Düsseldorf is a famous city in West Germany located along the poetic of River Rhine. Along with Cologne and the Ruhr, the city has always played an important role in the economic and cultural development of the Western Germany. In addition, this place is also known as Germany’s luxury fashion capital with many luxury shopping malls. If you’ve been to Cologne, you should absolutely not miss this city. Let’s find out why this city attracts millions of visitors each year through our Dusseldorf travel guide below. So, what to do and how to plan a perfect budget trip to Dusseldorf for the first-time? Let’s check out our Dusseldorf travel blog (Dusseldorf blog) with the fullest Dusseldorf travel guide (Dusseldorf guide, Dusseldorf tourist guide) from how to get there, best time to come, where to stay, best places to visit and top things to do as well as suggested Dusseldorf itinerary 2 days 1 night to find out the answer!
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Dusseldorf travel blog: Overview of Dusseldorf
Dusseldorf is known as one of the five most important cities in Germany. The city stands out skyscrapers with a harmonious architecture that combines modern and ancient buildings.
Some interesting things about Dusseldorf:
- Dusseldorf is only 40km from the famous tourist city of Cologne. So, it’s perfect to make a day trip from Cologne. It also is the 7th largest city in Germany with a population of more than 630,000.
- According to Mercer’s ranking in 2012, Dusseldorf is rated as the 6th most livable city in the world.
- Dusseldorf Airport (DUS) is the 3rd busiest airport in Germany after Frankfurt and Munich with many daily international flights.
- Dusseldorf is known as the famous financial and economic center worldwide, with many international companies headquartered here and countless fashion brands and trade fairs.
- This is where the headquarters and main branches of more than 170 national and international financial firms are located, including the head office of HSBC Germany, the main branch of Deutsche Bank.
- Besides, the city of Dusseldorf has a close relationship with the Japanese government, so there are many headquarters of Japanese companies in Europe. That is also the reason this city now has the third largest Japanese community in Europe after London and Paris.
- Dusseldorf is known as the fashion capital of Germany with many high-end shopping centers.
Dusseldorf travel blog: When to come?
Traveling to Dusseldorf in every season of the year has its own interesting. If you are not like the hustle and bustle, you should avoid July or November because this is the time when most of the major festivals in Dusseldorf take place. This time, there are 2 big festivals, namely The Biggest Funfair on the Rhine (Größte Kirmes am Rhein) taking place in July and Dusseldorf Carnival in November. In addition, Christmas is also a big holiday here. People will gather on the street, drink beer, dance…so the street is always noisy and bustling.
Dusseldorf travel guide: How to get to Dusseldorf?
There are many way to get to Dusseldorf from within Germany, other European cities as well as other destinations around the world. To get to Dusseldorf by train, bus or other means of transport within European Union you can access OMIO.com.
Dusseldorf blog: Getting around Dusseldorf
Some types of tickets to getting around Dusseldorf by public transport:
- Single ticket: €2.7/way
- Day pass – TagesTicket: €7. Tickets are only valid until 3 am the next day, not 24 hours. Tickets purchased in groups of 2-5 people will be more profitable than buying individually. (If I remember correctly, the price is €13 for a group of up to 5 people).
You can buy these two types of tickets directly on the bus or at the orange vending ticket machines or on the tram.
The Dusseldorf Card is free for bus, tram and train travel within the city as well as free for some museums and 20% discount for other activities.
List of museums that are free or discounted. This section is about the museum only. You can see a list of other activities at the Dusseldorf Card homepage.
Where to buy Dusseldorf Card? You can buy Dusseldorf Card online on your phone or at the Tourist information office at stations, the old town and some other places.
Dusseldorf travel blog: Where to stay?
During my trip, I stayed at a studio apartment, about a 15-minute walk from the central station. The apartment is fully equipped and quite new and modern. The house is only a few steps from the tram station and from here to get to the central area, the old town is only 10-15 minutes. In addition, this place uses a bluetooth check-in system, so you don’t have to meet the owner and look for the key box like other places. This is probably the first place I see self-check-in in such a modern way. Rental price is €39/night.
Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Breidenbacher Hof Dusseldorf (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- me and all hotel duesseldorf (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Novotel Dusseldorf City West (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Maritim Hotel Dusseldorf (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Steigenberger Parkhotel Duesseldorf (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- NH Duesseldorf City Nord (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Hotel Villa Achenbach (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Dusseldorf travel blog: Where to go, what to do?
Old town Dusseldorf (Altstadt) is known as the “longest bar in the world” with countless famous restaurants and bars. Although it only covering an area of more than half a square kilometer, this is one of the most famous Dusseldorf tourist attraction that you should not miss.
Dusseldorf’s most famous street (boulevard) with long rows of trees and countless luxury fashion stores gathered around. The Christmas atmosphere in this street is really vibrant and bustling. Here, there are traditional Christmas shops, ice skating rinks and many other interesting activities.
The Rheinturm (Rhine Tower)
The tallest tower in the city with the best panoramic view here.
Address: Stromstraße 20, 40221 Düsseldorf, Germany
Height: 234 m
Opened: December 1, 1981
Rheinuferpromenade (Rhine embankment promenade)
The famous the two-tier walkways next to the Rhine River with lots of bars and restaurants and connects to the old town of the city.
