Global Greeter Network Logo Essen-Greeter

This is how it works with the Greeters:

Are you coming to our city? The Greeters of Essen are looking forward to meeting you! Simply contact the Greeter that you find most interesting, or especially likable, a couple of weeks before your arrival through the contact information listed under each individual Greeter. You may then arrange a meeting point and time with each other. Important: Greeters are volunteers and may not have the time that you would like available. If a Greeter does not respond after 3 days, please just contact another one.

Our first Greeters:

Jenni Auer

Dancing instructor who has turned her passion into her profession, loves raw vegetables/vegan/vegetarian/natural food… (gladly on a Restaurant tour ;)), always accompanied by her dog …(he even obeys ), art, music and much more…

Age: 44
Availability: Upon request
Languages: German, a little English and French

Contact information...

Katrin Brackmann

Freelance communication designer, has lived in Essen for approximately 20 years (Essen-Rüttenscheid). Interested in nature, art, culture, social change (transition), any aspect of exercise , … open to exploring the culture and art scene of Essen, trips into nature (running, biking), or a relaxing evening program in, preferably, unique places to discuss anything from unclear to irrelevant details as well as other topics. (Not qualified as a source for historical backgrounds.)

Age: 41
Availability: Mornings and evenings, upon request more flexible
Languages: German, English and a little French

Contact information...

Ismail Cebe

Trade union secretary, special interest in art and museum excursions in the city. I also enjoy testing the various restaurants in the city centre. Athlete and amateur photographer.
Age: 27
Availability: Upon request
Languages: German, Kurdish and English

Contact information...

Susanne Kirchhof

Entrepreneur, has lived in Essen since 1965, special interest in Essen’s creative scene, politics and culture. Only minimal historical knowledge. Also a night person.

Age: 49
Availability: Upon request anytime
Languages: German, English

Contact information...

Susanne Nocke

Free-lance artist and project initiator, open to creative ideas and impulses. I love to be on the move off the beaten tracks of our city.

Age: 40
Availability: on request, preferably in the mornings
Languages: German, English, Painting

Contact information...

Wolfgang Nötzold

In Essen since 2011, retired but not tired, lives in the “Generationenkult-Haus” in the northern part of the city center, works with the “Lokalfieber Project” (a monthly local publication) that includes neighborhood gatherings etc. Practically knows the Essen city center inside out – with the restaurants and bars, cultural places, little secrets, surprising spots, Guiness or Duckstein on tap etc…and enjoys sharing them with visitors! For example; a vineyard in the city center, the beautiful Elting quarter, the new “Grüne Mitte” (green center)….

By the way: You can find me in front of the Café Konsumreform on Viehofer Straße every Thursday at 10 a.m., ready to take you for a stroll through the city center of Essen (click here…). If you prefer going by bike, I am in!

Age: 68
Availability: any time according to prior arrangement, also on weekends
Languages: German, English 

Contact information...

Gerold Reim

Even though I have only lived in Essen for 10 years, I have loved the Ruhr area since my childhood and would love to show you a few places of interest.

Hobbies: hiking. This is how I got to know the entire Ruhr area. I am also willing to do longer hikes (up to 30 km), such as to the mining waste tips with their views and the diverse flora. Due to the storms on Whitsunday there is only limited access to the forests until the end of the year though. I use a GPS when hiking and will, upon request, explain how to work with GPS and which features the system provides.

I have a good background knowledge of the Ruhr region and the “Niederbergisches Land”, an adjacent area to the south where several towns with half-timbered houses and technical monuments (such as the Wuppertal suspension railway) would be worth a visit. For those who are interested in the full range of the industrial heritage: the “Niederbergisches Land” provides a few industrial heritage trails emphasizing the older small-scale iron industry as opposed to the large-scale industry of the Ruhr area.

I enjoy going to cafés and restaurants but fancy and stylish places are not my world. Going to the movies such as the unique “Essener Lichtburg”, visiting museums of natural history, industry or technology or the zoos or animal enclosures would be an option as well.

I love to show young people around as well, but I am not a party-person, rather of a more quiet nature. Parents and their children are welcome. I am hopeful that I would be able to come up with something that would keep the kids involved and entertained.

Age: 55
Availability: Fridays to Sundays on request, evenings of other days possible, for example for neighborhood walks. If you are interested in taking a hiking vacation in the Ruhr region, let me know. Arrangements might be possible.
Languages: German and a bit of English

Contact information...

Jürgen Raudczus

Thoroughbred „Ruhry“ (Ruhr area resident and fan), always accompanied by German shepherd “Lady”. 30 years of experience in the restaurant business in the former mining region. Mobile and very flexible time-wise. Very much interested in history.

Age: 58
Language: German, English

Contact information...

