Local Information

Welcome to Essen – the European Capital of Culture 2010

A population of 580,000 makes Essen the 7th largest city in Germany. A former center of the coal and steel industry, Essen has transformed itself over the years to a foremost service-oriented, cultural diverse city. Eight of the 100 largest companies in Germany have their headquarters here. High standards for learning and education are set with the University Duisburg-Essen and the RWI as the “think-tanks&rdquo in the area.

Essen has been chosen as the European Cultural Capital 2010 by the European Union representing the Ruhr metropolitan area. The Ruhr area is the third biggest urban region in Europe. With 5.3 million people from 140 nations it is also one of the most densely populated regions in Europe.

Getting to Essen

Essen is easily accessible by plane, train or car from Germany and abroad.

Getting Around Essen

The city of Essen is well-served by public transport. You can get around by bus, underground train, suburban train and tram. For detailed information see http://www.vrr.de/en/index.html.


Taxis can be hired at a rank (for example at Essen’s main station) or by calling 19410, the standard nationwide telephone number for taxis. To contact Taxi-Zentrale Essen call +49/201-19410. Taxis available for hire have a light on top displaying the word ‘TAXI’. You will be charged for the length of your journey and the time that it takes. The fare is displayed on a meter by the driver’s seat.

Please note that your conference badge (name tag) allows you to use public transport in Essen free of charge during the time of the conference (Tuesday, June 9 to Saturday, June 12). As it is a zone D-ticket you can also use it for your way back to the airport.

Getting to the Conference Venue

Underground line11 runs directly from Essen Hauptbahnhof (main station) to Essen Messe West-Süd/Gruga. From there it is only a short walk to the conference center. The route is well signposted. Click here for U11-Haltestellenfahrplan Essen Hbf.

The ESPE conference venue is only a short taxi ride from the main station. A taxi rank is located outside the main station exit. A taxi to the conference venue costs around 15 €.

Click here for a map of the conference venue and surrounding areas.

Facts And Figures


Germany’s currency is the Euro. Foreign currencies and traveller's cheques can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change, post offices, airports, railway stations, ports and major hotels at the official exchange rates. Credit Cards are widely accepted in most shops, petrol stations, restaurants and hotels, but it is advisable to carry cash as well. The general opening hours of banks are Monday-Friday 08:30-13:00 and 14:00-16:00, Thursday 08:30-13:00 and 14:30-17:30 in main cities. Main branches do not close for lunch.

Dialling codes

The international dialling code for Germany is +49.The area code for Essen is (0)201.


Germany has a 230 volt electricity supply.

Emergency services

To contact the police, fire brigade or ambulance service in an emergency, you can dial 110 (police) or 112 (fire brigade) free of charge from any public or private phone. In case of accident, most major hospitals have 24 hour accident and emergency departments.


In Germany, only pharmacies have the right to sell pharmaceuticals. Out of opening hours there is an emergency service. All pharmacies display a list (at the door or in their windows) of those pharmacies, which are open at night.

Internet access

There are internet cafes in Essen, many of which offer reasonably priced access. Free wireless internet access will be available throughout the conference building. In addition, computer facilities with access to internet are available for conference delegates in the basement of the conference venue.


To find out about the weather in Essen, you can check it here.

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