It is a quick ride to Werl from Dortmund. Take the regional train in the direction of Soest and you will be there in less than 45 minutes. Soest is the larger of these two cities in the vicinity of the Möhnessee dam. The Werl train station doesn't look like much, but once you get into the city there is something more promising.
Print Out a Map, or Just Show Up
There is a tourist office in Werl, but it is not located directly near the train station. It is located near the Cafe am Rathaus on Steinergraben. All that is located inside the train station is a ticket agent, and even that can be closed during the typical German lunchtime break. Walk out past the station through the bus terminal, and you will immediately see plackets with maps and large signs pointing you towards the museums and the inner city. Fortunately, the city website (there are actually 2) also has a printable map available. It is the same map that you will find on the signs in town, and is quite helpful. This city is incredibly easy to navigate.
One of the first things I noticed upon leaving the station was that an older woman thanked me for holding the door open for her. This is an uncommon practice here in Germany, and I immediately appreciated the small town feeling in Werl. I was also pleasantly greeted at the pizzeria where I ate lunch, both by the waitstaff and the other guests. The pizzeria is called, "Pizzeria bei Emilio & Franco" and is located near the park on Walburgisstraße. Order the pizza Werl and you won't be disappointed. This was the best pizza that I've had in my months of living in Germany.
Shopping and Moving Around
The printable map from the website, available under "Stadtführungen", has a variety of already planned routes for walks around the city. There is a wonderful small town feel about Werl, and despite the small size, there are a lot of wonderful things to take in. There is also an extremely quaint shopping district located all along the Steinerstraße. Many of the houses have amazing small details and it seems that all important sights are well documented with easy to read German plackets.
The Museum Forum der Völker is a Fransikan establishment with a variety of sociological exhibits featuring different parts of the world. The Chinese coin exhibit was quite impressive and there is even a small Egyptian section with a mummy and several mummified animals. Anyone interested in anthropology or artefacts will have a good time here.
My interest in Werl was piqued by my father, who lived in this small town during the 1950's as a member of the Canadian army. He kept telling me what a nice place it was, and he was right. Werl is a pleasant place to spend a day and look around.
How to get there: Take one of the regional trains out of Dortmund in the direction: Soest.
Great things: Especially charming and easy to get around. A wonderful day trip from the Dortmund area with trains coming and going twice every hour.
Date of visit: January 3, 2006
Werl websites: www.werl.de