Events in Ruhr

A kalaidospcope of special things to do throughout the year

Written by Garry and last edited by Garry on

 
© Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen
Performance scene in landscape
© Phile Deprez
© Klavier-Festival Ruhr

The Ruhr metropolis presents an impressive list of events the whole year through. A terrific place to visit, the region’s activities range from the impressive to the romantic, massive festivals to neighbourhood get togethers and activities.

Depending upon the season and the weather, visitors can enjoy open air activities such as the funfairs, former industrial parks or the beauty of the Ruhr valley. Or stay indoors to experience many of the music festivals and performances including classical music and jazz.

Entries can be found in alphabetical order in the navigation and according to start dates below.

Exhibitions in the Ruhr Metropolis

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Art venues and museums in the Ruhr region regularly present selections of their fine pieces. Unable to show their extensive collections as a whole due to lack of space, these opportunities reveal well researched and comprehensive insights. Contemporary to traditional, see also works from across the globe.

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Happenings in Ruhr

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Something special takes place nearly the whole year through in Ruhr. Such happenings include celebrations to mark an opening, markets or a one off event such as a concert or festival. Communities pick up on such events, creating gatherings large and small. They can be psoted in this article.

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Poster of books
© IS Ruhr
 

Jazz Offensive Essen

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The Festival of the Jazz Offensive Essen (JOE) takes place in the Ruhr Metropolis. The event will be hosted in the Katakomben Theater, Giradethaus in Essen. The association was founded in the summer of 1995 by a few jazz musicians and enthusiasts.

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Jazz Offensive Essen e.V.

Feuerbachstrasse 2

45147 Essen , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 201 327 817

 

Park Lights in Essen

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The Park Lights event takes place in the Gruga Park in the city of Essen every year, brightening up the late winter and early spring evenings. This magnificent attraction creates a magical dreamworld through which many silent souls meander into the night. A must!

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Grugapark Essen

Virchowstrasse 167a

45147 Essen , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 201 888 3106

© Ruhr Tourismus / Eckhard Spengler
 

Yonex German Open in Mülheim

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The host of this year's badminton championship is Mühlheim an der Ruhr. The sport has become more popular in recent years and German players strong in championships. For those that love the speed of the sport, the event is a great pleasure to experience.

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Deutscher Badminton-Verband e. V. (DBV)

An den Sportstätten 6

45468 Mülheim an der Ruhr , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 208 308 2719

 

Palmkirmes Recklinghausen

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Nearly a million people visit the popular Palmkirmes every year, which is deemed to be a prelude to the funfair season in the Ruhr. Almost two thousand metres of attractions from more than one hundred and seventy rides, galleries and concession stands offer merriment.

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Stadt Recklinghausen

Rathausplatz 3-4

45657 Recklinghausen , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 2361 500

 

Piano Festival Ruhr

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Some sixty to seventy concerts and recitals can be experienced every year between May and July. Performances of this unique festival take place in numerous locations across the Ruhr with renowned masters, young talent and a wide variety of music.

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Stiftung Klavier-Festival Ruhr

Alfred-Herrhausen-Haus

45128 Essen , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 201 896 680

© Klavier-Festival Ruhr
 

Bochumer Maiabendfest

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One of the oldest traditional local festivals in Germany, the Bochumer Maiabendfest (May eve festival) originated in 1388. Held annually in the town centre of Bochum, it is a true open air event with food, beverages, entertainment, street marches and fun.

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Bochumer Maiabendgesellschaft 1388 e.V.

Postfach 10 03 07

44703 Bochum , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 2327 732 23

 

Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen

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Each year during May and June Recklinghausen changes into a world stage for productions of famous directors and performances of awarded actors. Furthermore, the festival gives young talents the chance to show their skills. Fringe and English performances are available.

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Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen GmbH

Otto-Burrmeister-Allee 1

45657 Recklinghausen , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 2361 918 0

© Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen
 

International Short Film Festival

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The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen takes place once again this year. More than 500 films originating from 55 countries will take part in the screenings. Some 64 films from 26 countries are in the international competition, with nearly half of them world premieres. Mostly OmU.

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International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

Grillostrasse 34

46045 Oberhausen , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 208 825 2652

Image of woman for film festival
© IKF OB
 

Moers Festival

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The Moers Festival reveals a long tradition of Jazz music and today reflects upon what is happening around the world of improvised music. Performances combine the scope and richness of established artists, new names and new formations during Whitsun.

