cool drinks, and beingcomfortably couched in front of a large screen playing the movie of your choice. Opened back in 1999, this movie hall is spread across four floors and offers the best of movie-watching experience in Paderborn. You can check out their movie selection and timings on the website, below.

Cineplex Paderborn

Address: Westernstrasse 34, 33098 Paderborn

Website: Cineplex Paderborn

Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Fri: 12:30pm - 11:30pm; Tue, Thu: 12:30pm - 9:15pm; Sat: 11am - 11:30pm; Sun: 11am - 9:15pm

Price: 8.50 - 12.50 EUR (10 - 14 USD) for regular tickets

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Easy connectivity

Contrary to popular belief, getting to Paderborn is pretty easy. Drive your way till the city – just follow the Autobahn A33 highway and enjoy the awesome scenery along the highway. You can even hitch a train ride on the railway line from the Cologne-Dusseldorf line to Leipzig and Dresden. Else, there’s always the option of flying in. About 15km (9.3 miles) southwest of Paderborn is the Paderborn-Lippstadt airport, which has flights offering connectivity from and to London, Zurich, Manchester, Vienna, etc. There’s tons of things to do in Paderborn, Germany so look into planning that trip right away!

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Priyanjali, a writer and traveler, identifies as a self-proclaimed aesthete dedicated to achieving fulfillment in her personal and professional life. Her skill lies in transforming intangible...Read more

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