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Essen is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. This former industrial city was the European Capital of Culture in 2010 and the European Green Capital for 2017.


Winding tower of "Zollverein" pit—Essen's most iconic landmark

Essen is a regional centre of the Ruhr area. Although its history goes back a long way, it was not until the middle of the 19th century that it grew from a small town to a large industrial city, with over 750,000 inhabitants at its heyday. Today, with almost 582,000 inhabitants (2020), Essen is a service and administrative city, with several large companies headquartered here.

Essen was famous as a classic heavy industry centre; this has changed since the 1970s. Only a few symbols remain from the former mining industry. Steel production is no longer as important as it used to be. Like the rest of the Ruhr area, Essen is affected by emigration. From 1990 to 2008 alone, the population fell by almost 50,000. However, unlike most of the Ruhr area, Essen's economy is one of the strongest in Germany; it house numerous energy companies (thus giving it the title of "energy capital of Germany") and logistics firms.

The meaning of the city name is unclear; it probably means "(place in) the east".

Tourist information[edit]

  • 1 Essen Tourism Office Im Handelshof, Kettwiger Str. 2-10, +49 201 8872 333. 10:00-18:00 daily.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Nearby airports are:

By car[edit]

Essen is located on Autobahn 40.

By train[edit]

Essen can be reached quite easily by train. There are many express connections from Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and other major German cities.

You can get here from many neighbouring cities in the Ruhr metropolitan area by regional trains. There are also multiple international connections per day from Bruxelles and Paris via the Thalys trains.

  • 1 Essen Central Station. Essen Central Station (Q135607) on Wikidata Essen Hauptbahnhof on Wikipedia

By bus[edit]

Essen is part of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr bus and train system. See also Mülheimer Verkehrsgesellschaf

  • 2 Long distance bus station (Fernbusbahnhof). Most long distance buses arrive near the railway central station.

By boat[edit]

The Rhine river transportation system can be reached via the Herne Kanal. Weiße Flotte Baldeney operate ships on the Ruhr river.

Get around[edit]

Map of Essen

Essen has a extensive Stadtbahn (light rail), tram, bus and night bus system. You can find more information about fares and a journey planner at the VRR website[dead link].


  • 1 Zeche Zollverein, Gelsenkirchener Str. 181 (tram 107; bus 170, 183.), +49 201 246810, . Grounds 06:00-16:00; Visitor Centre/Museum 10:00-18:00. Called the most beautiful coal mine in the world (in fact, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Zollverein nowadays hosts diverse cultural highlights including an outstanding design centre and several museums. It is also famous for its Bauhaus architecture. Museum+special exhibits €10. Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex (Q122026) on Wikidata Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex on Wikipedia
  • 2 Red Dot Design Museum, Gelsenkirchener Straße 181 (just beside Zeche Zollverein), +49 201 30104-60, . Tu-Su 11:00-18:00 (closed M). Collection of 2000 exemplary pieces of product design. Adults €9, students €4, child (under 12) free. Payment by donation on Fridays. Red dot design museum (Q2797779) on Wikidata
  • 3 Museum Folkwang, Goethestraße 41, +49 201-8845000, . Tu W Sa Su 10:00-18:00, Th F 10:00-20:00 (closed M). Known for the exhibits covering the history of photography and for paintings from all eras. Free for permanent collection. Museum Folkwang (Q125634) on Wikidata Museum Folkwang on Wikipedia
Aerial view of Villa Hügel
  • 4 Villa Hügel, Hügel 15, +49 201-616290, fax: +49 201-6162911, . opening hours changing, visit website for details.. Krupp family historical chateau, art history museum and concert venue. After visiting the chateau, have a nice stroll or a boat tour across the Baldeney lake. €5 for the park. Villa Hügel (Q674670) on Wikidata Villa Hügel on Wikipedia
  • Kettwig Historical District featuring 17th and 18th century streets and buildings.
  • Synagogue and Jewish Museum
  • 5 Historic city of Werden. Nice historic city centre with small shops and restaurants. From the historic city centre, it's just a couple of metres to the Werden Abbey, which was founded end of the 8th century. Werden (Q258391) on Wikidata Werden, Essen on Wikipedia
  • 6 Grugapark, Virchowstraße 167, +49 201 8883106, . Open all year round from 09:00 until nightfall. Botanical garden (including playgrounds, waterfall, park railway, look-out tower, various animals, restaurants). €4 (some of the parks attractions may have shorter opening hours and additional fees). Grugapark (Q896516) on Wikidata Grugapark on Wikipedia
  • 7 Aalto Opera House (Aalto Theater), Opernplatz 10, +49 201 81 22-200. Interesting piece of architecture by Alvar Aalto (Finland). Aalto Theatre (Q300975) on Wikidata Aalto Theatre on Wikipedia
  • 8 St. Ludgerus Basilica. St.-Ludgerus Basilica (Q2801504) on Wikidata
  • 9 Essen Minster Cathedral (Essener Münster), An St. Quintin 3. 14th-century cathedral and treasure museum. Essen Minster (Q135737) on Wikidata Essen Minster on Wikipedia
  • 10 Hespertalbahn. Historic train between Kupferdreh and Haus Scheppen. Hesper Valley Railway (Q1476282) on Wikidata Hesper Valley Railway on Wikipedia


