From world-class museums and galleries to sprawling gardens, from the most glamorous shopping in Europe to the bustling Rhine promenade, Dusseldorf is rich in tourist attractions. Travelers who are ready to spend two busy days of sightseeing can fit in many of the attractions of Dusseldorf in 48 hours.
Explore Altstadt and Burgplatz
A filling breakfast at one of the great breakfast joints in Dusseldorf is a fitting start to what is going to be a memorable day in the city. Altstadt (Old Town) and Burgplatz (a hop away from Altstadt) is the perfect place to start exploring the city. Here, travelers get to gape at beautiful architecture steeped in centuries of history, including the Rathaus, Schlossturm (with a maritime museum), the historic St. Lambertus Basilica, Kreuzherren-Klosterkirche, St. Andreas Church, and the famous Cartwheeler (Radschlägerbrunnen) fountain. The Kunstsammlung museum with its unbeatable collection of modern art is certainly worth a stop.
Go on a Rhine Cruise
Taking a leisurely cruise on the mighty Rhine is a great way to enjoy the skyline of Dusseldorf from a different perspective. These short panoramic boat cruises last 45 to 60 minutes.
Climb the Rheinturm
The 240.5-meter-high Rheinturm, the telecommunications tower of Dusseldorf, is not just a fine sight from the ground, but offers spectacular views across the city (and on a clear day, all the way to Cologne!) from its glass-enclosed observation deck. Lunch at the revolving restaurant of the Rheinturm is surely going to be one of the most memorable moments of the holiday.
Stromstraße 20, 40212 Dusseldorf, Germany, +49 211 8632000
Walk along Medienhafen
The Medienhafen, with its modern, futuristic architecture poses a sharp contrast to the historic Old Town. Architects were given free reign to transform Dusseldorf’s old harbor into the most contemporary part of the city, while retaining its old-world charm. Of the rows of stunning glass and concrete creations at Medienhafen, the most stunning is the three-building complex designed by American architect Gehry. Travelers can’t help stopping here to take a few pictures with the Gehry buildings as the backdrop.
Rejuvenate at Hofgarten
Hofgarten, the oldest public park in Dusseldorf, with its tree-lined avenues, lush meadows, and blooming flowerbeds, is a peaceful paradise in which to slow down and recharge. Travelers shouldn’t miss the 17th-century Schloss Jägerhof perched in one corner of the garden, which houses an admirable collection of art and artifacts pertaining to the life and works of the legendary poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Pempelfort/Hofgartenstrasse, Dusseldorf, Germany, +49 211 899 4800
As dusk descends on the city, travelers should head to Königsallee, the street that has carved a name for Dusseldorf in international fashion. Shoppers and window-shoppers are sure to feel like Charlie in the Chocolate factory at the Königsallee, with rows of glittering shops belonging to the best brands in the world and chic boutiques beckoning visitors with their irresistible window displays. As an added bonus, Königsallee is delightfully green, with a canal running through it, making a great street for a stroll. Königsallee also has several choices in great cafés, and it might be a good idea to stop for a sip. People-watching here is especially interesting as the most fashionable people in town frequent this street.
Dinnertime and night
As evening rolls on, tourists should take a short stroll back to the Altstadt. It is in the late evening that the Altstadt really bursts into life. The illuminated skyscape surrounding the Rhine transforms the city into a fairytale land. The Altstadt has endless restaurants, so this is a great area to be during dinner time. Nightbirds can take advantage of Dusseldorf’s pulsating nightlife and hit one of the many discos and nightclubs.
Take a walk at Nordpark
After another hearty breakfast, travelers should visit the Nordpark, the green lungs of Dusseldorf. Nordpark has beautiful pathways for walking and biking, ponds, meadows, towering trees, as well as several theme gardens. Among these, the most popular is the Japanese Garden, with traditional lighting and seating, maple and black pine trees, and quaint little ponds.
Kaiserswerther Str., 40474 Dusseldorf, Germany, +49 1578 0967361
Visit Museum Kunstpalast
Museum Kunstpalast has a rich collection of fine art from all over the world and across several different eras. The collection includes paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings, and photographs, plus one of the most massive glass collections in the whole of Europe. A couple of hours would melt away unnoticed while exploring this museum. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Next, it’s time to stop for lunch. The area around the museum has a lot of good options for a meal.
Experience Japan in Dusseldorf
Next, travelers should head to Eko-Haus, about 4 km from the Museum. On the way, they get to cross another landmark of Dusseldorf, the Oberkasseler Bridge. Visitors can get a taste of lovely Japanese culture at the Eko-Haus. With its beautiful Japanese Gardens, little bridges and ponds, and the peaceful Buddhist temple, the Eko-Haus is straight out of picture books. This place is especially magical in spring, when the cherry blossom trees are in bloom. The Eko-Haus is closed on Mondays.
Visit Benrath Palace
Benrath Palace is slightly off the heart of the city, but tourists in Dusseldorf can’t afford to miss this ornate 18th-century Baroque palace. The museum as well as the immaculately maintained formal gardens of the palace are certainly worth a visit. If hunger pangs strike, the palace café is ready with delicious cakes, snacks, and coffee. The museum and café are closed on Mondays, though the garden is accessible.
Benrather Schlossallee 102, Dusseldorf, Germany, +49 211 899 3832
Gape at some street art
Back to the city, travelers are sure to click some of their most interesting holiday photos in Kiefernstrasse. This street can be considered to be a tribute to Dusseldorf’s rich history of art. Gifted artists have transformed an ordinary street into a massive mishmash of images, paintings, splashes of color, and geometric patterns, which never fail to awe visitors.
Evening and night
In the evening, there really is no better place to be than the Altstadt. Digging into delicious cuisine and Dusseldorf’s signature brew, Altbier, while enjoying the infectious buzz of the place and great views of the river, never gets old. It is also certainly a great ending to an eventful 48 hours in the city.