Dusseldorf Travel Guide
The capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, Dusseldorf is a modern and sophisticated city brimming with chic hotels, an intriguing arts scene, and plenty of designer shopping opportunities.
Though the bustling CBD is characterised by the pristine buildings of its banks, fashion houses, and corporate headquarters, Dusseldorf is known throughout Germany and the rest of Europe as a vibrant cultural hub. Explore the memorable bars and restaurants of the Altstadt, or Königsallee’s chic stores and fashion showrooms, and you’ll quickly find that Dusseldorf is so much more than a bustling centre of business.
Although Dusseldorf is known for its glitz and affluence, the city is easy to enjoy for any kind of traveller. A trip to Dusseldorf is markedly more pricey than other German city breaks like Cologne, however, you’ll find the more up-market shopping, eating, and drinking to be a delight for the senses!
Check out Dusseldorf on your next holiday, and find out why Napoleon called this enchanting city “a little Paris”.
The Rhine Tower is one of the city’s major landmarks, a 1980s communications tower that stretches high above the city centre, with a revolving restaurant and observation tower that promises stunning vistas of Dusseldorf from 170 metres. As the tallest building in the city, it’s a great way to start off your trip, and well worth the €9 entry fee.
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Dusseldorf for the first time. The K20 am Grabbeplatz, one of two venues housing the North Rhine-Westphalia art collection, is a breathtakingly unique building housing an array of 20th-century Dada, Cubist, Surrealist, Pop, and Abstract Expressionist artwork.
If you have a penchant for the historical, then Schloss Benrath is a stunning 18th-century Rococo palace, surrounded by beautifully-kept gardens arrayed in French and English styles. The wings house the city’s Natural History Museum, as well as a Museum to European Garden Art.
One of the best places to immerse yourself in Dusseldorf’s vibrant culture is the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, a beautiful domed concert hall built in 1926, and home to the city’s world-class orchestra, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker. Aside from holding breathtaking classical performances throughout the year, it regularly plays host to touring popular artists.
For all its glitz, Dusseldorf is a remarkably green city, and the Botanical Garden of Dusseldorf is a great place to experience this. Just outside the city centre, this popular attraction is home to a diverse sprawl of plants from temperate zones, featuring a wildflower meadow, apiary, domed hothouse, as well as some picturesque alpine gardens.
For history buffs, Dusseldorf’s Old Town is is exceptionally well-preserved. Buildings spanning several centuries are gathered around the Marktplatz, home to the famous statue of Elector John William II which was first erected in 1711. Dive into the city’s intriguing past at attractions like the marine museum and Castle Tower, or take an eye-opening history walking tour.
Dusseldorf is a fantastic place to sample delicious German cuisine. As a starter, be sure to try Halve Hahn, a simple, light, and vegetarian-friendly dish, composed of a half-slice of rye bread with a dollop of soft cheese, garnished with onions, pickle, and mustard.
Sauerbraten (sour roast) is a staple of Dusseldorf’s cuisine. It’s traditionally made with horse meat, but today it’s more common to find it with beef, mutton, or venison. The meat is marinated in vinegar, spices, and herbs for several days before being roasted, creating a distinct sweet and sour taste, and a tender texture that melts in your mouth.
Westfälischer Pickert, (Westphalian potato pancake in English) is another German delicacy that’s immensely popular in Dusseldorf’s restaurants. These moreish little pancakes are made from a dough of eggs, potatoes, and flour, and pan-fried the same way as a normal pancake. Best garnished with sugar, butter, and marmalade, or with ground meat on top.
Dusseldorf is known throughout Germany for its fantastic shopping. Though you’ll find delightful boutiques peppered throughout the city, the beating heart of Dusseldorf’s shopping is Königsallee, a plush and regionally-famous boulevard.
This street, known as “Kö” by many locals, stretches for a kilometre either side of a canal, and is home to flagship stores for some of the most sought-after names in fashion. Prada, Tiffany & Co, Chanel, Hugo Boss, and Gucci are just some of the prestigious brands you can peruse on Königsallee. Whether you’re going on a spree or just window shopping, this street is a definite must-see for your trip to Dusseldorf.