Düsseldorf, the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, is a vibrant city with a cosmopolitan feel, which perfectly combines modernity with historic charm. Known for its pioneering influence on electronic/experimental music, its avant-garde architecture, and fashion, Düsseldorf has more to offer than meets the eye.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you explore the best that Düsseldorf has to offer. Let’s start with some key facts and figures.
Facts and Figures
Düsseldorf has a population of about 640,000 people, making it the seventh-largest city in Germany. It covers an area of 217.41 square kilometers and has an oceanic climate, with moderate to heavy rainfall occurring throughout the year.
Although German is the official language, English is widely understood and spoken due to the city’s international outlook. Düsseldorf boasts a strong economy with key industries such as advertising, fashion, and telecommunications.
Places of Interest
1. Altstadt (Old Town)
The Altstadt is often referred to as the ‘longest bar in the world’ because it’s home to over 300 bars and discotheques. Apart from its lively nightlife, you’ll find historic landmarks here, such as the St. Lambertus Church and the Old Town Hall.
2. Rhine River Promenade
This is a popular pedestrian path that offers a scenic view of the city and the river. Here, you can take a leisurely stroll or sit at one of the many riverside cafes or restaurants.
3. Königsallee (King’s Avenue)
Often referred to as “Kö”, it’s a luxurious shopping street known for its high-end boutiques, department stores, and elegant arcades. It’s also beautifully landscaped, with a canal running down its center, flanked by chestnut trees.
4. Media Harbour
The Media Harbour is a redeveloped port area featuring stunning postmodern architecture, designed by world-renowned architects like Frank Gehry. It’s home to media companies, trendy bars, and restaurants.
5. Rhine Tower
For the best panoramic view of the city, visit the Rhine Tower, the city’s tallest building. There’s a revolving restaurant at the top, providing a 360-degree view as you dine.
6. Museum Kunstpalast
An important destination for art lovers, it showcases a broad spectrum of art, from classical painting to modern sculpture, graphics, and applied art.
Food and Drink
When in Düsseldorf, a must-try is the local Altbier, a top-fermented dark beer brewed only in this region. Visit an authentic ‘Brauhaus’ (brewery) like ‘Zum Schlüssel’ or ‘Uerige’ to taste this unique brew.
2. Rheinischer Sauerbraten
This is a pot roast, usually of beef but sometimes venison or lamb, marinated before being slow-cooked. It is often served with red cabbage and a type of dumpling called ‘Klöße’.
3. Himmel und Äd
A traditional dish, meaning “Heaven and Earth”. It’s a combination of black pudding, fried onions, mashed potatoes (‘earth’) and stewed apples (‘heaven’).
Tips for Visiting Düsseldorf
- Public Transport: The city has an excellent public transportation system including trams, buses, and subways. Consider getting a DüsseldorfCard for unlimited travel and discounts on museums and attractions.
- Weather: Summers can be warm, but not excessively hot, with temperatures ranging between 20°C and 25°C. Winters, on the other hand, are cold but not extreme, with temperatures mostly staying above freezing. The city can be visited any time of the year, but spring and autumn are particularly pleasant.
- Language: While many locals speak English, particularly in the hospitality industry, learning a few phrases in German could enhance your travel experience.
- Currency: The currency is the Euro (€). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s also a good idea to carry some cash as some small shops or cafes may not accept cards.
- Tipping: Service charge is usually included in your bill, but it’s customary to round up to the nearest euro or leave a small tip.
- Safety: Düsseldorf is generally a safe city, but like any other place, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night.
Fun and Entertainment
Düsseldorf is a city with a vibrant arts scene, exciting nightlife, and plentiful outdoor activities.
1. Live Music
Düsseldorf has a lively music scene. You can enjoy live performances at various venues like the Tonhalle, a stunning concert hall, or zakk, a cultural center hosting concerts and parties.
2. Outdoor Activities
You can rent a bike and explore the city or take a boat tour on the Rhine River. For a bit of green space, visit the Hofgarten, the city’s oldest public park, or the Nordpark, which houses the beautiful Japanese Garden.
The city has several annual events such as the Düsseldorf Carnival in February, the biggest carnival parade in Germany, or the Japan Day in May/June, a celebration of Japanese culture with a grand fireworks display.
Altstadt is the hub of nightlife in Düsseldorf with bars, clubs, and breweries. For a more sophisticated evening, you can visit the elegant bar at the top of the Rhine Tower or one of the lounges in the Media Harbour.
For fashion enthusiasts, Düsseldorf is a paradise. From designer boutiques on Königsallee to quirky stores in Flingern or Bilk, you’ll find an array of options. The Carlsplatz market is a must-visit for foodies, offering fresh local produce, gourmet specialties, and street food.
6. Day Trips
Düsseldorf is well located for day trips. You can visit other interesting cities like Cologne, Bonn, or Aachen. You can also explore the beautiful landscapes of the Rhine Valley or the Bergisches Land.
To sum up, Düsseldorf is a dynamic city that manages to seamlessly combine tradition and modernity. Whether you’re an art lover, a foodie, a shopaholic, or a nature enthusiast, Düsseldorf has something to offer you. Pack your bags and immerse yourself in the unforgettable charm of this Rhineland city.
Here are some basic German phrases that might come in handy during your travel. The table includes English and Farsi (Persian) equivalents for each.
|Guten Morgen||Good morning||صبح بخیر|
|Guten Tag||Good day||روز بخیر|
|Guten Abend||Good evening||عصر بخیر|
|Gute Nacht||Good night||شب بخیر|
|Ich verstehe nicht||I don’t understand||من نمیفهمم|
|Wo ist die Toilette?||Where is the bathroom?||دستشویی کجاست؟|
|Kann ich die Speisekarte haben?||Can I have the menu?||منو میتوانم بگیرم؟|
|Ich hätte gern…||I would like…||من دوست دارم…|
|Sprechen Sie Englisch?||Do you speak English?||آیا انگلیسی حرف میزنید؟|
|Wie viel kostet das?||How much does it cost?||چقدر هزینه دارد؟|
|Wo ist…?||Where is…?||…کجاست؟|
Please note that the Farsi phrases are in their standard form. Depending on the region of Iran (or other Persian-speaking countries) you are from, some phrases might be a bit different due to local dialects and accents.
English: Travel, Tourism, Sightseeing, Adventure, Itinerary, Culture, Cuisine, Landmarks, Accommodation, Transportation, Museum, Gallery, Shopping, Festival, Nightlife, History, Architecture, Nature, Guided tour, Souvenir
Farsi: سفر (Travel), گردشگری (Tourism), دیدنیها (Sightseeing), فرهنگ (Culture), غذا (Cuisine), مکانهای تاریخی (Landmarks), اقامتگاه (Accommodation), موزه (Museum), خرید (Shopping), تاریخ (History)
German: Reisen, Tourismus, Besichtigung, Abenteuer, Kultur, Küche, Sehenswürdigkeiten, Unterkunft, Verkehr, Museum, Galerie, Einkaufen, Festival, Nachtleben, Geschichte, Architektur, Natur, Führung, Souvenir, Geschichte