(I will try to describe Düsseldorf without offending the rest of Germany.)
Düsseldorf is a fashionable, humorous, and welcoming city, leaving the rest of the world wondering where these attributes came from.
Düsseldorf has what you would expect out of any German city as far as cleanliness, good transportation, businesses and industries. What makes this city special is the architecture, open-air markets, restaurants, shopping and nightlife. For people who like to shop, the availability of choices is incredible.
I visited a few of the malls along the Konigsallee, a beautiful area along a river with fountains and sculptures. Just inside the mall I purchased a glass of Veuve-Cliquot champagne and enjoyed window-shopping and people watching.
The architecture changes with different parts of the city, my favorite being close to the Rhine tower. (Rhineturm- don’t worry it’s easy to find. It looks like a giant arm raised with its middle finger extended.) The buildings in this area cannot be missed; they look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.
This area is located next to a harbor along the Rhine. This is also an entertaining spot to explore with walking bridges and little bistros along the water and music in the air. My other favorite must-see is the Altistadt area just east of the Rhineuferprominade. This area is an older part of town with narrow pedestrian streets and Dutch-influenced buildings.
If you can find the corners of Flinger Strasse and Berger Strasse, check out Killepitsch- a local liqueur made out of beets and other well-kept secrets. It’s different and worth the experience. You can get a shot through the window on the front of the building and enjoy it while relaxing at the tall bar stools. In the evening, bands will start to play in the streets and people will crowd around the walk-up bars. If you’re able to get a table the wait staff will keep track of your beers by marking your coaster, or if you’re walking around (you don’t have a table) they will bring you a beer but expect payment on the spot.
The restaurants are authentic in this area too. Germany is a pork country so avoid the beef. You will be happy with any pork or chicken dish. If you’re a vegetarian you should still be able to find meals that satisfy your appetite. The wait staff is required to have a gastronomy license. In a German restaurant, I’ve had some dishes that I didn’t care for but have never had bad service.
If you ever tried to dig a hole in the sand at the beach you will appreciate this next part.
Germany’s famous engineering skills allowed Düsseldorf to construct a state-of-the-art transportation system. The construction of a subway system in the wet sand of the Rhine seems almost impossible. Engineers drove refrigeration rods into the wet sandy ground, freezing the water, and then drilling tunnels through the ice and sand. On the inside of the tunnels, watertight jig-saw puzzle pieces forming walls were constructed to keep the tunnels waterproof.
This is a must-see if you find transportation and city infrastructure fascinating. Also, the money for this project was put aside in the 1950s based on the city’s projected growth rate and needs in 2020. Amazing!
I truly enjoyed Düsseldorf and could go on about it but you must see it for yourself! I spent two weeks in July of 2014 and two weeks in August of 2015.