While only Germany’s seventh largest, Düsseldorf’s role as an important business hub means it’s actually one of the country’s best known and most visited cities. A corporate reputation doesn’t tell the true tale of this eclectic city though – its quirky architecture, buzzing nightlife and thriving art and fashion scenes will give you a taste of what this city is really all about.
As it goes, few people stay in Düsseldorf long enough to take it all in. Whether you’re on a fleeting business trip or are city-hopping your way across Europe, here’s what you could get through in Düsseldorf in a single day.
10am: Get an aerial view
The most prominent landmark on the skyline is undoubtedly the Rheinturm – or ‘Rhine Tower’. Standing proud at 241 metres high, this monolith is visible from almost anywhere inside the city. If you get time, take a trip up to the observation deck – at 170 metres up it’ll help you get your bearings for the day’s exploring; remember to glance back at the tower by nightfall though, when it becomes the world’s biggest digital clock.
11am: Step into modernity
Right by the tower lie the city’s docks. They’ve undergone massive redevelopment over the last few years, with cool, quirky and downright bizarre architecture springing up along the waterfronts at Neuer Zollhof. Works by the likes of Frank Gehry make for some spectacular photographs – and the area is well worth spending an hour or so strolling around.
2pm: Cruise down Königsallee
Perhaps one of the most picturesque thoroughfares in all of Europe, you can’t miss Königsallee. Lining the edges of a grand canal, and shaded by towering trees, it’s the heart of the city’s retail scene. You’ll find mostly high-end stores here, so unless you’ve got the cash to splash you may have to stick to window shopping – but it’s a worthwhile experience nonetheless.
4pm: Take a break
After a day spent getting about on foot, spend some time horizontal in one of the city’s superb parks – there are certainly plenty to choose from. Hofgarten is conveniently located, with pretty ponds and landscaped gardens – but the Rheinpark is the best place to get away from the roar of the city. It lines the river just north of the main central area, and offers beautiful vistas out over the water.
6pm: Get your fill
By now, you’re sure to be ready for a bite to eat and some time to refuel. Wherever your afternoon’s exploring has taken you, you’ll find authentic eateries right across the city. Why not dive into the cosy Brauerei Schumacher, where you can sample everything from Sauerbraten to Himmel und Ääd – that’s mashed potatoes, stewed apples and fried blood pudding – a speciality of the Rhineland region.
If you’d prefer less traditional fare, there are plenty of options too – Düsseldorf is a global and multicultural city, and this is reflected in its dining scene. Sushi fans should head to the spectacular Kushi-Tei Of Tokyo, while those seeking out the best steak in the city’s centre should give the Block House a whirl.
8pm: Grab a stein and be merry
Come evening, when you’re done eating and it’s time to enjoy a stein, make tracks for the Altstadt area. It’s nicknamed by many as ‘the longest bar in the world’, since it crams over 300 bars and clubs into just half a square kilometre. You’ll find watering holes of every style and calibre when you take to the streets here, from traditional German beer halls to raucous Irish pubs and cosy on-site breweries. One such spot where you can try beer brewed out-back is Zum Uerige on Berger Street, while Im Fuchschen promises an authentic beer hall experience complete with added wurst and sauerkraut.
You’d be killing two birds with one stone essentially, as it’s also Düsseldorf’s ‘old town’, so you can do some architecture-gazing and photo-taking in between your bar-hopping.
Whether you want to do Düsseldorf in a day, weekend or more – getting to this iconic German city couldn’t be easier when you fly to Düsseldorf from Manchester Airport.