Lüdenscheid in the Sauerland region of Germany, Southeast of Dortmund, might not be on the top of the list when you visit the country. There are some quite unique and interesting places, though. One of them is the Phänomenta, an interactive science museum in the heart of the city. I take you on a visit there in this posting.
Phänomenta – Location & Admission
The Phänomenta is located right next to Lüdenscheid train station. On regular days (there was maintenance during my visit), there are trains to Hagen, Gummersbach and even scattered direct connections to Cologne. Right next to the train station, there is also a major parking lot and you may get to the place using multiple bus lines.
From Tuesday to Friday, the museum is opening between 9:00 and 17:00 hrs. On weekends and public holidays, times are 11:00 to 18:00 hrs. Admission is 13 Euro. During 2022, you could use the Ruhr.Topcard for a 50% discount.
Phänomenta – The Visit
The museum comes with a total exhibition space of 4,000 square meters. They cover 200 interactive different experiments. Most of the exhibitions are indoors, there are, however, some outdoor places as well. The experiments are put into different sections. Typically, there are central screens in each section, which are explaining the physical rationals behind what you have been exploring. The museum is generally trilingual, German, English and French, so that the Phänomenta is also suitable for and with international guests. The museum is providing a sufficient number of hand sanitizers, so that the place is very hygienic.
The first section I visited is majorly about optics, but also deals with effects that we feel a different temperature depending on which material we are touching / dealing with. This ground floor section was very interesting and included some great experiments like a light beam. An (almost) 360 degrees theater introduces you to scientific milestones of Lüdenscheid and the region. One movie I watched was for example dealing with local students making it to the world finals of Formula One in Schools.
The first section of the upper floor majorly deals with mechanical topics like waves. One very interesting experiment was also to draw the figure 8 on a piece of paper, if you can only control the x and y axis of the position of the pen by controllers. Another section introduces you to electricity, you can even (intentionally) create an electric short in there. I also liked to explore the conductivity of different materials. The museum also has a section about magnetism (there is the Tesla egg below, for example) or one introducing you to key optical illusions.
Outdoor and Temporary Exhibits
There are two outdoor spaces. The key one takes you from the electricity section to the roof of museum and has some experiments with water and weight. A smaller section is in the rear of the museum. The large tower of the building holds the Foucault Pendulum, which is a very illustrative exhibit as well.
The temporary exhibition on ground floor during my visit dealt in a very nice and illustrative way with environmental impacts.
Phänomenta – Services
The Phänomenta offers a flight simulator and a laser maze, which are having an additional charge. The ground floor cafeteria has been very popular during my visit. The same floor features a comparably small souvenir shop. I really liked the friendly and helpful staff at the reception desk. However, there was not that much staff in the exhibition rooms.
Phänomenta – My View
I really loved my visit at the Phänomenta – and it is a great place to spent time with kids (maybe after the age of 8). The experiments are short, but very entertaining, surprising and educative. The way the museum is presenting science is just great. I spend some two hours in there and feel that this Lüdenscheid museum should definitely receive a Top Pick! rating.