Is Dusseldorf worth visiting? If you’re wondering whether to add the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia to your itinerary, here are 10 reasons to consider visiting Düsseldorf.
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Renowned for its fashion, business and trade fairs, Düsseldorf is an international business and financial center. But it’s also a vibrant and culturally rich destination that offers a blend of tradition and modernity.
In addition to being the fashion capital of Germany, Düsseldorf has plenty more to offer. From world-class museums, unique architecture, as well as a charming historical center and the longest bar in the world, there are plenty of reasons to visit Düsseldorf.
With something for every type of traveller, from art enthusiasts and history buffs to foodies and fashionistas, Düsseldorf is definitely worth visiting. Here are the top reasons why Düsseldorf deserves a spot on your travel itinerary.
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Ten Reasons to Visit Düsseldorf
1. Urban Architecture
Dusseldorf is an interesting city in terms of architecture. Much of the city was destroyed during WWII, but rather than being rebuilt in its former style, many of the buildings are modern and unique.
The Dusseldorf Schauspielhaus, with its white curved facade, the Zipper RKM 740 Tower, with its zipper-like appearance, and the Kö-Bogen, a unique 5-storey building at the end of Königsallee which is said to be Europe’s largest green facade, are prime examples of the unique architecture in Düsseldorf.
The Medienhafen boasts even more architectural highlights. This area, which was formerly part of the inner harbour, has been redeveloped, much like the main square in Piran, Slovenia. Here you’ll find the uniquely-shaped Gehry Buildings, the SIGN skyscraper and the Float office building, among many other impressive buildings.
2. Vibrant Cultural Scene
Düsseldorf boasts a vibrant cultural scene, where historical landmarks such as the majestic 18th-century Benrath Palace stand alongside contemporary art galleries and museums.
While the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is the city’s premier modern art museum, there are over 25 other museums in Düsseldorf, featuring everything from film and multimedia to ceramics and maritime history, as well as multimedia installations and contemporary works.
But not all of Düsseldorf’s art is found indoors. As you stroll through the streets, you’ll find outdoor art installations, some in places you would least expect.
The city also hosts a variety of cultural events, including performances at the state theatre, Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus, to the Oper and Ballett am Rhein, which has Germany’s largest ensemble of singers.
From world-class architecture to a lively music scene, and an abundance of museums, Düsseldorf proves its rich and diverse cultural heritage.
3. World-Class Shopping
When in Düsseldorf, you can’t miss Königsallee, the main shopping street.
Known as Kö by locals, this upscale shopping boulevard is lined with designer boutiques, luxury brands and well-known shops.
It’s known as one of Europe’s best places to shop, with shops like Dior, Chanel and Prada as well as chain stores like H&M and Zara.
And while Königsallee is Düsseldorf’s most well-known shopping area, Schadowstrasse is also a great spot to shop, especially for those on a bit more of a budget.
And in the Altstadt, the market at Carlsplatz offers everything from fresh produce to German souvenirs, while Lorettostrasse, near the Mediahafen, has plenty of small boutiques and indie designers to shop at.
4. Art and Museums
Düsseldorf’s impressive number of museums and art galleries is a testament to the city’s cultural scene.
Whether exploring the modern exhibits at K20 Grabbeplatz and K21 Ständehaus, both part of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, or contemporary art shows at Kunsthalle, you could easily spend a day browsing the museums in the Altstadt.
And then there’s the Museum Kunstpalast, which boasts an impressive collection spanning from classical to contemporary works, and the NRW Forum, which showcases experimental art and multimedia installations.
Or explore a variety of other museums, with exhibits of Düsseldorf’s maritime history to ceramics around the world, or film to classic cars.
No matter your interests, art enthusiasts have no lack of options to explore in Düsseldorf.
5. Historical Charm
While much of Düsseldorf is new and modern, the city still has quite a bit of historical charm.
Wander through the charming Altstadt, where narrow cobblestone streets are lined with traditional pubs. With over 250 bars and pubs in one place, the Altstadt is said to be the longest bar in the world.
Here you’ll find traditional architecture, with the iconic St. Lambertus Church and its twisted spire as well as the Schlossturm on Burgplatz and the historic Rathaus, which was built in the late 1500s.
But the historical charm of the Altstadt is not just about architecture – it’s about experiences too.
