Information on tourism activities
explore & relax
Discover various museums and a lot of beautiful nature – or just visit a museum about nature! Find out about the possibilities to explore and relax in Dortmund.
The Westfalenpark is a large, popular park with expansive gardens, abundant flowers and exotic trees. Children in particular will delight in the many attractions, including a mini railway and a cable car that run through the park. The Westfalenpark’s famous emblem is its 200-metre-tall Florian Tower, which offers unparalleled 360° views over the city and beyond!
Get ready for a blast from the past at BINARIUM, aka the German Museum of Digital Culture, an unrivalled collection of game consoles and personal computers from past and present. Many of the 250-odd video games and consoles are plugged in and waiting for you to put your skills to the test, so what are you waiting for?
German Football Museum
Opposite the main railway station, the German Football Museum (Deutsches Fußballmuseum) is a must-see for every self-respecting footie fan. Artefacts include boots and final shirts of footballing legends, as well as much of the DFB’s finest silverware! Take a dive into the history of football in our 3D cinema and Hall of Fame.
Dortmund was once known as the beer capital of Europe. Discover the history of beer and the art of brewing at the Brewery Museum (Brauerei Museum), with artefacts including tankards, barrels and beer bottles – fascinating even if you’re not a beer-drinker. Admission is free.
The Dortmund U Tower is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Built by the Dortmund Union Brewery, these days it houses an arts and creativity centre while the roof terrace offers views across the city.
The DASA Working World Exhibition focusses on the relationship between people, work and technology. What sets it apart from standard museums is the hands-on experience, with a series of unique zones full of interactive fun to explore!
Street Art in Dortmund
What is art? We don’t have the answer. But you can explore different types of art in Dortmund – for example street art. Just keep your eyes wide open when you take a walk through the city, and you will discover it for yourself. Or learn about urban contemporary art at “44309//Gallery”.
It sounds like a contradiction, but you can find many city forests in Dortmund! Visit the Bolmke near the Football Stadium, the Bittermark in the South of the city, or the almost untouched Niederhofer Holz. While the names may not be enchanting, the sights, sounds and surroundings are!
Natural History Museum
Travel through time and explore nature! Primeval exibits, fossils and prepared animals await you at Dortmund’s Natural History Museum (Naturmuseum Dortmund). Have a look at the skeleton of a mammoth, a huge dinosaur-sculpture, and lots more!
Adlerturm Children’s Museum
Explore the medieval history of the city and learn about life in the Middle Ages. This museum was built on the foundation of the actual watch tower “Adlerturm” (Eagle Tower) of the city wall. What makes this exhibition extra fun: The common rule “Please don’t touch” does not apply!
Westphalian School Museum
Learn about the history of public education in Germany in the last 500 years – and you don’t even have to sit still and be quiet! Take a look at a historical classroom of the late 19th century and into the dark times of propaganda in the so-called Third Reich of Nazi-Germany.
Rombergpark is the former palace garden of "Schloss Brünninghausen", which was destroyed in the war. The park looks like a typical English garden and is famous for the lake, the varied plants and landscapes and the plant display houses.
PHOENIX See Lake
PHOENIX See is an artificial lake on the site of a former steel mill. After the company was closed 20 years ago, the construction of the lake and the surrounding buildings was one of the largest infrastructural projects in the region. Today it is one of Dortmund's main attractions and a preferred residential area.
Syburg and Hengsteysee Lake
Syburg is a recreation area for the whole family south of Dortmund city. Find the remains of a medieval castle, a monument for Germanys last Emperor, restaurants and a casino embedded in the nature. Next to Syburg is the Hengsteysee Lake – a beautiful place for a hike.
On “Speicherstraße” (Speicher Street), located in Dortmund Port, you can find a 600 metres long graffiti wall! Artists are legally allowed and invited to spray graffiti on this so-called “Hall of Fame”, turning it into an ever-changing art gallery by covering the already existing images with their own. Discover something new every time!
see & do
There are lots of activities and sights to discover in Dortmund. Visiting the Christmas Market may easily be the most remarkable one. But you can also play football, visit the zoo, marvel at the industrial heritage sites and experience so much more!
Signal Iduna Park
The stadium of legendary football club Borussia Dortmund (BVB 09) holds 80,000 spectators and its Südtribüne is the largest terrace in Europe. Expect to be blown away by the atmosphere!
