Ruhrgebiet Tourism - where to stay?

16 posts in this topic

Posted

I have travelled a lot in Germany but have never been to the Ruhrgebiet. In May I would like to spend 4 days there. I will buy a train pass to allow meto travel around. Which city is best as a base for this short holiday? I'm not a nightlife person but hope to catch a football match if possible. What sights are there of touristic interest in the Ruhrgebiet?

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Posted

What do you like other than football? There is lots to do here, so I can give better recommendations if you are more specific. For example, do you like museums, hiking, unusual art installations, biking, industrial heritage, or historical sites.

To be centrally based, Essen or Bochum would probably be best.

As for the football, you would have to come in the first half of May. The last Bundesliga matches are on the 18th May. As for atmosphere, I would suggest going to Dortmund or Schalke (Gelsenkirchen). Both stadiums are fanatic and the crowd really gets into the match.

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Posted

Check this out....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Industrial_Heritage_Trail

There are many many interesting things to see, just need to pick what!

Dc

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Posted

What do you like other than football? There is lots to do here, so I can give better recommendations if you are more specific. For example, do you like museums, hiking, unusual art installations, biking, industrial heritage, or historical sites.

To be centrally based, Essen or Bochum would probably be best.

As for the football, you would have to come in the first half of May. The last Bundesliga matches are on the 18th May. As for atmosphere, I would suggest going to Dortmund or Schalke (Gelsenkirchen). Both stadiums are fanatic and the crowd really gets into the match.

museums and industrial heritage are of interest, regenerated urban spaces also

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Posted

Hi Mike, I'd advise you to check out this website http://nrw.angloinfo.com/information. Have fun!

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Posted

Thanks again for all your advice. I have found a nice hotel on Bismarck Strasse in Essen. How is this area? Is it safe at night and is it safe to and easy to walk to from the Hbf? Is it correct that there are quit a few pubs and restaurants in nearby Rüttenscheider Strasse?

Another question, I will be travelling by train from Switzerland using a four day train pass - is it worth it to get a first class pass? ICEs in second class are usually very full - is it easier to get a seat in first class? I plan to travel a lot by train and visit as many Ruhrgebiet cities as possible.

I do speak German, so activities in German are good for me.

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Posted

I stayed in Mercure Hotel in the Bismarck Strasse. Very nice and safe. 10 minutes on foot to Hbf and city center.

If you travel on e.g. Ascension Day it is very useful to get a reservation, but I know that you can get good deals if you travel first class internationally. It's even cheaper sometimes than 2nd class. Within the Ruhrgebiet, you can just take RB: regional bahn, without a reservation.

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Posted

Good luck trying to get a ticket to see Borrusia Dortmund. I hear it is nigh on impossible to get. FYI!

My dad and aunty are coming here around Easter. I'd love to take them to Signal Iduna Park to watch BVB... but I don't think it'll be possible.

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Posted

Thanks again for all your advice. I have found a nice hotel on Bismarck Strasse in Essen. How is this area? Is it safe at night and is it safe to and easy to walk to from the Hbf? Is it correct that there are quit a few pubs and restaurants in nearby Rüttenscheider Strasse?

Yes, everything is correct. Hbf 5 mins, Rü 5 mins.

Another question, I will be travelling by train from Switzerland using a four day train pass - is it worth it to get a first class pass? ICEs in second class are usually very full - is it easier to get a seat in first class? I plan to travel a lot by train and visit as many Ruhrgebiet cities as possible.

I do speak German, so activities in German are good for me.

I don't think ICEs are that full if you use them in a "leisurely" fashion, they are typically very full on monday morning, friday and sunday evening.

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Posted

Good luck trying to get a ticket to see Borrusia Dortmund. I hear it is nigh on impossible to get. FYI!

My dad and aunty are coming here around Easter. I'd love to take them to Signal Iduna Park to watch BVB... but I don't think it'll be possible.

How about Schalke? Or Rot Weiss Essen?

