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We can all agree that exploring a new city is a lot more fun when it’s blue skies all day long, but a bit of rain doesn’t necessarily have to keep you from having a jam-packed day full of adventures. Dusseldorf boasts a ton of indoor activities for those interested in culture, history, trend sports and wellness. Here’s an overview of what to do in Dusseldorf on a rainy day.
Dusseldorf is a mecca for shopaholics. While the Kö (short for Königsallee) is the most frequented luxury shopping boulevard in all of Germany, you don’t need to expose yourself to the pouring rain to shop for designer items. A number of city-centre arcades and malls guarantee a sheltered shopping spree – try Kögalerie for household names such as Karl Lagerfeld, Jil Sander and Aigner, and Sevens and the Shadow Arcaden for high-street shops.
If you’re in the mood for a day of action, Dusseldorf has quite the number of activities to choose from. Besides your pretty standard indoor sports options, such as badminton, squash, bowling or tennis at Cosmo Sports, the complex also houses the MOVE rock climbing and bouldering centres which also offers English introductory courses if you’re new to the sport. Should none of this speak to you, how about a day’s worth of skiing or snowboarding? Yes, that’s right! You can hit the slopes at the Jever indoor ski arena which is only a short trip away from the city – all equipment can be rented on site.
If you’d rather kick back and relax instead of dedicating the day to adventure sports, the prospect of a spa day might lure you out of your hotel on a rainy day. While the city-centre Münster Therme encompasses a couple of saunas, steam rooms, pools, and offers massages, the Vabali is the real deal if you want to spend more than just a couple of hours relaxing. The beautiful wellness centre is designed with a Balinese theme and has a vast range of treatments and sauna experiences to offer – from an Ayurvedic massage to coconut-mint peelings.
Dusseldorf’s cultural scene is dominated by art museums which are a great pastime for a miserable day in the city. The Kunstpalast exhibits a whole range of fine art, sculptures, prints and illustrations, as well as glass art, while the K20 and K21 Kunstsammlung focus on art pieces from the 20th and 21st century respectively. It’s worth checking their weekly calendar for English-speaking gallery talks as well. If contemporary art is more your thing, you’ll like the Kunsthalle or the KIT which is hidden in underground tunnels underneath the waterfront promenade.
Dusseldorf and the nearby town vouch for their local Altbier variety and sneer at Cologners who proudly declare Kölsch to be the best beer. Guided tours take you from one brewery to the next and allow you to peek behind the scenes, sample the best beers the city has to offer, and snack on some local foods. If you’d rather avoid the rain altogether, take your pick and book a brewery tour with dinner at Uerige or Schumacher. If you prefer schnapps over beer, check with Schmittmann Distillery if they run a tour the days you’re in town.
Granted you speak German, you do have quite a few options, whether you want to see stand-up comedy at the Quatsch Comedy Club, a theatre performance at the locally-loved Kom(m)ödchen or a musical at the Capitol Theater. Tickets are available online at city-centre ticket shops. If you’re more comfortable with English, check the programme of film screenings on kino.de to check for cinemas showing a film in their original language.
Düsseldorf’s city centre is abundant with traditional cafés and Third Wave coffee shops with many opportunities to indulge in hot and cold caffeinated treats from a never-go-wrong Americano to a Matcha Latte or cold brew. While you’re at it, why not treat yourself to a slice of apple strudel, Streuselkuchen or another one of Germany’s delightful cake creations to go with your beverage?