Gelsenkirchen Travel Guide

  • Gelsenkirchen
    by toonsarah
  • Local Customs
    by toonsarah
  • "This place is reserved for you"
    by toonsarah

Gelsenkirchen Things to Do

  • Propsteikirche, St Augustine

    The Propsteikirche or Provost Church of St Augustine is in the city centre and is the Roman Catholic parish church for Gelsenkirchen. It was built in the late 19th century (1874-1884) in the neo-gothic style, designed by the Cologne architect August Carl Lange. It was built as part of the rapid expansion of the city triggered by the discovery of...

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  • Stadtpark

    This park lies between the Maritim Hotel and the town centre so we walked through it on more than one occasion. It has an attractive lake with fountains and ducks, some lovely trees and a small Japanese garden. But unfortunately numerous trees had fallen (probably in bad storms early in the summer, or so we understood from a local friend) and not...

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  • Consolidation Colliery Shaft 9

    This tower at the Consolidation mine above shaft number 9 was built in 1922 and is now listed as a protected historical monument, together with its two engine houses.The other mining buildings in the immediate vicinity have been demolished, and the area has been made into a park, but the city plans to develop it into an industrial park for...

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  • Werner Ruhnau exhibition

    In 2007 there was an exhibition in the Musiktheater im Revier about Werner Ruhnau (born 1922), who was the chief architect for this opera house when it was built from 1956 to 1959. He was influenced not only by the Bauhaus movement of the 1920s, but also by the medieval Bauhütte, which was a sort of clandestine builder's guild with its own laws,...

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  • The make-up department

    Our tour also included a look at the make-up department, which is a very busy place in any opera house before a performance, especially if the entire chorus has to be made up in addition to the main singers.Work in this department gets really challenging when it happens that, for instance, a 28-year-old mezzo soprano has to be made up to look like...

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  • The costume department

    One of the highlights of any opera house tour is a visit to the costume department.Hundreds of costumes are kept here, sometimes for decades (the oldest one I noticed was from the year 1968), and the people in charge can always find individual costumes when they are needed. Additional photos: In the costume department.

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  • Touring the opera house

    On my second visit to Gelsenkirchen I happened to be there on a day when they were offering a guided tour of the opera house, including the backstage areas that most of us don't get to see very often. Second photo: Here some people from our tour group are standing on the stage set for Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. It consisted of about two dozen...

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  • The workshops

    At the end of our opera house tour we were taken through the workshops where the stage sets are made.For more behind-the-scenes opera house tours, please have a look at my Paris, Karlsruhe, Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main pages.Additional photos: In the workshops.

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  • Musiktheater im Revier (MiR)

    Thus far I have seen two operas here at the MiR in Gelsenkirchen. The first was Puccini's Turandot in 2002, and the second was Verdi's Simon Boccanegra in 2007.Most opera houses, including Frankfurt am Main, play the second version of Simon Boccanegra, which Verdi completed in 1881 using a revised libretto by Arrigo Boito. But the General Music...

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  • Veltins Arena

    Plans to construct a new stadium emerged in the late 1990s, as fans and managers sought to move out of the outdated Parkstadion, and create a thoroughly modern multifunctional arena. Following Schalke 04's historic 1997 victory in the UEFA Cup, and the club's upcoming 100th anniversary in 2004, the contract to construct a €186 million stadium was...

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  • In Marienhof, you can...

    In Marienhof, you can experience one of the most spectacular roller coasters : Lethal Weapon. Based on the movie with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as police men. Join them on a spectacular pursuit, in- and outdoor !!! Looking for peace? Try the Gremlin studio tour...

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  • The old west is a Western city...

    The old west is a Western city where you can experience the Wild West feeling.One major attraction : - Wild wild west, a spectacular wooden roller coaster with a breathtaking speed up to 80 km/h.