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Moers Kultur GmbH

Nordring 5

47441 Moers , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 2841 367 3675

 

Ruhr Reggae Summer Dortmund

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Located in the Revierpark Wischlingen, the first of the Ruhr Reggae Summer annual festivals gathers a fantastic collection of performers on stage. Dortmund in the Ruhr Metropolis offers a huge arena with beach area, space for camping, foods that have included vegan.

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U-Concert

Höfkerstrasse 12

44149 Dortmund , Ruhr

Germany

 

Rhein Ruhr Marathon

The annual Rhine Ruhr marathon in Duisburg was started in 1981. Some 6.000 runners challenge each other along a route that takes a large loop through various inner city suburbs and around the intersection of the rivers Rhine and Ruhr to include the impressive harbour.

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Rhein Ruhr Marathon

Bertaallee 8b

47055 Duisburg , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 203 300 0811

 

Sterkrader Fronleichnams-Kirmes

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The funfair is held from Wednesday afternoon to the following Monday night during the feast of Corpus Christi. At that time of year the center of Sterkrade turns into a place of hustle and bustle, laughter and fun attract about one million visitors each and every year. Fun for all the family.

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Werbegemeinschaft Oberhausener Kirmessen e.V.

Beethovenstrasse 76

46145 Oberhausen , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 208 825 1

 

Beecker Kirmes

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This large funfair of the lower Rhine region awaits visitors with some two hundred booths and funfair rides. The mixture of thrill and sundry delicacies unite young and old with fun, laughter and a traditional alcoholic drink Fisternölleken. Fisternölleken (corn schnapps with sugar and raisins) are the order of the day.

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Duisburg Marketing GmbH

Landfermannstrasse 6

47051 Duisburg , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 203 305 250

 

!SING-Day of Song

Choirs are invited to come to the Ruhr and join together in a magnificent day

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Ruhr Tourismus GmbH

Centroallee 261

46047 Oberhausen , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 1805 181 620 Service Charge

 

Extra Shift Ruhr

Enjoy a long summer evening when visitors allow themselves to be captivated by the unique atmosphere of the night and go on an expedition through the region. ExtraSchicht is when breathtaking industrial settings become stages for spectacular productions.

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Ruhr Tourismus GmbH

Centroallee 261

46047 Oberhausen , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 180 5 66 690 101 Charged

 

Bochum Total

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Apparently its Europe's largest music festival, its free and has taken place annually for some 30 years. Bochum Total offers incredible music from dozens and dozens of bands, both German and international, new faces as well as established performers. One of the great events in the Ruhr Metropolis.

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Bochum Total 2010 UG

Viktoriastrasse 75

44787 Bochum , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 234 588 3838

View of stage performance at rock and pop music festival in Bochum
© Stadt Bochum
 

ParookaVille

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Germany’s largest dance festival, ParookaVille is an incredible electronic music festival. Some 40,000 citizens will gather each day to enjoy themselves, each other and over 200 national and international DJs performing on 11 stages, one a momunental 110 metres wide.

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Parookaville GmbH

Flughafen Ring 293

47652 Weeze , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 2837 911 112

© Tremark
 

Juicy Beats Dortmund

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True to its name, each of the several stages of the music festival in the Westfalenpark Dortmund, Ruhr is named after a fruit. A unique atmosphere awaits spectators with a huge range of artists and performers, as well as a delicious variety of food that is on offer. A true open air extravaganza.

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Popmodern

An der Buschmühle 3

44139 Dortmund , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 231 138 6714

 

Cycling Race in Bochum

Bochum hosts the annual Sparkassen Giro bike race with accompanying events on one day during the middle of the summer. Many races take place on the inner city circuit. Professional cyclists provide terrific entertainment as do amateurs who join in the fun and take part in numerous races.

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Olympia Consulting GmbH

Unterste Wilms Strasse 31

44143 Dortmund , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 231 562 2800

Cyclists and spectators on street at Cycling Race Sparkassen Giro in Bochum, Ruhr on Amazing Ruhr
© Olympia Consulting
 

Cranger Kirmes

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Cranger Kirmes is the second largest folk festival in Germany, commencing on the first Friday in August. Loved by almost four million locals and visitors alike, it offers roller coasters, ghost trains, water rides, big wheel as well as candy, beer or sausages.

