Gelsenkirchen is a former industrial city in the northern Ruhr area of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Once known as the “city with a thousand fires” with fires flaring at night, this former center of coal mining in Europe is now an environmentally friendly city. The Nordsternpark, once an industrial area, is now an oasis of nature, and old railway lines have become leafy cycle paths. The city has two centers for shopping and entertainment, with street cafés and pubs. Hochstraβe, the high street, contains many specialist shops and the former Bismarck Colliery and power station is now a mixed residential, business and commercial area, with recreational facilities in the old Bismarck canal port on the Rhine-Herne Canal. Ice skating rinks and convention halls take the place of old refineries. The open Münsterland countryside is easily accessible from Gelsenkirchen, and Berge Castle, often used as backdrop for festivals, is the city’s best landmark. The nearby Horst Castle on the River Emschen has been fully restored, and is now a concert venue with fine dining in its vaults. Lüttinghoff House, a moated castle, has a nature park to enjoy, and the old Blekkirche church is worth visiting, together with the City Museum. And the ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen Zoo is world renowned. So as you can see, expats living in Gelsenkirchen will find plenty to see and do. There is a large Turkish population in the city, and with many restaurants offering international cuisine, finding fellow expats in Gelsenkirchen should not be difficult, especially if you access the InterNations website. Registering as a member of the InterNations global community enables networking with expatriates of a similar professional status, amongst whom you may locate trusted members in the Gelsenkirchen area.
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Dusseldorf International Airport is some 25 miles from Gelsenkirchen, and there are mainline intercity train services to all part of Germany and Europe from Gelsenkirchen. The autobahn network connects the city to major European cities. Gelsenkirchen has three tram lines, a light rail line and some 50 bus routes throughout the city, all operating an integrated fares structure. Moving to Gelsenkirchen as an expat can nevertheless be a demanding and stressful process. German is the predominant language, and English is not necessarily universally understood. The city culture and practices may take some time to adjust to, but if there are specific problems relating to your relocation, then the experienced expatriate members of InterNations, many of whom have lived or are still living in Germany, may well be able to offer advice and tips to help you, forging friendships in the process. For more general queries and problems, the InterNations’ Expat Magazine is your first port of call. The magazine contains a wealth of information relevant to life as an expatriate, and should be consulted before your relocation to Germany, and as needed afterwards.
The ‘reborn’ Gelsenkirchen is now a center for solar and environmental technologies, with jobs in small engineering and manufacturing firms, education, consultancy and science. The largest solar plant in Europe has been built in Gelsenkirchen, powering three villages through photovoltaic cells. The Science Park specializes in solar energy and green fuel technologies. The University of Gelsenkirchen, the Westfälische Hochschule, has engineering, science and technology links to the Science Park. Working in Gelsenkirchen as an expat should be an exciting prospect, allowing you to enjoy the reformed landscape and the environmentally friendly city. Gelsenkirchen is also a soccer-mad city, with the local team, Schalke 04 playing in the German Bundesliga. The local soccer stadium, the Veltins Arena, has a retractable roof and houses pop concerts and boxing tournaments. Arranging to meet with fellow InterNations expats in Gelsenkirchen at the Veltins Arena to enjoy matches together is an option, or the exclusive dining facilities and cuisine in the vaults of Horst Castle will ensure pleasant surroundings with like-minded people.