Dusseldorf is a great place to spend a long weekend.
Its a very nice town that is located at the Rhine. They combined old buildings with 70s and modern building. Go shopping on the famous Konigs Allee, in the city center or look for small shops in one of the hip neighbourhoods. The town has several parks and musea and several events are organised. Dusseldorf is also a great place for beer (the Dusseldorf specialty is ‘Altbier’) and many different restaurants. Dusseldorf has a large Japanese population and thats why you can find very good Japanese restaurants. The city center isn’t that big so you can see most of it by foot.
It’s really worth a visit. The airport is just 15 minutes from the city center by train or (if you live in Holland) you can take the train.
My lovely friend Julia lives in Dusseldorf. I met her in Holland and a year ago we both moved to another country. Me to London and Julia to her home country Germany. After a long (too long) time of announcing that we need to meet and catch up we finally picked a weekend.
When she asked me what I would like to see and do in Dusseldorf I had no idea. I was going to visit her and did not realise that it would be in her new home town that I didn’t know. Starting to read a bit about ‘what to do in Dusseldorf’, I came up with a list that was way too long for a weekend. I realised that this city had a lot to offer.
I arrived on Friday morning (got up very early) and after Julia picking me up from the airport, we travelled to her home in the neighbourhood Flingern Nord. In the afternoon we went out for a veggie burger at Fritte (delicious) and explored her neighbourhood. Lovely nice little shops, restaurants, ice salon and cafes. A lot of green and very relaxed atmosphere. I see why they picked this neighbourhood as their new home. Because the weather was so nice we took the tram to the Old Town to explore the market in the city center and walk the Rhine River Promenade.
Saturday was an early start. Julia had made a program with my list but first breakfast. We went to a small Saturday market just 5 minutes from her place to get some veggies, fruit and bread. After breakfast we took the tram to the city center which takes around 8 minutes.
First Königsallee or Kö as it is known locally (Germany’s equivalent to the Champs d’Elysee). It is a beautiful and exclusive part of the city. A canal divides the picturesque boulevard and leafy trees grow on either side of the waterway. All the designers are represented but you could also find a H&M and Zara and they look more sophisticated then usual. More space, nicer lighting.
In the afternoon Julia had booked a guided tour around the old town (Alt Stadt). Our guide told us stories about the typical things that makes Dusseldorf special. The ‘Altbier’, snaps, mustard, city rights. We went into a hotel that looked like a museum and ended at the statue of two kids doing a cartwheel which is the symbol of the city. You can book your tour at the tourist information center in the Old Town.
After the tour we had to warm up so we went to the cupcake store for tea. And of course a cupcake.
In the afternoon we visited the K20 museum with modern international art. Only one room was open due to reorganise the new exhibition. We walked all our way from the old town to media harbour. This is an area that used to be also part of the harbour of Dusseldorf but has been transformed into an area with very modern offices, hotels, flats and Frank Gehry’s Der Neue Zollhof.
Sunday was my last day and the weather got better again. After breakfast we went to … park. Every Sunday there is a free concert where different bands and groups perform. This time it was the Big Band MariaLinden. A lot of brass and tapping feet of the audience. There are some wooden benches but its better to take your own blanket to sit on.
In the afternoon we went to the Kunsthalle for the exhibition “Landschaften. Photographed.”by the photographer Wim Wenders. I will spend a separate post on his work.
Don’t forget to visit the cafe in the museum because it has something special hanging from the ceiling that makes the place like in a fairytale.
The weekend was great. I really enjoyed my time with Julia exploring her new home. Here is an insider tip for place with the best veggie burgers in Dusseldorf.
Fritte in Flingern: One long table to eat your delicious burger and have a conversation with your neighbour.
Beef Brothers in the Alt Stadt: Good location to have a burger before you start to explore the different beers.
Hans im Gluck in Media Haven: The website doesn’t show how special their fairylike interior is.
Do visit Dusseldorf, its a really nice place with lots to see, do, eat and drink. You only need to carry some cash because its not common to use your debit or credit card everywhere. Not even in the musea. Just a very small thing that I didn’t expect for such a modern european city.
Thank you Julia for showing me your new home.