View of Grugapark botanical garden from a tower inside the park
  • International Christmas Market from late November to early December the streets and historic alleys of the city centre are filled with over 200 arts and crafts stalls.
  • Essen Light Weeks.
  • Enjoy Essen ("Essen genießen", this is a word play since "Essen" translates to "food" as well). Gourmet highlights in autumn.
  • 1 Lake Baldeney (Baldeneysee) (Essen-Hügel and Essen-Kupferdreh stations). Boat rentals, sailing, canoeing, gastronomy. Baldeneysee (Q450084) on Wikidata Baldeneysee on Wikipedia
  • 2 Spiel (Essen Game Fair). An annual four-day boardgame trade fair which is also open to the public held in October at the Messe Essen exhibition centre. Essen Game Fair (Q314821) on Wikidata Spiel on Wikipedia

Theatre and concerts[edit]


Small, but vivid: the art scene in Essen. Galleries allocate on the whole city region, with a concentration around the Museum Folkwang:


  • Behind the shopping centre Limbecker Platz there is a Cinemaxx-Kino, with 5,370 seats, it is the biggest multiplex cinema in Germany.
  • Essener Filmkunsttheater. Group of various smaller cinemas: filmstudio, Eulenspiegel, Astra-Theater, Galerie Cinema, with ambitious programs.
  • 5 Lichtburg, Kettwiger Str. 36, 45127, +49 201 23 10 23. With 1,250 seats, it is the biggest and oldest cinema hall in Germany. Lichtburg (Q14515310) on Wikidata Lichtburg_(Essen) on Wikipedia

Spa and massage[edit]


The University of Duisburg-Essen is part of a consortium of three universities in the Ruhr-area (University of Duisburg-Essen, Bochum, and Dortmund) and Germany's largest academic hub.


If you are working for a place that is easy going for digital nomads, have a look at

  • 2 KaBü anna Rü, Annastr. 51 (at one of the liveliest places in Rüttenscheid, Annastraße at Klarastraße). during roughly on working days during daytime. This is a cafe combined with a coworking space, in the nice district of Rüttenscheid.
  • 3 Unperfekthaus. It has a permanent coworking place and offers day tickets within its house. Unperfekthaus (Q2496653) on Wikidata


Many shops are found in the city centre pedestrian zone. A big shopping-mall "Limbecker Platz" in the western part of the city centre opened in summer 2008. Also pay attention to the "Rüttenscheid"-district with lot of small boutiques.

