12 top tourist attractions in Dortmund

attractions in Dortmund

12 top tourist attractions in Dortmund

Dortmund, Westphalia’s largest city, is located on the eastern edge of the Ruhr in the fertile Hellweg area. The city has long been the center of Germany’s coal and steel industries, a legacy celebrated in a variety of excellent museums and attractions. Despite the industry’s importance to the city, visitors here are drawn to the many open spaces and parks: half of the city consists of wooded areas, farmland, and parks, as well as numerous waterways. Therefore it is a pleasant city to explore on foot, with one of the highest densities of pedestrian-friendly city squares anywhere in Germany. Dortmund is also known for its famous football team, Borussia Dortmund, founded in 1909. It is one of the most successful clubs in Europe and has the largest stadium on the continent and the largest regular attendance. A museum, the Borusseum , celebrates their successes.

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1 De Alter Markt en Altes Stadthaus

The Old Market and Old Town House

The central feature of Dortmund’s Old Town is the Alter Markt, the Old Market, a large pedestrian-friendly area that can trace its roots back to the 12th century, when merchants and traders would display their wares here. It remains a popular shopping area to this day and is home to numerous shops, boutiques and galleries, as well as cafes and restaurants. The square’s historic highlights include the Old Fountain, added in 1901 as a drinking trough for animals, and the Old Mayor, or Altes Stadthaus, a fine Neo-Renaissance structure built in 1899. A notable feature of the building’s facade is the large eagle that depicts the city ​​of Dortmund. Another nearby landmark building is Berswordt Hall , the town hall.

Address: Alter Markt, 44137 Dortmund

2 St. Reinold’s Church

St. Reinold's Church Patty Ho / photo modified
St. Reinold’s Church Patty Ho / photo modified

Dominating the Dortmund cityscape is St. Reinold’s Church (Reinoldikirche), the 104-meter tower visible for miles. Begun in the 13th century and not completed until 1454, the church is named after Dortmund’s patron saint, Reinold. It stands above the market square, where the historic Helweg trade route passed through Dortmund.

Climb the tower for sweeping views of the city and the church’s six steel bells, which together weigh about 20 tons and were added in 1954 during post-World War II reconstruction. Other city churches worth visiting are the 12th century St. Mary’s , home to the Marienaltar of Dortmund’s master Konrad van Soest, and the Petrikirche , built in the 14th century and famous for its beautiful altar with 633 gilded figures, made in Antwerp in 1521.

Address: Ostenhellweg 2, 44135 Dortmund

3 The Zollern Mine

The Zollern mine
The Zollern mine

One of eight former industrial sites now included under the umbrella of the Westphalian Industrial Museum , the Zollern Coal Mine is a former coal mine known for its stunning architecture, particularly the red brick facades of its main buildings. The best of these is the engine room, built in 1904, with one of the most stunning Art Nouveau entrances in Germany. Along with its tall steel structures, highlights include exhibits depicting the conditions faced by workers, as well as numerous artifacts and machinery (guided tours in English are available).

Other related attractions include the Graf Wittekind Visitor’s Mine on the site of three coal mines operated from the 16th to 20th centuries, with demonstrations of mining techniques. Also worth a visit, the Hansa Coke Plant , a still operational facility that converts coal into coke, offers a unique insight into this fascinating process.

Address: Grubenweg 5, 44388 Dortmund

Official site: https://www.lwl.org/industriemuseum/

4 Westfalenpark


Dortmund’s Westfalenpark covers 175 hectares and is one of the city’s largest and most popular green spaces. The park is home to a number of attractions, including the 212-meter-tall Television Tower (Fernsehturm), affectionately known to locals as Florian. The revolving restaurant, at 138 meters, offers a beautiful view of the city. The German Rosarium is a beautiful display of over 2,600 rose varieties that can be explored along a pleasant walking path. Westfalenpark is also home to Dortmund’s huge exhibition grounds, the ice stadium with its skating and roller skating rinks, and the Westfalenstadion , Europe’s largest football stadium and home to Borussia Dortmund. Another nearby park is of interestRombergpark , home to the city’s botanical gardens and Zoo Dortmund .

Address: An der Buschmühle 3, 44139 Dortmund

5 Hohensyburg


About 12 kilometers south of Dortmund on a wooded rock above the Ruhr, the Hohensyburg, or Syburg, is an ancient castle complex dating back to the 8th century. The current castle ruins date from around 1100 and include two large fortresses, the former living quarters and remnants of the old wall. A more recent addition is the war memorial, added in 1930 to commemorate the fallen of the First World War. A popular destination for hikers, the hill also has a number of other attractions, including the Vincketurm , a 26-metre tower with a panoramic view, and the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Memorial , built in 1902. Beneath the crag lies the Hengsteysee, a artificial lake formed by the construction of a dam in 1928.

Address: Hohensyburgstraße, 44265 Dortmund

6 Dortmund U and the Depot

Dortmund U and the Depot Christoph M1 / ​​4ller-Girod / photo modified
Dortmund U and the Depot Christoph M1 / ​​4ller-Girod / photo modified

In addition to its industrial past, Dortmund also has a number of major attractions centered on its rich cultural heritage. Perhaps the most important – and certainly the most notable – is Dortmund U, a huge former factory now transformed into a hub of artistic and creative activity. Highlights include the work of local and regional artists, along with filmmakers and photographers. The building is also home to Museum am Ostwall, a fine collection of 20th-century paintings, objets d’art, sculpture and graphic art, as well as works by the expressionist group Die Brücke. Another important center for the arts is the DEPOT. In a former tram workshop, DEPOT is home to more than 40 creative enterprises, with a varied program of cultural activities and events, from exhibitions to films, markets and fairs, along with theatrical performances and workshops.

