Red Dot Design Museum in Essen

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What is the Red Dot Museum?

The Red Dot Museum on the grounds of the former Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in the north of Essen is one of the best-known design museums in Germany and Europe. On display are mainly everyday objects such as household appliances, furnishings and tools. But there are also larger things on display, from bicycles to small helicopters. Most of the objects on display are from more recent times, but visitors can also see ultra-modern things like Apple computers or flat-screen televisions.

The museum has four floors. It is housed in a former factory, more precisely in the boiler house of the former coal mine Zeche Zollverein. In addition to the Design Museum, the Zollverein World Heritage Site (the colliery and a former coking plant and the Ruhr Museum are top attractions on the former industrial site.

Which things are exhibited in the museum?

Here is a list of some of the objects with interesting designs that can be seen in the Red Dot Museum in Essen. These are just a few examples, there are many more to see. In total there are over 2000 exhibits:

– Household appliances such as hoovers including a suction robot, dishes and pots, washing machines, coffee machines and many more.

– Bathroom: amateurs, toilets, bathtubs, etc.

– Tools such as drills, also garden tools such as lawn mowers

– Vehicles like an aluminium body of an Audi A8, many bicycles and a small helicopter

– Lights and lamps

– Furniture such as chairs and tables for private households

– Electronics such as modern TV sets, laptops, mobile devices, etc.

Mostly modern things from the last few years are on display. Every year, many industrial products receive the so-called Red Dot Design Award. These objects are on display in the Red Dot Museum in Essen for a limited period of time. The award is not only about the design itself, but also, for example, about the functionality and the degree of innovation of the product. The exhibits in the design museum in the Ruhr area are from all over the world. All in all, there are objects from about 45 countries, many of them from Asia and China, for example.

In addition, there are also special exhibitions and travelling exhibitions in the approximately 2,000 square metres of exhibition space in Red Dot Essen. As far as we know, there are two other Red Dot Design Museums worldwide, in Singapore and in Taiwan (Taipei).

Many visitors also like the building. Many old industrial plants and machines from the time of the boiler house can still be seen. You should also take a tour of the entire Zollverein site and visit the neighbouring Ruhr Museum.

Opening hours Red Dot Design Museum Essen 2024

The Museum of Design in the Ruhr Area is open daily from 11 am to 6 pm. Monday is a day of rest, unless it is a holiday in North Rhine-Westphalia or a public holiday. It is also open on most public holidays, except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Other sights in the area, such as the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex and the Ruhr Museum, are also open on Mondays. So you shouldn’t visit Zollverein on a Monday if you also want to go to the Red Dot Museum, except during the school holidays. Then everything is also open on Mondays.

Admission prices 2024 Red Dot Design Museum

Normally, admission to the Design Museum costs 9 euros. With a discount (pupils, students, disabled persons), the entrance fee is reduced to 4 euros. Children (under 12 years) do not pay admission to the Red Dot Design Museum Essen. There is a family ticket for 20 euros (2 adults and children).

Unfortunately, the entrance fee is somewhat higher during special exhibitions. Then you pay 9 euros (reduced 6 euros and families 22 euros). All prices are from summer 2017.

Directions to the Design Museum

As I said, the Red Dot is on the site of the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex World Heritage Site. It is not far from the tram stop. The station is simply called “Zollverein”. The stop “Essen-Zollverein Nord” is less convenient. Simply, coming from Gelsenkirchen, continue to “Zollverein”. From the tram, walk in the direction of the World Heritage Site (very well signposted) and after a few metres turn right. You will see the entrance to the Red Dot Museum.

The right tram line is the 107, which connects Essen main station with Gelsenkirchen main station. So you can get to the Red Dot Design Museum quickly by public transport from both cities. From Essen, the ticket price is lower.

By car: Parking (free) should not be a problem in the area.

Address for sat nav, Google Maps etc.: Gelsenkirchener Straße 181, 45309 Essen, Germany.

There is a lift, toilets, lockers and a cloakroom in the museum.