Known as the Fashion capitol of Germany, Dusseldorf is becoming increasingly popular with international and European tourists. The small but lively city, with strong English speaking culture, truly has it all. From rolling green farmlands in the north, deep forests in the east and a medieval old town at its core, it is the perfect place to get an insight into German culture.
Located in the North-East of Germany, a short trip from the southern border of the Netherlands, Dusseldorf is a hub for many international flight paths, which means low cost tickets from most capitol cities. It is also a common stopover for long distance journeys. This gives travellers the ideal place to rest and sight-see before an onwards journey.
Like many other towns, the city center itself is far from the most attractive, happening part of town and can be quite underwhelming with its strong business focus. Tourists definitely need some pointers, so after spending three months in this beautiful town, here is the best city guide on Dusseldorf you will find!
Altstadt (Old Town)
DO: The Old Town or ‘Altstadt’ is home to the longest bar in the world. Technically not one bar, but a boulevard lined with beer houses, the Altstadt is a famous bachelor/bachelorette party district, with people coming from across Europe to celebrate their last days of being single. Aside from it’s pumping nightlife scene, there are hundreds of fantastic eateries, shopping and my favourite area- Carlsplatz. This square holds the weekend markets and has some really cool restaurants. It is a lot less packed than the initial streets of the Altstadt (closest to Heinrich Heine Allee).
STAY: In my honest opinion, there is nowhere else I would stay (as a district) than Altstadt area. Everything else is in walking distance from here and all the central tram lines cross this area. It is the perfect location for a tourist, anywhere within a 1km radius.
EAT: Laura’s Deli– The best coffee in town, plus all the health food choices you could desire. Everything from gluten and dairy free, to delectable pancake stacks. Yum!
Media Harbour (Medienhafen)
DO: A newer, funkier part of town. The Medienhafen is a must, with it’s man-made beach, contemporary bars and art deco vibe- you will be in photographers heaven. You will find the hippest locals, coolest bars and best ‘beach’ parties here over summer so make sure this is on your list of things to see.
EAT: Boeser Chinese: the best chinese food in Germany- just sayin’
STAY: Famous for it’s metal egg shaped rooftop bar, the Hyatt Regency stands above the rest for quality and style.
DO: The ‘downtown’ style area, a little rough around the edges but a great place for a meal. Cheaper than central town, this area is full of weird and wonderful places to eat. The the Ubahn into the area and discover the grunge scene.
EAT: Miss Moneypennys is a gourmet food and wine bar, perfect for a girly lunch or romantic date. If your srapped for cash and want something a little different, cross the street to Frittenwerk– deluxe hot chips with toppings such as Nacho Gauc and BBQ pulled pork (my favourite!).
STAY: Too far too stay! Don’t do it! 🙂
More of a point of interest rather than an area, but it is a shopper’s paradise!!!! From Gucci to Prada, and a really cute promenade with the river flowing through it, the Ko is the reason they say Dusseldorf is so fashion savvy.
Kaiserworth and Ratingen
GO: Take your pick, these medieval towns have the cutest little streets and are surrounded by greenery. In autumn the leaves fall and breathtaking pathways of auburn leaves line the streets. Between the two lies a huge national forest with biking and hiking trails, ideal for those with a little more time on their hands.
EAT: K5 Coffee parlor is a cute little cafe right near the main station (Klemensplatz), the coffee here is great and afforable.
STAY: Again, not ideal place to stay as it is much to far out!!
Have a little longer?
About an hour out of town, this old school theme park is a lot of fun. Not exactly a competitor to Disneyland, the fun comes from how 90s the park is, with retro style rides and snacks, you will instantly be transported back to childhood.
The closest and best day trip from Dusseldorf, the beautiful gothic city of Cologne (Koln) is just a few hours away. Catch a return train and spend the day walking through the church filled streets, grab a beer and enjoy authentic German lifestyle.