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Dortmund is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is in the middle part of the state and is considered to be the administrative, commercial and cultural centre of the eastern Ruhr area. Its population of 581,612 (2015) makes it the 8th largest city in Germany. Moreover, Dortmund is the largest city by area and population in the Ruhr Area, an urban area with some 5.1 million (2011) inhabitants which is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany.
Founded around 882, Dortmund became an Imperial Free City. Throughout the 13th to 14th centuries, it was the "chief city" of the Rhine, Westphalia, the Netherlands Circle of the Hanseatic League. After the Thirty Years' War the city was destroyed and decreased in significance until the onset of industrialization. The city then became one of Germany's most important coal, steel and beer centres until the 1970s. The region has adapted since the collapse of its century long steel and coal industries and shifted to high technology biomedical technology, micro systems technology and also services. In 2009, Dortmund was classified as a Node city in the Innovation Cities Index published by 2thinknow and is the most sustainable city in Germany.
Dortmund is home to many cultural and educational institutions, including the Technical University of Dortmund and Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, International School of Management and other educational, cultural and administrative facilities with over 49,000 students, many museums, such as Museum Ostwall, Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, German Football Museum, as well as theatres and music venues like the Konzerthaus or the opera house of Dortmund. The city is known as Westphalia's "green metropolis". Nearly half the municipal territory consists of waterways, woodland, agriculture and green spaces with spacious parks such as Westfalenpark and Rombergpark. This stands in a stark contrast with nearly a hundred years of extensive coal mining and steel milling within the city limits.
Dortmund is home to Ballspielverein Borussia 09 e.V. Dortmund, commonly known as Borussia Dortmund, a successful club in German football.
Dortmund's city centre offers a picture full of contrasts. Historic buildings like Altes Stadthaus or the Krügerpassage rub shoulders with post-war architecture like Gesundheitshaus and concrete constructions with Romanesque churches like the Reinoldikirche and the Marienkirche. The near-complete destruction of Dortmund's city centre during World War II (98%) has resulted in a varied architectural landscape. The reconstruction of the city followed the style of the 1950s, while respecting the old layout and naming of the streets. The downtown of Dortmund still retains the outline of the medieval city. A ring road marks the former city wall, and the Westen-/Ostenhellweg, part of a medieval salt trading route, is still the major (pedestrian) street bisecting the city centre.
Thus, the city today is characterized by simple and modest post-war buildings, with a few interspersed pre-war buildings which were reconstructed due to their historical importance. Some buildings of the "Wiederaufbauzeit" (era of reconstruction), for example the opera house are nowadays regarded as classics of modern architecture
The Westenhellweg is a popular shopping destination and with nearly 13,000 visitors per hour it was Germany's most frequented shopping street in 2013. Some of the most reputed shops, department stores, and labels have their stores here. It is a pedestrian-only area and is bordered by the Reinoldikirche in the east and U-Tower in the west. The Westenhellweg has one of the highest rents for retail and office space in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The first time Dortmund was mentioned in official documents was around 882 as Throtmanni. After it was destroyed by a fire, the Holy Roman EmperorFrederick I (Barbarossa) had the town rebuilt in 1152 and resided there (among other places) for two years. It became an Imperial Free City. Throughout the 13th to 14th centuries, it was the "chief city" of the Rhine, Westphalia, the Netherlands Circle of the Hanseatic League.
After 1320, the city appeared in writing as "Dorpmunde". The 1661 earthquakemade the Reinoldikirche collapse. It was part of Grand Duchy of Berg between 1806 and 1813 before passing to Prussian rule. Within the PrussianProvince of Westphalia, Dortmund was a district seat within Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg until 1875, when it became an urban district within the region. During the industrialisation of Prussia, Dortmund became a major centre for coal and steel.
In 1920, Dortmund was one of the centres for resistance to the Kapp Putsch - a right military coup launched against the Social Democratic-led government. Radical workers formed a Red Army who fought the freikorps units involved in the coup.
