Great beer and great football; two of the commodities in amble supply throughout Dortmund, but there is much more to this highly popular German city as it also emerges as an important business hub. To cater for a steady flow of executive visitors Dortmund offers an exquisite range of luxury and business-travel focused hotels, as well as a thriving fashion retail scene.
Dortmund might be best known for its twin obsessions with beer and football, but the city is fast emerging as one of Western Germany’s most important business hubs. Upmarket hotels such as the lavish Unique Novum Dortmund Hauptbahnhof (Hoher Wall 38) and Ringhotel Drees (Hohe Strasse 107) with its indoor pool and sauna cater for a luxury-loving crowd, while Radisson Blu Hotel Dortmund (An der Buschmühle 1) is located near the Westfalenhallen exhibition grounds and caters mainly for visiting professionals. Mercure Hotel Dortmund City (Kampstrasse 35-37) is a stylish budget option within easy walking distance of the city centre.
Dortmund’s pedestrianised Westenhellweg is a magnet for souvenir hunters and fashionistas, boasting one of the most visited shopping malls in Germany as well as hundreds of big high-street stores. For a quirkier experience, head to the Brückstrasse quarter, a haunt of artists and creatives, and the perfect place to pick up cut-price trend fashion. Hansastrasse is home to the city’s biggest collection of luxury designer shops, with Hermes at number 61 and Lacoste at number 44, while Kleppingstrasse is famous in local circles for its independent boutiques. For an original souvenir, craft store Creare (Ostenhellweg 42) sells thousands of products by Dortmund artists.
Westphalian cuisine is all about meat, beer and big portions, and nowhere does it better than Zum Alten Markt (Markt 3). This cosy restaurant serves up regional specialities such as beef stew and pork knuckle with sauerkraut, attracting both locals and stodge-loving visitors. Looking for something a little lighter? Ristorante Bei Marija (Am Beilstück 48), a short journey east from the town centre, specialises in scrumptious Italian cuisine, while centrally located Stravinski (Brückstrasse 21) is a classy option close to the Konzerthaus. Locals love Barrock (Kreuzstrasse 87), a café tucked away in the Kreuzviertel, which serves delicious finger food and killer cocktails.
One of the world’s first electronic music festivals, this 15-hour rave attracts a crowd of more than 25,000. Spread over five separate music halls and featuring both ground-shaking music systems and trippy LED visuals, it has to be the coolest event in Dortmund’s calendar.
Rock in den Ruinen
Hohensyburg castle is the setting for this annual rock festival, which features a stellar line-up of famous bands as well as performances from up-and-coming local rock musicians.
Every year, museums and historic industrial buildings across Dortmund open their doors for this fascinating Industrial Heritage Night. More than 50 events take place annually in different locations around the city.
This vibrant street festival recently celebrated its 20th birthday, and it gets increasingly popular every year. Expect a wide range of free outdoor events focussing around Dortmund’s Friedensplatz, from street theatre to performances by internationally acclaimed musicians.
Dortmund Christmas Market
One of the biggest festive markets in Germany, this long-running event packs in over 300 stalls around a giant Christmas tree in the town square. Everything from handmade toys to hot mulled wine is on sale, while puppet shows, theatre performances and bands entertain the shoppers.