Top 5 Must-Dos in Düsseldorf
As the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany’s fashion and shopping hub, Düsseldorf is a stunning, seven-century-old riverside city that seamlessly blends historical and ancient buildings with modern and contemporary architecture. The city offers a wide range of attractions and activities if you are willing to spend a day exploring both the old and the new. Here are our personal top 5 things to do in Düsseldorf!
Wander the Old Town of Düsseldorf
Locally known as the Altstadt, the old town is the heart of Düsseldorf. Hustling restaurants and shops line both sides of its narrow cobbled streets leading all the way to the Rhine river. Home to more than 300 connecting bars, pubs and discotheques, this part of town is also famous for having ‘the longest bar in the world’. At night, the Altstadt transforms into the main destination to get your daily dose of Altbier. Here you’ll find streets lined with clubs and pubs blasting music until the early morning hours.
In the center of the Altstadt center, Marktplatz, you’ll find the beautiful Renaissance Town Hall (Rathaus) and the imposing and equestrian statue of Elector John William II. If you continue straight from Marktplatz, you‘ll find yourself in Burgplatz with a view of not only of the St Lambertus Church with it’s crooked tower, but also the remains of a baroque castle, Schlossturm, and the world-famous Rhine river – making it one of the most instagram-able spots in the city. If you happen to be there during Christmas, grab a Glühwein from the Christmas markets and ride on the ferris wheel for an unforgettable view of Düsseldorf from above.
Walk along the Rhine Promenade
Built in the 1990’s, the Rhine Promenade is one of the best places to enjoy Düsseldorf’s breathtaking riverside while sitting on one of the many benches and stairs there. If you follow the promenade by foot from the old town, you’ll end up in the Medienhafen – Düsseldorf’s previous harbour which has since transformed into a modern business hub home to tech, finance, fashion companies and more.
You won’t be able to miss the Gehry Bauten (Gehry Buildings) on your tour of the media harbour. Designed by the American architect Frank O. Gehry, the three buildings represent an organically shaped landmark that is not restricted by traditional geometry as they vary in their material, height and expression of shape.
If you’re tired of strolling around, you can rent a bike and pedal along the tree-lined paths and enjoy a picturesque sunset on the other side of the river in the neighbourhood of Oberkassel.
Stroll along Königsallee
Known to the locals as “Kö”, Königsallee is considered the most elegant avenue in Düsseldorf. From premium designer brands to luxury hotels and exclusive rooftop patios, it is undoubtedly the most luxurious district of the city.
In the middle of the avenue you’ll find a glistening 31-meter wide water canal with multiple bridges where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery under the large chestnut and sycamore trees.As you walk along the street, you‘ll find several restaurants and cafés that offer international cuisines with a German twist.
North to the Kö, you can visit the famous Hofgarten – the first and oldest public garden in Germany. A good third of it is dedicated to meadows where nature lovers can enjoy a picnic under the bright sunlight. It also has many flowerbeds and a pond where you can spend your time feeding the ducks and enjoying the peaceful ambiance.
Go to the top of Rhine Tower
Another landmark that you should definitely see is the Rheinturm or the Rhine tower. Constructed in 1981, the city’s tallest building stands at a whopping 240 meters high in the middle of the harbor area. It also includes a revolving restaurant at 170 meters. The tower looks over all of Düsseldorf, and if you are lucky and the sky is clear, you can see the tower of Cologne far in the south.
You can buy a ticket to go to the top of the tower for €9. The price drops down to €5 if you go before 11:00 am or after 10:00 pm.
The tower also has the world’s largest digital clock located on its concrete shaft in the form of lights. I will leave it to you to figure out how it works!
Explore Düsseldorf’s Street Art and Museums
Düsseldorf is a melting pot of cultures with many museums, galleries and street art to explore.One of the largest art collections in the city is K20. This gallery, located in Grabbeplatz, is considered to be the largest collection of contemporary and modern art. Another gallery to check out is the K21. It’s home for a variety of modern paintings and drawings as well as sculptures and film pieces.
If you are looking for a bit more color in your trip, then you’re in for a treat. Located in Flingern-Süd, Kiefernstraße is the center of street art in Düsseldorf. Grab your camera and come admire the colourful art on the street walls and building facades.
We highly recommend booking a tour of the city best street art through the Düsseldorf tourism office.
These are our top picks for the things to do in Düsseldorf, especially if you’re visiting for the first time. Whether you’re into fashion, art, history or just wandering around, Düsseldorf should definitely be your next travel destination.
Shoutout to frontend software engineer Mohammed Abed for compiling this article!