Dusseldorf, Germany, is one of the few cities in the world that, while rich enough in sights and sounds to fill out a whole season of traveling, is also perfect for an adventurous and wholesome one day itinerary. Whether you’re in the city for business or fun, you will find that there is a lot you can do in Dusseldorf in a day. In this article, we’ll share some fun facts about the city, as well as explore some of the fun things you can do and places you can go to while visiting.
|One day in Frankfurt – Top things to do|
What’s the best time to visit Dusseldorf?
As with many other cities around the world, the best time to visit Dusseldorf is greatly influenced by the weather. The months of September to December are especially good in this respect, followed by the period between May and June. These months include mild temperatures that make the city a pleasant experience.
A few facts about Dusseldorf
I know, for one, that I was curious about where the name ‘Dusseldorf’ comes from. It sounds very interesting. So, what are its origins? Many kilometers east of Dusseldorf are the sources of the Little Dussel River and the Dussel River. These two rivers meet and combine into one that flows west for many kilometers, until it splits into 4 rivers at a small delta which joins the Rhine.
It is that delta that defines the origins of Dusseldorf. It started as a small fishing village, known as a Dorf. Dusseldorf literally translates into “fishing village of the Dussel River”.
The city has a rich history and has been through a lot since its inception, going through many different regimes. It has been under the Romans, the Bergs, the Prussians, the French, the Nazis, the Allies, and the Federal Republic of Germany. It has been taken over, freed, demolished, and rebuilt many times over the hundreds of years since its inception.
Throughout its existence, the city has been a mainstay of politics, occupying a prominent position today as the administrative capital of the German state of Nordhein-Westfalen.
Today, Dusseldorf is a cultural center, not just a political one, and is one of the main places to go in Germany if you have a proclivity for the finer things in life. So sure are the inhabitants of this that they have been known to refer to their city as the cradle of culture. Quite frankly, after my visit there, I reckon the name is apt.
One Day in Dusseldorf Itinerary
There are quite a lot of things to see and do during your one day in Dusseldorf, no matter what time of year you visit. Here are the best among them – enjoy!
Start your day at Medienhafen
The name Medienhafen refers to the docks on the Rhine, which date back over a hundred years to the end of the 19th century. The docks were a major part of the industrial boom of the city after the First World War. Take a walking tour of the harbor houses and see how the area has changed over time
The local industry began to wane in the twentieth century and, beginning in the ‘90s, it has morphed into an office district of sorts for media firms and fashion brands, though it has more than its fair share of cinemas, bars, and restaurants. So, starting your day here with a breakfast or morning coffee seems like a great idea, and Greger Cafe is the perfect place for that!
Climb the Rhine Tower
The Rhine Tower is the tallest building in Dusseldorf, and stands in the office district of Medienhafen, on its east side. It is a communications tower standing 240 meters tall, with a restaurant and observation deck at a height of 170 meters.
For a small fee of 9 Euros, you get to enjoy some of the most breathtaking panoramas you will ever experience. Also, if you come before 11 am or after 10 pm, that fee will only be 5 Euros, so it’s a perfect post-breakfast stop for your itinerary!
Walk the Rheinuferpromenade
The Rheinuferpromenade is a famous promenade on the right bank of the Rhine, and people love to come here and let their hair down when the sun comes out. It’s just north of the Medienhafen, so you can go for a nice stroll once you’re done there and enjoy the sun and the views. The walkway itself is well positioned so it gets sunshine no matter what time of day it is. If you decide to visit in the summer, you will be wowed by how similar the scene is to a Mediterranean destination.
Go window shopping in Konigsallee
Königsallee (known among the locals as Ko) is the defining luxury boulevard in Dusseldorf. It stands on either side of a canal, lined with beautiful trees, about a kilometer long, and there’s hardly a luxury brand whose shop you won’t find along it. For most people, Ko provides an excellent opportunity to do some window shopping while enjoying the ambiance and taking endless photos. However, if you feel like doing some real shopping, there’s not a famous brand you can’t find here.
Visit the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
The North Rhine Westphalia is an art museum that spans the K20 and K21.
The K20 is a work of architectural art clad in granite. It contains art from different movements, including Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Dada, and New Objectivity, among others. The K21 contains works by Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Picasso, Ernst-Ludwig, Braque, and many others. For any art lover out there, this is simply a must!
