Starbucks Challenge Ruhr – Detailed Report…

Arrival: 9.40 am
Departure: 10.45 am

I took an unplanned detour through the central station until I got out to the main shopping street. Radio WDR5 was preparing for the weekly “Hallo Ü-Wagen” broadcast right there. It was supposed to start at 11 am, but I didn’t notice any audience yet. I don’t know if some showed up later.

I started this Starbucks Day with a christmas-y “Lebkuchen Latte” (Gingerbread Latte) at the store in the DU Forum mall. I immediately knew that I would have another one of these lattes during the day.

Starbucks Duisburg Forum

Receipt 01 Duisburg Forum

The second Starbucks is in the other mall “City Palais” right across the street. And I mean literally right across the street. Diagonally, but still… I thought it’s weird, that these can obviously exist next to each other. I only bought a Caramal Cookie there.

Starbucks Duisburg City Palais

Receipt 02 Duisburg City

The third store is located within the main station and I already saw a small signpost when I got off the train. But somehow I missed the store, when I entered the main station later and had to turn around, when I didn’t find a Starbucks below the platforms :-) It was in the foyer but sort of hidden.
Anyway, I got a Vanilla Latte in my own mug, but didn’t got any discount. I have to admit I didn’t ask, because I thought I would get it automatically. I was told about the discount in the store in Essen a few days ago. And I only realized that I didn’t got any discount here, after I had paid and then I thought maybe the guy in Essen was wrong in the first place? Anyway, the mug idea wasn’t the best either, because the lid doesn’t close completely. (it’s too complicated to explain now). When I put the mug into my bag later I was afraid it would smutch my bag, which it fortunately didn’t. That’s the first store in which the cashier threw away the receipt before I could have say :-)

Starbucks Duisburg Hbf

I left Duisburg a few minutes later than I hoped for (I guess because of the detour I took earlier), but I was still on time. The train to Oberhausen wasn’t though and I arrived at the Centro (the supposedly biggest mall in Europe) about 15 minutes later than I would have under ideal circumstances.

Oberhausen, Centro
Arrival: 11.05 am
Departure: 12.05 am

On the plaza between bus stop and the malls entrance there were already huts and booths set up for the Christmas market. They were still closed but it seemed like the market would open any day soon. It’s the second weekend in November and they are setting up the Christmas market. *sigh* After two lattes within 45 minutes I decided to only have ONE coffee/drink in every city and to not take a coffee to go anywhere. (Because rule #1 says that I have to consume that coffee/drink inside a Starbucks). So at the first Starbucks (directly behind the west entrance) I decided to buy a beverage to put into my bag.

Starbucks Centro Markt

Receipt 03 Centro West

I took the first bathroom break :-) and continued through the mall (and tried to not get distracted) to the next stop. After a very short while I started to get annoyed by the sheer amount of people around. I know most people can only go shopping on a Saturday, but it can’t be much fun, can it? Anyway I reached the second spot and only bought a sweet for 50c and thus didn’t got the receipt. Well this and that the folks (cashier, barista were bitching to each other about a wrong order or something)

Starbucks Centro Mitteldom

The last stop at this mall was the coffee house at the edge of the food court. Vanilla Latte again. Maybe I should have ordered a wider variety?

Starbucks Centro Oase

Receipt 04 Centro Ost

Because I didn’t let myself get distraced within the mall I was back on my schedule :-) The trip to the next mall went smoothly, which is a rare coincidence on public transport nowaday, especially with chaning from bus to train to subway.

Mülheim, Rhein Ruhr Zentrum
Arrival: 12.40 am
Departure: 01.30 pm

I’ve never been to this mall before, because I’m not a huge fan of malls anway and it takes a long trip to go there from my home town (on public transport) and for a few other reasons as well, I guess. I was surprised how huge that mall is. Or at least how huge it seemed to be. It took me a while to find my way around and to the Starbucks.

Starbucks Mülheim RRZ

Receipt 05 Mülheim

The receipt says to go, but like rule #1 demanded I stayed sitting there, slurping my mango frappuccino. I needed a non-coffee something. There was some kid entertaining thing going on on this floor so I stayed a bit because the subway to the next city only leaves every 15 minutes and I just missed the earlier one. But I was still on schedule anyway

Arrival: 01.45 pm
Departure: 03.30 pm

I work in Essen and spend some time in the shopping district every once in a while after work. So the Starbucks in this town are probably the ones I know the best :-) The new mall “Limbecker Platz” is probably my least favourite mall in the whole area. I only bought some Golden Crunch cookies there and missed the receipt again.