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Cranger Kirmes

Sradt Herne

44623 Herne , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 232 316 0

 

Christopher Street Day Essen

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Gay pride is big in Germany with the largest Christopher Street Day (CSD) event in the Ruhr region held in Essen. A wonderful mix of demonstration, service, parade and stage performances, the festival attracts people from far and wide. The annual event has offered a colourful, welcoming atmosphere since 2004.

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ruhrPRIDE e.V.

Varnhorststrasse 17

45127 Essen , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 177 415 0713

 

Ruhr Reggae Summer Mülheim

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The second of the Ruhr Reggae Summer festivals takes place around the open air swimming pool at the Ruhrstadion in Mülheim an der Ruhr. With camping, swimming, bazaar and, of course, the stage with an impressive line up of bands and performers. A fun and joyful event in the Ruhr Metropolis.

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U-Concert

Friesenstrasse 101

45476 Mülheim an der Ruhr , Ruhr

Germany

 

Light Festival in Dortmund

The light festival (Lichterfest) held during August in the Westfalenpark Dortmund is exactly that. Strings of lights some six kilometres long and almost one hundred thousand lights and lamps of varying sizes shapes and sizes form the major attractions of the event.

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Westfalenpark Dortmund

An der Buschmühle 3

44139 Dortmund , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 231 502 6100

 

Tent Festival Ruhr

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A rock music festival takes place late summer in a city of tents on the shore of lake Kemnade in Bochum. In addition to concerts, there are also many other performances to be enjoyed such as cabaret, comedy and stage.

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ZFR Event GmbH & Co. KG

Brückstrasse 33

44787 Bochum , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 234 962 920

Arieal view of tents and marquees at the tent festival
© Utini
 

Ruhrtriennale

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The Triennale is characterised by its distinctive mix of genres. Performances, dance, opera, theatre, concerts and art attract many fascinating national and international performers and participants. Revitalising disused industrial buildings, events are held in exciting venues.

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Ruhrtriennale Kultur Ruhr GmbH

Leithestrasse 35

45886 Gelsenkirchen , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 209 605 071 00

Performance scene in landscape
© Phile Deprez
 

Kiosk Day in the Ruhr

Perhaps the most bizarre yet most fascinating event of the year is typical of the inspiration and creativity found in the Ruhr Metropolis. The Kiosk Day (Tag der Trinkhallen) in the Ruhr offers a kalaidoscope of activities centered upon some fifty kiosks in the region such as music, poetry, theatre, cabaret, street art and photos.

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Ruhr Tourismus GmbH

Centroallee 261

46047 Oberhausen , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 1805 181 620 Service Charge

Interior view of kiosk in Essen Heisingen, Ruhr Metriopolis
© Amazing Capitals / DeiaGreg
 

Essen Original

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With a quarter of a million enthsiasts enjoying music in and around the Kennedyplatz in Essen, some 20 years on, this festival is firmly on the event calender. Bands and artists on several stages offer hour upon hour of great performances for a full three days traditionally during September.

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EMG-Essen Marketing GmbH

Rathenaustrasse 2

45127 Essen , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 201 887 200

Night scene of stage and audience
© EMG - Essen Marketing GmbH
 

Christopher Street Day Dortmund

The hugely popular CSD, Christopher Street Day attracts tens of thousands to Dortmund in the Ruhr Metropolis each year. The event sees itself as a healthy mix of demonstration and celebration. There is usually a parade, stage performances, a service as well as a late night street party.

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Slado e. V.

Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse 33-37

44135 Dortmund , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 176 228 021 57 Mobile

 

Leaf Festival

For a few years, the LEAF Festival has been taking place in the Ruhr Metropolis. An exciting event which is designed to bring people together on the themes of languages, education, arts and friendship (LEAF). It will be presented in Mülheim an der Ruhr by Interkultur e.V.

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INTERKULTUR e.V.

Mintarder Strasse 18

45481 Mülheim an der Ruhr , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 208 377 6839

Four actors performing Shakespeare
© TLCM / Jack Offord
 

Marathon in Essen

This annual marathon has been held since as long ago as 1963. It sees participants chasing each other twice on an asphalt route around the picturesque Baldeneysee in Essen Ruhr. The day also sees a relay marathon taking the same route. With such views and atmosphrere, its a great event.

