There is an energetic buzz to Dusseldorf, the richest city in Germany. Located in the western North Rhine-Westphalia region, this is a vibrant cosmopolitan place, with astounding architecture and a thriving art scene.
On the face of it, Dusseldorf can appear quite business-like with its banks and soaring skyscrapers. But don’t let that fool you; this is a very diverse city. For instance, fashion and style are incredibly important to Dusseldorf; it was even nicknamed “Little Paris” by Napoleon. Dusseldorf manages to combine culture and history, while still being very metropolitan. This is a unique and fascinating city that offers something that will suit all kinds of tastes.
Best time to visit Dusseldorf
In terms of weather, Dusseldorf can be a little up and down. The winter months can get very cold and the summer seasons are prone to showers from time to time. These maritime climates are mostly due to its location, which is at the border of Germany’s north-eastern coastline.
If you want to make the most out of your trip to Dusseldorf, the best time to visit would be during the summer months of July to August. This is a popular season that sees an influx of tourists, who make the already lively and interesting city even more so. Another perk to visiting in the Summer time is that any temperature humidity is nicely cooled by the intermittent showers. Just remember to bring an umbrella when you head outdoors.
If you prefer a little less bustle and crowd, the spring months are also a good option. This is when the weather is still relatively mild. There are also lower costs for hotels and airfares which means that travellers can stretch their budgets just little further.
Easy Public Transportation
They have made it very easy to get around Dusseldorf. The Düsseldorf Transportation Card can be purchased for either 24, 48 or 72 hours. This provides unlimited rides on bus, tram or subway rides along with discount and even free admissions to museums and leisure facilities. The price for this card is around €9 which is very budget friendly.
Although transportation in this city is fairly inexpensive, they don’t call Dusseldorf, “the city of short distances” for no reason. If you happen to be staying in a hotel or near the Altstadt, you will only be a short walk to all the main attractions.
Take a Walk To The Old Town (Altstadt)
There are few better ways to get some sun and take in Dusseldorf than a leisurely walk to the Old Town. This is one of many charming places to see in the city and is a hubbub of culture and history.
The old town has an abundance of shops and restaurants and yes, plenty of bars too. In fact, this is where you will find the “longest bar in the world”. In reality, “longest bar in the world” is many bars interlinked across several estates. But nevertheless, it’s still a novel concept and provides a lot of entertainment for locals and tourists alike.
If you really want to make the most of your walk into the Old Town, you can also get involved in a walking tour. These tours are guided by experts who reveal the Old Town’s history and show you places you may never have discovered on your own.
The St. Lambertus Basilika
The Old Town also possesses some of the most beautiful churches in the city. One of which is The St. Lambertus Basilika. This was a church built in the 13th century, and with its twisted steeple, set against the Düsseldorf’s skyline, you can see why this has become an architectural focal point.
This Gothic style structure has an interior as fascinating as the exterior. Inside there is a collection of glass stained windows and also a chance to see the shrine of St Apollinaris. This ornate church doesn’t get too flooded with crowds, so you can take your time and explore this building at your own pace. Definitely a landmark not to be missed.
Take A Trip To The Media Harbour
Only 20 minutes walk from the Old Town, and close to the Rhine Promenade, you’ll find Media Harbour. Here you’ll see what makes Dusseldorf such a unique blend of old and the new, as the surroundings fill with breathtaking state of the art architecture.
What is really amazing about the Media Harbour is the transformation. Not so long ago, these were manufacturing buildings that were fast becoming run down. After an extensive makeover, it is now arguably one of Germany’s most significant cityscapes.
This area also features lots of contemporary restaurants such as; “Rudas Studios” and “Berens am Kai” as well as fashion design companies and retail shops, most of which have been designed by famous German architects.
What may surprise many people about Dusseldorf is that beyond the incredible architecture, there is some equally wonderful landscape. To experience it for yourself, simply head over to the bank of the Rhine River which is where you will find North Park.
This picture-perfect park contains a garden that is 5000 square feet, as well as an oasis that was gifted to Dusseldorf by the Japanese community. This oasis serves as a centrepiece for all the Japanese horticulture such stone gardens, serenely beautiful koi ponds and vivid maple trees. This is a great place to unwind, take in some fresh air and really appreciate this city from another perspective.
The Palatial Benrath Palace
It’s probably fair to say that you haven’t truly experienced Dusseldorf until you’ve visited Benrath Palace. This is one of the highest rated tourist destinations the city has to offer and for good reason.
This palace has 3 adjoining wings and the main colour, interestingly enough, is pink. This makes this Baroque style palace look like it is straight out of a fairytale.
Adjoined to the palace is an absolutely gigantic 62,000 square mile park. Here, art and nature come together in a fluid and lovely way. Visitors are encouraged to explore the park and take in its magnificent lake and fountains, where ducks and swans have taken up residence.
Prices for a tour guide at the palace start fairly low, and you get 50% off if you are a senior or a student.
Germany has a rich heritage in producing craft beers. Each region has its own speciality and Dusseldorf is no different. Here the city is known for producing a speciality beer style that is called Altbier, the ‘Alt’ literally translating to ‘old’. This is described as being a refreshingly clean and crisp tasting.
Beer aficionados and even those who just want a little beer adventure can take a beer safari. This tour takes you around 5 microbreweries and teaches you about the cities beer history and culture.
This is a city that is very much alive at night. So for those wanting to discover Dusseldorf after dark, there are lots of options.
If you want to get straight to the heart of Dusseldorf’s nightlife, the Old Town is a good place to start. This area is popular with everyone and particularly beer lovers.
For both locals and tourists the best bar places are Bar Engel, and Im Goldenen Ring. There is also Brauerei Uerige which is the oldest bar in Old Town and home to the cities Altbier.
As with the bars, there is a good selection of nightclubs too. Dr. Jazz is the place to be if you want an evening filled with smooth jazz melodies. El Papagayo is also a popular spot with a variety of themed nights that occur through the week.
Like hard rock? Then check out Auberge. This relatively compact space is well known for friendly staff and a more underground feel.
Media Harbour is another area that is well worth a visit at night. This is a perfect place to take a leisurely walk along the promenade while the city lights reflect on the Rhine River. The bars, pubs and restaurants in this area are a little lower key than in Old Town. Expect to be entertained here well into the small hours of the morning.
Food and Drinks In Dusseldorf
There are lots of options when it comes to traditional food in Dusseldorf. This is usually simple fare and not too costly.
Try one of the many Brewery Pubs in the old town and get some traditional “Schweinshaxe” (crispy ham hock).
There’s also Reibekuchen which is a potato pancake that is served with Rübensyrup, (beet syrup) slices of pumpernickel and apple sauce.
If you want to try something other than traditional fare, you could go to Media Harbour. Since its transformation, a large number of high-profile restaurants have established themselves in the city. Today the food is eclectic, with cuisines from around the world.
Whatever you ordered, please also get the traditional “Alt” Beer. It is pretty much only served in Dusseldorf and comes in unusually small glasses by german standards.
Pro tip: Do not under any circumstances order a “Kölsch” which is the name of the beer served in the neighbouring city of Cologne.
Where To Stay
The prices in Dusseldorf can vary depending on what time you visit. If there is a special event, prepare to pay a little extra. The Apartmenthaus Hohe StraBe is centrally located and prices start around €65 a night.
On the slightly higher end of the price scale is the Fritz Dusseldorf at around €101 a night. This hotel comes highly recommended and is also central to the city.
Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus also offers private rooms to travellers starting at around €45 which is very reasonable.