Düsseldorf was my ‘one-day trip’. I was there because of a Korn gig. I thought that Düsseldorf was a small city and I would not stay there for long… What could I see there, anyway? City like any other… Now, I know how wrong I was because the place has a lot more to offer. But, anyway, let me start from the beginning…
Düsseldorf is one of the biggest cities in western Germany and is located by the Rhine river. It is connected with Cologne and Hannover. Since WW2 the city has developed a lot, especially in terms of industry, and lots of large companies have main offices exactly there.
I am not surprised that the ‘Mercer Quality of Living Survey’ ranked the green Düsseldorf 6th most liveable city in world in 2012. Residents of the city have a myriad of possibilities to spend their free time outdoors. The city holds a lot of local festivals, some of which I could also see. You can find lots of green areas, like parks with playgrounds for children, basically anywhere you turn. The really long walkway along the river bank is really relaxing and offers special paths for bicycles, making the city even friendly, green and easy to commute and explore. Along the riverbank you can also find the castle tower (‘Schlossturm’) that houses a small museum and a cute cafe. Unfortunately, I could only see the outside of the tower. I need to visit it the next time I am back.
Düsseldorf is really famous for its architecture. I was already impressed by the harbour or, as everyone says, the ‘MedienHafen’ or ‘Düsseldorf Hafen’. That place is a great example of how an old harbour can reinvent itself into a modern and bustling with life place that eventually became an unmissable stop for any visitor to town. The ‘MedienHafen’ is located exactly by the Rhine and serves as a harbour and much, much more. Currently, it is a home to a lot of offices, bars and cafes. It is also a quirky collection of famous and rather unique buildings – some designed by world known architects. Already at first glance you realise you are looking at something extraordinary. Every building looks different and unique in terms of colours or shape. My favourite was the ‘Colorium’ designed by William Allen Alsop.
It is simply incredible – made with hundreds of colourful pieces with a bright red rooftop. The whole building looks like a huge game of Tetris.With the polished, shiny surface the individual blocks that make the building look as if they were made of colourful fruit jelly. Makes you want to eat Another building which made me speechless was the phenomenal ‘Flossi-Haus’ designed by Josef Roggendorf. The house itself is not as high as the other ones I’ve seen but it looks so different and is simply fascinating. Why, you ask? The whole front facade is decorated with 24 sculptures of colourful climbers. Really awesome! I’ve never seen anything like that!
The most famous are the three buildings named the ‘Neue Zollhof’ designed by Frank Gehry. I’d read about them before I saw them and I have to say that they look much better in reality than in photos. Their shape and construction are just as if from outer space. They look incredibly light and soft but at the same time incredibly cold and powerful. They are asymmetric on their own but as a whole, they make a complete piece.
Düsseldorf has a lot more to see in terms of modern architecture, like the Kö-Bogen, designed by Daniel Libeskind, surrounded by a lovely park. I could be writing about every single house but whatever words I choose, I’d not really be able to describe its individual beauty. You just have to see it all for yourself.
Walking further by the river you find the observation tower (‘Rheinturm’) which is over 40 meters high. For only 9 euro, you can grab a lift that will take you straight under the clouds where great views await you. Since the walls are made of glass you get a proper 360-degrees view of the city. The walls are a little bent, giving you a feeling of looking under your feet, which is a little bit scary. The tower is open from Sunday to Thursday, between 10am and midnight, and Friday to Saturday, between 10am and 1am. The great thing is – you buy one ticket and you can stay there as long as you want! 🙂
If you need some rest, just go to one of the many pubs/bars located at the river. We chose ours quite spontaneously. The place was called ‘Hashtag10’ and was an awesome cocktail bar with a terrace. The place was designed in the oriental style, with loads of pillows, colourful decorations and had some really incredible ambience. We ordered their house lemonade and it was simply super delicious. It is indeed a great place to chill.
The town marketplace is small but really cosy. I was there during a local festival and everywhere you looked you could see colourful balloons and hear live music. The town centre has an old but really lovely XVth century town hall. Just around the corner, you can find the calm and peaceful St. Andreas church. The church is not too big but is definitely worth seeing.
There are bars and restaurants nearly everywhere so you have endless possibilities to eat or drink. We chose a small, local restaurant named ‘Zum Csikos’ where we had a lovely meal and some really delicious beer. The staff were really kind and our bill very reasonable.
And, please, do not forget – Düsseldorf is also famous for its night life. In the evening all pubs and bars are quite literally swarming with people. And like every guidebook says, pub crawling is the thing, so start your journey at one pub and then, go to another one, and then another until the day breaks.
Tu sum up… Düsseldorf is an interesting place that offers a lot of attractions. It is friendly and green, with a lovely promenade by the river. You can easily find some rest on a bench at the riverbank and just enjoy the view of the ‘MedienHafen’, its many bridges and people chilling on the grass. Trust me, it is really hypnotising. Somehow, life seems to be running a bit more slowly there and I had the impression nobody was in a hurry. I was really taken by it…
I was there only for one day and I know that I will come back again. I will surely enjoy to be able to walk again along the beautiful river, have a lemonade or a brew, sit on a bench, under the many lovely trees and just enjoy the day
Düsseldorf is so worth seeing! Go and check out for yourself! 🙂