Rated as the 6th most livable city on Mercer’s latest Quality of Living, Dusseldorf can easily charm the hearts of those who visit it for the first time. It is the capital of North-Rhein Westphalia and boasts a well-known and thriving modern architectural, fashion and art industry. The city is teeming with young professionals eager to find themselves among the diverse fields of work in one of the economic centers of Germany. The city also boasts “one of the longest bars in the world”. With a good balance between work and play, Dusseldorf promises an array of fun things to do as well as interesting things to see
Dubbed as the Kö by the locals, Königsallee is an upmarket shopping boulevard that attracts a ton of people all year round. It is the heartbeat of Dusseldorf and a treasure trove for fashionistas, shopping addicts and even window shoppers. The boulevard is a 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) long stretch of shopping galore with many flagship stores and shops of multiple well-known brands such as Bulgari, Gucci and Burberry just to name a few.
Visitors can also sit back and relax at the many cafes and eateries and observe the shoppers going about their business while sipping a cuppa by the canal. In 2014, Königsallee joined forces with Paris’s equally upscale “Avenue Montaigne” in a street twinning project. The twinning project brings these two places closer together with joint activities and cooperation within the two to make each other the forefront upmarket boulevards of Europe.
2. Pine Road
With a stark contrast to its glitzy counterpart, Königsallee, Kiefernstraße is a representation of everything that is culturally alternative and different. This bohemian paradise attracts photographers and tourists alike with its beautiful graffiti murals which adorn the face of apartment facades across the whole street. Some even say that the street has the biggest graffiti wall in the world. The graffiti on the apartment facades represents the residents’ aspirations, ideals, hopes and dreams. It is a visual cacophony not to be missed. Currently, about 800 people from 40 different nationalities live on this street.
3. Neue Zollhof and the Gehry Buildings
This place is most famous for its complex of Gehry Buildings. Designed by the prominent architect, Frank O. Gehry, the post-modernist-styled buildings stand out the most from the rest of the buildings here. Each of the Gehry Buildings has its own unique character stamped in the design, facade and material. For example, the central building is enclosed totally in metal plates while the eastern building – the tallest one – is made of a different design encased in plaster.
Located next to the Gehry buildings is the Rheinturm – a 240.5 meter (788 feet) high telecommunication tower. Visitors can dine in at the revolving restaurant up above or head to the observation deck, rewarding them with a bird’s eye view of the city.
4. Old town Dusseldorf
After a tiring day of shopping at Königsallee, one can relax and unwind at the legendary Altstadt (old town) in the evening. Located just a stone’s throw away from the Kö, the Altstadt boasts the “longest bar in the world” as it is home to more than 200 pubs, nightlife establishments, local breweries and lounges all lining up side by side. It is said that the bars of each establishment connect to the ones next door and beyond, making it a never-ending chain of bars.
Aside from the bars and restaurants, the Altstadt is also home to Dusseldorf’s important cultural and arts venues such as the Deutsche Oper Am Rhein (Opera House) and the Museum Kunstpalast (Art Museum) just to name a few.
5. Benrath Palace
Schloss Benrath is a baroque-styled Maison de Plaisance (pleasure palace) that once belonged to Elector Palatine Charles Theodor. The main building, corps de logis, is slated between two symmetrical wings. The palace was built and completed in the late 1700s and was designed by a Frenchman named Nicolas de Page, a famous architect at that time. It was the home reserved only for the elites.
Nowadays though, visitors can peer into the lives of the aristocrats by going on a tour of the palace and this is the only way to see it from the inside. After the tour, you can take a stroll in the palace’s beautifully designed gardens and be thrown back into the 17th-century.
6. Rhine River
Situated at the very heart of the city of Dusseldorf, the River Rhine gives this city its life and is an important part of the people who live here. Visitors can go on boat cruises and tours which will bring them through the Rhine and the many sights along the banks of the river. Most of the boat tours will begin at Burgplatz and will bring you along the Altstadt until you reach the MedienHafen.
If that is not your taste, you can also take a casual stroll along the banks of the Rhine while admiring the various different architectural buildings present in the area. It is a must-see for anyone who comes to Dusseldorf as much of the city’s charm has close links with the river.
7. Rhine Embankment Promenade
The Rhine Embankment Promenade is a beautiful esplanade which links the Altstadt to the MedienHafen. In the summer, locals will find themselves relaxing and chilling by the Promenade to soak in the Mediterranean-like atmosphere. Cafes and bars line along the promenade giving visitors a place to meet up with friends and catch up. Watch the amazing sunset at Oberkassel while sitting at the promenade at Burgplatz or have ice cream and watch the ships passing by on the river.
8. The Church of St Andreas
Located at the Altstadt, the church of St Andreas is a Roman Catholic parish church that can be dated back to the 16th-century. Built-in the South German Baroque style, visitors can have a sneak peek into one of Dusseldorf’s most iconic churches. There is also an organ in the church which is over 200 years old. Built-in the late 17th-century, the organ stood the test of time despite being damaged during world war two. It was restored in the 1950s and further in the 1970s and early 2000s. It is also a peaceful getaway in the middle of a busy city.
Located north of Dusseldorf and next to the River Rhine, Kaiserswerth stands as one of the oldest parts of the city. The town is home to the ruins of the Kaiserpfalz (Royal Palace) which is over 1,000 years old. With a bit of imagination, visitors can witness the splendor of this palace which was once the temporary seat of the Holy Roman Emperor. Aside from the ruins, many people – both tourists and locals alike – come to this town to have a stroll along its picturesque historical streets and take a photograph or two. Nearby the Kaiserpfalz, there is a beautiful beer garden right by the river.
10. Court garden
The Hofgarten in Dusseldorf is Germany’s first and oldest public park. The oldest part of the park is over 200 years old and the expansion of the park was influenced by a series of military events taken place during its history. There are also over 2,000 trees which are over a century old in this park. This huge park – 27.30 hectares (67 acres) – can be accessed through many different routes which stretch from the Altstadt, Königsallee to the Rheinterrasse (Rhine Terrace) on the banks of the River Rhine.
It is a popular place for people to relax and take a seat on a bench while admiring the gardens and the greenery surrounding them. On a bright sunny day, families can be seen having picnics here and others having a jog along the park. It is a great refresher for the eyes and the mind to be back in nature.