Ausblick auf die Zeche Zollverein in Essen, © andyhendrata

Bar­ri­er-free ex­per­i­ences in the Ruhr Area

In­dus­tri­al cul­ture and a whole lot of green

The Ruhr met­ro­pol­it­an re­gion is par­tic­u­larly di­verse: Blurred city bound­ar­ies and unique in­dus­tri­al cul­ture – where coal was once mined, today there are leis­ure fa­cil­it­ies and green, bloom­ing parks. Nu­mer­ous mu­seums and theatres at­tract cul­ture en­thu­si­asts.

The Ruhr metropolitan area had been through significant changes over the last few centuries: Where steel was once smelted and coal mined, a cultural region is now to be found. Industrial monuments such as former smelting works and decommissioned gasometers have become exhibition venues and artists’ stages. All around them, plants and animals are reclaiming their habitats and providing a natural idyll in the middle of the city.

Wherever you look: Industrial culture

Industrial culture can be found in every corner of the Ruhr Area: Zeche Zollern coal mine in Dortmund, which used to be called the “palace of labour” and is considered a model pit of the Ruhr Area. Today, the LWL Industrial Museum tells stories of those who worked underground in the mine. Industrial history can also be experienced at Zeche Zollverein coal mine in Essen. As an impressive monument to industrial culture, Zeche Zollverein coal mine and its coking plant has held UNESCO World Heritage status since 2001.

Wild Experiences

Anyone who would like to get really close to wild animals can plan a visit to one of the many zoos in the Ruhr Area. The stars at Duisburg Zoo are of course the cute little eucalyptus-eating Australian marsupials: The koalas. At Zoom Erlebniswelt in Gelsenkirchen, the three themes worlds, namely Alaska, Africa and Asia, provide insights into the animal species of the respective continents.

The offerings below are certified by “Reisen für Alle” (Travel for All) and will help you to plan your holiday in the Ruhr Area.

Further information can be found at:

Map of NRW

Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

Radweg zur Skulptur „Rheinorange“, © Ruhr Tourismus GmbH / Jochen Schlutius
Unterwegs im Nordsternpark am Abend, © Ruhr Tourismus GmbH / Jochen Schlutius
Das Gasometer Oberhausen in der Dämmerung, © Ruhr Tourismus GmbH / Jochen Schlutius
Die Zeche Zollverein in Essen, © Jochen Tack / Stiftung Zollverein
Sicht auf die Zeche Zollern, © Dirk Walther
Eingang des Essener Einkaufszentrums „Limbecker Platz“, © Hanjo Schumacher
A polar bear in the Zoom Erlebniswelt in Gelsenkirchen, © Oliver Franke, Tourismus NRW e.V.