City guide: Düsseldorf, Germany | Private jet charter
Düsseldorf is located on both sides of the Rhine River in western Germany. Visit the city’s east bank for Old Town attractions that include the Schlossturm, Marktplatz and some of Düsseldorf’s most well-known bars and restaurants.
The best shopping is found along Königsallee and Schadowstraße, while the city’s many riverside walkways, parks and gardens offer relaxing recreation space. The city plays host to the largest Rhine Fair each July and the famous Karneval each November.
Top five must-see sights and attractions
Düsseldorf Altstadt (Old Town)
Allow at least half a day to meander among Düsseldorf’s charming Altstadt attractions. Located on the eastern bank of the River Rhine, the area is only one square kilometre in size but is home to much of Düsseldorf’s best historical architecture, its most popular museums and a thriving club, bar and restaurant scene that attracts as many locals as tourists.
There are more than 260 pubs in the Altstadt – many in streets leading off the beautiful Marktplatz Square. Around Bergerstrasse, Kurzestrasse and Bolkerstrasse you’ll also find local breweries, lounge and cocktail bars.
The Old Town is also where some of Düsseldorf’s best museum’s are located including, the Filmmuseum, the Museum Kunstpalast and the NRW-Forum as well as the Schlossturm (Castle Tower) and the 13th century Sankt Lambertus Basilika.
Königsallee is one of the chicest shopping districts in Germany and home to the most glamorous international fashion brands. Known as ‘Ko’ by locals, Düsseldorf’s elegant luxury flagship stores, boutiques and high-end jewellers are interspersed with fashionable cafes and coffee shops.
Five-star luxury hotels line the west side of Königsallee, among them the InterContinental, the Breidenbacher Hof and the Steigenberger Parkhotel. For many the main attraction of Königsallee is the landscaped tree-lined canal in the centre of the boulevard, providing welcome shade during the height of summer.
Rhine River cruises
The River Rhine is Düsseldorf’s artery and its embankments provide a relaxing environment in which to stroll or cycle. The embankment stretches for a mile connecting the city’s Altstadt with the new MedienHafen.
This once commercial harbour area has been revitalised as a new tech and business hub with more than 700 companies now renting space in the former warehouses. The area has retained its unique history and preserved the ironwork, rail tracks and quay walls, while on the upper levels of the tree-lined embankment visitors will find cafes and bars.
Take a Rhine River cruise from Burgplatz pier to the Altstadt and MedienHafen, and don’t miss the contemporary (underground) art gallery Kunst im Tunnel.
Düsseldorf is renowned for its upscale dining scene, but the city’s farmers markets and slow food markets are equally a must-see. Here are a few of our favourite Düsseldorf markets:
Düsseldorf Fischmarkt is a bustling market that sells fruits, veggies, craft items and souvenirs. Grab a beer and enjoy the live music.
Wochenmarkt Eller on the Gertrudisplatz may be a smaller market with under 20 stalls, but offers visitors a wide selection of goods from watches, to leather products, meat, snacks and more. Head to weekly Fürstenplatz for superb cakes and pastries in addition to fresh fruit and veg.
Barbarossaplatz Market is a favourite with locals and renowned for its quality products, while the small but perfectly formed Wochenmarkt Ahnfeldplatz has a multitude of succulent stalls and is also near the Zoopark.
Head to Düsseldorf’s iconic 240.5m Rheinturm for superb views over the city and beyond. Constructed between 1979 and 1982, the Rheinturm stands sentinel at the Media Harbour entrance – almost opposite the Parliament Building.
Enjoy an innovative dining experience at QOMO, a revolving restaurant at the top of the tower that completes a full rotation every 72 minutes. The viewing platform here has a snack bar and function space with incredible views over Düsseldorf.
Once in Düsseldorf, the city’s Old Town is best explored on foot. If you’re travelling further afield hire a car or use Düsseldorf’s efficient public transport system: the U-bahn (underground) and S-bahn (overground) are recommended. Taxis cannot be hailed on the street, instead catch them at clearly marked taxi ranks or book them at your hotel reception.
Best time to visit
Spring and summer are usually the best seasons to visit Düsseldorf when the days are sunnier and longer. The Rhine Fair in July is a popular time to visit the city. Summer temperatures are usually mild thanks to Düsseldorf’s oceanic climate, while autumn can sometimes be chilly and wet, but it’s still a beautiful season thanks to the autumnal colours and crisp mornings. Winters however can be cold, while the Christmas markets are hugely popular, as is Karneval week in November.
Düsseldorf’s mild climate, its convenient central European location and its sophisticated cultural life makes it one of Germany’s most charming cities and an ideal destination for a weekend break. Düsseldorf’s medieval Old Town is a treasure trove of historical architecture, world-class museums and a lively night life, while a peaceful River Rhine cruise is the perfect way to enjoy this beautiful city and see the major sights from the water.
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