  • 1 City centre pedestrian zone.
  • 2 Rüttenscheid district. Probably Essen's trendiest district, with lots of smaller specialised shops, cafes, and restaurants mainly along the main shopping and strolling promenade, Rüttenscheider Straße.
  • 3 Limbecker Platz. Large shopping mall. Limbecker Platz (Q1825363) on Wikidata Limbecker Platz (Einkaufszentrum) on Wikipedia



All these are in the city centre:

  • 1 Wohnraum im Unperfekthaus, Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 20, +49 201-847350, fax: +49 201-8536605, . 10:00-22:30. Mediterranean/nouveau cuisine/vegetarian (no credit cards).
  • 2 Gaststätte Im Briefkasten, Hachestraße 21.
  • 3 Trattoria La Famiglia, Hindenburgstraße 9.
  • 4 Tandori Haus, Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 84. Pakistani
  • 5 Zagreb Grill, Rottstraße 2. Croatian
  • 6 Rks Pizza, Altenessener Str. 11.
  • 7 LUA - vietnamesische Küche, Lindenallee 81.


  • 8 Hülsmannshof, Lehnsgrund 14 a (U 17: Laubenweg), +49 201-871250. 11:30–14:30 and 17:30-22:00. Home cooking.
  • 9 Kockshusen, Pilgrimsteig 51, +49 201-3601166. W-M 11:30-22:00. Regional. Accepts ECcard.
  • 10 Landhaus-Knappmann - Frankenheim-Brauhaus, Ringstr. 198, +49 2054-7809. M-F 16:00-00:00; Sa Su 11:00-00:00. Regional.
  • 11 Der Löwe, Kopstadtplatz, 13. Kopstadtplatz. Bavarian-style restaurant.
  • 12 Casino Zollverein, Gelsenkirchener Str. 181 (Tram 107: Zollverein), +49 201-830240. Tu-F 11:30–14:30, 17:30-22:30; Sa Su 11:30–14:30, 17:30-00:00. Nouveau cuisine.
  • 13 Capobianco, Rottstr. 7, +49 201-226603. M-Sa 12:00-15:00 and 17:30-00:00, Su 12:00-00:00. Classic/Italian. Vegetarian options. Reservations recommended.
  • 14 Cavallino Rosso, Velberter Str. 126, +49 201-404977. Daily 12:00-14:30, 17:30-23:00. Mediterranean.
  • Mintrops Landhotel - Mumm, Schwarzensteinweg 81 (SB 15: Burgaltendorf Burgruine), +49 201-571710. 12:00-14:00, 18:00-23:00. Nouveau/international cuisine. Vegetarian options.
  • Parkhaus Hügel, Freiherr-vom-Stein-Str. 209 (S6: Essen-Hügel), +49 201-471091. 11:30–22:30. Nouveau/International cuisine.
  • Mintrops Stadthotel Margarethenhöhe - Restaurant M, Steile Str. 46 (U-17: Laubenweg), +49 201-43860, fax: +49 201-4386100. 12:00-14:30 and 18:00-22:30. Asian.
  • Gummersbach, Fürstenbergstr. 2 (Tram 105: Heißener Str), +49 201-676464. W-M 17:00-22:30. French; reservations recommended (ECcard accepted).
  • Lukas, Prinz-Friedrich-Str. 1,, +49 201-848353. Daily 18:00-23:00. Indian (accepts ECcard).
  • Ange d'Or Junior, Ruhrtalstr. 326 (S6: Kettwig), +49 2054-2307. W-Su 18:30-22:30. Italian. Vegetarian options.
  • La Cena, Haumannplatz 32 (Tram 106: Landgericht), +49 201-2790269. M-Sa 12:00-15:00, 18:00-23:00. Italian.
  • L'Opera, Theaterpassage/Hirschlandplatz (U11/17/18: Hirschlandplatz), +49 201-239124. Daily 12:00-23:00. Italian.
  • Oase Due, Rüttenscheider Str. 189 (U11, Tram 101/107: Martinstr), +49 201-790640. M-Sa 12:00-14:30, 17:30-23:30. Italian.
  • Gummersbach, Fürstenbergstr. 2 (Tram 105: Heißener Str.), +49 201-676464. W-M 17:00-22:30. Reservation recommended. Mediterranean. accepts ECcard..
  • Hannappel, Dahlhauser Str. 173 (S1: Essen-Eiberg or RE 14 / S 3 / S 9 / Tram 103 / 109: Essen-Steele, then Bus 164: Breloher Steig), +49 201-534506. W-M 17:30-22:00. Mediterranean. accepts ECcard,.
  • Jagdhaus Schellenberg, Heisinger Str. 170a, +49 201-437870. Mediterranean.
  • Landhaus Schnitzler, Nöckersberg 65, +49 201-848140. W-F 12:00-3:00, 18:00-22:30; Sa 18:00-22:30; Su 12:00-00:00 Seasonal.
  • Tablo, Huyssenallee 5, +49 201-8119585. Turkish.


