The two beautiful cities on the Rhine, Dusseldorf and Cologne, are at loggerheads with each other over politics, football, carnivals, attractions, historic power struggles and, most importantly, beer. These two cities are only 40 kilometres away from each other and extremely well-connected. So, tourists should certainly strive to visit both cities, but if there is only enough time for one, a true Dusseldorfer would readily put forward several solid points in favour of visiting their city.
Cologne has vibrant nightlife, with many bars, pubs and clubs, but there can be only one Longest Bar in the World, and that happens to be in Dusseldorf. Around 300 bars, breweries and pubs line the Dusseldorf Altstadt, all interconnected, making it one huge hangout arena with endless choices in drinks and food. Hard to beat that!
Köln Triangle offers great aerial views of the city of Cologne. However, it is only around 100 metres high. On the other hand, Dusseldorf’s Rheinturm is 240.5 metres high and promises unrestricted views across the city, and on clear days across to Cologne. A similar telecommunications tower in Cologne, Colonius Tower, has been out of operation for many years and is not scheduled to reopen anytime soon.
Cologne’s Schildergasse has a fabulous parade of shops, and constantly registers the highest footfall among shopping streets in Europe. Schildergasse is known for regular, affordable shopping alongside big brand names. However, no other shopping street can beat Dusseldorf’s Konigsallee in glamour and bling. The who’s who of international fashion and exclusive, luxury boutiques dazzle tourists on this boulevard, along with luxury hotels and fabulous restaurants. Shopping, or window shopping, in Dusseldorf’s Konigsallee is an experience in itself. Moreover, this tree-lined road with a canal running through it is a splendid spot for a stroll.
Cologne’s home-brewed beer, known as Kölsch, is a bright-yellow, light, top-fermented ale. On the other hand, Dusseldorf’s specialty, Altbier, is a dark copper-coloured, slightly fruity, slightly bitter variety. An uninitiated tourist asking for an Altbier in Cologne would not only not get one, but will likely be subjected to serious frowning too. A loyal Dusseldorfer would never, ever touch a Kölsch. It is a matter of never-ending debate which one tastes better. But tourists who want to sample Altbier must visit Dusseldorf. It is brewed in several breweries across the city and available in all pubs, bars and supermarkets.
Dusseldorf is Japan’s capital on the Rhine. Approximately 12,000 Japanese people have made Dusseldorf their home over the last several decades and Japanese restaurants, schools, kindergartens, bookshops and clubs are rife in the city. Tourists interested in experiencing this beautiful Oriental culture must visit Dusseldorf, and specifically the Eko Haus Japanese temple and gardens and the Japanese Garden in Nordpark. Tourists who visit Dusseldorf in summer have the chance to witness the massive Japanese festival, Japan Day.
Dusseldorf’s affection for cartwheels goes back a long way in history. Traces of this fun tradition are found all over the city, sometimes in the most unexpected places (for example, in candy!). While it’s fun counting cartwheel imagery while travelling across the city, witnessing the Cartwheel Championship in summer is an experience worth visiting the city for. Visitors can expect to be amazed by the skills of almost 700 children from 15 countries cartwheeling down the Rhine embankment amid a cheering crowd.