Information about the Leisure Time Activities, Tourist Attractions and Cycling Routes in the NRW-Region and Ruhr Area

Your new homeland, the Ruhr Area, where you will be studying and living has in German many different names: Ruhrgebiet, Metropole Ruhr or also (Ruhr)Pott and it is a very vivid region with long mining history.


Below you will find a small selection of various possibilities to spend your leisure time in a great and exciting way. The variety is huge - take your pick, there is something for everyone!

Please have a look on our International Semester Programme - we offer you various attractive activities for FH-students within our monthly InterKulTreff and with our great international events as International KulturCafé (IKC). Join us and get to know many new places and interesting people!

As a student at FH Dortmund you receive a NRW-Semesterticket which is valid for 1 semester. The payment for it is included in the semester contribution, so-called »Semesterbeitrag /Sozialbeitrag«. The ticket allows you to travel free on public transport, including buses, underground, tram and local trains (2nd class) in North-Rhine Westphalia. It’s a great way of getting around and seeing the region of the Ruhrgebiet (Ruhr Area) and more over traveling within the North-Rhine Westphalia. Use this great and unique chance and travel around your new homeland!

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Dortmund ↓

Dortmund is located in the Ruhr Area (Ruhrgebiet), the largest urban agglomeration in Germany, with 5 million inhabitants – more than the capital, Berlin! Dortmund, the 8th largest city in Germany, is a modern cosmopolitan metropolis with nearly 600.000 inhabitants.

A city that was once world renown for steel, coal and beer has turned itself into a centre for innovative technology, and cultural and sporting excellence. Dortmund not only has a thriving shopping and ›city scene‹ but also boasts a large number of parks, woodland, culture and leisure facilities in and around the city.

If you feel a strong longing for nature you should visit our beautiful botanical garden Rombergpark or you can take nice strolls in Westfalenpark with its wide green spaces and many different events. In the winter period there is a stunning light installation “Winterleuchten” open in the late evening hours. At this time of the year the Westfalenpark looks really amazing and magical! Please mention that there in an entrance fee if you want to visit Florianturm (Floriantower) and have a look on the landscape from the top of the tower.

One of the largest urban development projects in Germany and the newest attraction of Dortmund is the 24-hectar large lake Phoenix See. The lake offers a new recreational area and invites for walking, jogging, cycling or skating and much more!

Dortmund has also a nice zoo which is generously endowed with park and green spaces. It is really worth seeing and offers you area to have fun and relax!


If you are interested in culture - Dortmund has really a lot to offer for you e.g. the Theater of Dortmund, Concert Hall (Konzerthaus)Westfalenhallen, Zeche Zollern or Dortmunder U. Dortmund has of course various interesting museums (e.g. DASA Museum) and many more!

An absolute must to visit for sports fans is Signal Iduna Park, the home of Borussia Dortmund football club, with its 81.359 (standing and seated) capacity, is the largest football stadium in Germany and the seventh largest in Europe. The match day atmosphere inside the stadium is unique and not to be missed!

The Christmas festive season opens with the famous Dortmund Christmas Market, a labyrinth of bustling market stalls spread out through the city centre, with the tallest Christmas tree in the world (45 metres) as its centrepiece.

If you feel like celebrating – you have found a prefect place, since the Ruhr Area (Ruhrgebiet) and the city of Dortmund itself has a very vivid nightlife! There is a right place to party in Dortmund for everyone. There are also very interesting festivals like Juicy Beats or Micro!Festival taking place here.

Dortmund is also one of the main venues of the industrial culture festival ExtraSchicht, which is taking place once every year in the whole Ruhr area (Ruhrgebiet. ExtraSchicht is a colorful and exciting night full of various attractions. The next one will be on the 25th of June 2016.


