Tourist’s guide to Bielefeld in Germany

The city of Bielefeld (Germany) lying in the immediate vicinity of the Teutobur Forest, was founded in the first half of the 9th century. Since then, he not only significantly expanded his borders, but also turned into one of the important scientific and economic centers of Germany.

Panorama of Bielefeld

General information

Bielefeld, located in North Rhine-Westphalia, has more than 300 thousand inhabitants and is one of the largest cities in its region. Its territory is divided into 2 parts – commercial and historical. In the first, as the name implies, there are a huge number of shops, fashion boutiques and shopping centers. The second focuses on those historical sights that managed to survive after the Second World War. One part from another is separated by a vast central square.

The main feature of this city is a developed industrial and technical sphere. Currently, the city of Bielefeld takes 5th place in Germany for the production of machine tools, professional equipment, semi-finished products and other engineering and food products. In addition, there are many enterprises that were originally engaged in the processing of flax, and over time have been re-qualified as textile factories that are not associated with specific raw materials.

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Top view of Bielefeld

Speaking about Bielefeld, one cannot fail to mention the “House of God”, one of the main medical centers in Germany, specializing in the treatment of severe forms of mental illness. Since its founding in 1867, he “released” hundreds of thousands of patients. Only at the moment, about 6 thousand patients are treated, studied and live in the clinic, the care of which is carried out by highly qualified personnel (more than 9 thousand people).

The scientific and educational side of Bielefeld deserves no less attention. At the end of 20 tbsp. a University was built here, which today is one of the largest research centers in Germany (the number of its students reaches 18 thousand people). The most famous department of this institution is the Faculty of Sociology, whose teachers at one time were Norbert Elias and Niklas Luman, well-known German sociologists.

University of Bielefeld
University of Bielefeld

The second popular university in Bielefeld is Fachhochschule Bielefeld, founded at the end of the 20th century. About 10 thousand students study economics, electrical engineering, contemporary art, architecture, mathematics, and construction and engineering in it. And another interesting fact – there is an opinion that it was in this city that the first hourglass appeared, because so many medieval watch shops, as here, were not in any other settlement of Old Europe.


If you still do not know what Bielefeld is famous for, pay attention to the sights presented in our brief overview.

Zoological Garden
Zoological Garden

Alderdissen Contact Zoo, located on the territory of the Teutoburg Forest, is a favorite vacation spot not only for guests of the city, but also for the majority of local residents. Occupying a vast area (up to 16 hectares), it more closely resembles an ordinary meadow covered with lush vegetation and dotted with small, but very picturesque ponds. Indeed, the owners of this zoo have done everything to ensure that its inhabitants live in the most comfortable and natural conditions.

Today, Heimat-Tierpark Olderdissen contains about 500 animals belonging to 100 different species. Some of them are in the process of extinction. Interestingly, here you can see only those animals that are found in Germany. Among them, it is worth noting buffaloes, foxes, wild boars, wild goats, bears, wolves and, of course, donkeys meeting visitors to the zoo right at the main entrance. The bird world represented by swans, peacocks, storks, white owls, owls and crows is no less diverse.

Flamingos in the zoological garden

Almost all the inhabitants of the zoo can be fed with special food, which is sold right there for little money (for example, a pack of food costs 0.5 €). In addition to the various enclosures, Heimat-Tierpark Olderdissen includes picnic meadows, bike paths, hiking paths and an entertainment area. In the latter, in addition to traditional attractions, there are several cable mazes with stairs and bridges fixed among the trees.

  • Address: Dornberger Str. 149A, 33619 Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
  • The zoo works around the clock.
  • Free admission. Parking cost – 2 €.
Sparenburg Castle
Sparenburg Castle View

Sparrenburg Castle, awarded the title of the main architectural symbol of Bielefeld, was erected in the middle of the 13th century. It is believed that it was its construction that laid the foundation for a small settlement, which later became one of the largest cities in Germany. Despite its rather advanced age, most of the Sparrenburg premises are in good condition. A few years ago, local craftsmen managed to restore a landscaped garden with many ancient sculptures.

At the time of its founding, Sparenburg Castle, standing on a high hill, served exclusively for defensive purposes. The fortress was besieged more than a dozen times, but it managed to withstand the attacks of enemies and become one of the most important attractions of the city of Bielefeld in Germany.

Entrance to the Sparrenburg Castle

To date, the castle is completely renovated. You can get into it both on your own and with an excursion group. The tourist route includes not only the main halls and rooms, but also the ancient medieval casemates, which have many underground passages. And also in the castle there are several observation platforms from which a beautiful view of the city opens.