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Gelsenkirchen Hotels

  • Ambient Hotel Zum Schwan

    Urbanusstrasse 40, Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, 45894, Germany

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

  • Courtyard By Marriott Gelsenkirchen

    Parkallee 3, Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, 45894, Germany

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Families

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Hotel Arena

    Willy Brandt Allee 54, Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, 45891, Germany

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

Gelsenkirchen Restaurants

  • Good Italian food

    On the Sunday evening after our second match we returned to our favourite Altstadt Café in search of dinner but the chef had already gone home and the kitchen was closed. So we came here instead and had a very friendly welcome from the waiting staff and a very nice meal. Most of the group had pizzas of different sorts (ham and mushroom, shrimp etc)...

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  • Our favourite hang-out

    We discovered this spot on the edge of the main shopping area quite early in our visit to Gelsenkirchen and it became a favourite hangout. We drank here before both of the matches we attended and also ate here on the Saturday evening. On that latter occasion the friendly waitress was completely unfazed by our sudden arrival requesting a table for...

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  • Italian gelato in Gelsenkirchen

    This large café opposite the station's shopping centre serves Italian style ices, hot and cold drinks, and cakes. We stopped for a cooling Eiskaffee. There was a choice of normal or large, and we managed to resist temptation and settle on a normal one each. They were a fair enough size, with one scoop of ice cream and a swirl of cream - not bad for...

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Gelsenkirchen Nightlife

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    by toonsarah Written Aug 6, 2014

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We made a brief stop at this small friendly bar on our first evening in Gelesenkirchen, and would have stayed longer except that we were, some of us at least, pretty hungry and in search of food which it doesn’t serve (apart from breakfast, it seems). But if all you want is a drink or several, this could be a good spot. It has a cosy interior and a small outside terrace on a pedestrianised street. There seemed to be a good choice of beers and other drinks (we all drank the draft Veltins, a regional brew which seemed to be the most popular beer round here). They have Sky Sports too, according to the signs on the door, though I didn’t notice any TV on when we were here – maybe they only have it on for particular matches, rather than all the time. So this little pub is worth checking out whether football fan or not, it seems.

    Dress Code: Not the sort of place where what you wear matters much - as long as you wear something of course!

    In the pub In the pub

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Gelsenkirchen Transportation

  • Tram network

    Gelsenkirchen is served by part of an extensive tram network centred on Bochum to the south and known as BOGESTRA (short for Bochum-Gelsenkirchner Strassenbahnen AG). Trams run underground in the centre of town and surface to run along the centre of the city streets elsewhere. If you are going to a game at the Veltins-Arena, as we were, your match...

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  • By train to Gelsenkirchen

    Gelsenkirchen is served by numerous trains from various parts of Germany and beyond. We made the short journey from the airport at Düsseldorf, but some of our friends had flown to Amsterdam and travelled by train from there (with two changes en route, admittedly, but with no problems). Fares vary according to the type of train, with express trains...

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  • Getting to Gelsenkirchen

    To get to Gelsenkirchen we first flew from Heathrow to Düsseldorf with Lufthansa. The flight time was only about an hour and a half. Complementary drinks and a snack of yoghurt were served (it was a breakfast time flight - on the return we had a sandwich) and the flight was comfortable and without incident.At Düsseldorf we bought our train ticket...

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Gelsenkirchen Shopping

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    by toonsarah Updated Aug 7, 2014

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We saw at least two official Fan Shops linked to Schalke 04 – one, which we visited, in the city centre and one at the Veltins-Arena. There are two others in different parts of the city, proof of how much the football club is deeply embedded in the culture of Gelsenkirchen. They even have a shop in nearby Essen, home to rival team Rot Weiß!

    What to buy: The shops sell all the typical items that football fans want to buy, and some that they have probably never thought of wanting! Scarves of course, and football strips; t-shirts and polo-shirts and fleeces; caps and woollen hats; items for the home (a Schalke cushion perhaps?!); jewellery; and even a Schalke Monopoly game.

