Located in the heart of western Europe, Düsseldorf is a great jumping off point for exploring Western Europe. In two hours by train, you can be in Brussels; in three, Amsterdam. It feels like the world is at Düsseldorf’s doorstep. But there are also incredible options even closer to home: day excursions that’ll have you admiring the arts or getting a feel for that uniquely German notion of waldeinsamkeit—being alone in the woods. Hop a southbound train to Cologne for its happening arts scene or carry on further south to Bonn for a politics and history lesson in the former capital of this divided country. Grab your hiking boots and hit some of the 235 kilometers of wooded trails, freshwater lakes and empty fields that make up the Neanderland Steig. Cross the border and enjoy Eindhoven, the eastern design capital of The Netherlands or head north for the industrial aesthetics that inspired the electronic beats of hometown boys Kraftwerk in the Ruhr Metropol, the three cities comprising the Ruhrgebiet’s cultural capital. No matter which trip you choose, there’s plenty to see and do just outside the city.
Over the last century, Düsseldorf has gone from a series of small villages to an international cultural destination. And though it’s grown into one of Germany’s most important places, the city with village (dorf) right in its name hasn’t lost its provincial feel. With a quiet, residential vibe, Düsseldorf has plenty to take in once you know where to go, from the magnificent architecture of the Medienhafen on the Rhine riverfront to the noteworthy attractions and art museums. People here prefer to keep to themselves while keeping up appearances, so leave the flip-flops at home and dress to impress in Germany’s fashion capital. You might just find yourself rubbing elbows with local celebrities at a gallery opening or while strolling along the Kö.
With its world-class museums, futuristic architecture, sprawling gardens and rich historical center, this cosmopolitan city on the Rhine surprises with its wealth of attractions, things to do and sightseeing options. Toss in upscale shopping, Michelin-starred restaurants and a buzzing nightlife scene, and compact, easily walkable Düsseldorf will keep you plenty busy from morning ‘til night.
It’s often been said that butter and salt are the German cook’s go-to spices. In Düsseldorf, add a dollop of the city’s infamous spicy mustard and you’re well on your way to understanding local taste. While there’s plenty of traditional German fare to be found on the menu at breweries, where meat-heavy meals like the Rheinischer Sauerbraten are washed down with an Altbier, Düsseldorf has a rich immigrant history that has helped fancy up the German palate a bit. You can find some of the best sushi and ramen here, thanks to a large community of Japanese immigrants. At Christmas, grab a fried potato pancake with applesauce, known as a Reibekuchen, and a mug of mulled wine (Glühwein) at an outdoor market and call it a meal. Although German food can be quite heavy, vegetarian dishes are increasingly lightening up local menus; if you do have dietary restrictions, though, be sure to ask if those potatoes or pumpkin soup have speck (pig fat) in them.
It may be tucked away on the western fringes of Germany, but those who dismiss Düsseldorf as a provincial backwater do so at their peril. With innovative architecture, incredible attractions, impressive shops and (given its size) an astonishingly vibrant art scene, the North Rhine-Westphalia capital is one of the country’s most attractive destinations, with a wealth of things to do. (Oh, and like many German cities, its nightlife is a total revelation.) And if you’re looking for a play to stay, an Airbnb could well be your most affordable option. We’ve taken a look through Düsseldorf’s very best Airbnbs – so take a look, and start making your travel plans!
Don’t let the chic facade fool you! Dusseldorf may look a bit ritzy to the newcomer, but the city has a wealth of cheap hotel options to meet everyone’s standards. Catering to the business traveler, Dusseldorf has a lot of good value options for overnighting in larger, chain hotels like the Radisson Blu Scandinavia or one of the three NH Hotels in town. When there’s a popular convention on, however, those chain hotels book out early and prices can double with market demand. Budget travelers might find a suitable option at a hostel, but if you’re looking for the best value for your money, you’re better off looking for a place a bit further from the Altstadt, like the Hotel Sir & Lady Astor. Hotel Indigo at Victoriaplatz is perfectly located for the fashion-forward in town to get their shop on. And thanks to the city’s reputation as an arts and culture center, you can also find well-appointed design hotels like the Steigenberger Parkhotel that meet even the most finicky standards without breaking the bank.
Be it a luxury property with riverfront views, a chic boutique stay in a neoclassical mansion or a funky design hotel with Harry Potter-themed rooms, Düsseldorf’s hotels cater to every type of traveler. Not only that, many of the city’s most saught-after properties have amazing restaurants on-site or are within a stone’s throw of Düsseldorf’s top attractions. No matter what type of trip you’re after, these 10 top Dusseldorf hotels offer a wide range of styles and price points to make your stay a memorable one.
Cobblestone streets and cutting-edge architecture, traditional beer halls and trendy cocktail bars, cozy cafes and swanky Michelin-starred restaurants—Düsseldorf is an ideal mix of medieval and modern. From the bohemian scene of Flingern to the futuristic skyscrapers of the redeveloped harbor or the bustling sushi- and sake-filled Japan Quarter, the city’s neighborhoods are remarkably diverse, each with its own distinct vibe. Between all the worthwhile attractions, restaurants and things to do, you shouldn't limit yourself to just one neighborhood: Düsseldorf is remarkably compact—eminently walkable and with an excellent tram system—making it easy to explore them all.
This medieval city on the banks of the Rhine recently celebrated its 730th birthday, but Düsseldorf isn’t resting on its historic laurels. With a slew of cutting-edge architecture and a booming arts scene both above and below ground, the capital of the of the North-Rhine Westphalia state is fast becoming one of Germany’s most lively metropolises. Craft cocktail bars, stylish designer boutiques and trendy cafes abound, but you’ll also find plenty of old-school charm in this city’s venerable pubs and traditional Teutonic restaurants. That ideal balance of old and new is what gives Düsseldorf its unique character—along with Altbier, the local brew that’s among one of the world’s finest (and Germany’s most beloved) beers.
Düsseldorf’s worldly appeal is nothing new—Napoleon himself fell for the charms of this city on the Rhine, dubbing it "Little Paris." Founded 730 years ago, the capital of the North-Rhine Westphalia state is certainly steeped in history, most evident in the narrow, cobbled streets of the picturesque medieval Old Town. But the city has a sophisticated modern edge, too. Gleaming new architecture has transformed the skyline, and the ever-expanding arts scene—26 museums and 100-plus galleries—rivals that of much larger cities. Add to that stylish shopping and vibrant nightlife and bar scene, and there are more than enough attractions in Düsseldorf to keep any visitor busy.