Dusseldorf is steeped in centuries of history, and travelling through the city is just like travelling back in time. Kaiserpfalz (the ruins of Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa’s 10th-century castle), the 13th-century Schlossturm, the mid-18th-century baroque-style Benrath Palace, the 16th-century Rathaus with its renaissance complex, the Schloss Jägerhof and innumerable other monuments echo stories of wars, destruction and peace. It doesn’t take a student of history to appreciate the beauty of these examples of historic architecture.
Historic buildings of Dusseldorf share the skyline with spectacular modern architecture. The most notable among these are the three twisting, wavy Gehry Buildings, constructed out of white plaster, red bricks and stainless steel respectively. The Rheinturm telecommunications tower is the pride of Dusseldorf’s cityscape, and boasts a revolving restaurant and uninterrupted views for miles from its observation deck. The award-winning Stadttor, with its double facades and double-glazed structure, reduces electricity consumption by enabling natural ventilation. The shimmering glass-fronted shopping centre Kö-Bogen further enhances the bling factor of Dusseldorf’s premium shopping street, Konigsallee. Dusseldorf’s modern architecture proves beyond any doubt that this historic city is also a 21st-century international city.
There is shopping, and then there is shopping at Konigsallee, Europe’s most glamorous shopping street. The biggest names in the fashion world, such as Prada, Armani, Tiffany, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, entice shoppers with their high-end products. Even a spot of window shopping in this street will be enough for you to discover why Dusseldorf is considered to be a fashion destination.
Dusseldorf is proud of its art and culture, and consequently is home to some of the most sought-after museums and galleries in Europe. The Kunstsammlung, with its unbeatable collection of modern art; Classic Remise, with its jaw-dropping range of vintage cars; Neanderthal Museum, showcasing an exciting account of human evolution; and the underground modern art museum Kunst im Tunnel are no less that treasure troves.
For a city that loves its architecture, Dusseldorf is unbelievably green. Tree-lined avenues are a very common sight while traveling through the city. Dusseldorf also nurtures and impeccably maintains its green lungs: Nordpark, Hofgarten, Benrath Park, Sudpark, Zoopark and Rheinpark are swathes of green and a riot of blooms. These oases offer shade from the sun and a spot to relax and rejuvenate away from the city traffic.
The Rhine embankment alone is worth visiting Dusseldorf for. A few hours strolling or biking down the embankment, perhaps catching a sunrise or sunset, is time well spent. Visitors also have the option of enjoying a leisurely river cruise. The Rhine embankment, with its row upon row of restaurants, cafes, pubs and breweries, is a cheerful place, basking in festive spirit throughout the year. Summer tourists can catch Japan Day, the Rhine Fair, the Cartwheel Championship or an open-air movie screening to further enhance the enjoyment factor of their holiday.
Though Dusseldorf itself has enough charm to keep visitors occupied for several days, it also serves as a great base for those who want to explore more of Europe. Dusseldorf international airport, as well as Dusseldorf train station, are well-connected to the rest of Europe, and most tourist destinations in Europe are short flights away. There are innumerable day outing and short-trip options from Dusseldorf, both within Germany and further afield in the Netherlands and Belgium.
For beer lovers, the copper-coloured top-fermented beer brewed in Dusseldorf is reason enough to visit the city. The fact that they can sip this beer in the longest bar in the world in the Altstadt definitely adds to the experience. Altbier is available in all pubs, bars and supermarkets across Dusseldorf, and has been certified as delicious by beer enthusiasts.