Schloss Benrath (Benrath Palace)
Benrath Palace was built in the Rococo style in the 1700s. This lovely pink palace is now known as the European museum of garden art. The grounds of Benrath Palace are 612,000 m2 wide with flower gardens that are always in full bloom. After walking around, you will be resting by the cool fountain.
The most visited palace in Dusseldorf. However, on my trip because I didn’t have too much time, this place was about 10km from the center, so I skipped it. Instead, I visited the Goethe-Museum (Address: Jacobistraße 2, 40211 Düsseldorf, Germany / Hours: 11AM–5PM; Monday: Closed;Saturday: 1–5PM) because this place is quite close to other Dusseldorf’s tourist attractions.
Address: Benrather Schloßallee 100-108, 40597 Düsseldorf, Germany
Hours: Sunday, Saturday: 11AM–6PM
Architectural style: Rococo
The complex with unique architecture concentrates many luxury fashion stores.
Address: Königsallee 2, 40212 Düsseldorf, Germany
Hours: Open 24 hours
St. John’s Church (Johanneskirche): The largest Protestant church in Dusseldorf. Note: you should search Google for its German name to find the correct location of this church.
Church of An St. Lambertus
Church of St. Mariae Empfaengnis
The Rhine River
This is a very unique beauty of the city of Dusseldorf. This is a great place for a walk. Lots of eateries and cafes are located next to the river. You will easily find a suitable sitting position to enjoy the view. In addition, the river is also one of the extremely important waterway transport networks of the city and surrounding areas. In the early morning or late afternoon, people will flock to both sides of the river to admire the scenery and enjoy the fresh air here.
Wilhelm Marx House
It was one of the first high-rise office towers in Germany. This is one of the first skyscrapers in Europe, named after the mayor of Dusseldorf in the early twentieth century.
Burgplatz Square is a large, bustling square in the center of Dusseldorf. This is a place that attracts many tourists because of its fresh and pleasant air.
Dusseldorf travel blog: Suggested Dusseldorf travel itinerary
You should take the tram to the stations near Kö-Bogen or Goethe-Museum. The first place to visit should be the Goethe-Museum, which is the most suitable starting point. Dusseldorf self-sufficient travel itinerary 1 day can go as follows:
Goethe-Museum – Church of St. Mariae Empfaengnis – Church of Johannes – Kö bogen- Konigsallee – Rheinuferpromenade – Church of An St. Lambertus – Old Quarter.
Most of these places are very close to each other, so walking is pretty easy. Especially if you starting from Johannes Church, these locations must be said to be quite close together.
Rheinuferpromenade is a road along the river so you don’t have to go to the right place like Google suggests, just go straight from Konigsallee to the riverside. Also, because I didn’t have too much time, I just watched the Rhine Tower from afar, not visit it.
Besides, right next to the Johannes church is a very large shopping area. You can come here to visit and eat. In the basements of this central area, there are many restaurants serving Japanese to Thai, Italian, German… cuisines.
While exploring, I also accidentally discovered a pretty famous Japanese restaurant called Naniwa. I counted more than 20 people queuing outside waiting for their turn. This restaurant is located quite close to St. Mariae Empfaengnis Church. Honestly, this is the first time that I have come to a city where I see so much Japanese people. Going to other European countries is mainly seeing Chinese people.
Dusseldorf blog: What to eat?
Traditional dish Rheinischer Sauerbraten. The beef is marinated for a few days with vinegar and spices, then baked. Served with gravy and raisins.
Also you should try Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth) (pudding with stewed apples mixed with mashed potatoes). Feel free to enjoy traditional German dishes such as German beer, curry sausage, potato salad, pork leg served with pickled cabbage, meatballs…
Dusseldorf is famous for its distinctive beer taste. You will easily find attractive cups of beer in any bar. The tradition of making Original Schlüssel German beer here goes back more than 170 years.
Dusseldorf blog: Traveling costs
- Hotel: €33/person/night
- Meals: €30/day
- Dusseldorf Card: €10
The total cost is about €70-80/day. I find the cost of eating here is a bit more expensive than Cologne and Berlin. A meal here averages around €11-12. I ate pho (beef noodle soup) at a Vietnamese restaurant, the price was €12.5 and the ramen of the Japanese restaurant in the shopping center near the Johannes church was also priced at the same price.
Dusseldorf travel blog: Some tips before you go
- I was quite surprised because I did not think that Dusseldorf tourism would be so developed and notable. I saw most of the streets in the central area and the old town were really crowded. It’s like having to jostle step by step. Dusseldorf is much more crowded compared to Cologne although Cologne is more famous and familiar with tourists.
- As a city of fashion and art, there are many interesting museums in Dusseldorf. If you have free time, check it out.
- For those who are fashionistas, Dusseldorf is indeed an ideal destination. There are countless high-end fashion stores that come with extremely good quality of service.
- If you are going from Dusseldorf to Colgne try searching for tickets on the Omio site. Travel time from Dusseldorf to Cologne is only about 20 minutes and usually there is a national DB train company running quite often. Although the travel time is quite short, the fare is usually in the range of €13-17. Instead of taking this train, I recommend you to look for the Flixtrain. I remember that there were only a few trains a day, but the fare was only €3.
Read more Germany travel guide here.