From art to commerce to the pub scene: six classics in the old town


From art to commerce to the pub scene: six classics in the old town

There is something to discover here at any time of day or night

Anyone who has ever been out and about in Düsseldorf's old town carries the memory with them forever. Nights that ended with the first rays of sunshine. The pub crawl where friendships for life developed. The club visit, where suddenly the great love stood at the same time in front of the bouncer.  

If you have already had the pleasure of walking around this special part of the city between the banks of the Rhine, Benrather Allee, Heinrich-Heine-Allee and Oberkasseler Brücke, you will know what we are talking about. If not: Let's get going and take advantage of the wide range of activities on offer. And that, in case you were wondering, goes far beyond the party life that attracts people from all over the country. What else can be experienced? Here are the classics.  


Whether you want to plan your visit weeks in advance or let yourself be infected by the hustle and bustle of thousands of other people: One thing is certain: in the city with the longest bar in the world, you can choose between 260 bars and pubs. Whether you enjoy your first or 100th Alt in traditional houses like "Uerige" or "Schlüssel" or try out new pubs: Disappointments do not exist here. Experience the highlights on a tour offered by the city. And, as just mentioned, meet new best friends who share your passion for the drink with just four ingredients. Of course, you'll also find the right snacks to keep you from getting too sick to your stomach. In a building from 1708 decorated with ivy and stucco bows, for example, there's deep-fried pizza, but hamburgers from a certain U.S. chain are also a must. And, of course, kebab still tastes good at three o'clock in the morning. Perhaps even at its best then. 


When Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian and Henri Matisse are all in one place, you know you're in one of Germany's most spectacular art collections. The K20 Collection (Grabbeplatz 5) displays 20th-century artworks and accordingly attracts audiences of all ages and income levels. Its neighbor right across the street, the Kunsthalle (Grabbeplatz 4), is in no way inferior: In the house, which also houses the cabaret stage "Kom(m)ödchen" and the world-famous club "Salon des Amateurs," you will find works by German artists. It is clear that the students of the globally respected art academy dream of exhibiting here one day as well. Don't miss the tour in the first quarter of the year, when the budding artists present their works in the stately building of the academy (Eiskellerstraße 1). But street art is also a natural part of the old town. In front of the St. Lambertus Church, for example, you will discover a woman with a child in her arms, standing on an advertising pillar and keeping an eye on the passing crowd. Made by artist Christoph Pöggeler, you will find only a few hundred meters further, on the right part of the Oberkasseler bridge, with the kissing couple another of his works distributed in the city center of Düsseldorf. 


Similar to the gigantic selection of pubs and bars, the old town also attracts with a multitude of different stores, which lie next to each other as if thrown together and yet in a miraculous way fitting together. For example, a goldsmith's shop with thick platinum armor chains in the window is next to a small donut store that sells perfectly glazed pastries that punks will melt in their mouths. One of the nation's best bookstores sits in the Heine Haus, while two corners away you'll get brightly colored sneakers with velvet laces. It gets dangerous if you want to follow in the footsteps of your player idols and stop by the Fortuna fan store. It's located right next to a chocolate store! Or are you longing for the Wild West? Then there are the matching cowboy boots up for grabs. With owner-operated boutiques and offshoots of large chains, no one is denied their shopping pleasure in Düsseldorf's Old Town. On the contrary: Let the credit card glow! 


Wasn't there something? Yes, exactly. After a brief moment of pause, you can hear the tones of the organ clearly. With a bit of luck, you will be able to listen to the musical rehearsals for the church service or one of the many concerts that regularly take place here with celebrated organists from all over the world during a visit to the St. Lambertus Church (Stiftsplatz 7) not far from the Rhine. But even without the background music of the impressive instrument, it is worthwhile to pay a visit to the house in the style of brick Gothic, which alone impresses even less church-loving visitors with a beautifully detailed pulpit and a tower roof that has been twisted due to incorrectly used wood. Throughout the old town, you will find several houses of worship of special significance: The baroque St. Andreas Church (Andreasstraße 27), for example, features beautiful stucco work, while the Lutheran Johanneskirche (Martin-Luther-Platz 39) invites you to listen to the organ playing on Wednesdays at lunchtime.  


If you want to enjoy your tarte flambée even closer to the Rhine than at the Kasematten, i.e. the banks of the town hall, you'll probably have to jump in (or, all joking aside, dine on one of the excursion boats). The quayside mile is so popular with locals and tourists alike that you're more likely to get six right on the weekend than grab a table at one of the five restaurants. So when you spot a spot, sprint as if there's no other culinary provision in town and settle down, exhausted but happy, to sample, say, seafood tossed vigorously in garlic or succulent fried chicken. Many fans of the Kasematten love not only the view of the Rhine and Oberkassel opposite, but also marveling at the latest wardrobe of those passing by. Speaking of which, don't forget to take a photo of "Rivertime" on the wall of the grand staircase at Burgplatz - or pose in front of it yourself. After all, the hundreds of thousands of colorful ceramic pieces form a unique background! 


You can easily miss the way to one of the cultural highlights of the old town, Schneider-Wibbel-Gasse may be a little lost in the hustle and bustle of discos, restaurants with national cuisine and tourist stores. But the short search for one of Düsseldorf's best art-house cinemas is definitely worthwhile, as you can watch highlights from the entire history of cinema in the "Cinema", which has been in existence since 1957. After descending a few steps into the basement of the building, you're almost standing in the auditorium, where comfortable armchairs invite you to linger. Before you know it, the curtain halves make way for the screen, on which new and historical dramas, thrillers and tragicomedies captivate you. If at the end of the movie you think you are in a dream world, don't leave it yet: take a walk past the town hall and the Maritime Museum (Burgplatz 30) and for a short moment you will feel completely alone in this world in Müller-Schlösser-Gasse.  

Title image: Düsseldorf Tourism

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