    What to pay: I didn’t buy anything but a couple of friends bought caps and one a scarf. Prices seemed comparable to those at home or maybe a little higher (it is a while though since I bought any official football merchandise as we’re currently boycotting the Newcastle United shops!) Caps start at €15 but many are twice that, while scarves are also mostly €15. T-shirts start around €20, the cushions €15 and a little teddy about the same.

    Souvenir scarf Erwin the mascot Cushions and t-shirts Pete and Vince with their purchases

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Gelsenkirchen Local Customs

  • Manhole covers

    When I first noticed that the manhole covers on Gelsenkirchen's streets were all decorated differently I thought it a touch of artistry, perhaps copied from Japan. But then I looked more careful and realised that this is not art but commercial pragmatism - each is sponsored by and bears the name of a local company. Nevertheless many have attractive...

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  • Schalke-Tag

    We may not have been impressed with Schalke’s football (they scored no points in the Schalke 04 Cup tournament that we attended, despite being the host team and therefore playing at home, and finished bottom of the mini-league). We could not fail, however, to be impressed with the stadium and with the way the club is run, with a much stronger...

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  • Solar energy

    After coal was discovered in 1840, Gelsenkirchen rapidly changed from a small farming town to a center of coal-mining, coke-production and assorted heavy industry. In the second half of the twentieth century the coal-based economy went into a slow decline as the world economy switched to oil.The last coke* factory in Gelsenkirchen closed in 1999...

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Gelsenkirchen Off The Beaten Path

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    by Nemorino Updated Aug 12, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is my nomination for Germany's most conveniently located Adult Education Center. It's right on the same square as the opera house.

    In August 2007 the Adult Education Center celebrated the 35th anniversary of the opening of their building. Three of the singers from the opera house came to sing at the anniversary celebration, namely Jee-Hyun Kim, Hrachui Bassenz and Leah Gordon. The reason these particular singers were chosen was that all three of them had learned to speak German in language classes here at the Gelsenkirchen Adult Education Center (VHS).

    Adult Education Center (VHS)
    Related to:
    • Music
    • Arts and Culture

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Gelsenkirchen Sports & Outdoors

  • At the Veltins-Arena

    Gelsenkirchen is home to one of Germany's most successful Bundesliga teams, Schalke 04. We were in town to attend matches staged for a friendly pre-season tournament which I understand is a regular annual event. On this occasion the four participating teams were Schalke (of course), Malaga, West Ham and our own Newcastle United. Schalke play at the...

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  • Veltins Arena - Schalke 04

    This magnificent stadium is home to German Bundesliga team Schalke 04.It opened in 2001 and it hosted the 2004 UEFA Champions League final and 5 matches in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, including a quarter-final. It has a league capacity of 61,482 (standing and seated) and an international capacity of 53,951 (seated only). The stadium is named after the...

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  • Schalke 04

    Koenigsblau and weiss is what the fans here bleed as they look forward to seeing their team strike down the opposition - especially Bayern Munchen or Borussia Dortmund. FC Schalke 04 has Germany's newest football stadium, the Arena auf Schalke - room for over 60,000, featuring a retractible roof. Learning from the problems of the stadium of Ajax of...

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Gelsenkirchen Favorites

  • A city built on coal

    Gelsenkirchen is a city built on coal. In 1840, when coal mining began in this region, it had just 6,000 inhabitants; in 1900 the population had increased to 138,000. By the start of the past century Gelsenkirchen was considered the most important coal mining town in all of Europe. It was known as the "city of a thousand fires" because of the sight...

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  • Around the city streets

    Gelsenkirchen has a reputation for being a rather uninteresting, post industrial town. Certainly there are no major sights and little to attract you here apart from a football match, as in our case, or perhaps a concert by the well-regarded New Westphalian Philharmonic or an interest in industrial heritage sites.But nevertheless I found some...

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  • Gelsenkirchen

    I spent only one evening here, so I do not know much about this place. What I do know that they have a new Stadium for football here, and if everything going as I plan, I will watch few of the 2006 World Cup games here.Check the city official site at:www. Gelsenkirchen.de

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