©
Familie am Teich, © Grugapark Essen

Gruga­park in Es­sen


Es­sen’s most beau­ti­ful garden

Re­lax­a­tion and ad­ven­ture, nature and cul­ture, sports fa­cil­it­ies and pic­nic/bar­be­cue areas – avail­able all year round in Es­sen’s most beau­ti­ful park.

It’s al­ways peak sea­son at the Gruga­park. At the “Parkleucht­en” il­lu­min­a­tions in Feb­ru­ary, the rock­er­ies in the Alpine garden glow ma­gic­ally after dusk and lightart can be seen in every oth­er tree­top. Later, when spring ar­rives, bursts of col­our await day­time vis­it­ors to Es­sen’s most beau­ti­ful garden – af­fec­tion­ately known as the “Gruga”.

The heart of the Gruga­park is the large botan­ic­al garden: exot­ic sur­prises await through­out the Forest Val­ley – from an­cient bon­sai to huge cacti, and from trop­ic­al groves to the “In­di­an Sum­mer”. No less im­press­ive are the flag­ships of West­ern garden­ing, such as the West­phali­an Farm­er’s Garden, the charm­ing Rose Garden and the Rhodo­den­dron Val­ley.

The park was ori­gin­ally cre­ated in 1929 for the first Great Ruhr Land­scape Garden­ing Ex­hib­i­tion, or “Gruga” for short in Ger­man. In the 1940s, how­ever, it was al­most com­pletely des­troyed by Al­lied bomb­ing. Its cur­rent design is shaped in equal parts by the gently slop­ing lawns, small hills and pan­or­amic views, which are the product of the post-war peri­od, and the ex­per­i­ence-ori­ented park design, which was con­ceived for the 1965 Ger­man Garden Show.

A wide range of leis­ure activ­it­ies

The con­trast between these two garden con­cepts is what makes the Gruga so di­verse. Bird watch­ers can mingle with her­ons and flamin­gos in large bird en­clos­ures, art lov­ers can dis­cov­er over 40 sculp­tures amid the green­ery and sporty vis­it­ors can play beach vol­ley­ball, ten­nis or boules. There is also a strong em­phas­is on Well­ness with the “Kur vor Ort” park spa, where salt wa­ter runs down a large gradu­ation tower, evap­or­at­ing on the wall of brush­wood. Pass­ers-by can then breathe in the be­ne­fi­cial salty air.

A par­tic­u­lar high­light for art-lov­ers is the Hun­der­t­wasser­haus, a fant­ast­ic­al build­ing de­signed by the well-known artist and ar­chi­tect Friedens­reich Hun­der­t­wasser shortly be­fore his death. An­oth­er pop­u­lar at­trac­tion, which opened in 2014, is the Ok­t­o­rail mini­ature rail­way ex­hib­i­tion, which trans­ports vis­it­ors back to the in­dus­tri­al world of the Ruhr. Park fest­ivals, Sunday con­certs and cab­aret shows add vari­ety and a con­vivi­al at­mo­sphere to the park.

Young fam­il­ies will also find Gruga­park one of the best places for an out­ing in the Ruhr Area. Wheth­er it is tack­ling the high rope course, go­ing wild in the maze and up the climb­ing tower, or tak­ing the park train to the pet­ting zoo, the Gruga has no short­age of ways to keep the little ones oc­cu­pied in the fresh air.

Visu­ally im­paired and wheel­chair-bound vis­it­ors can also en­joy the Gruga­park thanks to a 1.3 kilo­metre ac­cess­ible cir­cu­lar path which passes fea­tures in­clud­ing the Rose Gar­dens, the Bam­boo Grove and the “Garden of the Senses”.

Open­ing hours:

Open all year: 9 am to dusk

Map of NRW

Images and videos


Be inspired: images of your NRW

Familie am Teich, © Grugapark Essen

More information


Discover it now!

Would you like to make an enquiry?


Please contact »Grugapark Essen« directly


Inquire now

Your contact details

The data is not saved. Detailed information can be found in the Privacy Statement.

* Please complete this field