Paderborn: 12 Best Things To Do In 2023 [Travel Guide]

So, Paderborn is the next destination on your itinerary, and you no ideas where to go. The worst thing that could happen when traveling is being stuck in the hotel and wonder where to go as the days pass.

Paderborn – the city of rivers – welcomes you with Medieval wonders exhibited in museums, breathtaking sculptures, and fine architecture. Once you get a hint of what this historical-modern city offers, you’ll no longer pin it as a stopover place in Germany.

If you have a weakness for history and art, this is your ideal place to visit

Here are the 12 most popular things to do in Paderborn, according to our Tourist Spy!

12. The Adam & Eve House

The Adam & Eve House
The Adam & Eve House (ThomasLieven/Wikimedia)

When you’re in Paderborn, make sure to visit one of the finest and oldest houses, the Adam & Eve House (or Das Adam-und-Eva-Haus). This half-timbered gabled house has three stories dating back to 1560.

The unique decoration of the house starts from the foot of the gable with three carved friezes. The lowest frieze depicts the whole story of Adam and Eve, starting from their creation and expulsion from the Garden of Eden, and hence the name.

Till 2015 this house contained the Museum of City History. Currently, the house is being converted to an open library, and it will house the administration of the city library as well. 

11. Marienplatz Paderborn

Marienplatz Paderborn
Marienplatz Paderborn (Athde/Wikimedia)

As you walk in the heart of Paderborn, you will come across this spectacle of a sight which is a cobblestoned square amphitheater, the Marienplatz Paderborn. The ornamental Maria statue at the center is a small but hard-to-miss spot for both tourists and locals alike. 

The best part is, you don’t need a guide or tickets to look at this beauty. You can sit there with your coffee and watch people or make new friends. 

The statue of Mary has her hands pressed together in prayer, standing on top of a gothic column. There are statues of angels on the corners of the column, and the lower tier forms a fountain. 

The four statues on the column represent St Liborius, Charlemagne, St Meinolf, and Henry II, all of whom are important figures for Paderborn.

10. Marktkirche

Marktkirche (TheoPB/Wikimedia)

Marktkirche, or market church, is a Baroque church located at the center of Paderborn city. This refined building was completed in just ten years (1682-1692). Formerly this was the Jesuit University Church, seen in the rich ornamentation of the pulpit and the whole altar.

Some significant traits that give this church recognition besides its beauty are the high altar, the image of Mary on the right side, and the Hanging Madonna, to name a few. 

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The high altar was destroyed during the Second World War in 1945 and rebuilt between 1989 and 2003 based on sketches and old pictures. The cost of reconstructing the church came up to a whooping €4m.

The Marktkirche opens the door for Catholic school services for the Theodorianum Grammar School, next to the church. 

9. Pader River

Pader River is known as the shortest river in Germany, with only four kilometers in length. However, it carries a high volume of water and has a very broad width. It is from the North Rhine-Westphalia, a left tributary of the Lippe River.

The primary sources of the Pader come from six rivers which are received from the karstic spring in the center of Paderborn. The biggest contributions given by the Pader River are Paderquellgebiet and Park Paderquellen.

As the river flows, the water becomes warm, which is known as Warme Pader. 
Walk on along the river or go biking as you watch the beautiful river flowing through Paderborn city.

8. Paderborn Rathaus

Rathaus Paderborn
Rathaus (Sunnysteffen/Wikimedia)

Rathaus or Town Hall of Paderborn is a historic landmark in the city of Paderborn. You will find it on Rathausplaz, which is in the southern part of the city center. It was established between 1613 and 1620 by Hermann Baumhauer, making it an example of the Weser Renaissance with its three gables.

This building has been renovated twice, and during World War II, the building was almost obliterated. By 1947 rebuilding the hall led to reconstructing the staircases, railings, and many ironworks.

Josefthomas Brinkschröder, a local artist, was responsible for the redecoration works we see today among so many refurbishments.

During the 1960s, the town hall cellar was expanded to establish business centers. Today the large hall is used for events like ceremonies and celebratory events.

7. LWL-Museum in der Kaiserpfalz

LWL-Museum in der Kaiserpfalz
LWL-Museum in der Kaiserpfalz (Zefram/Wikimedia)

LWL-Museum in der Kaiserpfalz was the imperial palace where Emperor Charlemagne hosted his important guests. Many historical events from the year 799 took place in this venue. The emperor’s successor, Heinrich II, lived in this palace for two centuries.

When you step into this place, you will be awed by the splendor and beauty of the Carolingian Palatinate fragments on its wall paintings and ornate capitals. You will be familiarized with Westphalia’s life during the early part of the Middle Age. Exhibitions are laid with artifacts depicting pagan roots and Christianization by Charlemagne. There are even graves with weapons and valuable jewelry.

Besides the exhibitions, they have numerous programs and themed tours which the younger tourists will enjoy. Visit the museum shop at the entrance that sells replicas of old jewelry, toys, postcards, books, and magazines related to history and archeology. The museum offers a space for concerts, events, and lectures as well.

