11 Best Things to Do in Hagen, Germany (2023)

Hagen, located in the southern part of the Ruhr district just 10 miles south of Dortmund, is the biggest city in the state of Südwestfalen. Throughout history, the city has endured uprisings during the Ruhr Uprising in the 1920s, and survived heavy bombings during the Second World War where Hagen was completely destroyed by the UK and US airforces.

Fun fact: The famous German singer Nena was born in Hagen!

Hagen is a quiet and cozy alternative to the bigger cities like Essen or Düsseldorf, where you can enjoy cultural activities such as museums and old ruins, and take a walk in the surrounding nature.

Let’s check out the 12 best things you can do and see in Hagen this year!

11. Bismarckturm

Bismarckturm (Frank Vincentz/Wikimedia)

Built in 1901, the Bismarckturm is one of several tower built after Otto von Bismarcks death to honor him. In the mid 00s, the tower closed due to renovation issues, and was not opened to the public again before 2014.

This particular tower is 24 metres high, and you’ll find it along the 6 km hiking trail Hagen Drei-Türme-Weg, where you can experience several historic ruins and towers along the way.

10. Johanniskirche

Johanniskirche (Bärwinkel,Klaus/Wikimedia)

Located just 6 km away from Hagen in Luneburg, the Johanniskirche, also known as St. John’s Church, is the oldest Lutheran church in the city.

You will find it in the center of Luneburg with a Gothic Brick design. The Johanniskirche is one of the most important structures of Brick Gothic architecture design, and hence it has been well preserved over the years.

Dedicated to John the Baptist, the construction of the church began in the 1300s and has been through several repairs and rebuilding over the years.

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The main attraction of this church is the organ, which is one of the most beautiful organs you will ever see.

9. Harkortturm

Harkortturm (Morty/Wikimedia)

The Harkortturm is an observation deck surrounded by amazing hiking trails. It is one of the best places to hang out with your friends or meet new people since the area is big. When you climb the tower, you will get to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the forest surrounding it. The adjoining forest is also an amazing location for mountain biking and trekking with great routes. 

The overall environment is quite soothing and beautiful. It is definitely a great place to visit for a relaxing evening after a rough day.

8. Stadtmuseum Hagen

Stadtmuseum Hagen
Stadtmuseum Hagen (Bubo/Wikimedia)

The Stadtmuseum Hagen is one of the most important museums in the city. Located at the heart of the city, the museum displays a lot of rich and significant items. The items here mainly consist of objects that are related to the city, such as old coins, paintings, embroidery work, old electronic equipment, and many more.

One thing that stands out is an old Goggo 200 scooter in amazing condition. The wide variety of items in the museum makes it a very cool and interesting place to visit when you’re in the city.

7. Hohenlimburg Castle

Hohenlimburg Castle
Hohenlimburg Castle (Bärwinkel,Klaus/Wikimedia)

The Hohenlimburg is a German hilltop castle that acted as a defensive structure for the Lenne Valley. Built in 1240, the Hohenlimburg Castle is a beautiful building with lots of history. It was a part of several feuds and wars that took place in the 1600s.

The castle is well preserved, and even today, the whole structure is completely intact. One unique thing you will find in this castle is a mummified hand that dates back to 1546.

Historians believe that the hand signified a truce between two parties that were fighting.

6. Bunker Hagen

Bunker Hagen
Bunker Hagen (Bärwinkel,Klaus/Wikimedia)

During the war, Hagen was a major railway town and armaments manufacture. And so, bombing raids targeted the city for its significance. When the war ended, the Hockbunker was the only structure that survived the bombing raids. More than 3,000 people took shelter here, and it’s one of the most well-known buildings in the city.

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Today, this bunker is now a museum that houses several Second World War items like a V1 and V2 rocket. The basement still has its original appearance back from the 1940s, making it is a really cool place to check out.

5. Kaiser-Wilhelm-Denkmal

The Kaiser-Wilhelm- Denkmal, also known as Emperor William Monument, is a popular site in Germany. It was built in the late 1890s to honor William I, who was the first German Emperor. The architect behind this monument was Bruno Schmitz, who finished the work with the help of a sculptor named Kaspar Von Zumbusch.

One of the main reasons this monument is so popular is because the site provides an amazing view of Porta Westfalica and Weser Hills. It is a great place to come and relax after a tiring tour.

4. Hengstey See

Hengsteyee (Jochen Schneider/Wikimedia)

Hengsteyee is one of the six water reservoirs built on the Ruhr in 1929. Besides water purification, the reservoir also acts as an important boundary between Dortmund and Hagen. Today, it is one of the top tourist spots for people visiting the city since it’s an amazing recreational area during the summer months.

The Hengsteyee reservoir has over 6 km of hiking trail in its surrounding hilly banks, making it a great spot for people who are in the mood for some adventure.

Tourist Tip: A fun activity that you can do in the Hengsteyee is taking a ride on a passenger boat that makes a round trip on the Ruhr.

3. Museum Wasserschloss Werdringen

Museum Wasserschloss Werdringen
Museum Wasserschloss Werdringen

If the above two museums are not your type, then this next museum might be something you will love. Located on the banks of the Ruhr, Wasserschloss Werdringen is an old castle museum containing fossils from five different ages, remains of humans from the Mesolithic Period, ceramics, mammoth taxidermy, primitive tools, and many more.

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Formerly, the castle was under the ownership of the Archbishops of Cologne during the 13th century. However, noble families claimed it in later years. After its obliteration in the 1400s during a feud, the castle was rebuilt as a Gothic palace. Today, the castle now stands as one of the most exciting museums in Germany.

2. Osthaus Museum Hagen

 Osthaus Museum Hagen
Osthaus Museum Hagen (Keichwa/Wikimedia)

The Osthaus Museum Hagen is another museum that you will want to visit during your visit to Hagen. You will find this museum inside an awesome building designed by the famous Henry van de Velde of the Art Nouveau movement.

The purpose of this museum was to collect the items of Karl Ernst Osthaus. However, over the last few decades, there have been several items added to the museum.

Some of the items you will find in the Museum are pieces by Karl Albiker, Kirchner, Eric Heckel, Otto Dix, and many more.

1. Hagen Open-air Museum

Hagen Open-air Museum
Hagen Open-air Museum (Marc Ryckaert/Wikimedia)

The first place that you will want to check out in Hagen is the Hagen Open-air Museum located in Mäckingerbach Valley. It is such a special place that will surely blow your mind away. The Hagen Open-air Museum is a collection of 60 traditional factories and workshops reconstructed to preserve the trade and craft of the olden days.

The location is so rich in history and traditional culture; historical buffs will have a hard time putting that smile away. 

It is worth noting that the museum is only open during the summer months. However, you will find an exciting Christmas market open during the first weekend of December.

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