Icelandair offers regular flights to Dusseldorf.
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Happily flying under the tourist radar in a country well-endowed with livable cities, Dusseldorf is a great mix of business-meets-pleasure. It’s prosperous and creative, fashion-forward and up for a party. Art is embraced, beer is celebrated, and riverside rambles have rarely looked so appealing.
Dusseldorf and neighbouring Cologne jostle for attention – there are big points in favour of each city, so visit both then cast your vote (try not to fuel the rivalry on the Rhine, ok?). Let Cologne have its celebrated cathedral and university – Dusseldorf scores goals with art, fashion, festivals, and locals that are renowned for their good cheer.
Earning extra points on the visit-worthy scale is architecture that trips from historic to futuristic – MedienHafen is home to much of the latter, with the curved facades of the Gehry Buildings capturing imaginations. The Kö-Bogen downtown precinct is likewise turning heads. Similarly, the art scene spans diverse eras and interests: contemporary art galleries vie for attention with established collections, and even underground stations are getting in on the act. Check out the Wehrhahn U-Bahn line, where six new stations imaginatively combine art and architecture.
From Michelin-starred creations to rave-worthy ramen and traditional meat feasts, Dusseldorf can easily fire up your taste buds (fun fact: one of Europe’s largest Japanese communities lives here). Sample local specialities like Reibekuchen (potato pancakes) or mussels from the Rhine delta. If the local Blutwurst (blood sausage) sounds too challenging, consider trying it in the poetically named dish ‘Himmel und Erde', whose name translates to Heaven and Earth (where mashed potatoes and apples meet fried onions and sausage). For fresh and fun feeds, stop by flavour-filled Carlsplatz market.
Your thirst can be quenched in hipster haunts or old-school beer bars, but a quintessential Dusseldorf visit should involve a cold ‘Altbier’ in the Altstadt (Old Town), a hedonistic city pocket whose narrow lanes overflow with around 300 bars, pubs and breweries. Altbier is a top-fermented beer style that can be traced back hundreds of years – it’s quite the big deal in a country that reveres its beers.
If there’s one thing this prosperous city is renowned for throughout Germany, it’s boutique-lined Königsallee – quite possibly the country’s chicest retail boulevard. Affectionately called ‘Kö’ by the locals, it’s a leafy, canal-side catwalk of big-name designer fashion and luxury labels. Needless to say, the people-watching is high calibre, as is the parade of high-end cars driving the street.
You can easily find districts offering a gentler impact on your wallet, and places where Dusseldorf’s ‘fashion capital’ status comes to the fore. Schadowstrasse leads off the Kö and is lined with style-conscious stores and malls, while neighbourhoods like hipster-haven Bilk and gentrifying Flingern provide abundant browsing opportunities in the form of cool cafes, boutiques, galleries and street art.