An Introduction to Düsseldorf
Germany is a nation of excellent cities, and Düsseldorf is up there with the best. The city is one of Germany’s leading university towns, a center for art and fashion, and the historic electoral capital of Germany. As an important cultural capital, Düsseldorf is home to many museums and over 100 art galleries.
Düsseldorf is also home to lovely riverside walkways, numerous wild squares, and a perfect location on the gorgeous Rhine. As a result, it’s a city for fans of the outdoors, as well as lovers of art and culture. Every July, Düsseldorf hosts the Größte Kirmes am Rhein—which translates to Largest Fair on the Rhine. An estimated 4 million people attend the popular event yearly.
Here are some of the top things to do in Düsseldorf:
1. Stroll Along Königsallee
Let’s start with an excellent outdoor activity and some serious window shopping: walking alongside the gorgeous KönigsalleeLink opens in a new tab, Germany’s most naturally elegant avenue. When you translate Königsallee to English, it says “King’s Avenue”. Many Germans describe it as the nation’s ritziest shopping destination, and it’s often compared to Avenue Montaigne in Paris.
You’ll find various luxury hotels in these parts, making it an excellent spot to stay. Some hotels offer rooftop terraces with sensational city views. The avenue stretches from Graf-Adolf-Platz to the Hofgarten park, and it’s one of the most delightful walks in Düsseldorf.
2. Wander Around Old Town Düsseldorf
Despite the city’s history, including two World Wars, Düsseldorf’s Old TownLink opens in a new tab is in tremendous condition. The main attraction within the beautiful Old Town is the Marktplatz; you’ll find a large equestrian statue of Elector John William II and the stunning Town Hall. Another Old Town focal point is Castle Tower (Schlossturm) on the banks of the Rhine.
It’s the only surviving section of a castle that once dominated Düsseldorf’s skyline. What’s more, be sure to visit the Hetjens-Museum. The city has built this museum to pay tribute to more than 800 years of earthenware, ceramics, and porcelain. The St. Lambertus Church is also a top attraction in the Old Town due to its strange, twisted spire.
3. See the Stunning City Views from Rhine Tower
Standing at an impressive 240 meters, the Rhine Tower offers the best views of Düsseldorf. You’ll find the tower in the city’s harbor area with a great observation deck. The best time to visit is late at night for superb night vistas over the city below.
Another attraction at the Rhine Tower is Lichtzeitpegel, a superb sculpture and the world’s largest digital timepiece. Why not grab a bite to eat at the restaurant? It revolves around its axis once per hour, ensuring you enjoy magnificent 360-degree views while eating a nice meal.
Address: Stromstraße 20, 40221 Düsseldorf, Germany
4. Enjoy the Museum of Art
The Museum of Art (Museum Kunstpalast) exhibits artwork from the 3rd century BC up to the current day. Exhibits include sculptures, fine art, drawings, and over 70,000 items of photos, applied art, and graphic design. The collection includes Caravaggio, Warhol, Dali, and members of the Düsseldorf School of Painting and Expressionism. Also, the museum includes classic concerts, theatrical performances, and guided tours to ensure you have the best time.
Address: Ehrenhof 4-5, 40479 Düsseldorf, Germany
5. Walk Alongside the Rhine Embankment Promenade
The best way to enjoy the city’s beautiful riverside is at the Rhine Embankment Promenade. First opened in 1997, the long pedestrian route provides an excellent Mediterranean flavor due to the cafes, galleries, and restaurants lining the walkway.
The Rhine Embankment Promenade starts at Oberkassel Bridge and attaches the Old Town to the Parliament buildings. You’ll find a mixture of locals and tourists hanging out in the area all year round. Renting a bicycle and taking advantage of the bike paths while enjoying the marvelous views comes highly recommended.
Address: Marktpl. 2, 40213 Düsseldorf, Germany
6. Relax at Nordpark's Japanese Garden
Taking a stroll through the gorgeous Nordpark Japanese Gardens is one of the more unusual attractions in Düsseldorf. That said, it’s the perfect outdoor attraction in the winter months due to its 90 acres of stunning greenery. The Japanese garden—which the city’s Japanese community presented—provides an epic array of landscapes.
The top focal points include the Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum and the Horse-Tamers statue. The Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum is an excellent destination for kids of all ages because of the large aquarium, insectarium, and excellent natural history displays.
Address: Kaiserswerther Str., 40474 Düsseldorf, Germany
7. Explore the Düsseldorf-Kaiserswerth
Düsseldorf-Kaiserswerth is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. It’s a superb place to explore Baroque buildings and take excellent social media snaps. Allow yourself plenty of time to wander around the cobbled streets and shop at the German traditional shops selling food items and crafts.
There are also various superb art galleries here, including the Kaiserswerth Art Archive Kunstarchiv Kaiserswerth). Other focal points include the Church of St. Suitbertus (dating back to the 13th century) and the Kaiserpfalz. The neighborhood is also another place to see wonderful views of the Rhine.
Address: Düsseldorf-Kaiserswerth40489 Düsseldorf, Germany
8. Watch a Performance at Tonhalle Düsseldorf
If you enjoy theater, be sure to check out the Tonhalle Düsseldorf. The building is a stunning concert hall constructed in 1926 as Düsseldorf’s city orchestra (the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker).
The Tonhalle is still home to world-class performances throughout the year. It’s also a popular venue for pop and rock artists. As a result, you can find many excellent gigs all year round.
Address: Ehrenhof 1, 40479 Düsseldorf, Germany
9. Stroll Around the Düsseldorf-Hafen & Neuer Zollhof
In recent decades, Düsseldorf decided to regenerate the wastelands on the former river port area. However, instead of destroying the derelict freight yards and warehouses, the city used them to create a stunning harbor areaLink opens in a new tab alongside some of Europe’s most daring modern buildings.
The focal point of the development is Neuer Zollhof, a gorgeous section showcased by the Frank O. Gehry-designed office buildings of Medienhafen. In contrast, the former harbor—with its iron bollards, walls, and cranes—is still in place, showcasing the city's former industrial power.
Düsseldorf: A Fantastic German Getaway
Düsseldorf might not be the first city you think of when planning a vacation in Germany, but we think it should be with its beautiful old town, wonderful cultural attractions and events and its perfect central location. Düsseldorf has everything you need for an excellent vacation—including history, shops, art galleries, museums, diverse food, and outdoor walks.
If you’re considering a vacation in Europe, consider Düsseldorf a top contender!