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Innogy Marathon

Osnabrücker Strasse 16

45145 Essen , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 201 749 5520

 

Long Night of Industry

A curious event designed to reveal how modern and futuristic industry functions. Manufacturing and processing is still faced with a poor image that can lead to beig held in low esteem by the general public. The sector also battles with a young and skilled workforce attracted to other cleaner, more inspiring sectors.

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Zukunft durch Industrie e.V

Ernst-Schneider-Platz 1

40212 Düsseldorf , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 211 355 7235

 

Light Weeks in Essen

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The Essen Light Weeks create a magical atmosphere through the city centre. Generally presenting a multi-facetted picture of a particular partner country under the motto of "Europe in Essen", magnificent bright displays hang above the heads of people strolling by.

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Essen Marketing GmbH

Rathenaustrasse 2

45127 Essen , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 201 887 200

© © EMG
 

Christmastime Trip to the Ruhr Region

Experience the true German Christmas tradition this year at a marvellous Christmas market in the Ruhr Metropolis. Stand below an imposing 45 metre high tree and taste the scent of Yuletide a mere one hour flight from many of Europe's airports. All possible on a magical Christmastime trip to the Ruhr.

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Ruhr Tourismus GmbH

Centroallee 261

46047 Oberhausen , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 1805 181 620 Service Charge

© Ruhr Tourismus / Thomas Winkler
 

Christmas Markets in the Ruhr, Germany

Fortunately for expats, the Ruhr Metropolis reveals probably the highest density of Christmas markets in the world. A delightful, highly popular German tradition. A flying Santa, the world’s largest Christmas tree, woodland Christmas village, impressive illuminations and diverse events are highlights.

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Ruhr Tourismus GmbH

Centroallee 261

46047 Oberhausen , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 1805 181 620 Service Charge

Christmas market with wooded beamed houses in Hattingen, Germany
© Ruhr Tourismus
 

Christmas Market in Bochum

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One of the best Christmas markets in the Ruhr region of Germany is in Bochum. The medieval market square and the region’s only Flying Santa, artists who soar above the heads of kids and adults alike on a wonderful sleigh drawn by reindeer, are just two attractions.

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Bochum Marketing GmbH

Huestrasse 9

44787 Bochum

Phone: +49 234 904 960

Flying Santa Claus and his sleigh at Bochum Christmas Market
© Ingo Otto
 

Christmas Market Dortmund

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Dortmund inspires with possibly the largest Christmas tree in the world. Placed in the heart of the city on the old market place (Alter Markt), 48,000 lamps adorn this 45 metres high construction. Bathe in the wonderful scents of a fine Christmas market in Germany.

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Markthandel- und Schausteller-Verband

Hansastrasse 72

44137 Dortmund , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 231 571 468

© Ruhr Tourismus / Thomas Winkler
 

Christmas Market Duisburg

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The Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) in Duisburg is accompanied by beautifully bright lit trees, creations and strings of lamps. One hundred wooden stalls create a more intimate feel, awaiting visitors with mulled wine (Glühwein), tasty delights, a big wheel and skating rink.

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Duisburg Marketing GmbH

Landfermannstrasse 6

47051 Duisburg , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 201 203 305 250

blightly lit Christmas Tree in the city
© DMG
 

Christmas Market Essen

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With a different international theme each year, Essen creates one of the most magical experiences in Germany. Over 250 stands are gathered on several squares and streets while incredible light installations create a most romantic atmosphere through the inner city.

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Essen Marketing GmbH

Rathenaustrasse 2

45127 Essen , Ruhr

Germany

Phone: +49 201 887 200

Stunning Christmas lights canopy over Christmas market in Essen
© EMG - Essen Marketing GmbH / Frank Vinken
 

Christmas Tree Cutting

A wonderful family tradition takes place annually between Thanksgiving and Christmas in rural regions of the United States. It is that time of year when people choose and cut down their own Christmas tree and transport it home to decorate. Americans and other expats can fell their own Christmas tree in the Ruhr too!

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Regionalverband Ruhr RVR Ruhr Grün

Forststützpunkt Haard

45721 Haltern , NRW

Germany

Phone: +49 2364 920 311

The decorated family Christmas tree and beautiful dog Kiva.
© Amazing Capitals / DeiaGreg