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Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf travel guide. A list of incredible awesome thing to do.

Want to know all the best things to do in Dusseldorf, where to stay or how to get around? Then this is the post for you!

 

Officially the sixth best place in the world to live, Düsseldorf is exactly that: a very liveable city.

It’s a place that doesn’t feel overrun with tourists. There are no picture menus nor souvenir lined streets, men trying to sell your reduced-priced tours or tickets to your next destination and although you’ll spot the odd stag do crowd on a weekend, refreshingly, they seem to be German and not British. The busy bars in the centre or by the river are very much full of locals. It is a place to discover on foot, or by bike, and a city where even with a big SLR slung around your neck, it is easy to disappear into the crowds.

And whilst Düsseldorf is not Europe’s prettiest city (the beautiful old buildings that so enthral visitors to London, Rome and Paris no longer exist here, destroyed by bombs during the second world war), this does not mean that it shouldn’t be seen.

In fact, after a few days exploring its streets, we will be telling all that cross our paths, that Düsseldorf, a city full of art, culture and innovation, offers up great weekend break. Here’s how you should spend your time and all the awesome things to do in Germany’s ninth largest city.

There are eight traditional breweries in Dusseldorf, all of which all brew altbier on the premises (handily, all within stumbling distance of each other!) They represent every beer lover’s dream watering hole – they make the good stuff in the back and it’s a never-ending supply on tap!

And whilst Düsseldorf is not Europe’s prettiest city (the beautiful old buildings that so enthral visitors to London, Rome and Paris no longer exist here, destroyed by bombs during the second world war), this does not mean that it shouldn’t be seen.

In fact, after a few days exploring its streets, we will be telling all that cross our paths, that Düsseldorf, a city full of art, culture and innovation, offers up great weekend break. Here’s how you should spend your time and all the awesome things to do in Germany’s ninth largest city.

There are eight traditional breweries in Dusseldorf, all of which all brew altbier on the premises (handily, all within stumbling distance of each other!) They represent every beer lover’s dream watering hole – they make the good stuff in the back and it’s a never-ending supply on tap!

BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH ALTBIER

Ask a local what defines them, and chances are you’ll hear mention of ‘Altbier’ more than once.

You see, in a country that is famed for its beers, Düsseldorf has long produced one of the most unique. Not bound by laws and regulations that aimed at limiting beer production in the last century, and by adopting only a handful of modern brewing practices, they have cultivated a style of beer that simply doesn’t exist elsewhere in the country. Literally translated as ‘old beer’, this is one of the few beers in the world that has changed little since its inception hundreds of years ago.

Be aware that the grumpy men serving (it’s always men) are sort of required to be grumpy to customers because of various local traditions – don’t be offended and instead view it as part of the experience.

The breweries are all located in the ‘Altstadt’, and you can either form your own little pub crawl, or join one of the Altbier Safaris.

WANDER THE OLD TOWN

As with most European cities, it is the old town that most attracts and beguiles the tourists. After all, it is here that you will find the museums, the history and the bulk of Düsseldorf’s ‘must sees’.

Additionally, let’s not forget that this is also where you’ll find the beer! Street upon street lined with small bars and pubs and kerbside tables filled with people out socialising over a cold one at the merest hint of a sunny sky.

Given the city’s size, the cobble stone streets of ‘Altstadt’ can be explored in just a few hours – just leave the heels at home!

Sit on the banks of the Rhine and watch the boats float by, or opt for one of the water-edge bars for a drink or two.

CHECK OUT THE STREET ART

Düsseldorf has sprinklings of epic art all over the city, as well as entire street dedicated to the stuff.Although a little out of the way, urban art fans should make sure they save an hour or two to check out Kiefern Staße in the east of the city. Here you’ll find an entire street full of graffiti, with every house painted by a different artist. Just a word of warning however; if you’re planning on taking photos, try and visit earlier in the day.

GET LOST IN DÜSSELDORF’S HIPSTER DISTRICT

As much as we love exploring old towns, new towns and everything in between, when we visit a new city, it’s the ‘hipster districts’ that we’re most drawn to – Düsseldorf is no exception.

Whilst there are a number of areas that come close to encapsulating this, one neighbourhood that fulfills all criteria is ‘Bilk’. 

Street art, an abundance of cool coffee shops, vintage furniture and clothes stores, tasty vegan food and an plenty of painfully fashionable 20-somethings. Bilk really does have it all.

Don’t miss Wandel (Friedenstraße 62) – a huge 1,300 exhibition space of all things vintage. Antique furniture, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Bauhaus, industrial design…. with over 200,000 items for sale, you’ll soon be wondering why you chose hand luggage only!

This is a neighbourhood to explore on foot. Take your time to stop for a great latte, browse shops that catch your eye, disappear into one of the many independent galleries or and stop for a rest in the sun in one Bilk’s small parks – definitely one of our very favourite things to do in Dusseldorf!

MEDIA HARBOUR

As with many European cities which built their reputation on the maritime trade, industrial changes and increasing globalisation meant that the harbours which had long formed the heartbeat of the local economy fell into disrepair and disrepute.  

Suffering from this same fate – one local told us her mum wouldn’t allow her to go there in the 80s – Düsseldorf’s harbour has undergone a regeneration to make it a business and, as the new name suggests, media hub. 

There’s an eclectic array of modern architecture, ostensibly supposed to incorporate elements of the port’s old purpose. Head here on a Saturday morning and you’ll see an array of locals in kayaks.

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