A beautiful city situated on the scenic Rhine river where the delta of the river Düssel flows into the Rhine, Düsseldorf is the capital of the German province North Rhine- Westphalia. The city, that is an attractive touristic destination due to its location, is also an important financial and business center. Many people visit Düsseldorf in times when some of its trade or fashion fairs are taking place. Düsseldorf is also a place where art is thriving – take the famous Kunstakademie Düsseldorf – the art academy of the city that educated many notable artists.
Düsseldorf also hosts several popular celebrations throughout the year, the two most important being the Rhenish Carnival and the July’s Largest Fair on the Rhine funfair. With an urban area comprised of over 11 million people, Düsseldorf is the seventh largest city in Germany. Its location presupposes mild weather. The winters are temperate with a tiny bit of snowfall and the summers are warm.
A short history of Düsseldorf
Historically, the city of Düsseldorf came into being by the unification of small farming and fishing settlements at the delta of the Düssel river in about 8th century. The monument of Burgplatz commemorates Düsseldorf’s elevation to a city status. It is also claimed to be the place where cartwheeling children originated, but this is historically disputable. Nowadays the two big cities on the Rhine – Düsseldorf and Cologne, are in kind of a constant rivalry expressed in jokes, festivals and sports even economics.
Melting-pot of cultures
Like all big cities, Düsseldorf too has its fair share of foreign residents. The city is a home of entire communities of Turkish, Greek, Italian, and Polish people. This contributes to a motley culture and neighbourhoods that bear the traces of different ethnicities. This is to say you can find restaurants with different traditional cuisine and pubs with all types of music. Europe’s largest Japanese community has chosen Düsseldorf for its home, so the city can give you a taste of the unique Japanese culture, or its blend with the German one.
Not to miss: Altbier (a Beer-type special for Düsseldorf)
Germany is generally famous for its fine quality beer, but when you stop by in Düsseldorf you should definitely taste the locally renown Altbier, which is the German for ‘old beer’. This type of beer is actually produced old-style, which slightly different fermentation methods. Brewing technique aside, the taste of this fine beer is something worth trying.
Fancy a pub-crawl?
There are several brew pubs in Düsseldorf where you can order not only Altbier, but also other excellent German beer.
Speaking of beer pubs and breweries, which definitely give a taste of the general German culture with a hint of the local preferences, Düsseldorf has a teeming nightlife and could offer a wide variety of pubs, restaurants and cafes with cuisine and music to every taste. The main street in the Old Town of Düsseldorf is actually referred to as ‘the longest bar in the world’. There is a selection of over 250 different locals down this street, so you really have a lot to choose from in terms of cuisine, drink, music and other types of entertainment.
There are so many museums, art galleries, theaters and exhibitions in Düsseldorf that you could actually get overwhelmed. This is why if you are a culture lover you have better make a plan in advance what is it that you want to see.
Tourists are welcome!
The city offers all kinds of city tours – there are Public Guided Tours that you can take on a double-decker bus. This option is great as it will clearly and easily show you all the places worth seeing in the city itself and you will have a guide who will intercede something about their history. Another interesting option (unless you are coming with a cruiser, in which case you would presumably prefer land transportation), are Boat Tours on the Rhine.
Landmarks of the city
Since Düsseldorf is a modern city with history that stretches far back in time, it has a lot to offer in terms of architecture. Its landmark is indisputably the TV tower Rheinturm. The Wilhem Marx House constructed in 1922-1924 was Germany’s first sky scraper. There are a whole eight bridges that span over the Rhine river within the limits of the city. The embankment around the Rhine and the pedestrian and recreational areas are a great pastime as well. Düsseldorf has given chance to modern architecture as well and there are some buildings that are well worth seeing. Among them is the GAP 15 building that is over 85 m high, as well as the DRV tower which is 120 high.
DüsseldorfCard offers benefits
You might also like to get a DüsseldorfCard, which is a tourist-friendly initiative for getting to know the city. By purchasing such a card, you can use the public transport for free unlimitedly and you get gratis access or discount of the entrance fees to many museums and establishments. You might buy the DüsseldorfCard with different duration at ticket machines, tourist information offices, certain hotels, as well as online. Its value is definitely worth the price you will have to pay.
As with every big city, Düsseldorf will definitely keep you occupied for at least a day and much more if you allow it to. You can find everything there and get a bit of metropolitan taste, strongly influenced by the German culture and the ancient history of the Rhine-Mosel region.