There are around 1500 animals to discover at Dortmund Zoo, including giraffes, anteaters and rhinos. And for the little ones a petting zoo, of course!
Zeche Zollern – former colliery
In its heyday, this former colliery was known as the Palace of Work thanks to its magnificent architecture. Today it’s a museum celebrating the life of the coalminers, or “Kumpels” as they called each other in pit talk. Step into the past inside the Montanium, a working replica of a pit with real machines, to see what life was like for the men and boys who worked underground.
Visit the Christmas market
Dortmund’s city centre is transformed into a magical place in the lead-up to Christmas. The Christmas market is all about ambling around the market stalls that offer an array of sweets, toys, jewellery, clothing and much more, indulging in sweet and savoury treats or a warming mulled wine as you marvel at the biggest Christmas tree in the world.
Team spirit, passion and loads of fun! In Dortmund, football is much more than just a spectator sport. And you don’t need much for your own game: a ball, two goals and a handful of mates eager to get onto the pitch!
Climbing improves your coordination and concentration – and it’s great fun! There’s a range of levels to choose from at Dortmund’s climbing hall, from bouldering at a moderate height to classic rock climbing with ropes, as well as tree-to-tree high-rope activities. Ready for a challenge? You can do it!
Ready for take off? Defy gravity at Superfly Dortmund, where you can jump, bounce, or dance to your heart’s content on single or giant trampolines. Or find out if you have what it takes to be a ninja warrior in the ninja parkour.
With bikes of all sizes available for hire in Dortmund, cycling is another great way to discover the city. It’s fun, convenient and you can cover a greater distance, allowing for a more versatile itinerary.
The Thier-Galerie mall is home to some 160 shops and a food lounge on the top floor. It’s located on Dortmund’s shopping mile, the Westenhellweg, one of the most popular shopping streets in Germany.
PHOENIX West, PHOENIX See Lake, Skywalk
Back in the days, Dortmund-Hörde was one of the most important steel locations in Germany. Iron was melted in the blast furnaces west of the town of Hörde and transported by rail to the steel mills in the east.
Today the whole area has changed: The steel works in the east have been replaced by the PHOENIX See Lake and a new residential area. Most of the industrial area in the west became a technology park. Nevertheless: Some parts of the old blast furnace building have been preserved and can be visited as part of a guided tour. Enjoy a fantastic view on Dortmund and the region on the "Skywalk" on a former gas line and the blast furnace tower.
The former railways have been turned into cycling and hiking trails, connecting both sides. It's a great way to discover Dortmund's industrial past by bike or in-line skates.
More information about PHOENIX West
More information about PHOENIX See Lake
More information about the Skywalk
Hansa Coking Plant
Not too long ago, the Hansa Coking Plant produced tons of coke by heating coal to temperatures of over 1,000 degrees Celsius. Nowadays, it is a museum and industrial heritage site where you can discover the industrial past of the city – we recommend a guided tour!
Glowing Rooms Minigolf
This indoor minigolf course is an adventure into fantastic realms – and a perfect activity for a rainy or even snowy day. Put on your 3D glasses and discover a most extraordinary setting for an exciting game of blacklight minigolf!
Skateboarding in Dortmund
Are you addicted to your skateboard and don't want to be without it in wintry Germany? No problem! The Indoor Skatepark at Dietrich-Keuning-Haus allows skating regardless of the weather. You can rent a board for 2 euros, the entry fee is between 1 and 2 euros, depending on your age.
PACE Automobile Museum
Visit PACE Automobile Museum and discover a variety of fast cars, vintage cars, and extraordinary cars. The museum is run by Dortmund’s car-tuning expert and YouTuber Jean Pierre “JP” Kraemer, who is well-known throughout Europe! A tablet-PC with headphones serves as your audio-/videoguide. In the café “carffee” you can get hot and cold drinks as well as sweet pastries.
eat & drink
Whether Italian or Vietnamese; Whether vegetarian or with meat: Dortmund offers a large selection of dishes for every taste and budget. We have collected almost 30 different restaurants in the city: find them with a description of their cuisine in this PDF.
Salzkuchen mit Mett
Although it looks like a bagel because of the hole in the middle, Salzkuchen is a crispy bread roll sprinkled with caraway seeds and salt. It’s traditionally served with ground pork and onion, although it’s also popular with a slice of cheese instead.