The Neighbouring Cities ↓

The neighbouring cities offer you interesting places and shopping centres which leave nothing to be desired. The city centres of Cologne (Köln) and Düsseldorf have both very charming and worth seeing old town. If you decide to visit Cologne you must see the impressive Cologne Cathedral which is a true landmark of the city and the most visited tourist attraction in Germany. You should also visit the Museum of Chocolate (Schokoladenmuseum) in Cologne.

If you are interested in the industrial heritage and mining history in the Ruhr Area (Ruhrgebiet) or worldwide you should visit the German Mining Museum Bochum - Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum. It is one of the most visited museums in Germany and one of the most important mining museums in the world. There are various exhibitions taking place in the museum which are really worth seeing. The biggest attraction is a faithfully reconstructed show mine below the museum terrain which gives all visitors insights into the world of mining.

The House of History - Haus der Geschichte in Bonn is very interesting as well and offers you a time travel through German history and makes it vivid and perceptible.

If you like watching animals there are many zoos in the region as well: the Zoo of Wuppertal and Zoo Duisburg or ZOOM in Gelsenkirchen are nationally well known and popular. If you are interested in fishes and reptiles then Aquazoo Düsseldorf, Terrazoo in Rheinberg or Sealife in Oberhausen are perfect for you!

There are also a lot of concerts and festivals – either in the little cozy bars and clubs or in the huge arenas in Cologne, Oberhausen and Düsseldorf, Bochum, Essen and many more.


Industrial Heritage ↓

Meanwhile a lot of old industrial buildings were turned to extraordinary cultural centres which host different kinds of theaters, museums, concerts and exhibitions.

There are parks and beautiful green areas on the former stockpiles which give the inhabitants of the Ruhr Area the possibility to take long walks, do sports and offer numerous opportunities for relaxation in the freedom of its natural surroundings.

You should necessarily visit the Gasometer in Oberhausen, Zeche Zollverein in Essen or Zeche Zollern in Dortmund and many many other places in the Ruhrgebiet! More information can be found on the webside of the Route of Industrial Heritage.

Once a year there is an industrial culture festival called ExtraSchicht taking place in the whole Ruhr Area (Ruhrgebiet). Dortmund is also one of the main venues of this festival. ExtraSchicht is a colorful and exciting night full of various attractions! The next ExtraSchicht will take place on 24 June 2017. For the next few years you can keep in mind: The festival will always take place on the last Saturday in June!


Cycling - Metropolradruhr ↓

You can also easily rent a bike from "metropolradruhr". In June 2010 metropolradruhr was established as the biggest bike sharing system in Germany. Up to 3000 bikes are available to rent in ten cities of the Ruhr. It's possible to rent a bike around the clock at the hotline 030 69205046, www.metropolradruhr.de, or at most tourist information spots.

There are many interesting bicycle routes in the region! One of the most well known is the "Route of Industrial Heritage" (Route der Industriekultur)" which you can explore by bike on more then 700km! On the official website of metropoleruhr (the German website has much more information as the English one) to that route you will find lots of different recommendations, maps, trails, highlights, trails for mountain biking and many more. Route of Industrial Heritage is really worth being explored by bike!

Ruhr-guide (German only) which is an online magazine for the region offers lots of different cycling routes from short and easy ones, through extreme ones to bike trips which are several days long.

A very good address with interesting biking trails is the RuhrtalRadweg (Ruhr Valley Cycle Route) - it offers different cycling routes along the river Ruhr. The views are really breathtaking! Please notice that the German website offers much more information.

Radrouten Planer is a very good website in different languages which offers different theme routes but gives you also different information o topics like accommodation possibilities, tourist attractions, historic sites and snack bars or other eating opportunities on the different routes.

Be curious and discover the region with a bicycle!


Further information about the Ruhr Area ↓

Further information regarding living and working in the Ruhr Area (Ruhrgebiet/Metropole Ruhr) can be fond on the official website of the Metropole Ruhr. The Metropole Ruhr website informs you about the actual cultural programme and gives you lots of good information and news in and about the region.