Dusseldorf to Gelsenkirchen: By Train, Taxi or Bus?

Updated on December 29, 2023  

dusseldorf to gelsenkirchen

As I live near Cologne, the same state as Dusseldorf, friends visiting here often ask me about the most efficient and cost-effective way to travel to neighboring cities. One of the most common questions is "What's the best way to get from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen?"

Fortunately, there are plenty of options available from Düsseldorf, whether it is by train, bus, car rental and even flight! Each one has its pros and cons, which I'll outline below.

So keep reading to find out the best ways to get from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen!

Where is Gelsenkirchen?

Gelsenkirchen is a city located in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany. It is situated in the western part of the country, in the Ruhr area, which is known for its industrial heritage and is part of the larger Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.

How far is Gelsenkirchen from Düsseldorf?

The two cities are approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) apart, and well-connected to each other.

The time taken varies depending on which mode of transport and which route you take.

Hopping on a train will whisk you from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen in around 45 min! Driving takes longer at around 1 hour.

Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen by Train

🕒 Time: 5/5
💶 Price: 5/5
😊 Comfort: 4/5

🔀 Convenience: 4/5

Ask anyone from here and they'll say getting from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen by train is the most convenient and efficient way to travel between these two cities. 

I don't wish to sound biased, but Germany has one of the most developed and reliable train transportation systems in the world. It's fast, punctual, and affordable - often nearly as affordable as taking the bus.


1. Departure from Düsseldorf: Your journey typically begins at Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof or Düsseldorf Central Station.

In the city center, this station is easily accessible from other parts of Düsseldorf, wherever you're coming from. It has domestic, international, as well as regional train services.

2. Ticket Purchase: You'll need to buy tickets if you want to take the train.

Your options are purchasing a ticket through one of the authorized online platforms, or from the ticket machines at the station or the manual ticket counters.

I always advise booking your tickets in advance. Especially during peak travel times, you may waste time queueing up to buy tickets at the station!

Whenever I have purchase train tickets, I like to use Omio. It's my favorite platform to check for the best train tickets in Europe:

3. Train Options: Most will suggest taking a high-speed train like ICE, when traveling between Düsseldorf and Gelsenkirchen. [1] This is the fastest train, and you can get a ticket under a few euros if you book early. 

Thereafter, you can connect to a regional train within Gelsenkirchen to get to your final destination.

4. Urban Journey: The journey between Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen is not the most scenic. You'll see a mix of urban areas, suburban developments, and industrial zones.

There are portions of the journey where you'll pass through agricultural areas, so you may see farmland, fields, and countryside scenery.

I remember a weekend getaway I planned from Dusseldorf to Gelsenkirchen with my friends, and we were all surprised.

We couldn't believe how the train journey offered unexpected charm, and we spent the whole trip chatting and sharing stories, even though we had initially thought there wouldn't be much to see or do in the industrial setting of Gelsenkirchen.

5. Arrival in Dusseldorf: Your train will arrive at Gelsenkirchen Hauptbahnhof, the central train station in Gelsenkirchen.

Clear signs will guide you to the tram station or taxi stand, so don't worry about losing your way. The station also has a convenience store, which comes in handy for grabbing a snack for the road.

Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen by Bus

There are no buses from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen.

Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen by Private Transfer

🕒 Time: 4/5
💶 Price: 3/5
😊 Comfort: 5/5

🔀 Convenience: 5/5

While private transfers may cost a bit more than other options, I find them well worth it, especially when more flexibility and comfort is needed.

When we traveled with my elderly in-laws, with a fair amount of luggage, we always opted for private transfer. Our driver not only picked us up from home but also helped with our bags. We didn't have to worry about navigating our group to or from a train station or airport!

You can also choose a smaller or bigger vehicle depending on how many seats and luggage you have. There's a variety of choices, from SUVs and sedans to bigger minibuses and vans.

However, take note that a private transfer won't be as fast as a high-speed train. Depending on traffic, it can take around 1 hour or more.

uber black car



This private transfer platform has the best prices around. I've found deals that cost similar to a train ticket. Plus they price-match if you can find a lower price anywhere else!

Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen by Taxi

🕒 Time: 3.5/5
💶 Price: 2/5
😊 Comfort: 5/5

🔀 Convenience: 3/5

The benefits of taking a taxi are similar to those of a private transfer. However, there are some potential downsides.

One major concern is price. Taxi meter fares can rack up depending on the route and traffic, and I don't like worrying about what I'll end up paying.

A couple of times, I've even found myself struggling to even get a cab, which is frustrating when we're traveling on a schedule.

So if I had to choose, I'd still choose private transfer. Every thing is pre-arranged. There's usually better rates, and you don't have to worry about flagging down a taxi or deal with climbing fares.

Rent A Car: Driving from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen

🕒 Time: 3.5/5
💶 Price: 3/5
😊 Comfort: 5/5

🔀 Convenience: 5/5

If your goal is simply to get from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen, you might want to skip the car rental. However, the most enjoyable part of renting a car is the freedom to make spontaneous stops!

Pop by traditional German towns like Schwelm and Ennepetal, or make a detour to visit Monschau, Aachen, or visit the beautiful Burg Eltz.... there are countless worthy spots to stop by before landing in Gelsenkirchen.

