Top 9 Things to Do in Essen, Germany

Updated On October 8, 2023
Germany, Essen

Essen is a German city located in Ruhr Valley.

It was known as the center of the heavy industry of the country.

However, nowadays, all the industrial objects were cleaned up and most of them remain as only monuments.

The city is known for its beautiful architecture, millennium-old churches, and factories that were repurposed into concert halls.

In this article, we’ve collected the top 9 things you need to do and to see during your visit to Essen.


Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex

You may think that a coal mine plant isn’t the best place to visit in Essen, however, we can ensure that it is really exciting.

The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex – it is a huge plant that worked for more than 100 years from 1847 to 1993.

Nowadays, it is an incredible reminder of an important period in the history of the country.

During your visit there you can learn some interesting facts about the place as well as its role in World War II.

You may be impressed but it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the most beautiful coal mines in the world.

Also, the place often hosts various events such as exhibits, concerts, and educational seminars.

Coal Mining
Coal Mining

The Ruhr Museum

For many years, the Ruhr region was known as an industrial center of Germany.

If you want to learn about this region and its role in the country’s development, make sure to visit the Ruhr Museum.

The museum is located on the territory of the Zollverein Industrial Complex.

There is a whole bunch of exciting collections and exhibits that can tell you a lot about the region.

Also, the museum has an incredibly spooky vibe due to its stone walls, industrial machinery, and steel stairs.


The Red Dot Design Museum

One other place that is located on the territory of the Zollverein Industrial Complex is the Red Dot Design Museum.

This place is known all over the world and thousands of people visit it annually.

Every year the museum holds the Red Dot Design Award and receives a whole bunch of applications.

It is a prestigious award that is assigned to the projects that provide the most innovative ideas in the sphere of industrial design.

Visiting this museum, you can see more than 1000 products created by such famous companies as BMW, Apple, Siemens Porche, Bosche, and Lenovo.


Museum Folkwang

If you want to move away from all these industrial things, the Museum Folkwang is a great option for you.

During your visit there, you can enjoy one of the best straight-up art exhibits in Europe.

There is a variety of amazing art pieces that date from the romantics in the 19th century to the abstractionists in the 20th century.

It is a great place to have some peaceful stroll while enjoying some great art, beautiful view from huge windows as well as a relaxing time in the open garden.


Villa Hügel

The Villa Hügel is a huge mansion that was built back in the 19th century and known as one of the greatest places to see in Essen.

The villa has 270 rooms and surrounded by 20 hectares of land.

It was built by Alfred Krupp in the 1870s.

The most incredible thing about this place is that when it was built it had some innovative conveniences such as water heating, fireproofing, and even some air conditioning.

All these things weren’t available to most people in the 19th century.

You can take a guided tour or audio tour so you can learn about the owners of this amazing villa.

Villa Hügel
Villa Hügel

International Christmas Market

Every year, North-Rhine Westphalia hosts one of the greatest Christmas markets not only in Germany but in the whole Europe.

It is not a secret that Christmas markets are very popular in Europe and European people for sure know how to make a great Christmas market.

Of course, Essen is no exception when it comes to such a thing as a Christmas market.

Every year, vendors from more than 20 countries come to this event so they can show some of their goods.

Essen’s market is quieter than other popular options but it is absolutely beautiful with its gorgeous light decorations.

Also, there is a medieval market where you can buy some incredible things such as leather coin pouches and treasure chests.

Christmas Market
Christmas Market

Essen Minster

It is impossible to visit any European city and don’t pay a visit to one of those magnificent old churches.

During your visit to Essen, make sure to go to the Essen Minster.

According to the data, the construction of this church began in the 9th century so the place is known as one of the oldest cathedrals in Europe,

The cathedral is full of amazing ancient artifacts such as bronze candelabrum created at 1000 BC and the Golden Madonna that is about the same age.

The last one is considered as the oldest known representation of the Virgin Mary.

Essen sea
Essen sea

Basilica of St Ludgerus

If you want to visit some other churches in Essen, you can pay a visit to Essen’s Basilica of St Ludgerus.

The architecture of this place is a stunning combination of Ottoman and Romanesque styles while the interior is filled with absolutely gorgeous medieval decorations.

You’ll be impressed by its choir stalls, altars, and stunning Baroque elements.

St Ludgerus
St Ludgerus

Alte Synagogue

If you want to learn about Jewish culture in German, you need to pay a visit to the Alte which is the oldest synagogue in the town.

There, you can learn about Jewish culture and history visiting the exhibition in the synagogue.

Also, it is a great option for people who are interested in religion and Jewish culture.

Alte Synagogue
Alte Synagogue

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1 Comment on Top 9 Things to Do in Essen, Germany

  1. Essen is a city with a rich industrial history, but it has transformed into a beautiful and diverse destination with stunning architecture, cultural events, and historical landmarks.

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