Starbucks Essen Limbecker Platz

I fought my way through another crowed of people shopping on a Saturday afternoon in the mall and outside and spend a lunch (and bathroom) break at the Celona. After that I quickly visited the Starbucks inside the Mayersche bookstore to get a chocolate bar. Without a receipt of course :-)

Starbucks Essen Mayersche

The third spot in Essen was the one at the Grillo Theatre. In these rooms there had been a childrens daycare facility before Starbucks moved in. At least that’s the story I was once told by someone (don’t remember who). And supposedly Starbucks decided to leave the window paintings. Like I said, that’s the story… I had a simple cappuccino in this one.

Starbucks Essen Theaterplatz

Receipt 06 Essen Theater

The lunch break took a bit longer than expected and thus I couldn’t take the first train I planned for the trip to Bochum, but take the next one. Which was a bit late. I was still not running behind my schedule too much, so it didn’t bother me.

Arrival: 03.55 pm
Departure: 04.55 pm

While I was walking to the first of the two Starbucks in Bochum I suddenly heard someone shouting my name. Surprise!My friend Oceans77, who had sent me a text messages earlier asking if I’m still on schedule, decided to surprise me. And she did! She accompanied her parents on a shopping spree and just wanted to see me and say Hi. Great surprise. After chatting for a few minutes I went to the Starbucks in the CityPoint mall and bought some chocolate candy.

Starbucks Bochum CityPoint

Receipt 07 Bochum City

The second Starbucks is just a short walk away and one I frequented every once in while. I knew I wanted to end this trip with a Gingerbread Latte in Dortmund so I ordered a Caramel Hot Chocolate (without whipped cream) here.

Starbucks Bochum DrRuerPlatz

Receipt 08 Bochum DrRuer

I got it with whipped cream, but I was too lethargic to reject it and demand aonther one. I usually take all drinks without whipped cream, because I don’t need these extra calories. But I figured I was so over my limit already, that it didn’t matter. The staff could have taken better care of the bathrooms by the way, at least the ladies room was a mess.

I checked the trains departures via my cellphone and saw that the train I planned to take was 10 minutes late, which was perfect for me. Because otherwise I would have had to gulp down the hot chocolate or take another train about 30 minutes later. And as I was already a bit later than the ideal schedule, I didn’t wanted to be even later.

Arrival: 05.05 pm
Departure: 06.10 pm

I tried to avoid the main shopping street as long as I could but Starbucks is located on that street, so I had to get onto it sooner or later. I should have used another backroad though, because when I entered that main street I got into some sort of medieval times market / festival. There were huts and booths and performers and just lots and lots of people. More than usual on a Saturday. The Starbucks at Ostenhellweg was hid behind booths so I took a photo inside, when I bought some after coffee mints.

Starbucks Dortmund Ostenhellweg

Receipt 09 Dortmund Ost

I took another backroad to the second Starbucks at the market place, which of course was part of the festival as well. The market place not the coffee house :-) But probably because of the festival the Starbucks was crowed and there was no single seat available. So I had to bend rule #1 a tiny bit and took the coffee to go. The receipt says Toffee Nut, but I had a yummy Gingerbread Latte to finish this insane endeavour.

Starbucks Dortmund Markt

Receipt 10 Dortmund Markt

YAY! I did it! And didn’t die from a caffeine or sugar overdose :-) I spent about 35 EUR on Starbucks stuff during the day, which was less than I expected. And I drank less coffee than I thought but after the first city I decided to not drink two coffees within one city, although I actually planned that for the cities with three locations. It was good thinking.

It was crazy, but it was fun, and it’s even fun to report about it. Which probably just makes sense to a few people. Anyway, I’m definitely planning to do something similar again. It might either be a Starbucks Challenge (13 locations) in Düsseldorf, the state capital, only 1 hour away by train. Or it might be other (mere photo stops) challenges in the Ruhr metropolitan area. Oceans77 already offered to come along, now we just have to find a quest :-)


  1. Mmmmhhh, tja, was machen wir denn mal? Route der Industriekultur an einem Tag? Äh, nee, ich glaub, das könnte eng werden. Jaa, da müssen wir wohl noch mal ein bisschen grübeln*g*.

  2. Ich hatte schon Fußballstadien überlegt, aber das sind nicht so viele, auch nicht wenn man 1. + 2. BL zusammen nimmt. Stadttheater wäre auch ne Möglichkeit, die liegen auch immer schön zentral :-)

  3. puh! Anstrengend :). Also ich bin nach einem Caramel Macchiato ja schon high.
    Ich finds immer wieder faszinierend, wie so viele große Städte direkt nebeneinander sein können!
    Für Hannover macht Starbuckshopping keinen Sinn bei einem :-p. Aber in HH könnt man ein Balzachopping machen :D. locker! (ich geh eh immer da hin)

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