By the way, does Clara Dolny still live in Essen? I wouldn't mind running into her!

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Posted

Thanks again for all your advice. I have found a nice hotel on Bismarck Strasse in Essen. How is this area? Is it safe at night and is it safe to and easy to walk to from the Hbf? Is it correct that there are quit a few pubs and restaurants in nearby Rüttenscheider Strasse?

Another question, I will be travelling by train from Switzerland using a four day train pass - is it worth it to get a first class pass? ICEs in second class are usually very full - is it easier to get a seat in first class? I plan to travel a lot by train and visit as many Ruhrgebiet cities as possible.

I do speak German, so activities in German are good for me.

Most parts of Essen are safe, including the area around the station, the only danger would be pickpockets at rush hour in the station but the risk even for that is lower than places like Düsseldorf or Cologne. I am a petite woman and never really felt under threat anywhere in Essen, other anywhere in the Ruhr Area for that matter, even by myself at night. It is one of the reasons I really like it here. Rüttenscheider Strasse is great for pubs and restaurant, good choice and atmosphere.

If you are travelling by ICE to come here, you can get seat reservations. This is recommended at peak times and when there are school holidays, otherwise it is not usually necessary. You can do this online: DB Bahn.de. There is no week ticket anymore for the Ruhr Area, I think that there is for NRW but I can't seem to find a price on it so I don't know if that is still the case. The cheapest thing to do if you will be travelling a lot a day is to see which zones you are going to go to and if you are going to do more than just a round trip, get a day ticket for the zone(s) you need. Here is the Regional transport authority site (VRR).

It is possible to buy tickets get tickets for Rot-Weiss Essen or VfL Bochum pretty easily, the tickets for Bochum are pretty cheap, and they often have special offers if they are playing in the week if you book the tickets in advance. I am not so sure about Schalke or Dortmund, you usually have to get them pretty early, I managed a couple of times to get them online for Schalke, never tried for Dortmund, only saw a game there as someone had an extra ticket.

(Edited, hit the button before I was done.)

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Posted

Most parts of Essen are safe, including the area around the station, the only danger would be pickpockets at rush hour in the station but the risk even for that is lower than places like Düsseldorf or Cologne. I am a petite woman and never really felt under threat anywhere in Essen, other anywhere in the Ruhr Area for that matter, even by myself at night. It is one of the reasons I really like it here. Rüttenscheider Strasse is great for pubs and restaurant, good choice and atmosphere.

If you are travelling by ICE to come here, you can get seat reservations. This is recommended at peak times and when there are school holidays, otherwise it is not usually necessary. You can do this online: DB Bahn.de. There is no week ticket anymore for the Ruhr Area, I think that there is for NRW but I can't seem to find a price on it so I don't know if that is still the case. The cheapest thing to do if you will be travelling a lot a day is to see which zones you are going to go to and if you are going to do more than just a round trip, get a day ticket for the zone(s) you need. Here is the Regional transport authority site (VRR).

It is possible to buy tickets get tickets for Rot-Weiss Essen or VfL Bochum pretty easily, the tickets for Bochum are pretty cheap, and they often have special offers if they are playing in the week if you book the tickets in advance. I am not so sure about Schalke or Dortmund, you usually have to get them pretty early, I managed a couple of times to get them online for Schalke, never tried for Dortmund, only saw a game there as someone had an extra ticket.

(Edited, hit the button before I was done.)

Thanks, I will be getting a 4 day pass as I am travelling from Switzerland. I will travel by ICE. First class is not so much more expensive so I'm wondering if reservations are required in first class?

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Posted

It really depends on when you're travelling. The Essen-Düsseldorf-Köln stretch can be busy at peak hours with commuters. In general though, the ICEs are noticeably quieter than the RB/Es or ICs. I do this weekly from Essen, but I usually make straight for the Bistrowagen until my change at Koblenz. At peak hours even the buffet car is busy on that stretch.

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