Gelsenkirchen, in western Germany, is part of the former industrial heartland of the central Ruhr district in North Rhine-Westphalia. The main train station has good connections with the German railway network. Visitors can travel by train to Gelsenkirchen from Essen in just 11 minutes, or the train journey from Bochum to Gelsenkirchen takes 41 minutes, on the Inter-City Express and RE services. The main station, Gelsenkirchen Hauptbahnhof, is located to the south-east of the city centre. However, when visitors arrive in Gelsenkirchen by train, a mere 10-minute stroll north-west along Bahnhofstraße is all it takes to arrive at Hans-Sachs-Haus, which is one of the city’s major attractions, found right in the city centre.
Originally designed to be a multi-purpose building, this imposing modern edifice became the central administrative seat for the city of Gelsenkirchen and now houses a major concert hall. After venturing away from the train station, and while in the Old Town, it’s a good idea to take a lunch break before heading further afield. There are numerous fast-food establishments, as well as local culinary experiences to sample here, with plenty of sausage grills, in particular. This area represents an opportunity to refuel after the train journey or before the day ahead. And, given that this city is in Germany, there is, of course, always a great selection of local beers to savour!
The main tourist attraction close to the city of Gelsenkirchen is the famous Schloss Berge. This castle is a mixture of Baroque and Neoclassical architecture. Although in quite an industrialised area of the city, it is surrounded by green parkland and is definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately, it isn’t within easy walking distance from the train station, but visitors can hop on the 302 bus and get off at the ‘Berger See’ bus stop, making the journey quick and easy. As well as visiting the castle, the surrounding grounds make for a very pleasant place to sit and watch the world go by, especially on a sunny day.