Three streets for Christmas shopping with a twist
Unusual gifts that hit the spot
Help! Every year it’s the same old story. As Christmas approaches, you’re racking your brains to think of what to give your loved ones. Ties, shirts and socks are out of the question, if only to maintain your self-respect. So what else could you surprise your parents, siblings, grandparents or best friend with? We recommend heading off the beaten track to explore places that you would otherwise rarely visit. Away from pedestrian areas and high street labels, you might just find inspiration for an unusual gift in the shops, arcades, cafés and restaurants on the three streets we showcase below.
Stresemannstrasse leads from Stresemannplatz near the main train station via Charlottenstrasse and Oststrasse – renowned for its many Asian restaurants – to Berliner Allee, and therefore close to Königsallee. This street might seem rather unassuming at first, except for two exotic restaurants, but walk on a little further and you’ll find some interesting fashion boutiques. Some of them focus on second-hand fashion, some on last season’s wear. And we think they’re on to something, as originality and uniqueness are surely more important to a sense of style than the fact that a garment was designed for the current season? So let the hunt for awesome one-offs begin – who dares wins! Beyond Oststrasse, a former petrol station is now home to a boutique whose basics are loved for their timeless Scandi chic. You’re sure to find ideas here even if you like to play it a little safer when choosing presents. Afterwards, you can reward yourself with a drink or snack next door. By the way, in addition to unusual outfits you’ll find three of the city’s coolest hair salons on this street, and two shops selling lovely bridal and party wear.
Some turn their backs on consumerism and no longer give presents. Others look for ways to surprise their loved ones with a little something that takes the environment and our scarcity of resources into account. If you’re in the second category, then maybe a work of art fits in with your approach to sustainable giving? Düsseldorf is a city of art and art collectors. And it has a lively alternative scene that you can explore beyond Carlstadt and its prestigious galleries. A whole host of new galleries and alternative art spaces have sprung up on Birkenstrasse in the Flingern district, and you can find and buy art here that doesn’t command dizzyingly high prices yet. The best approach is to start in Wehrhahn and head in a south-easterly direction along Birkenstrasse, where no fewer than two dozen art venues line this long street. And don’t forget to have a look in the courtyards! One of them houses a private collection, for example, and a bistro that enjoys cult status among the locals. The ideal place for a break.
There are people who say they don’t need anything or don’t want any gifts. But have you seen their eyes light up when they get to open a surprise? Few people can truly resist a little gift. But it’s important not to overwhelm them with things they may not want, which is why delicatessen can be a good option for a present. Besides Carlsplatz, the city’s main hub for fine food and drink, there are two other locations where you can buy top-quality food items and unusual beverages. On Nordstrasse in the Pempelfort district, speciality food shops and delis line up like pearls on a string. The street offers a cornucopia of culinary gift ideas, from beautifully packaged Italian panettone, sweet baklava and cream cakes to fine single malts and brandies. Best of all, the area’s also packed with places to stop for a bite to eat, from crunchy hot chicken and vegan bowls to salmon and tuna sashimi. So get ready for some indulgent Christmas shopping!
This article is supported by REACT-EU.
Title image: Düsseldorf Tourism