Schalke 04 and the associated VELTINS Arena are of course the first thing many people think of when they hear the name of Gelsenkirchen. But the city has rather more to offer than just football, and is an attractive and varied destination for a city break.
The VELTINS Arena is not only the staging area for the football matches of FC Schalke 04, but is also one of the most important and largest event venues in the Ruhr Area. It offers a new dimension to entertainment. Major events such as concerts and cultural highlights such as the Capital of Culture Project SING! have been and are held in the Schalke Arena. The Schalke Museum in the Arena explains the history and significance of the club and of football in general for Gelsenkirchen, and is interesting not only for sports fans.
The most important industrial heritage highlight is the Nordstern colliery. The German Garden Show was held here in 1997, and now the park is a popular place to go and relax. As a hub on the Route of Industrial Heritage, this is one of the most important tourist attractions of any short trip to the Ruhr Area. A large children's playground, a water playground and an exciting model railway world make the Nordsternpark an ideal destination for a family holiday in the Ruhr Area.
Further industrial heritage attractions in Gelsenkirchen include the Consol colliery with its Consol Theatre, the Rheinelbe slagheap with its "Stairway to Heaven", and the Rungenberg slagheap.
Another major destination for family outings in the Ruhr Area is ZOOM Adventure World. Visitors large and small discover the wildlife of Africa, Alaska and Asia here.
The Ruhr Area musical theatre known as "Musiktheater im Revier" is symbolic of culture in Gelsenkirchen. With its operas, operettas and musicals, the theatre is a major institution in the cultural programme of the Ruhr Area. The famous Schindowski Ballet is likewise resident at the Musiktheater im Revier.