Not far from the state capital of Düsseldorf, Bochum is located in the very center of the Ruhr Area, which is in central Nordrhein-Westfalen. This gives those who are living in Bochum a convenient "home base" for sightseeing and venturing out to explore during their free time. After all, you can learn so much more from your international exchange than just from your studies at the university!
Bochum offers a host of restaurants that will please any foodie, along with a fun nightlife scene to explore. And if you’re looking for the green spaces for relaxation or exercise that Germany is known for, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Plus, there are a myriad of attractions to take in, some that even help you to understand the unique culture of this interesting city.
If you love the idea of spending a rainy afternoon at a museum or two, Bochum’s most popular is the Deutsches Bergbaumuseum, where you can learn more about mining and its importance to the city. If you want to take in a live music concert or another artistic performance, ambiance is everything at the Jahrhunderthalle, with an intricate decor that is a reminder of the city’s grand past.
Bochum is also world-renowned for its love for the performing arts. With numerous theaters, you can always see an ever-changing array of artists, comedians and musicians on several stages.
If you’d like to have a picnic with some of your new classmates or want to play sports, then Westpark is the place for you in Bochum. It’s also known as a local hangout for university students, which means it’s a great place to meet some new people with similar interests. If you still haven’t got your nature fix, then head south to Kemnader Lake. This is the ideal place to spend the afternoon getting some exercise, with an eight-kilometer path that encircles the entire lake, just perfect for walking, jogging, biking or inline-skating. You can also go hiking if you’re in the mood.
If you want to get a good overview of the city and have some good food at the same time, this tour is your best bet! A guide will take you all throughout the city, telling stories about the past and present of Bochum. As you stop, you will have the opportunity to try some of the city’s specialties, such as Currywurst and Bochum’s Fiege Pils beer.
Located in the center of the Ruhr Area, you can take in the most successful musical on the planet — Starlight Express. This wonderful story is full of love and action, as you watch the world championship of international railcars play out on this grand musical stage.
This planetarium is a must-visit during your time in Bochum, especially since it is headed by a RUB astronomer, Professor Dr. Susanne Hüttemeister, which links both institutions. In the past, some RUB physicists have even given their Saturday morning lectures at the Zeiss Planetarium.
Schauspielhaus: Bochum is well-known for its love for the theatre and its slew of magnificent performances. The largest theatre in the city, the Bochum Schauspielhaus offers both modern performances and theatre classics.
This theatre may be somewhat smaller, but it is just as well-known, also presenting modern and classic performances.
This theatre performs unique, extraordinary plays, making it very popular with university students.
If you’re going to be in the Ruhr Area for any matter of time, trying the local beer is a bit of a prerequisite. This particular brewery tour goes through the private Moritz Fiege Brewery in Bochum, who has been brewing beer since 1878.
Celebrating over 20 years in the Ruhr Area, the Bochum Variety Show is one of the most popular avenues of entertainment in the entire region. On any given night, you can see comedians, artists, passion and aesthetics in these changing shows.
This nightlife district takes up several streets known as the "Bermuda Dreieck," and it is a popular meet-up location for students and other young people, including locals. There’s plenty of outdoor seating, so it’s also a great place to people watch on warm nights. Don’t miss the Orlando and the Goldkante.
This vibrant, elegant café has an inviting atmosphere, and it is usually full of students. It has large comfortable armchairs and a relaxed vibe.
This bustling spot is both a pub, a nightclub and a live performance venue all under one roof. You can see a host of local, regional and even international acts perform, as well as dance the night away or have a few drinks with your classmates.
This entertainment stop has 40 stages for live performances of all kinds, including the well-known Bochumer Schauspielhaus and the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, plus a myriad of local entertainment options.
Max Frituur is situated in the Bermuda Dreieck, and its specialty, called Fritten, is a form of chips that are served with multiple homemade sauces, such as saffron or pili pili. After dinner, you can stroll through the area and enjoy the numerous colorful bars and nightlife.
The Bratwursthaus is also located in the Bermuda Dreieck district, and it may be Bochum’s most popular currywurst stalls. Everyone comes to this bustling eatery, including visiting celebrities, tourists, locals and, of course, university students.
At Beef & Burger, burgers are definitely in the spotlight, but you can absolutely expect more than what you might find at your typical fast-food burger chain. The selection is seemingly endless, with some of the most popular being the Homemade cheeseburger or the BBQ burger, or you can get a little more adventurous and try the South East Burger, complete with Mango chili chutney.
The Pizzeria Piccolo was founded in 1986, but it has become one of Bochum’s favorites in a very short time. They utilize family recipes that have been handed down for generations.
This restaurant is based entirely on the culture that accompanies Greek food, making it a unique and refreshing alternative in Bochum. The menu items are made with the freshest ingredients, and many are locally sourced. The specialty is the Mezédes, which are served as tapas. There is also an extensive wine list, and the bar serves up expertly crafted cocktails.
This busy market is held for three full weekends in February, and it considered to be Europe’s largest indoor fun fair, held in a historic industrial building that is now utilized from everything to concerts to markets if all kinds. However, this isn’t your typical market. Each weekend is like traveling back in a time machine, with themes of Steampunk, with Victorian-style wares for sale. There are even historic rides and traditionally made foods. This event is not to be missed!
Theis major summer highlight is held from 19 to 22 July this year. This four-day outdoor event plays host to free concerts both day and night. You can expect to see some of your favorite local acts, as well as take in some popular international performances on the larger stages. This is an extremely popular event for music lovers, so be sure to get there early to get a good spot! This is a great event to go to with your new classmates, and also to experience the real culture of Bochum and its people.
At the end of June every year, when summer is in full swing, you can see musical performances from many of your favorite artists. However, this event is truly unique, in that the performers don’t play in the regular concert venues. Instead, some of Bochum’s old industrial buildings are turned into temporary makeshift performance sites, or you can even see some artists perform on trams or just about anywhere else you can imagine. This is a great way to see some of the city’s local acts that you might see perform at a local pub or bar but in a completely different setting.
If you love movies, then you’re sure to enjoy this open-air festival in July and August. Seats, deck chairs and bean bags are scattered across the courtyard, and attendees are also welcome to bring blankets to relax on. You can also enjoy Fiege beer or plenty of local snacks to enjoy. The movies begin as soon as the sun goes down, and tickets start off at just 9€, so this is a very affordable night out, for any student budget. If they’re screening your favorite movie and you want to get a good spot, be sure to arrive early. Multiple movies also show each night.
This July sports event is one of the city’s best, and if you love cycling, then you shouldn’t miss it! With numerous cycling races to watch or take part in, you’ll also be able to experience some of the fantastic sporting cultures that Boscum is known for. Plus, there are stages for entertainment, including live musical acts, as well as vendors selling event and other related merchandise. There’s also plenty to eat, where you can try some of the area’s best regional specialties.
The people of Bochum love music, and they won’t let the warm months escape without one more music festival in September. This event is unique in that it hosts performers that literally come from all generations and musical genres. You can expect to hear everything from the classical symphony to electronic. A schedule is put out with set times closer to the event so that you can plan your day accordingly.
This music event begins in mid-August and lasts through the start of September. This festival is huge, boasting all sorts of acts and performers. If you love big-name entertainers, you will definitely find them at this festival, along with a nice sampling of local performers on the smaller stages. You can also experience all sorts of different musical genres, so there is something for everyone. Additionally, you can indulge in the food offered by local and regional vendors.