  • Address: Sparrenberg, 33604 Bielefeld, Germany.
  • Opening hours: Sun – Sat from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Admission is free, but visiting casemates is possible only with a guide.

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Botanical Garden
Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden, founded in 1912 and being the most important natural attraction of Bielefeld, is located next to the central part of the city. Its history began with a small patch of land, which over the next few years was expanded to 4.5 hectares.

Currently, the Botanischer Garten collection has about 3 thousand flowers and trees, among which there are truly rare specimens. Of these, azaleas and rhododendrons, planted in the midst of various elements of landscape design, are most popular. In addition, spicy, alpine, heather and medicinal plants are widely represented in the garden, as well as the flora of the beech forest and the Buchenwald region. And here there is an excellent playground and several half-timbered houses dating back to the beginning of the 19th century.

  • Address: Am Lothberg, city of Bielefeld, Germany.
  • The garden is open all year from Monday to Sunday.
  • Free admission.
Old Town Hall
Old Town Hall

The Old Town Hall, built in the middle of the 14th century. and included in the list of important historical sights of Bielefeld, is located on the main city square. Over the long years of its existence, it has undergone several reconstructions that completely changed its original appearance. So, in the 16th art. it was rebuilt in the then fashionable renaissance style. It is believed that at that time the town hall was a small two-story building, on the facade of which there were high stepped cornices. Unfortunately, the only element that has been preserved since then is the Renaissance portal overlooking the Niedernstraße. Previously, it was decorated with a sculptural image of Adam and Eve, which now stands in the lobby of the new city hall.

View of the Old Town Hall building

In the 19th art. the Old Town Hall building was expanded – several levels were added to it, and on the ground floor there were equipped halls intended for court hearings, public festivals and ceremonies. The Old Town Hall acquired its present appearance after the end of the war. Then she immediately received 2 different facades – one with a double staircase opens onto the Market Square, the second, with an arched gallery, onto Niedernstraße.

Address: Niederwall 27, 33602 Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Where to stay?

Hotel in Bielefeld

Bielefeld offers a large selection of housing at various prices. Here you can easily find both inexpensive hostels and budget bed and breakfast hotels, as well as luxury 4 * hotels and comfortable guest houses.

If we talk about prices, then accommodation in a double room 3 * hotel starts from 50 €, while renting an apartment will cost a little more expensive – from 70 to 100 €.

Useful Tips

Before you go to Bielefeld (Germany), check out the tips of experienced tourists:

    Euro coins
  1. It is better to withdraw cash in Geldautomat machines. The commission in them is the smallest.
  2. It is more profitable to change the currency in banks – they are open from Monday to Friday from 08:00 or 08:30 to 17:00.
  3. If you plan to explore all the sights of this city, buy a WelcomeCard, which provides a 50% discount on visits to museums, sightseeing tours, theaters, etc. In addition, this card can be used in all types of public transport.
  4. Shops in the city open around 9 a.m. and are open until 6-8 p.m. Thursday is an extended working day, but on Saturday and Sunday the bulk of the outlets are closed.
  5. LOOM Bielefeld
    LOOM Bielefeld
  6.  Looking for a store that has absolutely everything? Check out LOOM Bielefeld, one of the main shopping centers in Bielefeld.
  7. Most large institutions in Bielefeld accept payment by bank transfer.
  8. Theatergoers are advised to visit the Theater am Alten Markt, and sports fans are encouraged to visit the Schuco Arena.
  9. The size of the tip left at local institutions is 10-12% of the order amount. The generosity and courtesy of these establishments is rewarded with a free cake and a cup of coffee.
  10. The most popular way to get around the city is by bike.
  11. You can rent a car only with an international driver’s license. Moreover, the client must be at least 21 years old.
  12. Shops with Christmas Souvenirs
  13.  During the Christmas holidays, the city holds the largest number of sales. In addition, a lot of wooden stalls selling gifts, Christmas tree decorations, wine and pastries are being installed on its streets.
  14. Elite boutiques offering expensive branded clothing and exclusive jewelry are located in the central square, while department stores, shopping centers and souvenir shops are concentrated in the Bahnhofstrasse area.
  15. Once in Balefeld’s Weaving Market, be sure to buy linen products. The products of local factories are one of the best in Germany.

Interesting facts from the history of Bielefeld and some useful tips from tourists – in this video.

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