  • 15 La Grappa, Rellinghauser Str. 4 (Tram 105/106: Aalto Theater), +49 201-231766. M-F 11:30–14:30, 17:30-23:30; Sa 17:30-23:30. Italian/nouveau cuisine.
  • Schloss Hugenpoet, Nesselrode, August-Thyssen-Str. 51, +49 2054-12040. Th-M 18:30-22:00. International food. Dogs not welcome.


  • Rüttenscheider Hausbrauerei, Girardetstr. 2 (U11, Tram 101/107: Martinstr. or Tram 105: Rellinghausen Rathaus or SB15: Annental or S6: Kettwig, then Bus 142: Girardet Haus), +49 201-790060. Reservation recommended.
  • Isenbergplatz, Isenbergstraße 12. 09:00-02:00. Five bars around a big playground. Meeting place for students, families, punks and managers. Urban culture centre of Essen.
  • 1 Daktari, Juliusstraße 2 (located 5 minutes away from main station), +49 201-2698595. 19:00-04:00. A small bar with large and delicious cocktails & long drinks.



Out of the city[edit]

  • Das Park Hotel, Emscherinsel, Bottrop-Ebel (S9 stop Bottrop). Completely automated (i.e. only bookable online) concrete drain tubes with beds inside, you book and you're given a code for the door. Honour based system; contribute as many euros as you wish to the project. The project may have been discontinued as their booking webpage is gone. Honour system, contribute as many euros as you wish to the project.
  • Zimmervermietung Ruth Schläger, Am Wildbach 7, Kettwig, +49 2054-971648, fax: +49 2054-971649, .


  • Europa, Hindenburgstr. 35, +49 201-232041, fax: +49 201-232656. From €70/night.
  • Jägerhof, Hauptstr. 23 (S6: Kettwig or SB 19: Werdener Markt or Tram 110: Mülheim Wilhelmstr. or Tram 102/104/112/901: Mülheim Stadtmitte or RE1/2/6/11, S1/3, U18: Mülheim Ruhr Hbf or U11: Messe West/Süd / Gruga or Tram 101/107: Martinstr. or Tram 105: Rellinghausen Rathaus or SB15: Annental, then Bus 142/151/190: Kettwiger Markt), +49 2054-84011, fax: +49 2054-80984.
  • 5 Mintrops Landhotel Burgaltendorf (Schwarzensteinweg 81, SB15: Burgaltendorf Burgruine.), +49 201-571710, fax: +49 201-5717147, . Nice and calm place, but in the bushes. Free transport card for the whole VRR area.
  • 6 Mintrops Stadthotel Margarethenhöhe, Steile Str. 46 (U17: Laubenweg), +49 201-43860, fax: +49 201-4386100. Hotel in former villa of the Krupp family. Nice & calm & good breakfast. Free transport card for the whole VRR area.
  • Résidence, Auf der Forst 1, +49 2054-95590, fax: +49 2054-82501, . (S6: Kettwig or SB 19: Werdener Markt or Tram 110: Mülheim Wilhelmstr. or Tram 102/104/112/901: Mülheim Stadtmitte or RE1/2/6/11, S1/3, U18: Mülheim Ruhr Hbf or U11: Messe West/Süd / Gruga or Tram 101/107: Martinstr. or Tram 105: Rellinghausen Rathaus or SB15: Annental, then Bus 142/151/190: Ringstr.) No dogs.
  • Ruhr-Hotel, Krawehlstr. 42 (Tram 106: Zweigertstr), +49 201-778053, fax: +49 201-780283.
  • Scandic Hotel, Theodor-Althoff-Str. 5 (U11: Messe West/Süd / Gruga or U 17: Margarethenhöhe or Tram 101/107: Bredeney or Tram 101/107: Martinstr. or S6: Essen-Werden or SB19: Werdener Markt or Tram 105: Rellinghausen Rathaus or SB15: Annental or SB66: Velbert Willy-Brandt-Platz, then Bus 142/169: Sommerburgstr), +49 201-7690, fax: +49 201-7691143.
  • Top Hotel Essener Hof, Teichstr. 2 (stop: Essen Hbf), +49 201-24250, fax: +49 201-2425751, . No dogs.
  • Top Rema-Hotel Essen, Viehofer Platz 5 (Tram 101/103/105/109: Rheinischer Platz), +49 201-105610, fax: +49 201-236685.
  • Villa Vogelsang, Antonienallee 1, +49 201-8536600, fax: +49 201-8536605, . (S1: Essen-Eiberg or RE 14, S3/9, Tram 103/109: Essen-Steele, then Bus 164/184: Carl-Wolf-Str.).
  • 7 GHotel. Central, just beside the Essen Central station. You can watch the train passing by from your window, yet calm due to good isolation

