The overhead railway

Gliding through Wuppertal …

“A steely dragon with many station heads“ was how the famous Wuppertal poet Else Lasker described the overhead railway. Today the symbol of Wuppertal, of the craze for steel, and the progress in transportation at the turn of the 20th century is still the main public transport artery through the town.

Every day 76,000 travellers glide over the Bergisch town unhindered by traffic jams and road crossings. That’s 24,000,000 passengers a year. The railway stretches for a distance of 13.3 km from Vohwinkel to Barmen and the whole journey takes 30 minutes. You can’t get quicker than that. Every four minutes it glides past the various suburbs, factories, backyards, green parks and gardens, directly over the River Wupper at a height of up to 12 metres above the ground. No less than 20 stations connect all the important centres of the town. Each of them is worth a visit because of its particular architecture, from Jugendstil to modern.

The overhead railway was thought up by an inventive industrialist from Cologne by the name of Eugen Langen, and went into operation in March 1901. Over the past few years the old framework construction has been almost completely renewed. In the old style, of course. Apart from that everything is being done to ensure that this unique railway stays fit for the next hundred years. Work has already begun on rebuilding and renovating the stations, and this rejuvenation cure should be completed by 2015. By then a new operating system will be in place, not to speak of new carriages. 

If you want a virtual journey through the Wupper valley in the overhead railway, go to:


Gliding into the wilds

The overhead railway will take you practically next door to the entrance to Wuppertal zoo. Now it’s only a few metres before you finally reach a destination which is perfect for a family day out. Around 4,500 animals and 480 different species live here: everything from apes to birds, wildcats, elephants, reptiles and fish etc etc. The modern enclosures provide them with plenty of space to roam, and visitors can view them from close up.

The imposing lion’s enclosure is the largest of its type in Germany. Here Siberian tigers pad through their own special valley. It’s as if they were back in their own natural surroundings complete with bushes and trees and places to cool off and swim. Equipped with spectacles, a beard or simply a gripping-tail, the apes in the monkey house are sure to provide you with some wild encounters. Alternatively you can watch the elephants scrubbing themselves in their large enclosure. The herd is growing continually thanks to the arrival of new baby elephants.

Cyclists on the Samba Trail can also get a glimpse of the lions. The trail leads past the zoo directly next to the wildcats’ enclosure.

The zoo is situated in a beautiful hilly landscape studded with broad meadows, large ponds and old trees. It was opened in 1881 and is thus one of the oldest zoos of its type in Germany. 


Zoologischer Garten der Stadt Wuppertal
Hubertusallee 30, 42117 Wuppertal
Tel: 0202  563 36 00

Opening hours

Open all the year round
Summertime 8:30 to 18.00
Wintertime: 8:30 to 17.00


Mondays to Fridays
every 3–4 minutes

Saturdays every
5–8 minutes

Sundays and public holidays
every 7–9 minutes




Wuppertal Touristik
City-Center, Schloßbleiche 40
42103 Wuppertal

Phone: +49 (0) 202 / 1 94 33