Although Dusseldorf has long been one of Germany’s major players in trade and finance, it has until recently stayed off the tourist radar. However a recent flourishing of the city’s cultural scene has led to visitors seeing the city in a new light, and now it’s becoming a popular choice for a weekend of shopping, food and culture. It’s a surprisingly picturesque city, with an old town and edgy commercial centre separated by the Rhine.
A great way to get your bearings when you arrive is to go on a bus tour around the city or take a scenic cruise down the Rhine. Go up the Rhine Tower for 360° views of Dusseldorf, and you can even dine at a revolving restaurant at the top. The Rheinuferpromenade is a lively place to walk, sunbathe or get a drink by the river, and newly-renovated Medienhafen has hip bars and hotels.
The Königsallee boulevard is Dusseldorf’s main shopping street, famous for its high-end brands and designer names. Even if it’s out of your price range it’s a beautiful place to window shop; the wide street has a pretty canal running up the middle framed on both sides by lush green lawns and trees. More affordable goods can be found in the Schadow Arkaden shopping centre, where there’s a mix of big brands and high street stores.
Altstadt, Dusseldorf’s old town, comes alive at night with bars, clubs and restaurants filling with locals and tourists. The area is known as the ‘longest bar in the world’ – there are around 300 bars in the space of just half a square kilometre. There’s a wide range of beer halls, pubs, cocktail bars, live music venues and pubs, and you’ll mainly see people drinking Dusseldorf’s local speciality beer, Altbier.