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About city Gallery Where to stay

Düsseldorf, established in the Middle Ages at the spot where the small River Düssel flows into Rhine, is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its name means “the Village of Düssel”. Even though the city was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, it was rapidly rebuilt afterwards. Today, Düsseldorf is the seventh-largest city in Germany, and home to around 600,000 people. It is considered a wealthy city – it has zero debt, and prides itself in being the fifth city in the world in terms of quality of life. Despite its industrial façade, the city also has a lively cultural life.

Many famous artists used to live and create their art here. Literature buffs mostly associate it with Heinrich Heine and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The Heinrich Heine Institute studies the life and work of this poet, while the Goethe Museum is known for exhibiting many artefacts that reveal how this genius of literature lived and created his art.

Carousel at Christmas market on Dusseldorf town square
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Carousel at Christmas market on Dusseldorf town square

Music lovers will not be disappointed, either – Düsseldorf hosts many classical music concerts and festivals. Especially those dedicated to the city’s native composers, like R. Schumann, J. Brahms, F. Bartholdi and several others.

Düsseldorf has lots of unusually rich museums, excellent parks, gardens and squares. It hosts the largest international trade shows and congresses. As the day’s business comes to a close, participants of these events rush outside to explore the city. Public transportation here is very convenient. Owing to the fact that most places of interest can be easily reached on foot or by bike, Düsseldorf is called the “20 minute city”.

Autumn park in Dusseldorf
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Autumn park in Dusseldorf

At first, most people head straight to the heart of the city – the Old Town. It’s a real paradise to those who love entertainment and the murmur of large crowds. This part of the city is criss-crossed with narrow backstreets, humming with people if the weather allows. This small, 0.5-square-kilometre area has hundreds of inns, justifying it being called the “world’s longest bar” – a phenomenon mentioned in one of the songs by Düsseldorf’s most popular band Die Toten Hosen. Beer lovers can enjoy the dark Altbier (“Old Beer”), which can be found only in this region. The reason it’s called this way is the ancient upper fermentation technique that causes thick foam to form on the surface of the fermenting malt.

Crowd of people during Alp national holiday at Dusseldorf
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Crowd of people during Alp national holiday at Dusseldorf

The Town Hall, the Düsseldorf State Art Academy and the Contemporary Art Museum can be found in the Old Town. Situated not far from here you’ll also find the luxurious Royal Alley – one the most famous commercial streets not just in Germany, but also in the whole of Europe.

Every year, Düsseldorf hosts the International Cartwheel Championship. This tradition was born in the 13th century, when people celebrated the victory of Adolf VIII of Berg in the Battle of Worringen (resulting in Düsseldorf becoming a city) by performing cartwheels for the first time. Several monuments depicting people doing cartwheels have been erected to commemorate this event. It is also alluded to by the traditional souvenirs, called Ratschläger, which means “a person performing the cartwheel”. It’s the city’s talisman and symbol of success.

Here’s a list of several other things connoisseurs recommend doing in Düsseldorf:

  • Go up the Rhine TV Tower and observe the city from 180 metres above the ground! The tower has a rotating restaurant and two viewpoints.
  • Visit the Medienhafen district, know for its modern architecture. Here you’ll find the famous F. Gehry crooked houses and the unique city landmark – the Curry Restaurant which serves sausages with nothing less than… gold. The district is very popular with designers and the bohemian types owing to its many night clubs and restaurants.
  • Explore the Benrath Palace – a UNESCO-aspiring 16th-century Rococo-style building.
  • Go to an alley that stretches along the coastline of Rhine and enjoy the passing ships and beautiful sunsets.
  • Visit the oldest spice shop. It’s managed by two brilliant women who both make the spices and work the till. Here you’ll find spices you never knew even existed. The selection of salt alone can make you feel dizzy: salt with vanilla, salt with lavender, salt with hibiscus… This shop also sells another popular symbol of the city – traditional local mustard in ceramic pots.

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