Essen is well served by numerous long-distance, regional and local trains.
From Frankfurt am Main, for example, there are seventeen direct trains on a typical day, and 48 more connections which involve changing trains once or twice. (Not bad, huh?)
On my last trip to Essen I changed trains twice, at Frankfurt Airport and Cologne (Köln), and the entire trip from Frankfurt to Essen took two and a half hours.
Second photo: An InterCityExpress (ICE) train in Essen main station.
Essen main station: 51°27'4.71" North; 7° 0'48.54" East.
Metropolradruhr bike stations 7514 and 7511.
Renting a bicycle in Essen is easy and inexpensive, because they have a large Bicycle Station right in the main train station.
Rental of a seven-gear City Bike costs 7 Euros per day for the first two days, 6 Euros per day for the third and fourth day, and 5 Euros per day thereafter (2007 prices). I only kept mine for two days, so I had to pay the full (but still very reasonable) price.
Rentals are only a sideline, though, because the main purpose of the Bicycle Station is to provide secure and dry bicycle parking for people who leave their bikes here while they go off somewhere on the train.
Most cities in Land Nordrhein-Westfalen have this sort of facility, unlike the backward part of Germany where I live.
Second photo: Essen also has an extensive network of well-signposted bicycle routes. Here is a sign in the city center.
Third photo: Bicycle route sign on the way from Essen to the adjoining city of Gelsenkirchen.
Update: In June 2010 Essen was one of ten cities in the Ruhr District that started Metropolradruhr (“Metropolitan Bicycle Ruhr”), which they say is “the biggest bike sharing system in Germany”. The other nine participating cities are Bochum, Bottrop, Dortmund, Duisburg, Gelsenkirchen, Hamm, Herne, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Oberhausen.
Main Railway Station: 51°27'4.71" North; 7° 0'48.54" East.
Metropolradruhr bike stations 7514 and 7511.
Essen has a small underground subway line. I used the underground subway to get back to the Essen Hauptbahnhof after I ate dinner at Schnitzel Huber in Porscheplatz. It was a quick ride that helped preserve my feet for more days of sightseeing.
The varieties of tickets on offer by the public transportation network is a jungle and the VRR website is not exactly user-friendly. There are day tickets for different zones, for certain parts of the Ruhr districts, for the entire Ruhr district...
If you plan to travel the city of Essen only, your easiest and cheapest bet is a day ticket Zone A for 5.30 € (price of 2010) which allows unlimited travel within the boundaries of the city of Essen on S-Bahn, local trains, tram, subway and buses for one calender day (NOT 24 hours!). It pays off already with the third ride.
The ticket has to be validated by inserting it into the slot of a validator box to have the date stamped on it. Don't forget to stamp it before the first ride. The boxes are on board the trams, subway and buses by the doors. For S-Bahn and local trains this has to be done at the entrance to the platform because there are no validators on board.
We came to the Zeche Zollverein (Ruhr Museum) by car. There are lots of free parking lots within walking distance from the entrance.
If you travel by public transport, then you may take the train to Essen Hauptbahnhof and then the tram line No. 107 which is a line that takes you along all the cultural sights in Essen and Gelsenkirchen. For the Ruhr Museum the stop is "Zollverein".
I took the train from the Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof (central train station) to the Essen Hauptbahnhof (central train station). While smaller than the central stations in Cologne and Düsseldorf, the Essen Hauptbahnhof is fairly large, clean, and well-maintained. In addition to the train platforms, there are a number of stores and eateries in and around the station.
You will always get to traffic when driving to Essen so the most convenience way to get here is by trains. It is easy to get here by train from Düsseldorf (incl. the airport) Köln and other major cities in the area.
IF YOU WANT TO GO TO ESSEN FO SHOPPING , IT WILL BE THE BEST DECISION TO TAKE THE TRAIN , U LL REACH THE SHOPPING / PEDESTRIANZONE EASY BY TRAIN , THE MAIN RAILWAYSTATION IS DIRECTLY AT THE P-ZONE , WHERE U LL FIND ALL KINDS OF SHOPS
As in every city I had the opportunity to visit in Germany (ok, there are some exceptions) there is always a main station (Hauptbahnhof, in german) from where you can get to everywhere. In the case of Essen it is located in the center of the city, so ones there you can get to almost everywhere.
There are of course connection with the U-Bahn, the S-Banh and buses.
You also have a small supermarkt opened until 22:00 (I think) and cafeterias, kebap...
Best way to come to Essen??? Hmm.......when you come from outside Germany you take the airplane to Düsseldorf and then the train to Essen.
In Essen itself it's better you get arround with bus and tram and also by foot.
You can buy a Day Ticket for 5 people or if you are more often on the road with the tram or the bus you can have a One Week Ticket. Just go to a EVAG Center at the Mainstation or at the Berlinerplatz or Porscheplatzand ask for it.
Flying: Düsseldorf with its airport is nearby.Driving: Ever heard of 'autobahns'? Here is where they nest.Public transport: Wonderful wonderful, at least when all you want to do is getting from one city centre to the other. Reaching the suburbs can create little problems and major delays - that's not a rule, just a warning. ;o) Cycling: What a nice idea! Honestly, very brave of you. Nah, don't be scared, all I'm trying to say is, we have some hills here. When possible, stick to the riverbanks. Less cars, less hills, more landscape. Fine. :o)
Forget your car, you'd only find it stressful to get it parked somewhere - bus, tube and trains are much better, though loads of people (including me) keep mumbling about how bad the VRR-service is... VRR is the public transport union here (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr). Depending on where you are and where you want to go, the VRR is a gift from heaven or a chunk from hell. One thing that's undeniably splendifferous about it, is that the union includes a long list of big cities, as well as towns, little villages and utterly uninhabitated spots (oh well, maybe not as utterly uninhabitated as in Australia for example, but pretty remote and calm for a region that's basically seen as one BIG city).Another nice feature is that you can even use the Schönes Wochenende-Ticket (or shorter: WE-Ticket) on busses and tubes in the VRR - this is not necessarily possible in all of Germany. Usually you can only use it on the regional trains (S-Bahn, RB, RE and some more). It costs 21 Euro per day (28 from April 1st... *grrrrr@the Deutsche Bahn*), is valid either on a Saturday or Sunday and can carry up to five people (no matter what age) or a family with dozens of kids (not a school class, you should maybe try to make it look like they're all yours ;oP).On weekdays, you can use some new variation of the WE-Ticket. I saw an advertisement somewhere... this one costs 25 Euro, also carries up to 5 people or a family, but is only valid after 9 a.m. in NRW (that's the federal state North-Rhine Westphalia). And this is what you have to ask for: SchönerTag-TicketNRW = beautiful day ticket NRW... If you're alone and staying for more than one day, you should consider buying a 7-day-ticket. Prices go from around 14 Euro up to 26 Euro, with the latter allowing you to go all around in the VRR.There're loads of other possibilities and tickets and special offers, some including entry fees to the Ruhrpott's sights and stuff.It'd probably be a good idea to ask someone who is supposed to know about such things professionally. It is not a guarantee that this person really knows what he or she is supposed to know, but it's worth a try.