Have dinner in one of the restaurants
As is the case with any great city, Dusseldorf has plenty of great restaurants to offer, and you’d really miss out on something special if you didn’t end the day in one of them.
Munstermann Kontor, for example, was featured in Michelin Guide for 2020, and it offers a great blend of traditional German dishes and French cuisine. Ristorante La Luce Due is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something Italian, and Oktopussy Bar & Restaurant (cool name, huh?) changes its menu on a daily basis and offers a great selection of wines.
Where to stay in Dusseldorf, Germany
The Fritz is a boutique hotel and culinary hotspot in the heart of Dusseldorf not far from the Königsallee and features a restaurant with a Michelin star! Comfortable and modern rooms come with a minibar and a private bathroom (among other things), so you can really enjoy yourself and relax here.
Königsallee 11, Düsseldorf Centar, 40212 Düsseldorf,
Breidenbacher Hof takes luxury to the very highest level. This five-star fortress of decadence is right in the city center in an absolutely beautiful building. Big rooms, indoor pool, award-winning cocktails, excellent service… they’ve got it all here, so if you want to pamper yourself, this is most certainly the place.
Business Wieland Hotel
Wielandstr. 8, Düsseldorf Centar, 40211 Düsseldorf
Business Wieland Hotel is one of those places that don’t necessarily stand out that much but make you feel extremely glad you booked a room there. Every room is modern and very comfortable, plus it comes not only with a flat-screen TV but also a Samsung tablet, which can give you some great tips about the city. No matter if you’re here on business or not, you’ll enjoy your stay here!
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more affordable, BLK Hostel is ideal for those traveling on a limited budget. The rooms look amazing and are very clean, plus the rooms come with a flat-screen TV. On top of that, the location is great,very close to the city center. If you’re looking for a hostel in Dusseldorf, this is it.
Day Trips from Dusseldorf
Should you decide to spend more than one day in Dusseldorf, a day trip to some other place may be in order. There are plenty of fine locations to choose from, and here are a few excellent suggestions.
Spending one day in Cologne is certainly a great choice. It is among Germany’s oldest cities with remarkable architecture. Even though Cologne is most famous for its cathedral, which is definitely a must, there are lots of other places to attend, such as Karneval celebrations and the local brew Kölsch.
Hohenzollern Bridge is a tiered-arch bridge between the cathedral and KölnTriangle, which was restricted to rail and pedestrian traffic, so you can a great view on the city
The city is famous for the largest Designer Outlet Centre in the Benelux countries – Designer Outlet Roermond, where you may find lots of branded clothes for a fair enough price. Roermond is situated in the southeastern part of the Netherlands and it will take you only about an hour to get here by car.
Going to Duisburg you should visit the Innenhafen (Inner Harbour) and plan a trip to Landschaftspark and Tiger & Turtle – Magic Mountain. The walkable sculpture provides a magnificent view. On bright days, it is possible to see from the city center along the Rhine up to Düsseldorf. Distance from Düsseldorf to Duisburg is 23 kilometers, so you can easily reach it by car, bus or train.
Extra tips for visiting Dusseldorf, Germany
– Use the Rhine Tower to orient yourself while in the city. It’s a useful landmark for finding your way around.
– Dusseldorf is one of the most fashion-conscious cities in the world. Many of the establishments have an unwritten dress code that tends toward stylish, so dress to impress, especially when hanging around Ko.
– There are over 100 galleries in the city. They all have incredible art, so try to visit as many as you can.
– Counter-intuitively, Dusseldorf has lots of Japanese culture. It is home to the third largest Japanese community in Europe. The city celebrates the contributions of its immigrants with parties and fireworks displays toward the end of May. You can also find great Japanese food year-round in Schadowstrasse.
– Always have some cash in hand, no matter what you’re doing. There are very few establishments that take cards or mobile pay.
– You’ll have to be friendly to restaurant personnel and understand their ways. For example, the waiters only come to you when called, and in the right way. You don’t get to snap your fingers or whistle. You only get to raise your hands and wave in their direction. In breweries, a thumbs up gesture or simple eye contact is enough.
– To further the point, when walking on the streets, don’t mistake cold stares and the lack of greetings. The Germans are obstinately formal, and a polite stare is often as much of a greeting as you will ever get.
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.