6. Diözesanmuseum

Diözesanmuseum (Alexander Pelzer/Wikimedia)

Diözesanmuseum or Diocesan Museum Paderborn is the place to check out if you are interested in Christian art. You will find an extensive collection of sacred arts starting from the 1oth century to the 20th century, making it one of its kind in Germany.

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The vast collection includes 6000 exhibits and 1000 other exhibits shown in the showrooms. These were redesigned between 1991 and 1993.

The most significant collection that has acquired remarkable attention is the Madonna of Paderborn Bishop Imad. This is considered to be one of the oldest depictions of Madonna in western art.
The museum performs changing exhibitions on vital topics touching all areas of Christian art and culture. There are also additional programs like lectures, tours, and courses. Extensive education programs are conducted which are appropriate for both adults and children.

5. Schloss Neuhaus

Schloss Neuhaus
Schloss Neuhaus (Wikimedia)

Schloss Neuhaus or Nehaus Castle is a beautiful moated castle with its architecture based on the Weser Renaissance in Paderborn’s northern part. Named after Scholl Neuhaus, it was established in 1975 as the bishop’s residence.

This beautiful German castle with an interesting history goes back between 1370 and 1597 when five buildings constituted the Schloss Neuhaus you see now. This castle was considered the cultural center of Westphalia.

The present-day Schloss Neuhaus was created in 1994. The area includes the partly re-constituted part of the castle and Baroque garden, formed by the floodplains of the Lippe, Alme, and Pader rivers.

The famous hall of mirrors was the dining hall for Prince Bishop Clemens August. Today, it is a fantastic venue for presentations, receptions, and concerts.
If you want to take memorable pictures worthy for social media, you must check out the castle guard, which you find right in front of the castle. Your visit to this destination will leave a fairytale-like feeling.

4. Westfalen-Therme

When you are at Paderborn, the Westfalen Therme is an ideal place to soothe your senses and unwind.. Located between Paderborn and Munster-Land, which is not far from Bielefeld, you will find this unique place with wellness opportunities for you and your whole family.

This relaxing bathhouse offers calming and comforting facilities for the guests with inner and outer pools that come in various sizes and temperatures. Saunas and waterslides are there to accommodate both adults and children with attached changing rooms and lockers.

Soak your stress and tired body in the salt and brine spa Salinarium, a popular sector. From floating pool and salt sauna to graduation tower and massage loungers, spend your hours here for a healthy and pleasant experience.

3. Paderborner Dom

Paderborner Dom
Paderborner Dom (Arne Hückelheim/Wikimedia)

Get mesmerized by the Paderborner Dom or Paderborn Cathedral, which stands at a place occupied by churches for more than a century. This spectacular cathedral is at the center of Paderborn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Dedicated to Saint Mary, Saint Liborius, and Saint Kilian, it was officially named Hoher Dom Ss. Maria, Liborius und Kilian, which is in German.

The Paderborner Dom was completed during the 13th century, and its 93-meter western tower has been the main attraction. As you enter this 3-aisled basilica, you will notice the rich decorations and fittings, making it hard to imagine it was ever damaged by war. The origin of the entrance goes back to as early as the 1200s, adorned with French-styled statues.

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Tourist tip: Make sure you don’t miss the Paradise Portal located at the southern arm of the western nave, which has both Romanesque and gothic beauty.

2. Wewelsburg (The Real Castle Wolfenstein)

The Castle of Wewelsburg is a definite check for your bucket list when you visit Paderborn. This triangular-shaped castle was built in the early 17th century in the interest of the Prince Bishops of Paderborn.

The castle’s interior was decaying badly, but Heinrich Himmler saw beauty and potential beneath those dying walls. He turned the castle into a training ground for the Schutzstaffel (SS) soldiers. Despite the castle’s dark history, it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Germany.

When you visit this historic venue, you will be guided through the origins of the Wewelsburg castle. Expect a guide to understanding the social aspects of the clergy, the poor, and the first estate. The witch’s cellar of the old Hellweg is one exciting area that exhibits unique sacred art from the Baroque period.

Visit this place to learn about the history of the castle and the land it stands, not forgetting the use of the castle by the Nazis during World War II.

1. Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum

Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum
Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum (Marcin Wichary/Wikimedia)

The Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum is the world’s largest computer museum hosted by Nixdorf Computer AG, promoting science and learning information technology at its best.
From ancient Mesopotamia, where the written word originated, to AI concepts of the 21st century, including robotics and the internet, you will find everything that evolved in the information and communication technology sector in 5000 years.

With over 2000 exhibits, one floor has artifacts from Egyptian hieroglyphics, the earliest printing press telegraphs, and calculators. As you go up one floor, the exhibits become more modernized, where you will find the Apple Lisa, Altair 8800, and a Cray-2 supercomputer, which are mainly from the 1980s.  

While some of these terms may seem new to you, this museum is built for tech-savvy and laypeople equally. The idea of this forum is based on social and economic history that does not limit just to exhibition alone but workshops, lectures, and conferences as well. It addresses the impact of information technologies on human beings and how it has significantly influenced the society.

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