You can do just fine on a city trip to Dortmund with kids! The city has enough entertainment to keep your family entertained for a weekend. From the city of Utrecht it is just over 2 hours away by both car and train, so this city can easily be visited in a weekend from most places in the Netherlands as well. The city is located in Germany’s Ruhr region, yet the city is greener than you think! We list the best sights and activities in Dortmund with kids for you!
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Dortmund with kids #1: Westfalen park
One of Dortmund’s largest city parks is Westfalen Park, which is a half-hour walk (or 15 minutes by streetcar) from the city center. This park, besides being very beautiful, is also very family-friendly.
For example, you will find several playgrounds in the park, with the Robinson Playground being the biggest and most fun playground. The playground is near a small lake, and on the lake are a kind of round boats, where kids can use poles to push the boats. There are also several pieces of playground equipment, including a large pyramid climbing frame. Surrounding this playground is grass and in the summer parents lie here enjoying the sunshine. There are pretty cool climbing equipment and several slides here. At this playground there is also a kiosk where you can buy some food and drinks.
In addition, at another larger lake, you can rent pedal boats in the shape of a swan. The park also features a beautiful Japanese garden and a rose garden with more than 3,000 different varieties of roses. You can take a cable car through the park over the plants. With kids, you can also ride a little train through the park.
In addition, in this park you can visit the television tower (Florian tower). For a few euros you can visit the 220-meter tower and at the top you will have a beautiful 360-degree view of the park.
Dortmund with kids #2: Dortmund zoo
Dortmund Zoo is a not too large zoo and is located in the south of the city. From downtown, you can get to the zoo in just over 20 minutes by streetcar. The zoo does not have all the famous animals, but still has some great famous animals such as the rhino, the giraffe, the black bear, the zebra and a lot of other (small) animals.
A big plus of the zoo is the entrance fee. Which is less than a third of most zoos in the Netherlands. The zoo can easily entertain you for an hour or two to three, but then you have seen the zoo. Of course, there are several eateries scattered throughout the zoo, where you can get something to eat and drink. Food and drink prices are certainly reasonable.
Obviously there are nicer zoos in the world and also some of the animals could have been in a more spacious pen, but when you are in Dortmund with kids it is a fine activity. Take a look at the zoo’s website for zoo opening hours, admission prices and a map of the zoo.
Dortmund with kids #3: Zeche Zollern museum
One of the best museums in Dortmund with kids is the Zeche Zollern museum which is a former coal mine and industrial complex. It is known as the castle of labor. The museum is located slightly outside the city center and by subway it will take you a little over 20 minutes to reach the museum. The museum tells the story of the men and women who worked in the mines for many years.
It’s fun to walk among all those big machines and there’s a lot to see in the restored halls. Especially if you like to take pictures in an industrial environment, this museum is totally awesome. The entire outdoor and indoor environment is tremendously photogenic. It is also possible to climb one of the towers to have a nice view of the surroundings.
Admission to this museum is a few euros per person, and the museum also includes two playgrounds. A playground for kids up to 7 years old and a playground for ages 7 and up, where parents can sit on picnic benches. There is also a fine restaurant at the museum with a terrace where you can sit in the sun in summer. In addition, kids can get sidewalk chalk at the ticket counter, which they can use to draw on the ground. For more information on opening hours, admission prices and restaurant information, check out the museum’s website.
Dortmund with kids #4: Signal iduna park
One of the biggest soccer clubs in Germany is Borussia Dortmund, and the stadium they play in is large and impressive. This stadium can hold more than 80,000 spectators and it is possible to book a tour of the stadium.
The club offers several stadium tours. So you have a comprehensive tour of no less than two hours, getting into almost all areas of the stadium (even the stadium’s prison). You also have a shorter one-hour tour, where you take a guided tour of the stadium and visit the locker rooms, press box and field. Finally, there is also an opportunity to take a look inside the stadium itself for a few euros without a guide.
Of course, it’s also fun to actually watch a club game at the stadium. There are several websites offering tickets to club matches. If your kids are crazy about soccer, check in advance when the club has to play soccer and then plan your weekend to Dortmund with your family.
Dortmund with kids: other places of interest
#5 German Football Museum: located in the city center, this modern museum is entirely devoted to German soccer. Of course, you will find all the cups won by the German team and many soccer jerseys. The museum looks futuristic and all over the museum you see images of important competitions. There is even a player bus from the German team in the museum.
#6 Romberg Park Botanical Gardens: this botanical garden is located in Romberg Park in the south of the city and you can reach the park in about 10 minutes by public transportation. You will find many different types of plants and flowers under 1,000 m2 of glass. Kids up to five years old have free admission to the garden and those six and older pay a few euros entrance fee. Furthermore, there is an excellent playground in the park. This also includes a small cafe.
#7 Kokerei Hansa: This is another industrial complex you can visit in Dortmund with kids. If you don’t have much time in Dortmund and have to make a choice between the Zeche Zollern complex and this one, you’d better go for the former.
#8 Revierparc Wischlingen: this is another nice city park located slightly outside the city center and takes a little over 15 minutes travel time by public transportation. There are many play equipment for kids in this city park, there is a water playground and a small beach by the river. This park is a great option to visit at the end of the day and give the kids a break.
Dortmund with kids: Christmas market
If you enjoy visiting a Christmas market with your family, Dortmund is the place to be. Dortmund’s Christmas market is one of the largest in Germany, with as many as 300 stalls. One of the most famous sights during this period is the more than 45-meter-high Christmas tree in the city center. The Christmas tree can be found in Hanzaplatz Square and it is the largest Christmas tree in the world. The tree itself is decorated with as many as 48,000 lights.
You will find stalls in various squares throughout the city and, of course, you will hear Christmas music everywhere. Everywhere you can eat typical German dishes and, of course, you will find Glühwein everywhere. The Christmas market starts sometime during the last week of November and continues through the month of December. So if you love this kind of Christmas market, this is an ideal time to visit Dortmund with kids.
Where to sleep in Dortmund with kids
Budget hotel: B&B Hotel Dortmund-City
Mid-range hotel: The Grey Design Hotel
Luxury hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel Dortmund
To search for other hotels in Dortmund with kids click here for the complete list of hotels.
Further information Dortmund with kids
Environmental sticker: keep in mind that when you visit the city of Dortmund by car that you need an environmental sticker. These can be ordered from the ANWB website and will be sent to you within 5 days. To do this, you need to enter the car’s registration number and report code (found on the registration certificate) and then the correct color will be selected.