*daily rates in Essen based on a 1 day rental (24hr period) and for guidance purposes only.
*average daily rates based on 7 day rental, search for todays best prices.
Essen Mini Guide
About the City
Essen was a European Capital of Culture in 2010 because of its industrial heritage but also because of its historical significance. It was chosen to represent the whole of the Ruhr area. It’s the 9th biggest city in Germany and home to the Krupps Corporation.
History of Essen
Alteburg Castle on the outskirts of the city dates from the first century AD but the city itself was founded around the Abbey, built in 946, which later formed the basis for Essen Cathedral. The city received its charter and seal in 1244 but in the centuries to come experienced conflict as the Abbey, run by the monarchy and Catholic, was at odds with the protestant city it presided over. Conflict again caused devastation for the city in World War II with the near total destruction of the city centre in Allied bombing raids.
How to get There
The nearest airport is Dusseldorf
, 18 miles away, but because of transport difficulties it is quicker to travel from Dortmund which has better transport links despite being 28 miles away. Dortmund
is often preferable as low cost airlines fly into it rather than Dusseldorf.
Things to See and Do in the City
Things that you should make an attempt to see in the city include the Krupps chateau called Villa Hugel which has 269 rooms and extensive, well-kept gardens. You must visit Essen Munster which has the statue of the Golden Madonna of Essen, one of the oldest surviving statues of the Madonna in Europe and other treasures of religious significance. For a glimpse of the Essen of old, visit the Kettwig old district with its stunning architecture.
What About Outside the City?
Outside of the city a big draw is the UNESCO recognised Zeche Zollverein coal mine, unusual with its Bauhaus architecture and known as the most beautiful coal mine in the world. You should also visit Werden, the oldest German site in the country which has renovated period buildings.
Lake Baldeney, close to the city and one of the reservoirs on the river, is a favourite haunt of active people here for all manner of water sports take place on the lake whilst the shores are popular with runners, cyclists and dog walkers. Take a picnic with you and enjoy the tranquillity of this haven.
Can you Shop There?
Shopping in Essen is good with a variety of national and international names represented in the city’s malls. The best can be found in the Ruttenscheid district. Numerous little gift shops line the streets of Kettweg offering souvenirs and gifts.
Wining and Dining
The city is renowned for the number of excellent restaurants selling traditional German fare but with a modern twist. The restaurants are reasonably priced and serve excellent meals washed down with a refreshing beer.
Festivals and Events
There are a number of religious festivals celebrated at the cathedral and most popularly during Holy Week, Christmas and Easter. The city is home to a huge Christmas Market open from November until late December with over 200 stalls selling traditional German crafts and produce.
- From the 13th of July there's an event called '41 Summer Festival' at the rather confusingly named 'Food'. The event combines music, theatre, art and more with special themes for children so if the weather's not all you'd hoped for, take the family along to Food and enjoy the event.