Three things once used to epitomise the German city of Dortmund:coal, steel and beer. However, it seems this once testosterone-fuelled urban area is now adopting a more metrosexual approach to life. Dortmunder Actien Brauerei still churns out millions of pints of malty pale ales, but much of the city’s mining industry has been replaced with more hi-tech pursuits.
But just like when a dude makes the effort to trim his nose hairs, this change is far from a bad thing. Dortmund’s shopping streets are the fourth largest in Germany, so men can ditch the wives at Kleppingstrabe if they want to check out the football at the 67,000-seat Westfalenstadion. Although come to think of it, an afternoon watching German blokes run around in short shorts may appeal more to members of the fairer sex…
Dortmund's Top 10
10. Rosarium Wake up and smell the roses – all 3,000 species of them. And here we were thinking there was just red and white…
5. Mahn-Und Gedenkstätte Steinwache Once a Nazi prison and now a memorial to the people who suffered during the Third Reich.
9. Reinoldikirche This stunning old church is the oldest extant one in Dortmund, and features a 104m (341ft) tower.
4. Dortmund Brewery Museum Take the tour, taste the beer and take home a free glass. Need we say more?
8. Hohensyburg These ruins date back to the 1100s, and give a beautiful view over the Ruhr Valley.
3. Museum Für Kunst & Kulturgeschichte The one-time Dortmund Savings Bank now holds far more interesting things in its interior.
7. Zoo Dortmund See snakes, lizards, monkeys and crocodiles – along with 750,000 others every year.
2. Zollern II/IV Coal Mine Interactive features help you see what ‘state of the art’ looked like in 1902.
6. Westfalen Park Check out the best views of the city from the revolving restaurant at the top of the 220m- (722ft-) tall tower.
1. Museum Am Ostwall What once was a famous old brewery is now used for more culturally enlightening (but arguably less enjoyable) purposes.
- Petrikirche – A Protestant church dating back to the 14th century.
- Haus Bodelschwingh – A castle and moat from the 13th century.
- Marienkirche – A Protestant church that was rebuilt after World War II.
- Haus Dellwig – A castle that was partly reconstructed during the 17th century.
- Opernhaus Dortmund – An opera house constructed in 1966.
Dortmund Art & Culture
- Museum of Art and Cultural History – This museum provides visitors with an insight into life in Dortmund over the past 300 years and is believed to be one of the oldest museums of its kind in the Ruhr district.
- Museum am Ostwall – This museum exhibits art from the 20th and 21st centuries.
- Museum of Natural History – One of Dortmund’s most-visited museums.
- German Cookery Book Museum – A must-see museum for domestic finds.
- Steinwache Memorial and Museum – A former police station with a permanent exhibition of the resistance and persecution in Dortmund from 1933-45.
- Westenhellweg – A busy Dortmund shopping street with a rich history.
- Propstei Arcades – Has a range of shops, including high-end designer stores.
- Kleppingstrasse – With shops that favour understatement and sophistication.
- Brückstrasse – This modern shopping street has a youthful vibe.
- The Christmas Market – This festive Dortmund market is one of the best in Germany.
Gay & Lesbian Dortmund
- Burgtorclub – One of Dortmund’s most-visited gay and lesbian bars.
- HappyHappyDingDong – Features a beer garden and enjoyable live music.
- Limericks Irish Pub – This Irish pub is popular with European travellers.
- Sausalitos Dortmund – A quaint cocktail bar that serves a variety of exotic drinks.
- zuHOUSE.Club – This nightclub is an ideal place to dance with live music.
- Westphalia Park – This beautiful park is the perfect place to relax in the sun or picnic on the preened lawns.
- Dortmund Zoo – This magnificent zoo features more than 1,500 animals.
- Wischlingen Park – A beautiful park in the centre of Dortmund.
- Botanischer Garten Rombergpark (Rombergpark) – An extensive arboretum and botanical garden.
- Florianturm – A huge telecommunications tower and popular landmark.
- Catch Borussia Dortmund football at Westfalenstadion, which is also known as Signal Iduna Park.
- Watch Borussia Dortmund’s handball team for women.
- See the SVD 49 Dortmund basketball team in its hometown.
- Watch the Sparkassen Chess-Meeting, which takes place in Dortmund every summer.
- Check out Dortmund’s best figure skaters at the ice rink of the Ice Sports Centre Westfalenhallen.
July sees Westfalen Park come to life for the electronic music festival Juciy Beats. With over 20 stages, there’s bound to be something you’ll like.
Micro Festival sees the streets taken over by international street performers in August, taking you on a cultural odyssey through Occident and Orient alike.
Galleries and museums keep their doors open well into the night during September for Museum Night. You’ll find concerts, readings, theatrical events and midnight museum tours.
The LesArt Literature Festival comes around each November, when all sorts of performers take to the stage to get their art seen and heard.
When To Go
- The average summer (June to August) temperature is around 25°C (77°F).
- Although much colder, winter rarely sees temperatures drop below freezing.
- Autumn tends to experience slightly more rain, but considerably fewer tourists.
- Just like the people, the transport here is super-efficient. Dortmund has access to S-Bahn, trains, subways and buses, all of which are easy to navigate.
- Taxi drivers are helpful, friendly and always use the meter.
- The tourist office rents bikes for €4 per hour or €12 per day. You may be asked to leave a small deposit (of money).
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