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Get to know the city

All About Life in Dortmund

On this page you will find a lot of information about life in ­Dortmund. Discover the second greenest city in Germany and find out what else­ Dortmund has to offer.

  • Health insurance: In Germany, there is a compulsory insurance scheme which obliges employees to be insured in the event of illness. If you have an employment contract at TU Dortmund University, health insurance is automatically deducted from your monthly salary as part of social insurance. You can find more information about insurances on our pages concerning formalities.
  • How to find a doctor? If you are looking for a doctor, the internet can often help you. There are various sites where you can search for doctors' practices in Dortmund. In addition, you will usually find reviews of the respective practices. You are also welcome to ask for a personal recommendation for medical practices in your private and professional environment.
  • Here are some examples of possible websites that can be used to find doctors: Jameda (only in German), DasOertliche (only in German), Ärzte (only in German)
  • Hospitals: The city of Dortmund provides an overview of the various hospitals in Dortmund (only in German).
  • Counselling centers:
    There are several counselling centers in Dortmund which offer support and help in various situations. They will advise you on various aspects of physical and mental health. These centers include, among others:
  • In case of emergency:
    • Emergency services: The city of Dortmund provides an overview of the various emergency services and emergency numbers (only in German) in Dortmund.
    • Emergency rooms: In all Dortmund hospitals there are emergency rooms in which you can be treated in case of an emergency. These are open around the clock.
    • Emergency pharmacies: For emergencies, Dortmund has pharmacies that are open around the clock and where you can buy urgently needed medication. However, which pharmacy is an emergency pharmacy varies from day to day. It is therefore advisable to look for the current pharmacy in charge (only in German), if you need one.
    • Ambulance: If you need an ambulance, you can call the Europe-wide emergency number 112. It is important that you state where you are, your name, what has happened and how many people are involved.
    • Health dictionary: This dictionary explains important vocabulary related to health in Germany.
  • Sightseeing and city tours: Get to know Dortmund on one of the many city tours (only in German).
  • Being in nature: Did you know that Dortmund is the greenest city in Germany? Many parks invite you to linger and relax. Visit for example the Westfalenpark, the Fredenbaumpark or the Westpark near the city center. Dortmund also has a zoo and a botanical garden. In the district of Hörde, the PHOENIX lake is a popular destination. The surrounding area of Dortmund also invites you to make excursions into different forests.
  • In rainy weather: When it's raining, there are many other ways to pass the time in Dortmund, e.g. indoor mini golf, escape rooms or museum visits.
  • Museums: Dortmund has a whole range of different museums dealing with topics such as art, football, brewery culture or technology. The city of Dortmund provides an overview oflocal museum offers (only in German).
  • Dortmund Museum Night: Every year in September the Dortmund Museum Night takes place. Visitors can admire the various exhibitions, music, comedy and other accompanying programs.
  • Theaters and stages: The Visit Dortmund website gives a good overview of the cultural variety in Dortmund, including the various theaters and stages.
    The current schedules can be found on the pages of each theater. The following list includes some important stages in Dortmund:
    City Theater (only in German)
    Fletch Bizzel Theater (only in German)
    Concert Hall (only in German)
    Domicil (only in German)
  • Concerts & Music: The Westfalenhallen and the Warsteiner Music Hall are the venues for major concerts in Dortmund. In the FZW (Freizeitzentrum West), on the other hand, there are smaller club concerts. In summer, the Juicy Beats Festival attracts fans of electro, rap and pop music.
  • Others:
    • Festivals: In addition to Juicy Beats, Dortmund is also home to the Les.Art Festival, which features numerous readings and literature. In addition, the International Women's Film Festival takes place annually, where there are not only films but also workshops and an award ceremony.
    • Industrial culture and structural change: Although Dortmund, like the rest of the Ruhr area, has been undergoing structural change since the second half of the 20th century, industrial history is still a formative influence for the region. Steel, coal and beer were important industries for the city and have left their mark on the cityscape and the mentality of its inhabitants. The Dortmunder U, the city's landmark, is one of the most famous legacies of Dortmund's industrial heritage.
    • Beer & Brewery Culture: Dortmund is known for its brewery culture and the many local beer varieties.  Visit Dortmund informs about the traces of the brewery culture.
    • Christmas Market: A special attraction of the Dortmund Christmas Market is the Christmas tree on Hansaplatz: the (allegedly) largest Christmas tree in the world. In addition to the 45-metre-high tree, numerous culinary stalls as well as the lights and decorations spread a Christmassy atmosphere.
  • Football: BVB, Dortmund's most successful football club, is known far beyond regional and national borders. You can not only get a taste of football in Dortmund in the huge BVB stadium, Singal-Iduna-Park, but also in the German Football Museum or at the famous Borsigplatz. Visit Dortmund provides an overview of football in Dortmund.
  • Other sports: In addition to football, Dortmund offers countless other sports and special features.
  • University Sports: The Office of University Sports (HSP) offers a wide range of courses for employees and students of TU Dortmund University. In addition, the HSP runs a campus-owned fitness studio and offers further education and health-promoting measures.

In Dortmund you will find many shops, especially on Westenhellweg and in the Thier-Galerie. As everywhere in Germany, these are closed on Sundays. The same applies to supermarkets and other shops.

  • Payment: In Germany it is advisable to carry cash with you, as you cannot pay everywhere with credit or debit card.
  • Flea markets and used goods: In Dortmund there are several flea markets where you can buy second hand. At TU Dortmund University there is a flea market every Saturday, which attracts many visitors.
  • Weekly markets: At the various Dortmund weekly markets you can buy vegetables, meat and other fresh food. They usually take place in the morning. The city of Dortmund provides an overview on the weekly markets (only in German), which you can visit in different parts of Dortmund.
  • Broadcasting fees: In Germany, a fixed broadcasting fee is payable per household, regardless of the number of persons. This serves to finance public broadcasting in Germany. If you move to Germany or move within the country, you must register for these broadcasting fees.
  • Telephone and Internet: Deutsche Telekom operates the German telephone network. But there are also numerous other companies that offer telephone and Internet services. It is worth comparing different tariffs, contracts and companies to find the best solution for you.
  • Telephone numbers: You can find telephone numbers in different ways.

In Dortmund and the Ruhr area there are many different bus, train and tram routes. The following pages offer more detailed information on timetables and offers such as season tickets or student tickets:

It makes sense to downloadone or more of the according apps to your smartphone to quickly and easily look up connections and use digital tickets while in transit.

University-specific information on how to get to campus and internal ticket offers can be found on our page on mobility and transport.

  • Validity & recognition of driving licences:
    • If you have a driver's license but are not sure whether it is valid in Germany, the Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure informs about the validity of foreign driving licences.
    • The General German Automobile Club (ADAC) (only in German) General German Automobile Club (ADAC) also provides information about various driving licenses and their recognition in Germany.
  • Exchange of driving licenses: If you want to exchange your driving license (only in German), you have to go to the citizen services of the city of Dortmund. The costs for this service amount to about 35 to 55 Euros. To avoid long waiting times, it is advisable to make an appointment online in advance. Information on the costs, the documents required and how to make an appointment can be found on the website of the city. 

The information provided does not claim to be complete.
Further information about life in­ Dortmund can be found on the following pages: