Bochum was originally a very small city of a few thousand people, but a mining and car production boom turned it into one of the most populous cities in Germany. Bochum was bombed during World War II, which later led to a rapid expansion and rebuilding in areas of the city, including downtown.
Learn about the western German city’s industrial history at the German Mining Museum and Zeche Knirps, which focus on mining history. See steam engines at the Railway-Museum Bochum-Dahlhausen and Zeche Hannover, or head to the specialty Museum of Historic Medical Tools and Telephone Museum.
Explore Bochum’s creative scene at the several museums and galleries dedicated to art, including the Art Museum, and the Musical Instruments Collection of Hans and Hede Grumbt. You can see other specialty collections, including Ostasiatika-Collection Ehrich, dedicated to Japanese curios and the Art Collection of the Ruhr University, a modern art gallery that exhibits Roman and Greek statues and vases.
Once you have seen enough museums, head to one of the many city parks, where you can enjoy musical shows, outdoor activities and theatrical events. Stroll through the Ruhr University Botanical Gardens, where you will see plants from all over the world, including a cactus and Chinese garden.
For more outdoor activities, visit the city’s zoo, hike along the lakes with trails or go for a walk or jog on the footpaths along the Ruhr River. Take a picnic to one of the city parks or head to the Bermude-Triangle, a district filled with pubs, cafes and eateries, which is especially popular during the summer.
A number of events run throughout the year in Bochum. They include a wine market, film festivals, a piano festival and various flea markets. You might catch music festivals, a food festival or a world culture fair depending on the season you visit. The Steam Festival and Extraschicht focus more closely on the city’s history by celebrating steam-powered vehicles and the area’s industrial heritage.
Public transportation is available throughout the city, including buses, trams and an underground train line.