Eifel National Park

Cologne & Northern Rhineland

Wild cats, beavers, kingfishers, bats and owls are just some of the critters you might spot in Eifel National Park, about 20km east of the border with Belgium. Established in 2004, it protects about 110 sq km of beech forest, rivers and lakes, and is filled with intriguing plants and wildlife. In spring, a sea of wild narcissus floods the valleys. The main visitors centre is located at Vogelsang, a castle built by the Nazis as a leadership training centre.

Additional information and exhibits can also be found at all the park gateways, including Simmerath-Rurberg, Schleiden-Gemünd, Heimbach, Monschau-Höfen and Nideggen.

To get to Vogelsang and the visitors centre by public transport, take the train to Kall and hop on the Nationalpark shuttle bus SB82 (23 minutes, €2.90). Alternatively, head to Simmerath for bus SB63 (25 minutes, €2.90).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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1. Vogelsang International Place

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2. Botrange Nature Centre

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5. Parliament

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8. Suermondt Ludwig Museum

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