Under Nazi Germany, the Old synagogue was destroyed in 1938. Also, the Aplerbeck Hospital in Dortmund transferred mentally and/or physically disabled patients for euthanasia at the Hadamar mental hospital as part of the Action T4(an additional 229 children were killed in the "Children's Specialist Department", which was transferred from Marburg in 1941). Bombing targets of the Oil Campaign of World War II in Dortmund included Hoesch-Westfalenhütte AG, the "Hoesch-Benzin GmbH" synthetic oil plant, and the Zeche Hansa;, and the bombings destroyed about 66% of Dortmund homes and about 98% of the inner city area. The code word Dortmund was radioed to initiate the 1941 Operation Barbarossa campaign against the Soviet Union.
The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Dortmund in April 1945. The US 95th Infantry Division, attacked the city on 12 April 1945 against a spirited German defense. The division, assisted by close air support, advanced through the ruins in urban combat and completed its capture on 13 April 1945.
After the war, buildings such as the main churches Reinoldikirche and Marienkirche were restored or rebuilt, and extensive parks and gardens were laid out. The LWL-Industriemuseum was founded in 1969, and the city subsequently became a regional centre for hi-tech industry.
On 3 November 2013, more than 20,000 people were evacuated after a 4,000-pound bomb from World War II was found. German authorities safely defused the bomb. The bomb was found after analysing old aerial photographs while searching for unexploded bombs dropped by Allied aircraft over Germany's industrial Ruhr region.
Dortmund is situated in the temperate climate zone. Winters are comparatively mild, summers rather cool. The average annual temperature lies at approximately 9 to 10 °C (48 to 50 °F), the total average annual amount of precipitation lies at approximately 800 mm (31 in). Precipitation evenly falls throughout the year; steady rain (with some snow), prevails in the wintertime, isolated showers dominate the summer season. Dortmund features characteristics of densely populated areas as for example the occurrence of urban heat islands is typical.
Climate data for Dortmund
|Average high °C (°F)||4|
|Average low °C (°F)||−1|
|Source: Wetter Kontor|
Dortmund is an independent city located in the east of the Ruhr area, one of the largest urban areas in Europe (see also:megalopolis), comprising elevenindependent cities and four districts with some 5.3 million inhabitants. The city limits of Dortmund itself are 87 km (54 mi) long and border twelve cities, two independent and ten kreisangehörig (i.e., belonging to a district), with a total population of approximately 2.4 million. The following cities border Dortmund (clockwise starting from north-east): Bochum,Castrop-Rauxel, Waltrop, Lünen, Kamen, Unna, Holzwickede, Schwerte, Hagen,Herdecke and Witten. Historically speaking, Dortmund is a part of Westphaliawhich is situated in the Bundesland North Rhine-Westphalia. Moreover, Dortmund is part of Westphalian Lowland and adjoins with the Ardey Hills in the south of the city to the Sauerland.
The lowest point can be found in the northern borough of Brechten at 48,9m, the highest point in the borough of Syburg at 254,3 m.
Dortmund has adapted since the collapse of its century long steel, coal and beer industries. The region has shifted to high technology, robotics, biomedical technology, micro systems technology, engineering, tourism, finance, education and also services. In 2009, Dortmund was classified as a Node city in the Innovation Cities Index published by 2thinknow.
In the last years a service sector and high-tech industry grow up. Some of its most prominent companies of these sector include Wilo, Amprion, RWE-Westnetz, Rhenus Logistics, KHS GmbH, Elmos Semiconductor, Signal Iduna andABP Induction Systems – all of whom have their headquarters here.
Dortmund is home to Germany's twelve biggest exhibition centre, Halls of Westphalia which lies near the city center next to Dortmund Airport. Hundreds of SMEs are still based in and around Dortmund (often termed Mittelstand). Dortmund is also home to a number of medium-sized information technology companies, many linked to the local university TU Dortmund at the first technology center in Germany named "Technologiepark Dortmund" opened in the 1980s. Companies like Boehringer Ingelheim and Verizon Communications seat there.
