Travelling to culture, nature and history of industry

The metropolis has more than 1,000 excursion destinations on offer. Residents and visitors have a choice between museums, parks and gardens, castles and palaces, industrial heritage and remodelled tips. The industrial-heritage landscape of the Ruhr region unites pre-industrial history, the coal and steel industry history and new cultural impulses, which are triggered by the structural transformation.

The Hafentempel (harbour temple) in the Archaeological Park of Xanten. Photo: Axel Thünker
Picture: The Hafentempel (harbour temple) in the Archaeological Park of Xanten. Photo: Axel Thünker

Multifaceted museums

The first museum to open in the Ruhr region was the Museum of Art and Cultural History in Dortmund in 1883. This was the impulse for the development of a museum landscape which now incorporates 200 museums. The range of museums is a colourful mixture: Art museums, castles and churches, archaeological and natural history collections present their exhibits; technology, open air and industrial museums tell their story about work and machines. Youngsters transform themselves into miners or art experts during special museum activities for children.

At the Zollverein World Heritage Site in Essen. Photo: RVR/Lueger
Picture: Zollverein Colliery. Photo: RVR/Lueger

Imposing industrial heritage

The attractions on the Industrial Heritage Trail have preserved the typical industrial ambience. On the circuit, 25 anchor points are to be investigated and about 900 smaller industrial monuments can be discovered. The characteristic pit head frame of the World Heritage Site Zollverein in Essen has become a landmark, as the newly utilised witness of the coal and steel era make the Ruhr Metropolis unmistakeable.

Shines in the darkness and visible from a distance: Tetrahedron in Bottrop. Photo: Thomas Wolf
Picture: Tetrahedron in Bottrop. Photo: Thomas Wolf

Tips with a view

The spoil tips, which originated from mining, have been integrated into the landscape of the Ruhr Metropolis as a trademark. Because the greened tips are areas used for sport and leisure activities. You have to choose between cycling, walking, flying or enjoying the panoramic view and marvelling at giant art objects. These landmarks crown many tips and some of them shine with light installations which are visible far over the Ruhr region.

Gardens and parks create a leisure landscape of a very special kind. Photo: RVR/Maier-Jantzen
Picture: Park from above Photo: RVR/Maier-Jantzen

Idyllic nature in parks and gardens

The Emscher Landscape Park spreads out between Hamm and Duisburg, forming the green heart of the Ruhr Metropolis. New parks and gardens have emerged around the winding towers and blast furnaces - and added to that the industrial nature has conquered old wasteland. The Ruhr region parks, which were built close to the cities in the 1970s, combine nature and wellness. Numerous green areas are also a legacy of the industrial era, as entrepreneurs financed city gardens, public parks and pretty places.

High above the Ruhr Valley lies Blankenstein castle. Photo: RVR/Fuchs
Picture: Blankenstein castle. Photo: RVR/Fuchs

Ruins from ancient times

Over 100 castles, palaces and manor houses are a reminder of the history before industrialisation. The well-preserved or lovingly restored ruins, which are spread across the whole of the Ruhr Metropolis, are popular excursion destinations.

The Regional Association Ruhr (RVR) plans, develops and builds together with the municipalities of the Ruhr Metropolis


Be our guest! Ruhr Tourismus (RTG) answers all questions related to travelling in the Ruhr Metropolis


The regional business development company, Wirtschaftsförderung metropole Ruhr GmbH (wmr), is the service partner for companies and investors


Transport information

Local public transport:
The Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr transport association

The situation on the motorways:

Renting a bike: