Best Things to Do in Dusseldorf

Art, Shopping and Architecture in Dusseldorf

Düsseldorf Germany
••• jotily / Getty Images

From amazing art and architecture to word class shopping, here is an overview of Düsseldorf’s most interesting things to see and do.

  • 01 of 07
    Old Town of Dusseldorf
    ••• Courtesy of Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus GmbH

    The heart of Düsseldorf lies in its Altstadt (Old Town). Set between the shopping boulevard Königsallee and the river Rhine, the Altstadt is the perfect starting point to explore and to get a feeling for the city. Stroll through cobble-stoned streets, duck into some quiet churches, and have an Alt beer in one of the traditional brewery pubs.

    Highlights of the Old Town include the Burgplatz, a square with an old palace tower. Bolkerstrasse is filled with Rhenish and international restaurants. And one of Düsseldorf’s most famous landmarks also lies here, the statue of Elector Jan Wellem in front of the beautiful Rathaus (City Hall).

  • 02 of 07

    MedienHafen (Media Harbour)

    Media Harbor Dusseldorf
    ••• Birge Amondson

    Düsseldorf’s former industrial harbor has been turned into a playground for contemporary architects such as David Chipperfield or Claude Vasconi; the post-modern buildings, most notably Frank O. Gehry’s three twisted houses, stand in an interesting contrast to old elements such as historic warehouses, quay walls, and wrought-iron railings. Besides media companies, fashion and design studios, you’ll find some hip restaurants and bars here.

  • 03 of 07
    Konigsallee with statue, Dusseldorf
    ••• Birge Amondson

    Before New York’s 5th avenue, there was Königsallee. From Prada and Gucci, to Tiffany’s and Louis Vuitton, you can drop some serious cash here. But even if you are not that much not into shopping, the , as locals call this street, is worth a visit. Parallel to the boulevard runs a canal lined with chestnut trees - perfect for a serene walk or for attending events throughout the year.

  • 04 of 07

    Rhine River Promenade

    Rhein Promenade Dusseldorf
    ••• Courtesy of Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus GmbH

    To get from the Old Town to the new Media Harbor, I recommend you walk along the paved Rhine River promenade. On weekends, the street, which was banned for cars a couple of years ago, is filled with walkers, bikers, and strollers. Along the way, you’ll find the interesting art gallery Kunst im Tunnel, as well as the 565 feet high Rheinturm (Rhine Tower), which offers wonderful views of the city and its surroundings.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Nordpark & other city parks

    Nordpark Japanese Garden Dusseldorf
    ••• Japanese Garden. Alice Wiegand/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

    This is one of Düsseldorf's most popular parks. Its 90 acre expanse make it one of the largest parks and most serene spaces in the city. There are themed gardens, like the Lily Garden and Japanese Garden (gifted by Düsseldorf's Japanese community).  Other highlights include the Horse-Tamers statue and the Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum.

    Explore the Botanical Garden of Düsseldorf University for more spectacular foliage or visit the Hofgarten. This park dates back to 1770 and stretches from the Altstadt to Königsallee to the Rhine. Go inside the Baroque Hofgärtnerhaus (Court Gardener House) and Schloss Jägerhof (a former hunting lodge that now houses the city's Goethe-Museum).

  • 06 of 07

    Art Museums

    Museum K21 Dusseldorf
    ••• Birge Amondson

    Düsseldorf is home to the well-known Kunstakademie (art academy), which is an integral part of the city's art scene and graduated the likes of Joseph Beuys, Jörg Immendorff, and Gerhard Richter.

    Naturally, there is no shortage of world-class galleries and museums; check out the Kunsthalle for contemporary art exhibitions, the Museum Kunstpalast for fine arts from Classical antiquity to the present, the K20 gallery, which focuses on art of the 20th century, or K21, the city’s premier museum for art after 1980, just to name a few.

  • 07 of 07

    Throughout the year this industrial hub is flooded with color for its many festivals.

    One of the most jubilant is Düsseldorfer Karneval. Second only to Cologne, these late winter festivities are over-the-top with costumes, music and a massive parade. Shout “Helau” and hoist a Mass of Alt beer to celebrate.

    Another major festival takes place every July the city hosts the Größte Kirmes am Rhein (Largest Fair on the Rhine). It draws more than four million visitors for a week of events. The festival commemorates the city's patron saint of St. Apollinaris with a Historic Procession taking place on July 17th, 2016. This year will be the 115th festival.