What you need to know about Dusseldorf
Dusseldorf is definitely a cosmopolitan city with hidden boho charms. On the face of it, this glittering German city is one of Europe's biggest (and wealthiest) centres of finance, media, fashion and telecoms, with all the fancy cars, shiny buildings and designer labels you’d expect in such a chic and sophisticated place.
However, once you’ve sampled the vibrant bars and restaurants of Dusseldorf’s old town (Aldstadt), you’ll discover a city that definitely knows how to have a good time.
Explore the world-class museums and art galleries, take in the avant-garde architecture in the Medienhafen, then head to the world’s longest bar in the Aldstadt and sample an Altbier or two with the locals.
Food and drink
The Aldstadt is definitely the place to go in Dusseldorf for food and drink – the cobbled lanes of this small and charming quarter are home to over 300 restaurants and bars, and legend has it that every bar connects to the one next door!
The local drink of choice is Altbier, and you’ll find many of the breweries in the Altstadt too, so you can sample this copper-coloured beer at source. Altbier is a good accompaniment to Rhenish food specialities like black pudding or pea soup.
However, if you’d prefer something more sophisticated, there are plenty of upmarket eateries in Dusseldorf where you pay top dollar for outstanding regional and international cuisine.
Shopping doesn’t get much more elegant than in Dusseldorf, and it’s a great city for shopping if you have plenty of cash to spend!
The Königsallee (known affectionately as Kö) is where you’ll find all the exclusive stores like Armani, Gucci and Prada, alongside arcades and malls full of top fashion labels and jewellers. The Schadowstraße is home to local department stores , or you can head to Karlstadt for antique shops, galleries and art dealers, as well as the fabulous fruit and veg market on Carlsplatz.
Dusseldorf is a popular European base for Japanese banks, which means that the city has the third largest Japanese community in Europe, served by a great range of Japanese supermarkets and bookshops on Immermannstraße.
Düsseldorf has become one of the top telecommunications centres in Germany, and is the base for leading mobile networks Vodafone and E-Plus, as well as many of Germany’s leading internet service providers.
Media and advertising are big business for Dusseldorf too – there are 400 ad agencies in the city, including leading German agencies BBDO Group and Publicis and offices for global agencies like Ogilvy & Mather and DDB. Several other major companies have their headquarters in the city including L'Oréal Germany, Henkel AG & Co, E.ON energy and Daimler AG.
The delights of Dusseldorf’s Altstadt are best explored on foot, but getting around the wider city is easiest via public transport. The city has an excellent network of buses and trains (run by Rheinbahn), all of which are good value, clean and reliable and can be accessed using the same ticketing system, so you only have to pay once.
The train system has good connections to other cities in Germany too, as well as Dusseldorf airport, which is just 30 minutes by train from the city centre. Taxis in Dusseldorf are excellent, and the yellow and white livery makes them easy to spot when you're trying to hail one from outside your serviced apartment!
Things to watch out for
The Rheinuferpromenade is a lovely place to take a walk in Dusseldorf on a sunny day – start at the Burplatz and wander along the riverside, and you’ll find hundreds of people enjoying the pavement cafes and panoramic river views.