THE thing to do in Wuppertal which you won't be able to experience ANYWHERE else in the world (I guess ;) is a trip on the suspension railway - Wuppertaler Schwebebahn.
The train is hanging from tracks above shopping streets and the river Wupper. A wonderful way to see the whole (very long) city of Wuppertal.
What we did was to buy a day ticket for 5 people so we had the chance to get off the train whenever we liked a station. The trip from one end to the other takes approx. 30 minutes. Trains go at a speed of approx. 50 kph.
We were lucky to have seen the Emperor's' Carriage while we were waiting at a station. It's an old train that Emperor Wilhelm II used in 1900 before the railway was opened for public. There's a restaurant car inside and the design is very old fashioned and lovely. Sounds like a great place to have dinner but I haven't found out yet how to get tickets etc.
There are a few Art Nouveau stations still existant. The nicest one of them is "Werther Brücke" but Landgericht and Völklinger Straße are old stations as well.
They are all being modernised these days but architects will keep the old looks and only add modern parts such as elevators for handicapped people. I really hope these stations will keep their charme!
After the four overland stops you will reach the river Wupper and follow it from here. I was pretty impressed by the turns the train takes: It swings as if you are in a rollercoaster! A bit scary at first but I got used to it!
Unlike a young elephant called "Tuffi". He was on a promotion trip by Schwebebahn for "his" circus in 1950. He jumped off the train into the river. He survived with only a few scratches!
On the western end of the suspension railway there's four overland stations (unlike all others which are located over the river Wupper).
The streets the train goes through are amazing. If you live on the 1st floor people on the train can stare into your windows on their way to work.
We parked our car for free directly at the western terminal "Vohwinkel and took the train from here to see all parts of the suspension railway.
This is one of the oldest zoos in Germany , as it was founded in 1881. The zoo has an ancient building where the restaurant is at.
This is a verry green zoo. You will enjoy the overloads of green and parc. They call it themselves a ' zoologischen Garten'
-1995 - the zoos new elephant-enclosure opens. Now the zoo has one of the biggest enclosures in germany.
-2003 at the moment they are building a spectacular residence for their orang-oetans. (if any of you has made pictures there....pleeeze send onde to me)
As for the collection... have a look at my ohter tips.
Ride the Schwebebahn. This is a local railroad that runs for a few kilometers over the Wupper River, through the center of Wuppertal. The train hangs from trusses that span the river every few hundred meters. It is unique in my experience. It's also quite old (not sure exactly). When I was in Wuppertal early in 2000, the Schwebebahn was under repair and not operating. The repairs are probably completed by now, but you should check to be sure.