City Centre[edit]

  • 8 Unperfekthotel, Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 18 (from U/tram Berliner Platz this is located "behind" the big shopping mall), +49 201 47 09 16-0, . A hotel run by a creative project, having a nice rooftop terrace.
  • 9 Mövenpick Hotel Essen, Am Hauptbahnhof 2 (stop: Essen Hbf), +49 201-17080, fax: +49 201-1708173.

Messe/Gruga area (around trade fair centre) and Rüttenscheid[edit]


  • Holiday Inn Essen City Centre, Frohnhauser Str. 6., +49 201-24070, fax: +49 201-2407240.
  • 11 Mercure Plaza, Bismarckstr. 48-50 (U11, Tram 101/107: Philharmonie/Saalbau), +49 201-878580, fax: +49 201-87858700. Hotel beside the Folkwang museum. Business style with good breakfast
  • Schloss Hugenpoet (August-Thyssen-Str. 51, RE1 / RE2 / RE6 / RE11 / S1 / S3 / U18: Mülheim Ruhr Hbf, then Bus 132: Am Biestenkamp, then Taxi which should be reserved in advance.), +49 2054-12040, fax: +49 2054-120450.
  • 12 Sheraton, Huyssenallee 55 (U11, Tram 101/107: Philharmonie/Saalbau), +49 201-10070, fax: +49 201-1007777.
  • Welcome Hotel Ruhr Residenz, Schützenbahn 58 (Tram 106/107: Viehofer Platz), +49 201-17790, fax: +49 201-1779199, .
  • 13 Atlantic Hotel, Norbertstraße 2a (just beside Essen congress and fairs center), +49 201 946280. Place for proms (and wannabes), but best breakfast in town.

Stay safe[edit]

Despite having a fairly strong economy compared to other cities in the Ruhr area, Essen has a very high crime rate by German standards. The poor northern suburbs of Essen (especially Altendorf, Altenessen and Karnap) suffer from occasional, potentially armed, robberies at night. Be aware of pickpockets on the Christmas Market and watch your bags in crowded bars and near the train station. Aggravated assaults have also been reported.


Religious services

Holy mass in Catholic churches at the centre:

  • Hohe Domkirche, Münster, An St. Quintin 3 (5-10 min north from central station). [1] Sa 18:30; Su 07:30*, 10:00, 16:00*, 19:00; (*in the Anbetungskirche: M-F 07:00, 10:00, 17:30 (except Sa)).
  • St. Engelbert, Fischerstraße 12 (10 min south from central station). Sa 18:15; Su 09:45, 14:00 (English); M 7:30PM; Tu 09:00; W 09:15; F 18:00.
  • St. Ignatius, An Sankt Ignatius 8 (10 min southwest from central station). [2] [formerly dead link] Sa 09:00, 17:00; Su 11:15, 18:00; Tu Th F 19:00.

Index of Catholic churches in the Diocesis of Essen: [3][dead link]

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Essen is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.