Brewing in Düsseldorf goes back to Roman times and the breweries are well-known for their traditional brewing style known as “alt”, a top-fermented beer.
Step into one of the Altstadt’s numerous taverns and savour a traditional Altbier.
A great way to experience the history and charm of the Old Town is by taking a walking tour. On this 2-hour guided tour, you’ll learn some interesting facts about the history of the city and its traditional rivalry with nearby Cologne, as well as taste a traditional Altbier.
6. Rheinufer Promenade
Düsseldorf has taken advantage of its location on the Rhine River and created a pedestrian promenade alongside the river’s edge.
A leisurely stroll along the scenic Rhine River promenade offers picturesque views of the city and the historic bridges and goes alongside Carlstadt and the old town.
Stop in any one of the numerous cafes for a bite to eat, have a drink at an outdoor bar or simply relax on a bench or the grass and take in the views.
And if you’re looking for a different view of Düsseldorf, the promenade is where you can find tours to take a sightseeing cruise along the Rhine River.
Located at the southern end of the promenade, the Rheinturm is Düsseldorf’s tallest building.
Standing at 172.5 metres high, the Rheinturm has a revolving restaurant and an observation deck at 168 meters.
Climb the tower to the observation deck for stunning views of the surrounding area, and even to nearby Cologne.
The Rhine Tower also has a light sculpture that works as a clock. Known as the Lichzeitpegel, or light time level, this is the largest digital clock in the world.
8. Parks and Gardens
Düsseldorf prides itself on being a green city.
Among the many parks and gardens in the heart of the city are the Hofgarten, the Rheinwiesen and the Nordpark, with its stunning Japanese garden.
There’s also the Botanische Garten, a stunning botanical garden and the Volksgarten, which is considered to be the green lung of Düsseldorf.
Whether you’re looking for a spot to unwind away from the bustle of the city, take a jog, or just relax with the family, Düsseldorf’s numerous parks and gardens offer plenty of opportunities to get into nature.
9. Experience the Festivities
Düsseldorf knows how to celebrate and hosts a variety of lively festivals throughout the year.
Its iconic Carnival parade rivals the well-known one in nearby Cologne, and in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the Düsseldorf Christmas Markets are a fantastic way to get in the festive spirit.
10. Easy Day Trips
Düsseldorf’s strategic location allows for easy day trips to nearby towns such as Cologne and Essen, as well as the picturesque city of Maastricht in the Netherlands.
Düsseldorf is also well-connected to other places in Europe with easy flights to many countries on the continent.
In fact, one of the main reasons that we visited Düsseldorf was that we found inexpensive flights from Albania, after spending 6 weeks in Southeastern Europe.
Pro Tip: The DüsseldorfCard is a great way to see the city. Options are available for 24, 48, 72, or 96 hours and provide travel by bus or train in the city, as well as discounts of up to 100% on over 50 city tours, museums and souvenirs. Check rates and offers here.
FAQs: Visiting Düsseldorf
What’s the best area to stay in Düsseldorf?
The best place to stay in Düsseldorf is the city centre. There are plenty of accommodation options in the Altstadt, ranging from apartments to hotels. Das Carls Hotel near Carlsplatz is a great choice.
We stayed at the Leonardo and found it to be in a great location, convenient and close to the centre but still quiet.
How many days is enough for Düsseldorf?
To fully experience all that Düsseldorf has to offer, 2 or 3 days is generally recommended. We stayed in the city for 5 days but explored Düsseldorf for three of those days and did day trips to neighbouring Cologne, Essen and Duisburg on the remaining days.
Is Düsseldorf a walkable city?
Düsseldorf is a very walkable city. The compact size of the city centre and pedestrian-friendly streets make it easy to walk get around, and if you’re looking to venture outside of the city centre, Düsseldorf has an excellent public transportation system.
Is Düsseldorf safe?
Düsseldorf is a safe destination for travellers. The city has low crime rates and a reputation for being safe and well-maintained, but as with many cities, it’s always a good idea to stay aware and pay attention to your belongings.
Keep your wallet close and on the front of your body, rather than using a backpack or purse, as pickpockets do exist in any large city.
Final Thoughts: Is Düsseldorf Worth Visiting?
With its unique blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy, Düsseldorf is a city that is worth visiting. Whether you’re fascinated by art, history or simply exploring the culture, this city will undoubtedly leave you with unforgettable memories.