Essen travel guide

Essen Tourism | Essen Guide

You're Going to Love Essen

Boasting superb museums like the Folkwang and UNESCO-listed industrial complexes, Essen has lesser known delights to discover as well, including some gorgeous religious sculptures from the Dark Ages.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Essen

1. The Folkwang Museum

This superb art museum is one of the treasures of the Ruhr Valley and is home to works by Van Gogh, Renoir, and Manet, among many others.

2. A UNESCO-Listed Industrial Heritage

The Zollverein Coal Mining Complex is one of the most impressive in the world, and the guided tour is not to be missed.

3. Beautiful Religious Art and Architecture

Essen may be industrial, but it has a stock of stunning churches to visit. The highlight is Essen Minster, where you can see a golden sculpture of the Madonna, made in 980 and the oldest of its kind in the world.

4. Find Out about the Achievements of German Design

The Red Dot Museum showcases the best in design (and gives out awards to the year's best creations), and it's a fascinating place to visit if you have an interest in interiors and furnishings.

5. Fantastic Events for Motorsports Fans

Every December, Essen hosts one of the world's biggest fairs for motorsports lovers. If you are a fan of BMW or other German-manufactured vehicles, there's no better place to be.

Where to Eat in Essen

Dining out in Essen has a cosmopolitan feel, and there's plenty of choice. Standouts include Casino Zollverein (in the industrial complex) and the timber-framed Hülsmannshof. Meals will cost around EUR15 for entrees, and about EUR30 per head in total.

When to visit Essen

Essen in April
Estimated hotel price
1 night at 3-star hotel
Essen in April
Estimated hotel price
1 night at 3-star hotel

Christmas brings the motor show and festive markets, while late summer brings events like Rü Oktoberfest, while attractions like the Folkwang Museum are appealing at any time of year.

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Celcius (°C)
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How to Get to Essen


Düsseldorf Airport (DUS) is the nearest airport. From there, take the train to Essen Hauptbahnhof (EUR10, 20 minutes).


Essen's Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) has excellent rail connections with other German cities, including Munich, Berlin, and Cologne.


The A2 runs from Berlin to Essen via Dortmund, while the A3 runs from Frankfurt. From Düsseldorf Airport, take the A52 straight into central Essen.


VRR runs buses from major cities in the Ruhr (including Düsseldorf Airport), while Eurolines offers long distance services to Berlin and foreign cities like Paris.

Airports near Essen

Airlines serving Essen

United Airlines
Good (69,522 reviews)
American Airlines
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Air France
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British Airways
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Turkish Airlines
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Qatar Airways
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Air Canada
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Austrian Airlines
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Scandinavian Airlines
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Where to stay in Essen

Accommodation highlights include the Hotel Essen Motel One and the City Hotel Essen, while the Atlantic Congress Hotel Essen is a highly rated hotel near the Essen exhibition center.

Popular neighbourhoods in Essen

Rüttenscheid - known as Essen's creative hub, Rüttenscheid is the place to find great bars like Menehune Cocktailbar, boutiques like Stakks, and a host of wonderful Asian eateries.

Kettwiger Straße - this pedestrianized street in Essen city center is the main shopping area, featuring apparel stores like Peek & Cloppenburg as well as the enormous Lichtburg cinema and the city cathedral.

Bredeney - Essen's most laid-back neighborhood, Bredeney is prosperous and elegant, and an excellent place for families to stay.

Most popular hotel in Essen by neighbourhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Essen

Most booked hotels in Essen

Hotel Am Sportpark
Excellent (8.9, Excellent reviews)
The Niu Cobbles
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
Ghotel Hotel & Living Essen
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
Mercure Hotel Plaza Essen
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
Ferrotel Duisburg
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
Select Hotel Handelshof Essen
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
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How to Get Around Essen

Public Transportation

EVAG runs a bus, tram, and light rail system across the city. Basic tickets cost EUR1.50 and day tickets cost EUR5.50.


Expect to pay around EUR5 for the meter drop, then EUR3 per mile when traveling by taxi in Essen.


Essen's car rental options include Europcar, Sixt, and Hertz, and you should find rates as low as EUR15 per day.

Car hire agencies in Essen

Find car hire in Essen

The Cost of Living in Essen

Shopping Streets

Kettwiger Straße is the main city center shopping street, but the Limbecker Platz shopping mall is even larger, with a vast number of German and international brands.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets in Essen include Lidl and REWE, where you can expect to pay about EUR2.50 for a gallon of milk.

Cheap meal
A pair of jeans
Single public transport ticket