When most people think of places in Germany to visit, Dusseldorf isn’t probably top of their list. Cities such as Berlin and Munich usually take the limelight with tourists. But like many non mainstream destinations, Dusseldorf is a hidden gem. A city enriched with culture and history, it is one of these places that you should definitely consider visiting in the future.
The capital city of the German state North Rhine-westphalia, Dusseldorf boasts of a population of over 600,000 making it the 7th most populated city in Germany. It is well renowned for its fashion and trade fairs, infact it is known as the fashion capital of Germany. it is also an international business and financial centre. In 2012 mercers quality of life survey ranked Dusseldorf the 6th most livable city in the world, and once you get there? It’s easy to see why.
I visited for a few nights with my friend recently, and to be honest I wasn’t really expecting much but for cheap flights and cheap accommodation it was an opportunity too good to turn down.
Things to do
The most famous and iconic landmark is the Rheinturm tower, which stands at 280 metre tall and dominates the skyline. The telecommunications tower has an observations deck with spectacular views of the city and surrounding areas, it also hosts a revolving bar and restaurant . It costs €9 for entry, but if you’re looking to save a wee bit of cash then it is only €5 if you go before 11am or after 10pm.
If you want to experience the culture or nightlife then the place to be is Alstadt, the old town. The area consists of many bars, clubs and restaurants and is the place to be at night if you fancy a wee swally. It is also full of different shops so if you want to do a bit of shopping then you should definitely check it out.
There are lots museums in and around the city, with the majority of them being dedicated to art. There are countless ruins, parks, gardens and landmarks scattered throughout the city. Away from the attractions and onto the streets there are plenty of hidden gems, such as the free bookshelves in the streets. The policy is “take one, leave one” meaning that anyone can take a book to read, which I think personally is a brilliant incentive. The German markets are definitely worth a visit aswell, from fruit stalls to rides and attractions they’re sure to keep you entertained or busy.
There are two major airports that serve Dusseldorf. Dusseldorf international airport (DUS) which is about a 10/15 minute drive from the city and Weeze airport (NRN) which is around an hours drive away. There is a direct train from DUS to Dusseldorf but not one from NRN. If you are travelling by train from Weeze airport you have to take the shuttle bus to the train station in Weeze, take a train to Kevelaer and then take another train to Dusseldorf. Remember if you are taking a train to make sure you have a ticket before you get on, you can’t purchase them on the train. The train conductor also doesn’t appreciate the “I’m a tourist, I never knew” patter, as we found out…
There are direct busses from both airports too, we never took the bus as it was a tad pricey but looking back now I wish we had as it would have saved a lot of time and hassle.
Dusseldorf is a great place to visit, whether it’s for a day, a week or a month it will not disappoint you. It is a city that will surprise you at every turn, and leave you wanting to go back. So if it’s not already then you should add it to your bucket list, you’ll be glad you did. Happy travels!