Dortmund museums: art, history, football

There’s at least one museum for practically everything in Dortmund: industrial heritage, art, city history, football, beer and technology – take your pick. From automobiles to mining – there’s something for everyone.

All in all, there are around 30 public and privately-run museums in Dortmund, which include some relatively strange things like museums for industrial paints, magnets or even game consoles.

The Football Museum and the Borusseum

Borusseum in the Signal Iduna Park stadium.
© DORTMUNDtourismus The front of Borusseum in the Signal Iduna Park stadium.

Dortmund is the home of the German Football Museum. Directly opposite the main railway station the German Football Association celebrates its history, presenting exhibits from Germany’s long-running relationship with football.

And then there’s the Borusseum in the BVB stadium. This club museum is a must see for BVB fans who are visiting the hometown of their favourite team. But fans from other clubs are also very welcome, they will find out why the connection between the BVB and the city are so close and how the people here immerse themselves in Dortmund fan culture.

One Ostwall, two museums – watch out, danger of confusion

Two women look at a painting.
© David Vu/ DORTMUNDtourismus Trip to the museum Ostwall.

If you are up for a bit of modern art then the Dortmunder U is the right place for you. The Museum Ostwall awaits you there with its important collection. You will also find the Hartware Medienkunstverein in the U, which is dedicated to audio-visual art.

But watch out, don’t mix up the Museum Ostwall with the Museum am Ostwall. It’s quite complicated. Nowadays located in the Dortmunder U, the “Museum Ostwall”, as it is now known, used to be housed in the Museum am Ostwall building, which is now home to the Baukunstarchiv NRW – the Architectural History Archive NRW – which is also well worth a visit and is to be found (where else?) on the street called Ostwall.  

History museums

Round atrium in the museum with individual floors.
© David Vu/ DORTMUNDtourismus [Translate to English:] Architektur im MKK

Or would you prefer to find out more about the history of the city you’re visiting? There are two main options. If you are coming with your children, then the Kindermuseum Adlerturm is an ideal starting point as it presents the history of medieval Dortmund in an interesting way for children. Located in the reconstructed “Eagle Tower” on the former city walls.

The Museum for Art and Cultural History (MKK) on the other hand, looks into the history of Dortmund and Westphalia. The permanent exhibition is really interesting and has a few exciting surprises as well. Not forgetting the many fascinating temporary exhibitions they put on. You can also see the legendary Gold Hoard of Dortmund here.

Entry to the City Museums is free for the permanent exhibitions, by the way!

The thought-provoking Steinwache Memorial Museum deals with the darkest chapter of Dortmund’s history. During the Nazi era, this police station in the northern part of the city was also known as the “Hell of Westphalia”. Political prisoners underwent brutal torture in the cells and cellars here.  

For technology fans: DASA and the Binarium

An old tram on a little track in the exhibition of the DASA.
© DORTMUNDtourismus An old tram in the exhibition.

DASA (German Health and Safety at Work Exhibition) is the museum of choice if you have a bit of a thing for technology. Climb into the “Space Curler” and get yourself turned every which-way on several different axes – all in the name of space exploration research. Or if you prefer something a bit calmer try out the flight simulator. There are lots of fascinating exhibitions which DASA uses to tell the story of work and safety at the workplace.

In the Binarium, a wonderful collection awaits all computer and game console fans. In this private museum you can go on a journey through time into the world of computer games, try tapping away on the old keyboards and see just what amazing changes have taken place over the last few decades.