Address: Brinkhoffstrasse 4, 44137 Dortmund

7 Transport museum a station Mooskamp

Transport Museum and Station Mooskamp Marcin Wichary / photo modified
Transport Museum and Station Mooskamp Marcin Wichary / photo modified

If you love vintage vehicles, don’t miss the excellent collection of old trams at the Dortmund Local Transport Museum, housed in Mooskamp station. The oldest trams that make up this fascinating display of the city’s ancient public transport system date back to the early 20th century. From Dortmund, these old trams went up into the Rhur valley, carrying workers to the region’s mines, coking plants and steel mills.

Also of interest is the Motorwagenmuseum , home to a collection of fine vintage vehicles, including Jaguars and Ferraris, plus displays relating to the development of the German car industry.

Address: Mooskamp 23, Dortmund

8 Port Authority building and museum

Port Authority building and museum
Port Authority building and museum

Dortmund, on the Emscher River and close to the Ruhr River, has long relied on its waterways to carry the goods produced by its numerous industries. Dortmund also marks the beginning of the Dortmund-Ems Canal , a 269-kilometer route to the sea that opened in 1899 to help cope with the region’s ever-increasing production capacity. Today, a number of old buildings from the canal’s heyday remain, most notably the old Port Authority building, which houses an excellent museum detailing the history of the port. Highlights include a large model of the harbor, a replica ship’s bridge, and collections of maps and artifacts related to the region’s rich maritime history.

Address: Sunderweg 130, Dortmund

9 House Dellwig

House Dellwig
House Dellwig

Haus Dellwig, an old moated castle building first mentioned in city records in the 12th century, now houses a variety of exhibits relating to Dortmund’s rich history. Highlights include fully restored rooms, such as the kitchen and several living quarters, as well as a variety of workshops, such as a cobbler’s shop and bakery. You can see more artifacts from Dortmund’s history at the Museum of Art and Culture , with displays of old furniture, gold coins, medieval and 19th-century paintings, as well as examples of 17th- and 18th-century folk art. The Natural History Museum is notable for its collections of fossils and minerals.

Address: Dellwiger Strasse 130, 44388 Dortmund

10 House Rodenberg moated castle

Wasserschloss Haus Rodenberg
Wasserschloss Haus Rodenberg

Wasserschloss Haus Rodenberg is an excellent example of Renaissance architecture and is surrounded on three sides by a moat and overlooks a lake in the middle of a park. The first records of this are from 1290 and it is known to have been reconstructed after 1422. At the end of the 17th century it was converted into the baroque moated castle you see today. The lake and parkland are popular in summer and the castle houses the Märchenbühne, a puppet theater with shows for children and adults. It is near the Aplerbeck U-bahn station.

Address: Rodenbergstr. 36, Dortmund

11 Dortmund for children

Dortmund for children Dirk Jungholt / photo modified
Dortmund for children Dirk Jungholt / photo modified

Dortmund has several tourist attractions and things to do designed especially for families. The whole family will enjoy the Adlerturm Museum , in the 14th-century Eagle Tower. It focuses on life in the Middle Ages, with numerous medieval objects, weapons and models in its six floors. The hands-on Mondo Mio Children’s Museum in Westfalenpark caters to children of all ages, with a huge globe that welcomes visitors in a variety of different languages, fascinating displays of musical instruments, power generators, and toys made from recycled materials. Another kid-friendly draw is the Wickede Giraffe Museum, a quirky little museum dedicated to the world’s tallest animal. Highlights include more than 10,000 giraffes, made of wood, ceramics, and textiles.

Address: Ostwall 51a, 44137 Dortmund

12 German Football Museum (Deutsches Fußballmuseum)

Football fans can indulge themselves in this new museum, but it is also designed for a wider audience, with exhibitions that look at the economic, cultural and social significance of the sport in addition to its entertainment value. You will learn about fan culture, football as a role model and the relationship with food. How historical events have influenced sport is examined through documents about football under National Socialism in the 1930s and 1940s and under the communist regime in the GDR. The ball used in the 1954 final is the centerpiece of a display about Germany’s first World Cup victory. You’ll see other great moments in German football and learn how the game evolved in England and Germany.

Address: Platz der Deutschen Unity 1, Dortmund

Official site: https://www.fussballmuseum.de/en.htm

Where to Stay in Dortmund for Sightseeing

We recommend these convenient hotels in Dortmund with easy access to the city center attractions:

  • Novum Hotel Unique Dortmund Hauptbahnhof: 4-star hotel, convenient location, marble-clad lobby, grand staircase, comfortable rooms.
  • NH Dortmund: mid-range price, central location, close to shopping area, serene room decor.
  • Dorint an den Westfalenhallen Dortmund: affordable prices, spacious rooms, great breakfast buffet, jacuzzi.
  • Mercure Hotel Dortmund Messe & Kongress: budget hotel, heated indoor pool, free parking, near a football stadium.

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