Mad about Düsseldorf: Five reasons to love this remarkable city


Mad about Düsseldorf: Five reasons to love this remarkable city

So green, so gregarious, so distinctive, so easy to like

Apparently there are expectant mothers who travel quite some distance to Düsseldorf while in labour, merely to ensure that their son or daughter will be able to claim the city as their official place of birth. Sounds crazy? What can we say, Düsseldorf really is a great place! So it’s not completely implausible that people who want to guarantee their offspring the best possible start in life would opt for the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia., When it comes to loving Düsseldorf, those young parents share this sentiment with a population of around 600,000 people of all ages, professions and incomes – and for good reason. The city’s 50 districts cover precisely 217.41 square kilometres, and there’s so much to see, do and enjoy that you’ll barely be able to fit it all into your schedule. In our humble opinion, there’s no other place that’s easier to fall in love with.


Kaiserswerth with its imperial palace, cobblestones and historical houses. Flingern with its trendy boutiques and cool street art. Oberkassel with its art nouveau buildings, many of which are heritage-listed. The MedienHafen with its architectural highlights, some of them looking like they’ve come from some far-off future. Benrath with its beautiful palace surrounded by vast parks and gardens. Little Tokyo, where you can get an authentic glimpse of Japanese life. And the list goes on. As mentioned above, Düsseldorf has a total of 50 very distinct neighbourhoods. Some are refined, some vibrant, others again are more family-oriented. What all of them have in common is the way they’ll inspire you to try something new. Perhaps it’s to finally get round to watching that play you’ve been meaning to see for ages. Or to try that dish your colleague has been raving about for weeks. Or to find out more about the poet and writer Heinrich Heine, one of Düsseldorf’s most famous sons. Every corner of the city shows a different side, and they’re all just waiting to be discovered – there’s bound to be something that appeals to you.


Anticipation, they say, is half the pleasure. It’s even better when it is repeated week after week, normally as soon as the final whistle blows at a Fortuna Düsseldorf game. The supporters immediately start to look forward to the next match, when they can put on their football shirts and red and white scarves once more and meet up with their friends again. They’ll head for the stadium in Stockum, on foot, by bike along the Rhine, or squeezed into a crowded tram, hoping to see their team win and just to enjoy the communal experience of being a fan. Having a good time is easy enough in Düsseldorf, at any number of events. Apart from the football – which should include a pre-match chat at one of the two Fortuna-Büdchen refreshment stands, located on the banks of the Rhine and at Reeser Platz square – how about a stroll across Carlsplatz square, stopping off for a snack at one of the many food stalls, or perhaps a visit to the racecourse in Grafenberg. Düsseldorf offers plenty of options for spending everything from a couple of hours to a whole day relaxing with your loved ones – and the events just keep on coming. From trade fairs open to the general public to exhibitions, all sorts of markets, festivals and celebrations, for example showcasing France or Japan, to carnival season and the Rheinkirmes funfair, there’s always something going on. Your sofa will have to make do without you for a while!


Despite the fact that Düsseldorf is the seventh largest city in Germany in terms of its population, and is part of the metropolitan Rhine-Ruhr and Rhineland regions, as well as being located at the heart of the European Economic Area, there are few signs of smoking chimneys or huge grey industrial complexes. What you do see wherever you look are green spaces! The district of Golzheim in the north of the city, for example, has a number of parks, with the Nordpark and the Rheinpark among the largest in Düsseldorf. On sunny weekends, their lawns turn into places for people to do yoga, play football and have barbecues. The Rheinwiesen meadows in the districts of Oberkassel and Niederkassel seem to go on forever, their exact width depends on the water levels of the Rhine. The Aap and Grafenberg forests, meanwhile, are great places to relax, their tranquillity only disturbed by the occasional yapping dog that’s spotted a wild boar in the distance, or a woodpecker drumming on a tree trunk. It does get a bit louder on leafy Königsallee, where the resident parakeets high up in the plane trees have been known to make quite a racket.

Eminently walkable  

What enhances the quality of a city? In our opinion, the ability to get around on foot is an important factor. In Düsseldorf this is very easy. It’s not just that you can reach the main shopping streets, the central train station, the old town and the banks of the Rhine from the city centre – the area around Königsallee – in a few minutes without a car. You can also walk to the MedienHafen (around 15 minutes from the Kasematten in the old town), to Pempelfort and Derendorf (approx. 10 to 20 minutes) and to Golzheim (about 25 minutes). Once you’ve crossed the bridge you can walk to Oberkassel and Niederkassel (approx. 20 to 35 minutes, depending on where exactly you’re going). And if you’re feeling energetic, you can even walk to Düsseltal and Flingern (upwards of 35 minutes). Despite the manageable distances, you’re still bound to complete your 10,000 steps if you explore all the highlights along the way.


Events in our private and professional lives, let alone in the wider world around us, may not always give us cause for celebration. On the contrary, sometimes crises can really get us down. But even when you can’t simply shrug things off, it can still be helpful not to get too downhearted , but try to make the best of the situation instead. As a first step, aim to enjoy your everyday life as much as you can. That doesn’t have to involve some mega event, a simple walk through the attractive historical district of Kaiserswerth would do for a start. Or how about a culinary tour of the city? There are many restaurants (ten of them with a Michelin star!), bars, bistros and cafés in every quarter of Düsseldorf where you can rediscover cherished familiar tastes or explore new sensations that may seem strange to your palate at first. For the people of Düsseldorf, enjoying life – while treating themselves to the odd piece of fancy cake now and again – is in their DNA. It’s the little moments that make the (hopefully) many decades of our existence special. So crack open the champagne and celebrate with us!

This article is supported by REACT-EU.

Images: Düsseldorf Tourism 

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