On the surface Dusseldorf might appear to be a city of buttoned-up propriety. It is, after all, one of Germany’s wealthiest cities, with a very serious, businesslike side to it. However, Dusseldorf also has a vibrant character, replete with astounding feats of architecture and an art scene comparable to almost any other city in Europe.
Why visit Dusseldorf?
Despite its business-orientated façade, Dusseldorf is an exciting and spectacular city. Recently Burgplatz received an award for being one of the most beautiful squares in Germany. It also invites you onto the Rheinufer promenade, which has numerous cafés and benches suited for fine weather, exuding a cool Mediterranean vibe. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something more lively, you can go bar-hopping, wielding steins around the historical quarter of Alstadt, or wandering to the lesser known harbour, Medienhafen, with its quirky, avant-garde architecture.
There are also fashion and trade fairs like the Boot Messe (a must for boat and watersport enthusiasts), as well as the immensely popular Kirmes fair, the Largest Fair on the Rhine, which runs for nine days in summer and attracts more than 4 million visitors annually.
With no direct ferry to Germany, our ferries to Amsterdam
from Newcastle are the perfect alternative. It only takes a couple of hours to reach Germany, via Europe’s excellent motorway system.
You can also reach Dusseldorf in a few hours from our ports in
Dunkirk and Calais.
What to see
Germany is widely known for its beer, and its friendly, lively drinking culture, so if you’d like to visit a quintessential Rhenish beer hall then head to the colourful Brauerei im Füchschen,often packed with a mix of excitable tourists and locals in lederhosen. Also keep an eye out for the ‘Little Fox’ in Altstadt, which serves succulent Schweinshaxe (roast pork leg) and has lofty ceilings, echoing with the laughter of well-fed customers.
If you’re looking for something more highbrow there are numerous art museums and cultural institutions dotted around the city. The recently revamped Nordrhein-Westfalen art museum gives testimony to Dusseldorf’s cultured outlook. Its diverse collection is spread throughout three buildings and deftly spans the arc of 20th-century art history. It includes the work of local artists, as well as the Western European and American Goliaths like Picasso, Matisse and Rauschenberg.
Even if that doesn’t tempt you, the architecture alone is worth the trip. Of the three remarkable buildings one is a 19th-century parliament house, holding an incongruous array of photographs, installations and video art. Another is the Schmela Haus, designed by Aldo van Eyck, which is simply a higgledy pile of blocks, resembling a Lego tower.
It is, in fact, very difficult to explore Dusseldorf without happening upon architectural landmarks. Most notable among these is the twisted tower of the 14th-century St Lambertuskirche, which overlooks the Gothic tabernacle, as well as a number of marble tombs and baroque altars. For a more intimate experience, visit the historic Marktplatz, shadowed by the Renaissance Rathau town hall and adorned with a regal statue of Jan Wellem. Then afterwards you can find the art-lover himself, buried nearby in the gleaming white Andreaskirch. You can find the six saint sculptures that survived from the original altar, or, if you go on Sunday at 4.30pm, be treated to a free organ concert in the upstairs gallery.
Where to stay in Dusseldorf
Dusseldorf has a range of hotels, apartments and hostels which can cater to any visitor. Check out our partner
booking.com for a full list.
Prices are subject to availability. Telephone booking fees apply. Terms & Conditions apply.
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