A fried pork sausage cut into bite-sized chunks and served in a tasty, sweet and spicy curry-ketchup sauce. It usually comes alongside a portion of fries with mayonnaise – or as a double portion of currywurst.
Cake and gateau at Café Kleimann
Café Kleimann has been serving cakes and gateaux since 1903. You’ll find it beside the Petrikirche church in the city centre. What makes it special besides its delicious pastries? The two parrots who talk to the guests, of course.
An absolute must in Dortmund! Crispy fries made from fresh potatoes, served with a dollop of mayonnaise and a generous squirt of ketchup, hence the name “Schranke” like the red and white barriers at railway crossings.
The most popular hot drink at the Christmas market! A sweet, hot wine seasoned with all sorts of Christmassy spices like cinnamon and aniseed – but don’t underestimate the alcohol content. For the kids and anyone who avoids alcohol, just ask for Kinderglühwein or Kinderpunsch. It’s alcohol-free, super sweet and super yummy!
Something for the grown-ups: Why not try some of the local beers like Kronen, DAB pilsener or Bergmann beer? Having been the beer capital of Europe at one time, we know a thing or two about beer in Dortmund.
Their delicious fragrance fills the air and draws you towards them ... Made by caramelising almonds with sugar until they get their typical crunchy sweet coating, you’ll find roasted almonds on just about every corner at the Christmas market.
August mit dem Schlips
For 150 years, Dortmund’s oldest distillery Krämer has been producing a herb liqueur called August mit dem Schlips, which roughly translates as “Augustus in a necktie”. We recommend it as a digestif after your meal. But only if you’re over 18, of course.
Originally introduced to Germany by Turkish immigrant workers, the döner has established itself here alongside hamburgers and fries as a fast-food staple. A Dönertasche is a pocket of Turkish flatbread filled with whatever takes your fancy: salad, a variety of sauces and beef or chicken – or without meat for vegetarians. Döner fans are spoilt for choice in Dortmund, with dozens of Dönerbuden all over the city.
A hearty stew of beef, onions and pepper that originates in Westphalia. Enjoy it in Dortmund’s traditional restaurants with boiled potatoes, pickled gherkins and a pickled beetroot.
stay close & discover beyond
As much as we wish you a pleasant and exciting stay in Dortmund – we have to mention that there are other places in the region that are worth visiting. What’s best about it: You don’t have to travel far!
Districts in Dortmund
Outside Dortmund city center you’ll find several urban quarters, each with its unique charm. Here you will find a small selection.
This quarter is named after the once famous brewery "Union". Even though the brewery closed down many years ago, the rough charm of a working-class neighborhood remains. The former brewery tower with a large “U” on the roof is now an arts center (Dortmunder U) and the area is transforming into a creative quarter. It houses galleries (e.g., "Street Art Gallery"), artists and a lot of impressive graffiti.
Half a century ago, Hörde was one of Dortmund’s largest working-class districts. Today it is a great example of structural change. The large steel mill was transformed into a lake (PHOENIX See), the blast furnace west of Hörde city is now a tourist attraction. Now, this area is one of Dortmund’s most popular destinations for an excursion with family or friends.
Nestled between beautiful old buildings, Kaiserviertel offers a wide range of cafés and restaurants. The heart of this quarter is Kaiserstraße, a cozy shopping street, east of Dortmund’s city center.
Kreuzviertel and Saarlandstraßenviertel
Come to Kreuzviertel and Saarlandstraßenviertel if you want to have a coffee in a charming neighborhood, explore small restaurants with delicious food or visit unique owner-managed shops. Both are west of the city center and only a 10-minute walk from the Reinoldikirche (St. Reinold's Church).
Outside of Dortmund
Deutsches Bergbaumuseum Bochum / German Mining Museum
© Karlheinz Jardner
At the German Mining Museum Bochum, you can find out all about the fascinating world of mining by following one of the four trails guiding you through the permanent exhibition: hard coal, mining, mineral resources and art. By the way: Even though it looks like one, the Deutsche Bergbaumuseum is not a former pit. But 20 metres underground, they’ve constructed a mine with 1.2 km of tunnels just for visitors. Immerse yourselves in the history of the Ruhr Region!
