Public transport in Wuppertal is a unique experience, and also quite an adventure, especially if you're scared of heights. To get in and out of the swaying carriages of the Schwebebahn („floating train“) takes a bit of strong nerves but you'll be rewarded with a fun ride and (more or less) exclusive views into people's backyards – keep your camera ready!
Public transport in Wuppertal is a unique experience, and also quite an adventure, especially if you’re scared of heights. To get in and out of the swaying carriages of the Schwebebahn („floating train“) takes a bit of strong nerves but you’ll be rewarded with a fun ride and (more or less) exclusive views into people’s backyards – keep your camera ready!
The Schwebebahn is a suspended monorail which connects Oberbarmen in the east of Wuppertal with Vohwinkel, the western part of the city.
The city of Wuppertal has a bit of a peculiar topography, it stretches along a valley formed by the river Wupper with more or less steep hills on either side of the river. So when the city grew and the planar ground got scarce in the 19th century, a good solution for the public transport system needed to be found. Due to geological reasons building a tube system was not an option for Wuppertal, so the idea was born to have trains running on a level about 8m above the ground.
The Schwebebahn was opened up to public in 1901 and is – with a couple of modernisations – still running today. It is considered one of the safest public transport systems of the world.
During rush hours, you can catch a train every three minutes. Getting from one terminus to the other takes about half an hour. For most of the journey you’ll „float“ above the river, but you’ll also cross the premises of Bayer and the Autobahn A46 on your way.
To take a ride, you’ll only need a regular public transport ticket which you can buy at every station.
The Schwebebahn is a very popular motif for photographers from all over the world. It is also regularly featured in movies and TV series, for example in Wim Wenders’ „Alice in the Cities“, Tom Tykwer’s „The Princess and the Warrior“ or the 1990s version of the kids’ TV show „The Little Vampire“.