The German city of Oberhausen is located approximately two to two and a half hours drive from Amsterdam. The city in the German Ruhr area, which is often visited for the nice shopping center Westfield CENTRO, has a long industrial history. Many of the inhabitants used to work in coal mines or in one of the factories that processed them. When the mines closed their doors in 1992, it was time for new impulses. Factories were converted into a museum and the former industrial area of the city has now been converted into a real entertainment district. The focus is now on recreation, shopping and art & culture. And those are excellent starting points for a fun and fascinating city trip. Oberhausen is less slick or romantic than some other German cities. It is precisely the authenticity that makes Oberhausen worth a visit.
Oberhausen ‘s Top 10 Things to Do
#1. Westfield CENTER
Most Dutch people who drive to Oberhausen do so to shop in the Westfield CENTRO shopping center. This huge complex used to be known as CentrO. In September 2021, the name of owner Westfield was added. The former industrial area of the city of Oberhausen has been converted into “Neue Mitte Oberhausen” since the demolition of several blast furnaces. Today the ‘Gutehoffnungshütte’ is a true paradise for shopping, watching a movie or visiting a modern restaurant. Westfield CENTRO shopping center offers you the opportunity to visit about 220 shops with a variety of goods.At the end of the year, a huge Christmas market is held in the outside area of Westfield CENTRO. This Christmas market starts in mid-November and lasts until just before Christmas. In total there are about 150 wooden stalls where decorations, delicacies and typical winter products are sold.
#2. Oberhausen Castle
According to Inside Watch, Oberhausen Castle is located in Alt Oberhausen. This former residence of Count Maximilian Friedrich von Westerholt-Gysenberg was built at the beginning of the nineteenth century according to an idea by August Reinking. Today the palace is furnished as an art museum. The Ludwig Galerie Schloss Oberhausen museum welcomes many visitors every year, who appreciate the many works of art. A municipal museum is also located in the south wing. And weather permitting, the Imperial Garden is also highly recommended.
#3. Christmas Market at Westfield CENTRO
Every November, the area around the Westfield CENTRO shopping center is transformed into a winter paradise. The Christmas market at CENTRO can be called an experience time and again. More than a hundred wooden chalets display their most beautiful Christmas decorations, delicacies or woolen accessories. Fun and magical moments are organized for the children and the inner person is also well catered for. All senses are activated by deliciously fragrant dishes, warm mulled wine and crackling fires.
A typical feature in the Ruhr area are the gas storage tanks. The Gasometer is a wonderful example of this. Since the natural gas reaches its destination via pipelines, the gas holder has actually become superfluous. Since 1988, the city has given a completely new meaning, namely as an exhibition space. In this way, the city has retained a bit of nostalgia and has given it a modern interpretation. The symbol of the city of Oberhausen is closed on Mondays.
#5. LVR Industrial Museum
Oberhausen ‘s Rhineland Industrial Museum is spread over six locations in western Germany. The Altenberg Zinc Factory is located in Oberhausen. This museum gives a clear picture of the hard life in the iron and steel industry. Through a tour you get more information about the tools, the materials and the processing process.
#6. Tanzender Strommast
Art is inextricably linked to German culture. This is also the case here in Oberhausen. Since the foundation of the EmscherKunst, with which international art exhibitions are shown in public spaces, the Rurh area has been beautified with several objects. During an exhibition of the EmscherKunst there was a special entry in 2013 by the artist group Inges Idee. Their ‘Zauberlehrling’ was clearly appreciated. The theme for that year was climate change and ecological issues. They created a 35 meter high energy mast that makes a dancing (rebellious) movement.
#7. sea life
Visiting a marine aquarium is never boring. The splendor that sometimes takes place hundreds of meters in the deep oceans can be experienced in a pleasant way for us in this way. The aquarium in Oberhausen is one of the city’s most visited attractions. Sea Life Oberhausen has more than 5,000 animals to show, takes you on a journey in a glass bottom boat and likes to involve you in the feeding of the animals. Thanks to its location next to the Westfield CENTRO shopping center, you can easily combine a visit to Sea Life with a day of shopping in Oberhausen.
Sea Life is a perfect getaway for families with children. The underwater world is attractive for young and old. If you want to do even more with your children in Oberhausen, you can also visit the adjacent LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Oberhausen. Here you step into the wonderful world of the world famous colored blocks.
The heart of the old town of Oberhausen is located on and around the Altmarkt. In the middle of the square, since 1876, stands the ‘Friedenssäule’, which commemorates the Prussian victory during the Dano-Prussian War of 1864 and the Franco-Prussian War between 1870-1871. There is also the Herz-Jesu church to visit and you can stroll around Monday to Friday at the market that is held here on the square. Around the Christmas period there is also a Christmas market to visit on the Altmarkt.
#9. Konig Pilsener Arena
The König-Pilsner-Arene is located in the Neue Mitte Oberhausen district. This multifunctional arena in which you can attend concerts, shows, competitions or other events is located right next to the CentrO shopping center. The arena offers a capacity for 13,000 guests and plenty of free parking. Check the calendar on the official site for the latest news and upcoming events.
#10. Baumeister Muhlea
The beautiful Baumeister windmill from 1858 has been an important source of income for the Baumeister family. After all, grinding different crops generated income. The mill was equipped with an electric motor even after the First World War. Unfortunately, industrial life has knocked the mill and factories have taken over. Time and again, the mill has been restored and refurbished so as not to lose a piece of nostalgia. Since 1995, the mill has been running with the right weather conditions and flour is milled again. The mill is regularly open to visitors.