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Getting there & away

ICE trains leave in all directions hourly for such cities as Frankfurt (€72, 2¼ hours) and Berlin (€83, 3¾ hours). Essen is also efficiently linked to other Ruhrgebiet cities, as well as to Düsseldorf and Cologne.

The local autobahns A40, A42 and A52 are often clogged during rush-hour. For ride-shares contact the Citynetz Mitfahrzentrale (194 44; www.citynetz-mitfahrzentrale.de; Freiheit 5) outside the Hauptbahnhof’s south exit.