UNESCO-World Heritage Zollverein in Essen
© Jochen Tack / Stiftung Zollverein
The Zollverein colliery and coking plant has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2001. You can access this huge site free of charge and explore it on your own. Or take a guided tour (for a fee and currently only in German) to find out more about mining and its history. There are also several museums and galleries on this extensive site including the Ruhr Museum and the Red Dot Design Museum.
Landscape Park / Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord
© Thomas Berns
These former steelworks in Duisburg have been turned into a landscape park and a truly beautiful urban oasis. In the extensive grounds, not only can you discover industrial heritage but also industrial nature. There is also a huge adventure playground, and you can rent bikes too.
© Thomas Wolf
A visit to the Gasometer Oberhausen is one of the most popular excursions for the local Ruhris. For one thing, you get a magnificent panoramic view from the viewing platform on the roof, and then they have spectacular exhibitions on the inside as well. At the moment you can see the “Fragile Paradise” exhibition with stunning photos and videos about the earth and climate. And don’t miss the highlight: a 20-metre-tall sculpture of the earth.
Düsseldorfer Altstadt – the Old Town
© Düsseldorf Tourismus – Foto: U.Otte
In Düsseldorf’s Old Town – about an hour’s journey from Dortmund – you can walk along the Rhine Promenade, sample some tasty food or enjoy some serious shopping. The historic Town Hall, the Lambertus Church and the Burgplatz square just ooze history. And in the evenings, crowds of good-natured visitors throng in and around the many pubs to enjoy Düsseldorf’s traditional Altbier.
Rheinschifffahrt – Cruises on the Rhine
© KD Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt GmbH
Take a mini cruise on the Rhine to take in the best views of the romantic countryside, magnificent residences along the riverbanks and see sights such as Cologne Cathedral and the futuristic Kranhäuser buildings, all while sipping on sparkling wine or enjoying coffee and cake.
© Rothaarsteigverein e.V. – Klaus-Peter Kappest
Are you in the mood for nature? Then the Sauerland region will be the ideal destination.
Westphalia’s largest reservoir, the “Bigge Dam”, is situated between the towns of Olpe and Attendorn. This lake is ideal for bathing and other water activities. And Attendorn has one of the most beautiful caves in Germany, the “Atta-Höhle”, showing fantastic stalagmites and stalactites.
Whether actively involved in the fun or just watching, the town of Winterberg is a must for winter sports enthusiasts. The world’sbest tobogganists meet here regularly at the bob-sleigh and toboggan run.
The “Westphalian Open Air Museum” in Hagen gives an impression of daily life in the past. More than a dozen workshops bring back to life the old Westphalian technical and manual skills.
UNESCO-World Heritage Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral is one of the Top 10 sightseeing destinations in Germany. The foundations for this imposing building were laid back in the year 1248, to be followed by centuries of construction work. There are guided tours throughout the day, and it is well worth climbing up the South Tower with its bell chamber, in spite of the 533 steps!
Old town of Soest
© Gero Sliwa
Picturesque alleys, beautiful buildings, and cozy restaurants: If you want to visit a typical German medieval old town, Soest might be your choice. The town is east of Dortmund (1 hour by train) and well known for the Allerheiligenkirmes (All Saint's Fair) and the Christmas market, which starts on November 21st this year.
© Attendorfer Tropfsteinhöhle
The Atta Cave is a dripstone cave in Attendorn, 50 kilometers south of Dortmund. It is one of the most visited caves in Germany. On a 500-meter-long round path in the show cave you will see fantastic, colorful dripstones.
Wild forest Vosswinkel
© Daniela Fett
Nature and lots of animals: Take a trip to “Wildwald Vosswinkel”, a forest near the city of Arnsberg. Discover the various attractions and programs for visitors – at a lucky moment, you might get a close look at a squirrel, a ferret, or a sheep!
© Münsterland e.V. / Philipp Fölting
How about a guided tour of the most significant baroque palace in Westphalia? Visit the beautiful Castle Nordkirchen! In case you wonder why it looks familiar: Castle Nordkirchen was the filming location of the Hollywood movie “Spencer” about Princess Diana.
Artificial Lake Möhne
© Sauerland Tourismus e.V. / sabrinity.com
The Lake Möhne (“Möhnesee”) is an artificial lake. The water of the river Möhne is held back by a gigantic dam wall – which is about 650 meters long and 40 meters tall – and serves as a storage reservoir. You can take a long walk through the surrounding nature and make a relaxing stop at one of the cafés or restaurants.