The city works closely with research institutes, private universities, and companies to collaborate on the commercialisation of science initiatives.
Companies with operations in or around Dortmund include:
- Verizon Communications
- Daimler AG: EvoBus
- Gap Inc.
Dortmund comprises 62 neighbourhoods which in turn are grouped into twelve boroughs (called Stadtbezirke), often named after the most important neighbourhood. Three boroughs cover the area of the inner city (Innenstadt-West, Innenstadt-Nord, Innenstadt-Ost) and the remaining nine boroughs make up the surrounding area (Eving, Scharnhorst, Brackel, Aplerbeck, Hörde, Hombruch, Lütgendortmund, Huckarde, Mengede). Each Stadtbezirk is assigned a Roman numeral and has a local governing body of nineteen members with limited authority. Most of the boroughs were originally independent municipalities but were gradually annexed from 1905 to 1975. This long-lasting process of annexation has led to a strong identification of the population with "their" boroughs or districts and to a rare peculiarity: The borough of Hörde, located in the south of Dortmund and independent until 1928, has its own coat of arms.
Prices in Dortmund
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.75|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€5.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€30.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€50.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€7.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€2.70|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€3.00|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€7.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€15.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.10|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€5.70|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.15|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€77.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€33.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€82.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€2.50|
72 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
203 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Dortmund airport (IATA: DTM) is home of several low-cost airlines (easyJet, Wizzair, Air Berlin) and serves mainly national and European travellers. There is no direct train or tram connection to the airport, but there are shuttle buses between the airport and Dortmund central station or Holzwickede Station.
- From and to Central Station: A non-stop shuttle-bus can be found opposite the main railway station. The journey lasts 25 - 30 min and costs €6.5 per passenger (6-14 children €2; younger children free). This bus service is not covered by a travelcard.
- via Aplerbeck The 440 bus travels past Aplerbeck where passengers can change to the U-bahn U47 which will go to the Hbf via the major U-bahn hub, Stadtgarten. The journey is approximately 45min. Tickets cost 2.50 or a travelcard can be used. This service runs more frequently than the shuttle bus.
- From Holzwickede Station: A bus service (€3/passenger), runs regularly about every 15 minutes between 5AM and 11PM Trip to the terminal building takes approx. 5 minutes.
- By taxi: currently costs around 25 Euros to the City Centre. Drivers operate on the meter, if they don't, get a different taxi!
Dortmund's central station (Dortmund Hauptbahnhof) is the junction of many railway lines in Germany.
Dortmund can be reached using the motorway (Autobahn) A1, A2, A40, A42, A44 and A45, as well as the (Bundesstraßen) B1, B54 and B236
Transportation - Get Around
By Public Transport
Dortmund is part of the VRR (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr) a cooperation of the regional transportation companies, giving easy access to public transportation in the whole Ruhr District in S-Bahn, regional trains, subways and busses.
Dortmund's central station (Dortmund Hauptbahnhof) is the junction of the national railroad system with the city subway system und the regional train system. From here you can easily get transport into the center or any suburb via subway and bus or to the neighbour cities as Bochum, Essen, Düsseldorf, Münster, Köln (Cologne), Wuppertal and the rest of Northrhine-Westphalia and Germany by different regional or national train-lines.
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The center of the city is a shopping mile with impressive stores on everything from clothing and shoes over books and media to electronics or jewellery, stretching along the Hellweg, the Rheinoldi-Church in its centre, the Thier-Gallerie is also becoming very popular now, it's Dortmund's first mall and one of the largest privately financed buildings in Europe!
Around the big shopping mile the "Hellweg" are a lot of typical "Bierhäuser" and a lot of departments like Saturn, Karstadt , Kaufhof and C&A.