Perrine Saxe

This was originally my suggestion since I had the pleasure of being guided by a Greeter in New York in 2007. Therefore, I feel the personal obligation to be part of it. My home is the greater area of Essen-Borbeck. Due to my gender I feel connected to the Borbeck palace and the abbesses ruling there at the time.
I commute to work in the creative quarter, Kreuzeskirche, along the former railway tracks that were turned into a bike path which I therefore know quite well. I work in a fabrics store on Rottstraße. That is where I know my way around. I would love to share my creativity by holding small workshops around the so-called pit cloth, formerly known as the miner’s cloth. I have award winning projects that came in second and third within the Capital of Culture projects. These projects – BrEd Pott (in analogy to Brad Pitt) and the ultimate strawberry bag would – slightly altered – enrich my tour.

Availability: Since I need to cover a 50-hour-work-week, I would be available on weekends and upon agreement on Fridays.

Languages: fluent in German and English, school-level French, Dutch and Spanish, rudimental knowledge of spoken and written Japanese.

Contact information...

Till Seemann

After a long period of “exile”, I am now rediscovering my home city (on foot, public transport, car or bike). I am not a qualified (history) expert on the region but I do know entertaining (and hazard-free) pieces of trivia.

Generally, I am “the man for everything”: whether you would like a classic touristy tour through the Ruhr valley or a profound and deep conversation about football in the area. Free of charge, I also offer heated discussion about the newest American TV series.

Age-group: 1983
Availability: Upon request
Languages: German, English

Contact information...

Dieter Trapp

Born 1941 in Bad Nauheim. Raised during the Elvis Presley era in a city nearby called Friedberg. Began career in Aachen as a miner, with many visits to Holland for the lovely girls and the cheap diesel, moved to Frankfurt for his second profession as a commercial clerk during the day, jazz bars and music clubs at night. Next stop Nordheide and Hamburg, a regular at the local music pubs “Onkel Pös Karnickelhalle”, where national celebrities such as Lindenberg, Westerhagen and Waalkes were locally known regular performers at the time, and “Blockhütte”: Country & Western, birthplace of Truckstop. On to Südheide and Hannover with Quarter Horse breed and trail rides through all of northern Germany. Then Texas and New Mexico as a Cowboy and Texas as a Quarter Horse Racing Champion. From the wines in Lower Franconia to Essen, now creative mind at the Unperfekthaus, author of the book „Loreley – wie die Sage weitergeht” (“Loreley – the saga continues”)

Languages: German, English and Hessian

Contact information...

Reinhard Wiesemann

Entrepeneur, living in Essen since 1994.
Special interest: the creative scene, technology,
anything new, anything experimental.
Knowledge of history only minimal. No night owl.

Age-group: 1959
Availability: Upon request whenever
Languages: German, English

Contact information...

Join us as a Greeter!

We are looking for about ten to twenty people from varied backgrounds who would enjoy showing visitors “their Essen” every once-in-a-while. Being a Greeter won’t really require a huge commitment – we expect about one request per Greeter every two weeks, and you can always say “no”. Interested? Send your picture and some information about yourself to – and we will get back to you!

What are Greeters?

It all began in New York City: In 1992 Lynn Brooks had the great idea to show visitors “her” New York City, her neighborhood and its people….free of charge and voluntarily. By now, there are Greeters all over the world, in St. Petersburg and Shanghai, as well as Essen. Greeters are not tour guides but are volunteers who would like to share the enthusiasm for their city with you. They will take you into their world instead of just taking you to the official sights. You will get to see the city through the eyes of someone who knows and loves it. The organizational part is handled via the Internet. The worldwide governing body is the Global Greeter Network.


Core values

All Greeter programs are committed to the following core values of the governing body:
  • All Greeters are volunteers who will provide a friendly welcome to all their visitors.
  • Greeters will welcome single visitors and small groups of up to 6 people. Open communication between the Greeter and guest is a priority.
  • The walking tour with the Greeter is free of charge.
  • All guests and volunteers are welcome with no discrimination whatsoever.
  • The Greeter programs support sustainable tourism. They respect the natural and social environment and support the cultural development of local communities. Greeters promote the image of their home town / their region.
  • The Greeter programs facilitate the opportunity of mutual cultural exchange between Greeters and guests. They help to create a better world by establishing face-to-face contact.
We are thankful to Desire-Communication who provided some of the texts on this page. And to Peter Prengel / City of Essen for the city-photos.

Do you prefer a professional guide?

Please consider carefully what you would like to do! The Greeter program is all about a very personal view on a city. Most of the Greeters are not able to provide real knowledge and broad, comprehensive information about a city. That is why it is only reasonable to have well-trained professional guides present the city in suitably planned tours. We are happy to be working with EMG who offers a wide selection of tours in Essen. Read more…


Or would you like to explore Essen on your own?

Find some great links here...:

Bessere Welt Links

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Essen-Greeter is a project of StadtAgentur Essen; Servicestelle Essen.engagiert in cooperation with Ehrenamt-Agentur

Stadt Essen            Ehrenamtagentur

Essen-Greeter is organized by the Unperfekthaus, Inhaber Reinhard Wiesemann, Friedrich-Ebert-Str. 18, 45127 Essen-City, Tel. 0201 – 8 47 35-0, UStID DE 180305557

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