Alongside Westfalenpark in Dortmund, Grugapark in Essen is the best-known and most beautiful park in the Ruhr region. As early as 1927, a botanical garden was built on the site of today’s Grugapark in the south of Essen. The Grugapark has been around 70 hectares in size since the Federal Garden Show in 1965.
In addition to the magnificent landscape and nature, the park offers many small attractions that make a visit to the Grugapark absolutely worthwhile. There are attractions from different areas: Botanical gardens, animals, cultural events, architecturally interesting buildings, exceptional children’s playgrounds, sports facilities and much more.
Shortly after the main entrance on the right, you come to a 20-metre-long enclosed slide with a large playground that is very popular with children. If you continue along the circular route, you should take a look at the music garden, where concerts are held in summer (picture below left). The best-known building in the Grugapark is the Hundertwasserhaus, reminiscent of a fairytale castle (picture below right).
At the back of the Grugapark, the circular route takes you first to the House of the Forest, where almost all the larger native animal species can be seen stuffed and up close (picture below left). Next to it is the Tropical House. In the large hall, with temperatures over 30 degrees and very high humidity, you can take a short walk through a tropical forest (picture below right). One of the big highlights are the botanical gardens in the Grugapark. These include the Alpinium (picture top left), the Mediterranean garden, a Westphalian cottage garden, a herb garden and, last but not least, the large rose garden.
If you continue along the circular path, you come to the animals in the park. For most children between 3 and 7, the petting zoo (small animal garden) is the highlight of a visit to the Grugapark, and for the older children, pony rides are often the highlight. There are also various animal enclosures, such as a deer enclosure and a bird of prey enclosure.
The Grugapark is also popular with Essen residents because of its many picnic and barbecue areas. The sports and play facilities are popular. They include beach volleyball, chess, tennis, table tennis and a large roller skating rink. A small railway runs through the park. The circular path is about 4 km long. You should allow half a day for a visit to the Grugapark.
The sculptures in the Grugapark are famous far beyond Essen.
Opening hours Grugapark 2022: Daily from 7:30 a.m. until nightfall. In winter the park closes in the late afternoon, in summer in the late evening.
Entrance fees Grugapark 2022: Adults pay an entrance fee of 4 euros, children between 6 and 15 years pay an entrance fee to the well-known park in Essen of 1.20. Admission with a discount (students, people in vocational training, pupils, etc.) is 2.50 euros. Families with up to 4 children between 6 and 15 years of age pay a maximum entrance fee of 8.50 euros. In winter, when many attractions in Grugapark are not open, admission prices are often cheaper.
Extra costs: Pony rides cost only 1 euro. The fare for the Grugabahn (park railway) is 3 euros for adults and 1 euro for children. You can rent a barbecue area in the Grugapark. This costs (in 2017) about 65 euros at the weekend or 45 euros during the week. It makes sense to buy a map of the Grugapark (park map) for 1 euro at the entrance. There is a room for children that you can rent. For example, you can celebrate a child’s birthday. As far as we know, the rent is 40 euros.
These prices and opening hours are from 2022 and partly older from summer 2017, other information on this page is partly older.
Nearby: The most important art museum in the Ruhr area, the Museum für Moderne Kunst Folkwang, is also in the south of Essen. A visit to the Grugapark and the museum (free admission) can be easily combined.