Essen City Guide

Essen, Germany

Essen was voted the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2010, which came as a surprise to many although this former steel town has a lot to offer. One of Germany’s most prestigious collections of 19th and 20th century art is housed in the Museum Folkwang, including works by Monet, Renoir, Rothko, and Pollock. The Ruhrlandmuseum next door is a traditional regional art museum. Another highlight is the Red Dot Design Museum, featuring creative and unusual artistic displays like bathtubs balanced on sidewalks and bicycle helmets hanging from ceiling ducts. A key site along the Industrial Heritage Trail is the former Zollverein colliery complex, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has been recycled into a shining cultural center with artists’ studios, exhibition space, and even a Ferris wheel and ice skating rink. Throughout the year there are live concerts, parties, theater shows, cabaret, and art exhibits to keep you entertained.