Halde Hohewad, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

The Ruhr Area

The Ruhr Met­ro­pol­is event re­gion

Right in the heart of North Rhine-Westphalia, a region that is unequalled anywhere in Germany is booming. The Ruhr Area is a metropolitan area where city limits blur and it has gone through an incomparable transformation in recent decades. Where once steel was smelted and coal was mined, rewilded green areas and recreation areas are now to be found, inviting you to take a walk or go for a cycle. Art and culture, leisure sports and entertainment have found a new home in transformed industrial facilities. That is living industrial culture.

Concert Duisburg Landscape Park, © RTG Hoffmann

In­dus­tri­al cul­ture and renowned fest­ivals

Various art and culture festivals in the region use the backdrop of the decommissioned industrial arenas, such as Gasometer Oberhausen, the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen or the blast hall at Landschaftspark Nord in Duisburg. Internationally renowned festivals such as the Ruhrfestspiele, the Ruhr Piano Festival or the Ruhrtriennale are a cut above other German festivals specifically because of the unusual location, and delight audiences with the very special atmosphere.

Once a year, a festival takes place in the Ruhr metropolis that connects the special places in the Ruhr region: ExtraSchicht – Nacht der Industriekultur (Night of Industrial Culture) is a huge night-time event that celebrates all of the important industrial locations in the region with a programme of about 500 art and cultural events. By day, visitors can follow the industrial culture route and get to know many former arenas of the coal and steel industries and their current use as cultural locations. The route, which can also be explored by bicycle, connects the most important industrial monuments such as the Zollern Coal Mine Industrial Complex, the Hansa coking plant in Dortmund or the Henrichenburg boat lift in Hattingen. Museums such as the German Mining Museum in Bochum and the German Football Museum in Dortmund are also along the route.

Radfahren im Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, © redrevier

Ex­per­i­ences of nature and slag heap-hill-hop­ping

In the green Ruhr region, both locals and visitors can find peace and relaxation in nature. At Gruga Park or Emscher Landschaftspark, nature has been allowed to spread out and re-conquer its former terrain. The river that gives the Ruhr region its name is also a natural focal point of the region: along the banks of the Ruhr, those seeking relaxation can do more than just walk or cycle -  slag heap-hill-hopping allows hikers and walkers to scale the natural elevations and mine slag heaps of the Ruhr region and look down on a region that has recently reinvented itself.

  • Henrichshütte Hattingen, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
    Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord Klettergarten, © Thomas Berns
    The final fireworks are part of the Extraschicht. One takes place at the Henrichshütte, © Ruhr Tourismus, Kreklau
  • Zeche Zollverein beleuchtet, © Jochen Tack / Stiftung Zollverein
    Tiger & Turtle, © Ruhr Tourismus GmbH / Jochen Schlutius
    Halde Haniel in Bottrop, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

More in­form­a­tion

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Familie am Teich, © Grugapark Essen

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Aerial view of the Tetrahedron on a slag heap in Bottrop, © Dominik Ketz, Tourismus NRW e.V.

Slag heap-hill-hop­ping

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Cul­ture, shop­ping & events

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The Oberhausen Gasometer is in close proximity to the Westfield Centro, the Ludwig Gallery at Schloss Oberhausen and the Rhine-Herne Canal, © Gasometer Oberhausen, Dirk Böttger

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Red Dot Design Museum, Audi A8, © Red Dot Design Museum

Red Dot Design Mu­seum at the Zollver­ein World Her­it­age Site in Es­sen

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Ger­man Foot­ball Mu­seum Dortmund

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Saburo Teshigawara Broken Lights, Gebläsehalle Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, © Wonge Bergmann


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Recklinghausen becomes an international cultural metropolis during the festival period, © Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen

Ruhr­fest­spiele theatre fest­iv­al in Reck­ling­hausen

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The final fireworks are part of the Extraschicht. One takes place at the Henrichshütte, © Ruhr Tourismus, Kreklau

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Jan Lisiecki achieved great fame as a classical pianist at a young age. In 2023 he performed at the Ruhr Piano Festival, © Peter Wieler, Klavier-Festival Ruhr

Ruhr Pi­ano Fest­iv­al

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UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein, © Jochen Tack - Stiftung Zollverein

UN­ESCO World Her­it­age Site Zollver­ein

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