Destination Germany: Why Not Choose… Düsseldorf?
Come and explore Düsseldorf, capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. Born several centuries ago on the east bank of the Rhine, over time the city grew to occupy both banks. Discover the many attractions of this city that sits astride the Rhine. The left bank and its modern skyscrapers, but above all the right bank and the Altstadt (old town) with its countless charms that will stay in your memory forever.
Fascinating History, Artistic and Architectural Treasures
The old town is the true heart of Düsseldorf. It is located around the Saint Lambertus Church, the castle tower and the River Düssel, the small watercourse from which the city takes its name. Every year, the winding alleys between the Rhine and Heinrich-Heine-Allee fascinate visitors, with their restaurants proposing national and international cuisine, trendy bars, traditional local brasseries and countless boutiques.
The old town and surrounding areas have many museums covering subjects as diverse as the history of the city, cinema, modern art and international art. In particular, you can visit the Museum Kunstpalast to admire paintings by Dutch and Flemish masters, or the K20 and K21 contemporary art museums, devoted to 20th century painting and 21st century contemporary art. However, you will also find more unusual cultural offerings, such as the fascinating exhibitions of the Ceramic Museum or the River Navigation Museum. And if you're interested in literature, remember to visit poet Heinrich Heine's birth house.
Shopalholics will adore Königsallee, or the "Kö", as the locals call it. It is the main shopping street in the city, and many luxury brands can be found there. But it's not just shopping paradise: the architecture is also stunning. Make time to admire the old restored houses, fountains, bridges and finely crafted balustrades. Since 1994, Königsallee has been listed as a historical monument.
After this abundance of life and culture, you're sure to want some peace and quiet. Right in the heart of Düsseldorf, Hofgarten park is ideal for relaxation. Alternatively, choose Nordpark, one of the city's most beautiful parks, with its huge fields of flowers, monuments and water features, or the Sudpark, for a magnificent day surrounded by nature.
Top 10 Must-Sees
The City Hall (Altes Rathaus): this 16th-century building has a particularly remarkable façade. On the square is an equestrian statue of Jan Wellem (Johann Wilhelm II), Duke of Jülich and Berg from 1679 and Elector Palatine from 1690 until his death in 1716.
The Saint Lambertus Basilica: with its twisted spire, the Basilica is the symbol of the Rhenish capital. It was built in 1394, but the current architectural form of the roof was only designed in 1815, then deformed by the working of the wood. The church's altar contains relics of Saint Apollinaris, the city's patron saint, who is celebrated during the city's great festival in summer.
Marktplatz: although the name of this square means "market place", the current market is on Karlplatz. Marktplatz is often called Rathausplatz, because it is the site of the official entrance to the City Hall (Rathaus). The oldest part and the pretty, red brick, Renaissance style façade are particularly deserving of attention.
Burgplatz: its name means "castle square", but don't look for the castle: it was destroyed by several fires. Miraculously, a single tower survived all of them. Now, it is a large and rather empty square, but it comes alive for numerous popular events.
Museum KunstPalast: this museum contains paintings by Dutch and Flemish masters, as well as a vast collection of contemporary art. Recitals and conferences are also held there.
Königsallee: From Hofgarten park to Friedrichstadt, this long commercial street proudly boasts many beautiful luxury boutiques. Split in two by the Düssel and lined with lush green trees, it is just as great for a walk as it is for a shopping spree.
Hofgarten: this park is a pretty place for a stroll, with its tree-lined paths. There are also jazz, classical and folk concerts in summer, and even a museum devoted to German poet Goethe. Relax outdoors, find out about Goethe's life, and listen to open-air concerts in one of the oldest public parks in Germany.
Walk along the Rhine: the banks of the Rhine are a peaceful haven offering beautiful views. You can admire the river, the picturesque Oberkassel neighbourhood and the Rhine pastures. Alternatively, take a relaxed boat tour on the Rhine.
Benrath Palace: this rococo style Mansion was built at the end of the 18th century for Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria. With its vast grounds and its pond, it is an important cultural monument, but also an oasis of calm in Düsseldorf's urban world. It is very well preserved, and contains three museums.
The Neanderthal Museum: 150 years ago in Mettmann, near Düsseldorf , the most famous German was discovered: the Neanderthal man. Today, this site is home to one of the most popular and modern museums in Europe. This globally important historical site takes you on a journey through the history of humanity, from our origins over four million years ago in the African Savannah to the present day.
Ample Choice for Foodies!
The cuisine in the Rhineland is undoubtedly among the most refined in Germany. You can choose from a whole range of specialities. For a snack, you'll love Halve Hahn, a bread roll with delicious Gouda, which is great with a drink of Kölsch. Alternatively, try Lippischer Pickert, made with pancake batter and grated potatoes. Big eaters can get their fill with dibbelabbes, a grated potato, bacon and leek dish, Pfefferpotthast, a highly seasoned ragout of beef cheeks fried in lard then stewed with onions, or Sauerbraten, beef that has been marinated then braised and served with a sweet-savoury accompaniment.
June: Jazz Rally : Three days of jazz concerts in pubs, brasseries and concert halls, but also outdoors.
July: Open Source : This electro festival near to Düsseldorf hippodrome doesn't just bring in the big names, but also offers an open stage for DJs who want to show off their talents.
August: Gourmet Festival : On the famous Königsallee, the Gourmet Festival is for discerning food consumers and professionals. You will find exhibitors related to all aspects of enjoyment and good food.
11 November: Saint Martin's Day : The day of the patron saint of shepherds marks the start of the winter celebrations. In Düsseldorf, a Saint Martin in a red coat rides a horse through the city to the sound of fifes, surrounded by children.
November to February: Düsseldorf Carnival : Officially beginning on St Martin's Day on 11 November, this is one of the largest carnivals in the Rhineland. It includes costume parades down Königsallee, as well as fancy dress events and balls during the four days leading up to Ash Wednesday.
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