Bocholt is a manufacturing town. It was centred on the textile industry for most of the 19th and 20th centuries. The importance of the textile industry has greatly declined. The major employers today in Bocholt are Gigaset (Communications) and Mechanical Drives (Siemens), a leading manufacturer of transmissions, especially for wind energy plants. Most of Bocholt's industries are smaller and manufacture highly specialized products.
The climate in the region of Bocholt and West Münsterland is temperate with distinct maritime influences, with very mild winters in comparison to other German regions because of the proximity to the ocean and the low elevation. Summers are moderately warm. The average temperature in January is 2.7 °C and in July 18.4 °C.
Can be reached from Bocholt train station with the regional train RB 32"Der Bocholter" (Wesel - Bocholt), which runs every hour. In Wesel connection to the Rheinschiene trains, for example the Rheinexpress RE 5.
Bocholt is the last stop on a 25-minute, 2-way-1-track train route starting in Wesel travelling north to Bocholt. From Wesel you can transfer from trains that travel north from Düsseldorf Airport, Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof or southeast from Emmerich am Rhein or Arnhem in the Netherlands. In 2021 a new railway line between Bocholt and Düsseldorf main station is to open.
The city can be reached from Münster:
- with the "Sprinter" (express bus line S 75) via Borken and Rhede, stops in Bocholt at the train station and at the central bus stop in the city from Rees with the regional bus line 61 via Isselburg, from Wesel with the regional bus route 64 via Hamminkeln;
- with the Flixbus line N11 (Bocholt, Hamminkeln, Wesel, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Bonn, Strasbourg, Freiburg, Basel, Zurich, Milan)
with the Flixbus line 056 (Dortmund, Recklinghausen, Dorsten, Borken, Bocholt, Amsterdam) The long-distance bus stop in Bocholt is in front of the train station (Hindenburgstrasse). One central transfer point of the city traffic is at Europaplatz.
From the Ruhr area via the motorway A3 (Holland line), from AS5 Hamminkeln via the B473.
From Münster over the B67.
From Arnhem (Netherlands) via the A3, depart AS4 Rees.
Cyclists on the 100-Schlösser-Route route come through Bocholt.
There is a city bus network with 12 bus routes that meet every half hour at the bus meeting point (Europaplatz) as a rendezvous. (Single ticket €2.00), information and tickets (multi-trip and group tickets) in the StadtBus-Center at the bus meeting point or on the bus. Shared call taxis (AST) operate in the evenings and outside of business hours. Registration min. 30 minutes before the journey via tel. 0800-2191920.
The parking possibilities are limited, there are some parking garages in the city centre, in some cases shops replace part of the parking costs. Particular caution is required in areas reserved for residents only. Parking violations are particularly expensive there.
Bocholt is a designated bicycle city, and almost every citizen has one or more bikes, the bicycle network is vast and convenient. In the summer, foreign motorists need to take care because of the popularity of cycling in the city, and even in winter, many people travel only by bike.
The city was almost eighty percent destroyed at the end of World War II, so there are relatively few historical buildings. The reconstruction was carried out on the original plans.
In summer there are public city tours from the market square, mostly on Saturdays from 10:00 (appointments at the tourist information office).
- St. Georg-Kirche (St. George Church). A late Gothic hall construction, built 1415-86.
- Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Lady). Also in the city centre, arose from a former monastery church of the Minorites in late Baroque style 1785-92. It was expanded to its current size in 1912-13
- 1 Historical market square with the old town hall. The old town hall was built from 1618-24 in the style of the Dutch Renaissance. There is an ice cream parlour on the ground floor with outdoor catering under the town hall arcades. A market takes place several days a week in the square.
- Schloss Diepenbrock (Diepenbrock Castle). A baroque moated castle in the Barlo district.
- 2 TextilWerks Bocholt (Bocholt Textile Factory Museum), Uhlandstraße 50. The museum shows the history of textile production in Münsterland. All descriptions are in German and Dutch only, but the stuff can give a guided tour in English. Almost all of the historical, steam-powered machines are operational, so you can see the process of weaving on different generations of weaving machines in a large weaving hall. In another restored factory just a block away (not open during winter) is a spinning mill. €3.
- Stadtmuseum Bocholt (Bocholt City Museum), Osterstrasse 66. The museum provides an overview of the city's history, archeology, art and culture.
- Kunsthaus (Art house), Osterstrasse 69. The art house opposite the city museum is dedicated to the fine arts and holds around 10 changing exhibitions every year.
- Handwerksmuseum (Craft Museum), Köcherstrasse 4. Exhibits of handicrafts.
- Bocholter Herbstkirmes, the annual folk festival held on the 3rd weekend in October, is known far beyond the city limits and is the largest folk festival on the Lower Rhine and in the western Münsterland.
Bocholt is also a regional centre for shopping in the West-Münsterland area and draws consumers from the neighbouring rural and small town areas of the Netherlands. The town features an attractive old town shopping area as well as a popular new shopping mall.
- Wasserburg Anholt (Anholt Castle), Schloss 1, 46419 Isselburg-Anholt (15 km west of Bocholt). The water castle is one of the biggest and most beautiful noble's residences in Münsterland. The museum is worth seeing, the castle is surrounded by a park. 60-minutes tour for adults €12, combination ticket for museum and park €15, park only €5; for children under 17 free.
- Anholter Schweiz, Pferdehorster Straße 1, Isselburg-Anholt (1.5 km south of the castle). 15 Mar – 1 Nov: daily 09:00-18:00, Swiss house closed on Mondays; 2 Nov– 14 Mar: Sa Su holidays 10:00-16:00. Large park of 138 acres (56 hectares) modelled to imitate a Swiss landscape around Lake Lucerne; there is a lake, rocks and a recreated Swiss chalet. The site was created for the 19th-century Prince of Salm-Salm who was an ardent admirer of Switzerland. €6.50, children (3–12 years) €3.50.