Some of our tips for getting to, getting around and staying in Oberhausen – especially if you’re going to see wXw events!
All details are correct at time of writing – any places we suggest are just that, and are not advertisements or recommendations unless explicitly stated.
HOW TO GET THERE
Most people reading this will probably need to get to Oberhausen, and indeed Germany in the first place. Going by plane, Düsseldorf and Cologne are the nearest, with both airports having train stations that’ll help you get to Oberhausen. From Düsseldorf Airport you can get direct trains, whereas from Cologne-Bonn Airport, you’ll need to make at least one change to Cologne’s main train station, then possibly again via Duisburg.
At Düsseldorf Airport, remember to get your train tickets before you board the SkyTrains. There’s ticket machines on the platforms at every SkyTrain stop, just touch the British flag icon to see your options in English. Remember: you’ll need to buy (and validate, if needed) your ticket before you board! Since December 2019, the Deutsche Bahn’s latest timetables have started to be a little selective when it comes to showing what trains stop where, along with what tickets you can buy from machines. Our advice: double-check train times and buy tickets via the DB Navigator app (search for it on your mobile’s app store) – especially if you’re staying or going somewhere away from the beaten track. For instance: if your trip to Oberhausen’s also including a stop off to wXw’s academy (i.e. for Inner Circle), you’ll not see Essen-Zollverein Nord on any timetables in Oberhausen, but trains from Oberhausen Hbf still stop there!
Install the app before you go, and sign-up for a free account: if you’ve got PayPal, the DB Navigator app lets you pay with it, along with credit and debit cards…
If you’re going via the UK, you can get there by rail – starting at London’s St. Pancras International and changing at Amsterdam Centraal for the train to Oberhausen. It’s about a six hour journey with little options, but it’s a scenic route…
Tip: if you live in the UK, or another country whose currency isn’t the Euro, it might be worth signing up for a banking service such as Revolut – where you can deposit money in pounds and then convert it into other currencies, such as Euros. You can then withdraw it from ATMs or spend it using your Revolut card – while keeping track of how many Euros you’ve got left in their app, without having to worry about your bank’s transaction fees adding up.
WHERE TO STAY
For wXw’s festival weekends, you’ll usually see the Tryp or the NH hotels being the main choices for international fans – both of those have their benefits. Distance-wise, the Tryp’s a lot nearer to the Turbinenhalle, while the NH is extremely close to the main train station, and is better connected for transport in general. Other options include the Mercure, which is a similar walk to the Tryp (and has the added feature of being in the same trading park as the infamous meat vending machine, as well as being next door to Knippi’s Bowling Palace for those who like to bowl), and the newer Holiday Inn Express.
Tip: Use a price comparison website such as Hotels.com or Booking.com to find the cheapest hotel in Oberhausen – Air BnB’s may be cheaper if you’re going in a group, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish!
In Oberhausen, you’ll be able to use the STOAG bus and tram system that serves the town well. If you’re staying at the NH, you’ll be able to get a bus or tram to Feuerwache or Lipperfeld, which are the nearests stops to the Turbinenhalle – and will be covered by the network’s short ticket (Kurtztrecke), as long as you travel from the main Hauptbahnhof bus station and not the Luis Albert-Halle stop outside the NH itself. Unfortunately, if you’re staying at the Mercure, your only option (unless you want to hail a cab) is to go by foot through the trading park, while the Tryp and Holiday Inn is a similar situation – although if you’re insistent on using public transport, you’ll need to walk to the Neue Mitte station and take a bus or tram for a stop or two towards Lipperfeld or Feuerwache.
There’s usually food on sale inside the Turbinenhalle, especially on festival weekends… Around the Turbinenhalle, your choices are limited: it’s either the McDonalds next door to it, or the Burger King over the road. There’s the Yaman Döner kebab van too (which gets real busy after shows), otherwise you’ll need to head towards the Centro, where you’ve got a choice of restaurants on the Promenade, as well as a variety of outlets in the Centro’s food court.
Typically seating inside the Turbinenhalle is reserved according to price bands – whereas standing is a free for all. Queue early if you want to be banging the canvas!
Be aware: there are two Turbinenhalles in the same complex. Make sure you’e queuing for the right one! Turbinenhalle 1 – the larger venue that’s used for 16 Carat Gold – has a stairway on the outside and is often accessed via the main entrance on Im Lipperfeld, going into the car park. Turbinenhalle 2 – the one used for most of wXw’s events in Oberhausen – is at the “back” of T1 and has the steps after you’ve gotten inside the venue. If you’re going by foot, most fans tend to cut through the car park near McDonalds and navigate the puddle that always seems to be there! T1 is on the left of our photos below, T2 on the right:
In the case of shows at the Steffy (which are rare these days), you’ll need to approach the Turbinenhalle from the “McDonalds” side of the complex by Mülheimer-Straße and walk down the left hand side, past the Yaman Döner kebab van and towards the fence.
You’ll need to pay €6 in cash when you enter the venue – this is a non-negotiable venue charge, which gives you six bons (small pieces of cardboard, the same sort of size as a raffle ticket). Those can be spent on food (if they have it) and drink inside the venue, and yes, you can buy more bons afterwards. Be aware that they don’t take card payments for bons, so if you’re going for a festival weekend, those €6s can add up (although they don’t enforce the charge for matinee shows).
If you’re after merch, the usual rules apply: wrestlers tend to take only cash, while SL-Wrestling.de, wXw (and RINGKAMPF) merchandise can be paid for by card.