Essen in the summertime

Are you going to live in Essen for a while or are you already doing so? What’s on in Essen in the summer? Let our summer tips inspire you and get to know your temporary home better.

The Ruhr area looks back on a long industrial tradition. In the heart of the Ruhr district lies Essen, Capital of Culture in 2010 and named European Green Capital by the EU in 2017.

Past & Modernity

The link between industrial past and sustainable Capital of Culture is best symbolized by the Zollverein coal mine. The colliery site is a Unesco World Heritage Site and Essen’s landmark. Where men once hauled coal from underground to the light of day, people can now experience culture in a variety of ways.

The monument trail is a reminder of the earlier coal days. Together with a guide, visitors can experience how hard the work was ‘underground’. Former miners give a little insight into the hard everyday work of the miners in their ‘Püttgeschichten’, which makes the journey along the monument trail particularly authentic.

In bad weather, the Red Dot Design Museum invites visitors to take a cultural stroll. Designed by star architect Norman Foster, visitors can discover the world’s largest exhibition of contemporary design.

And if the sun is beaming down really hot from the sky, then it’s worth taking a dip in the old works swimming pool. Actually a work of art, it is also possible to splash around here to one’s heart’s content.

Music & Dance

Friends of art, opera and ballet get their money’s worth in Essen not only in summer. The Museum Folkwang and the extension created by star architect David Chipperfield are among the most renowned German art museums.

For those who want to enjoy classical or modern music in the Essen summer or plan to visit the opera, the Philharmonie or the Aalto Theater offer cultural variety. Top-class musicians make regular stops at the Philharmonie. At the Aalto Theater, culture lovers can enjoy opera and ballet dance. The Grillo Theater in downtown Essen also enjoys a good reputation among culture lovers.

And when temperatures are high, why not visit the Historic Cathedral right in the center of Essen. The cathedral’s treasury houses world-class works of art dating from 980 to 1060.

Shopping & Recreation

But of course it doesn’t always have to be high culture. Essen has one of the largest pedestrian zones in the Ruhr region as well as a modern shopping center. At Limbecker Platz, visitors can store to their hearts’ content in more than 200 stores. Within walking distance is In der Essener Lichtburg, where movie lovers can regularly experience big movie stars in Germany’s largest movie theater.

For those who want to take a break from shopping, the city center offers a real insider tip in the form of the Unperfekthaus. Here you can have a delicious lunch and then relax over a cup of coffee.

Numerous street festivals in Essen also provide real summer flair. At the end of July, for example, the culinary highlight ‘Rü…Genuss pur!’ starts in Rüttenscheid.

But the real summer in the city is enjoyed by the people of Essen in Gruga Park. The city’s green oasis serves as a popular destination for many young people or families.

In the south of Essen lies Margarethenhöhe, incidentally Germany’s first garden city when it opened in 1920. Between detached gabled houses, the romantic facades of the rows of houses and the picturesque front gardens, visitors enter a village in the big city here.

A little further south lies Lake Baldeney, the largest of the six existing Ruhr reservoirs and one of Essen’s best-known recreational areas. The Weiße Flotte (White Fleet) invites you to take leisurely boat trips here. There are also countless opportunities for water sports enthusiasts to pursue their passion.

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