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Essen
Travel Guide

Essen

Essen is a major city at the heart of the Ruhr industrial area in North Rhine-Westphalia and was made European City of Culture in 2010.

The city of Essen was founded in the 9th century and grew into an industrial town predominantly due to the Krupp Family Steelworks. Until the second half of the 20th century, Essen was one of the most important centres for coal production and steelwork in Germany.

The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, one of the shining monuments to Essen's industrial history, is considered the most beautiful coalmine in the world and is now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The pit, constructed according to the principles of the Bauhaus School, is used today by various cultural and artistic institutions. For example, the Design-Zentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen and the Ruhr Museum are both found here. In addition, you can visit the 269 rooms of the Villa Hügel, which once served as home to the Krupp family, and has now been transformed into a museum of art history and concert venue.

On your city trip to Essen you should also not miss out on the Folkwang Museum which covers the long history of photography and houses a collection of pictures from many different eras. The Aalto Theatre is the city's opera house and worthy of a visit not just for its performances, but also because of its impressive architecture.

Take a trip to the Essener Münster, a Gothic cathedral built from lime sandstone. Here you will find magnificent exhibits such as the Golden Madonna of Essen which is over a thousand years old and the oldest free-standing Madonna figure north of the Alps.

A more modern religious building is the New Synagogue (known today as the Old Synagogue), constructed in 1913 and used as a place of prayer by the Jewish community in Essen before the war. Today it still counts as one of the most impressive examples of Jewish culture and architecture from pre-war Germany.

If you have planned a full week trip, you should also take a detour to the Kettwig and Werden districts found to the south of the city. Here the traditional and iconic local character survives to the present day. Here you will find buildings like the Werden Abbey, already over a thousand years old, and the Kirche St. Ludgerus, a church raised to the rank of papal basilica two decades ago.

Even though Essen is without a doubt an old industrial city, in the past few years it has been notably rejuvenated thanks to its blooming modern culture.

Where to stay in Essen

ibis Styles Gelsenkirchen
ibis Styles Gelsenkirchen
3 out of 5
Ringstr. 1-3, Gelsenkirchen, NW
The price is £57 per night from 20 May to 20 May
Located in Altstadt Gelsenkirchen, this eco-friendly hotel is 3.9 mi (6.2 km) from Veltins-Arena, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Colosseum Theater and Messe Essen. ...
4.1/5Very Good! (100 reviews)
"Great price and location, perfect option in Gelsenkirchen"

Reviewed on 5 Mar 2020

ibis Styles Gelsenkirchen
Atlantic Congress Hotel Essen
Atlantic Congress Hotel Essen
4.5 out of 5
Messeplatz 3, Essen
The price is £71 per night from 22 May to 22 May
Located in Ruettenscheid, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Grugahalle and Messe Essen. Grugapark Botanical Garden and Folkwang Museum are also ...
4.3/5Excellent! (143 reviews)
Great hotel
"Great hotel. Very friendly staff and comfortable."

Reviewed on 7 Oct 2020

Atlantic Congress Hotel Essen
Motel One Essen
Motel One Essen
3.5 out of 5
Kennedyplatz 3, Essen, NW
The price is £59 per night from 21 May to 21 May
Located in Stadtbezirke I, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Essen Cathedral and 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Messe Essen. Grillo-Theater and Colosseum Theater are ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (260 reviews)
English is the international language, not German
"Very good hotel. Shame all documents and information was sent in German. I requested a copy in English and never received it. How can international travellers accept conditions in a local language they don’t understand? Very annoying"

Reviewed on 5 Mar 2020

Motel One Essen
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Arthotel ANA Living Oberhausen
Arthotel ANA Living Oberhausen
3.5 out of 5
Paul-Reusch-Straße 40, Oberhausen, NRW
The price is £47 per night from 16 Jun to 16 Jun
Located in the heart of Oberhausen, this aparthotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Konig Pilsener Arena, Kaisergarten Park and Zoo and CentrO. Gasometer and Colosseum ...
4.3/5Excellent! (3 reviews)
"Amazing new hotel in the middle of the center.Large rooms with a really nice light interior and great view.The shopping street around the corner is also worth taking a look at!"

Reviewed on 3 Aug 2020

Arthotel ANA Living Oberhausen
Schacht34
Schacht34
3 out of 5
Grevenstraße 34, Oberhausen
The price is £59 per night from 17 Jun to 17 Jun
This family-friendly Oberhausen aparthotel is located in the entertainment district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Oberhausen Congress Centre and LVR Industrial Museum. ...
5/5Exceptional! (3 reviews)
"Sehr sauber und sehr gut ausgestattet.Ruhig ,Personal professionell ..alles bestens."

Reviewed on 22 Oct 2020

Schacht34
a-domo Apartments Mülheim - Apartments, Lofts & Hostel Rooms - short or longterm - single or grouptravel
a-domo Apartments Mülheim - Apartments, Lofts & Hostel Rooms - short or longterm - single or grouptravel
3 out of 5
Cäcilienstraße 7, Muelheim an der Ruhr, NRW
Located in Broich, this apartment building is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Broich Castle, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Duisburg Zoo and Messe Essen. Colosseum Theater ...
3.7/5Good! (3 reviews)
entral placering
"Billig overnatning i Ruhr distriktet. Forholdsvis central placering. Trænger til en hovedrengøring. Stor leglighed med mange sovepladser"

Reviewed on 21 Sep 2020

a-domo Apartments Mülheim - Apartments, Lofts & Hostel Rooms - short or longterm - single or grouptravel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Essen

Top things to do in Essen

Reviews of Essen

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
11
5 - Excellent 52.38095238095238%
4 - Good
8
4 - Good 38.095238095238095%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 4.761904761904762%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 4.761904761904762%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

30 Dec 2019

Compact for a City, everywhere in the centre is walkable. Transport options good and easy. Shopping great. Tourist brochures and internet will tell you the options, of which there are too many to mention here.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

30 Oct 2019

Essen was lovely. Quiet, with friendly people. Bakeries were amazing. Will come back here.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

24 Sep 2019

it's ok, but nothing special

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

10 Jun 2019

Great location, very central for getting around. Great transport links from Essen Rail Station.

4/5 - Good

EmmaW

19 Mar 2019

was only there for 24hrs on a business trip to Equitana so we did not go anywhere else - purely a business trip

Cities near Essen