Other big Shopping Miles are in the centre of Dortmund. So a lot of them are around the Hellweg for example in Brackel or Wambel.
If you find yourself in a traditional pub drinking beer and you need some food to accompany your beverage it is the best idea to ask the innkeeper for a "Salzkuchen mit Mett" or a "Mettente".
The "Salzkuchen" is a bagel-like, caraway spiced roll with seasoned mincemeat and onions. The "Mettente", a smoked sausage, normally comes with spicy mustard.
Also you can eat some sausages in one of the typical "Bierhäuser" or in one of the big restaurants.
- Kartoffel Lord, Gerberstraße 1. has tasty Soy-Burgers, Wraps with soy-"meat" and filled potatoes. Many vegan options as well. But beware: The sign at the entrance says "vegetarian cuisine" but the menu contains some dishes with killed sea animals. (example: "Krabben" means crabs or prawns)
- Zum alten Markt, Markt 3, .
- Pfefferkorn, Hoher Wall 38, .
Sights & Landmarks
- Altes Stadthaus (Old Civic Hall). Built in 1899 Neo-Renaissance style
- Florian television tower(Florianturm).
- Hohensyburg. Popular destination in the south of Dortmund, Ruins of the Syburg (year 1100) Vincke-Tower and a beautiful view over the Ruhr Valley from the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial (end of 19th century)
- Marienkirche. Churches in the city of Dortmund
- Rosarium (Deutsches Rosarium VDR), , fax: . Westfalenpark - An der Buschmühle 3, or -26116. This rosarium has a collection of more than 3000 rose species.
- Zoo Dortmund, Mergelteichstr. 80, .
Museums & Galleries
- Museum of Art and Cultural History (Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Dortmund), Hansastraße 3, 44137 Dortmund, , fax: . The Museum building is an old art deco-style municipal savings bank. Apparently the oldest museum of its kind in the Ruhr district and tells the story of everyday life in Dortmund and the rest of Germany for the past 300 years.
- Museum am Ostwall, Ostwall 7, , fax: .This museum hosts art objects from the 20th & 21st centuries.
- Museum of Natural History (Museum für Naturkunde), Münsterstraße 271, , fax: .
- German Cookery Book Museum (Deutsches Kochbuchmuseum), An der Buschmühle, .
- Steinwache’ Memorial and Museum (Mahn- und Gedenkstätte ‘Steinwache’), Steinstr. 50, 44147 Dortmund, . The former police station and Gestapo headquarters just north of the central railway station. Hosts the permanent exhibition ‘Resistance and Persecution in Dortmund 1933-45’.
Things to do
Festivals and events
- The Christmas Market in Dortmund is one of the largest in Germany and host of the largest Christmas 'tree' in the world (in fact a collection of many smaller trees). It is open from late November.
Dortmund is home of some world famous breweries and you would therefore miss something if you haven't tasted at least some of its "liquid gold".
- Drink a "Stösschen" in any of the old fashioned pubs. This beer specialty is served in a small glass and can be drunk in about two draughts. The portion varies from innkeeper to innkeeper. Is best relished with a "Salzkuchen mit Mett"
- Happy Happy Ding Dong, Hohe Straße 88.
- Hövels Hausbrauerei, Hoher Wall 5, . This bar is part of the local Hövels brewery, for those seeking a more authentic local watering hole. The locally brewed beers are on offer, and some great pub grub is served too.
- Boomerang, Kuckelke 20. Australian pub
- Sissi King Kong, Landwehrstraße 17.
- Domicil (Hansastr.7-11, 44137 Dortmund). One of the best jazz clubs in Germany and repeatedly voted as one of the "100 best places to listen to jazz" by New York Down Beat Magazine.
- FZW, Ritterstraße 20.
- Nightrooms, Hansastraße 5-7.
- Prisma, Deutsche Straße 6.
- Anton's Bierkönig (Bissenkamp 11-13, Dortmund). Hilarious! Lots of beer and young people.