Southwest of the Altstadt, the Aasee lake is a beloved recreational getaway. Come for a picnic, a stroll along its promenade or go for a spin on the water itself. Family-friendly attractions abound.
Northwest of the Dom, the Aa is a burbling little stream whose tree-lined promenade makes for relaxed strolling.
A 10-minute walk southeast of the Hauptbahnhof takes you to the Hafen, Münster’s partly revitalised old harbour on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. On the north end, once derelict halls and brick warehouses have been updated with avant-garde architectural elements and now house artists' studios, creative offices, a theatre and a contemporary art gallery in a string of buildings called the Kreativkai. It's also become a popular area for hanging out and enjoying coffee, cocktails and music. In good weather, it's fun to promenade along the waterfront and watch cargo barges cutting along the canal.
To get to the Hafen, exit the Hauptbahnhof to the east via Bremer Platz, follow Bremer Strasse south, cross Hansaring and it will be on your left. It's about a 500m walk.
The most interesting street in Münster’s Altstadt is the Prinzipalmarkt, lined by restored gabled patrician townhouses with arcades sheltering elegant boutiques and cafes.
The Buildings of Johann Conrad Schlaun
The architect who left his mark on Münster more than any other was Johann Conrad Schlaun (1695–1773). He was a master of the Westphalian baroque, a more subdued expression of the baroque style than in southern Germany. A most exquisite example of Schlaun’s vision is the 1757 Erbdrostenhof, a lavish private mansion. Nearby, the equally stunning 1753 Clemenskirche boasts a domed ceiling fresco supported by turquoise pillars. Less pristinely preserved is the 1773 Schloss, erstwhile residence of prince-bishops; today it's the seat of the university.