When choosing a car rental company, I suggest finding a trusted website that helps you compare rental options from various companies.

I remember a road trip that quickly turned into a nightmare due to a really bad car rental experience. Basically, the agent informed me that they had overbooked their cars and didn't have the one I had reserved. I was offered a much smaller car, which wasn't big enough for my luggage...

So these days, I only use Discover Cars. They source from highly-rated car rental companies (so you avoid those with a bad reputation) and give you a breakdown of their rental rates and vehicle types. 

And applying for German car insurance through Discover Cars during your booking can save you half of what typical rental companies charge.




I never fail to recommend Discover Cars. After looking everywhere, I've found that they consistently offer the best deals around. To top it off, they also throw in free cancellation!

How much are Düsseldorf car rentals?

Renting a car in Dusseldorf can cost different amounts. It depends on the company you rent from, the type of car you choose, and the time of year.

If you want a small car with good insurance, plan to spend about €28 each day.

Sometimes, you might find rental car prices as low as €4 online. But don't be fooled by these super low prices. They only cover the basic cost of the car itself.

You'll still need to pay for things like insurance, taxes, and fees. These extra costs can add up quickly. So, to be safe, expect the total daily cost of the car to be at least €28 or even more.

Do I need a Germany car insurance?

Yes, third-party liability insurance is a legal requirement for car rentals. This insurance protects you from any liability resulting from property damage, death, or injury caused to anyone or anything outside your car rental in Germany.

Fire insurance is also included in the car rental rate when you book with some rental car companies.

This is also why I always choose Discover Cars for my car rentals because they provide full coverage for around €6.50 per day. For me, it's an easy decision because it gives me peace of mind.

Is it safe to drive from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen?

Driving from Dusseldorf to Gelsenkirchen is generally safe, as the roads are well-maintained and there are no major safety concerns reported. However, as with any road trip, it's important to take necessary precautions to ensure a safe journey.

For example:

  • Check the weather forecast before you leave and adjust your driving accordingly.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in good condition before you leave.
  • Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers do the same.
  • Follow traffic rules and regulations, including speed limits and traffic signals.
  • Avoid distractions while driving.
  • Take regular breaks to rest and stretch your legs, especially if you are driving for a long time.

By the way, both cities have low emission zones, so it's important to have an environmental badge if you plan on driving in the inner parts of Düsseldorf or Gelsenkirchen. [2]

Lastly, make sure to obey traffic rules and drive responsibly!

Tips for Traveling from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen

Plan ahead and book tickets in advance

When you're getting a train ticket or reserving a rental car in Germany, try to book them early to get good deals and save money. Don't wait; plan your travel ahead of time!

Booking in advance not only saves you money but also spares you from the stress of dealing with crowded ticket machines at the station.

I really don't like the thought of waiting in line behind other travelers, especially when some of them are having trouble with the machines.

Purchase a transportation pass for convenience

With a zone ticket or tourist pass, you can jump on and off trains whenever you want, no need to deal with separate tickets each time. The best part is it lets you be spontaneous and explore different places along the way.

If you're planning to travel from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen, as well as other countries in Europe, consider getting a transportation pass like the Eurail Pass. This can save you both time and money by providing unlimited access to trains rides.

Allow extra time for unexpected delays

While German punctuality is impressive... it's always a smart move to build some wiggle room into your schedule, just in case life decides to throw you a curveball.

I used to plan my trips down to the minute, but unexpected train track maintenance or flight delays still managed to throw a wrench into my plans.

As an "experienced" traveler, these days I've learned to allow for some extra time in my itinerary.

Conclusion: Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen

In conclusion, getting from Gelsenkirchen to Düsseldorf is quick and convenient with multiple ways to do it!

If you want the fastest route - book tickets to take an InterCity Express train.

If you want a more comfortable ride and are carrying lots of luggage - maybe a private transfer suits you more.

If you're planning to make a day trips or a few pitstops along the way - renting a car is your best bet.

No matter what you pick – train, taxi, or renting a car – the trip won't eat up more than an hour. So, there's really no excuse not to go for it. I'd say go ahead and start prepping now!



1. What are the transportation options for getting from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen?

You can travel by train, bus or car to get from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen.

2. How long does it take to travel from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen by train?

The train travel time from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen is approximately 40 minutes.

3. Are there direct trains available between Düsseldorf and Gelsenkirchen?

Yes, there are direct trains available that connect Düsseldorf and Gelsenkirchen.

4. How much does it cost to travel from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen by train?

The ticket prices for a one-way journey from Düsseldorf to Gelsenkirchen vary depending on the type of train and class you choose. It typically ranges between $20-30.

5. Can I use public transportation like buses within Gelsenkirchen after arriving?

Yes, there is an extensive network of buses and trams in Gelsenkirchen that you can use for local transportation once you arrive in the city.


1: Germany's ICE Trains, retrieved from https://europeforvisitors.com/germany/trains/ice-trains.htm
2: Overview of low-emission zones, retrieved from https://www.germanemissionssticker.com/zones/

About the Author

Stephan Drescher, founder of germanytravel.blog, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.