Hallo! Another little city guide is here for you, this time from Düsseldorf, Germany. I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend in the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. There is a very special one cozy room in my heart designed for Düsseldorf, and I promise to tell you more about the reasons for it very-very soon. Düsseldorf is just perfect for a weekend getaway or midweek adventure. It’s almost the ideal city trip for anyone because this place has so much to offer.
It’s by no means a comprehensive guide, but a few places to add to your list if you’re ever planning a trip and need some inspiration. Now, let’s jump into that city guide!
STAY: Hotel Friends
We booked our hotel last minute via Booking.com. Hotel Friends is located in the eastern part of the city, around 3 kilometers away from the center and only 300 meters away from Düsseldorf Main Station. It’s a fantastic new boutique hotel with a variety of themed rooms — you never know which one you’ll get! We stayed in a nature-themed room with a balcony overlooking the city center and I loved it so much I even jumped up and down out of joy when I first entered the room. The real highlight of the hotel is the lobby space downstairs with a cafe, bar, breakfast area and a small DIY gym. Click here to see more or make a booking.
Important thing to notice: these guys do not have their own parking and there are construction works right at Worringer Straße, so if you come by car the best option is to park at a facility at Kölner straße, right by UFD gym for 8€ per day. If the doors are closed, use the code 🛎️7171 🛎️ to open them.
Address: Worringer Straße 94-96
EAT: Dritan Alsela
What would be a day without a proper breakfast? For our first meal in Düsseldorf, we chose a caffeinated heaven created by an international barista rockstar, Dritan Alsela. Formerly known as Bazzar Caffè, the cafe is located in a business center not far from Grafenberg Wildlife Park. It is light and spacious, and in front of each window, there is Dritan's huge private collection of coffee machines. Many of them are still working and are real eye-catchers! Beyond coffee, Driven Alsela’s cafe also offers a rather special breakfast menu, which focuses mainly on Italian cuisine. And avoid toasts, of course! Avo toasts are life!🥑 .
We ordered a Sweet breakfast (pancake, yogurt with muesli and a croissant), Salmon breakfast (marinated salmon, cream cheese, vegetables, fruit salad, bread basket), cappuccino and a latte, and they were so good that we ate everything super fast without even talking or looking at each other! Definitely a must-visit for a yummy and nourishing breakfast! We also got lucky enough to meet Dritan himself. He’s charming and super friendly. He also gave us two little keychains with coffeemakers and a snapback with his logo. Thanks, man!
Address: Schlüter Straße, 3a
Click “coffee” to check their menu.
SEE: Altstadt & Rhine Embankment
Not only Altstadt (literally 'old town') is Düsseldorf's historical center, it is also known as the world's longest bar counter as it is home to more than 300 various bars, cafes, and restaurants. Düsseldorf's specialty drink of choice is a top-fermenting beer called Altbier, which is a German style brown ale. Absolute must-try! Of course, the Old Town is not only about eating and drinking. With numerous museums, art galleries, concert and exhibition halls, and even the Opera House, the district also provides intellectual stimulation. Make sure to at least visit Düsseldorf’s largest church, St. Lambertus Basilica, SchiffahrtsMuseum, one of Germany's best (and oldest) marine museums, and Hetjens Museum dedicated to more than 800 years of ceramics and porcelain.
When you're done with the Old Town, head over to the Rhine Embankment for some stunning views across the city, great photo opportunities and some exciting people-watching. On the day of our visit there was a beach volleyball championship going on.
DISCOVER: Kiefernstraße Community
Truly a hidden gem of Düsseldorf, this place is often overlooked by tourists. You guys, this place is mind-blowing, I felt like a kid in a candy store while walking between these gorgeous pieces of street art. The graffiti is especially visible at the unnumbered houses, which have been decorated from top to bottom. The most surprising thing about this area is that Kiefernstraße is a rather quiet street, there are no crouds of tourists or even citizens, there's laundry drying here and there ans the life qust goes on. The street is rather short, 200-300 meters max but if you by any change get tired, there are wooden benches for you to relax on and enjoy every little bit of the graffiti.
EXPLORE: Japanese Quarter
There are usually Chinatowns all around the world but in here, there's a Japantown thing going on. Out of Düsseldorf's population of 600k people, Japanese diaspora counts over 8k — impressive, right? Head over to Immermannstraße and neighboring streets to immerse yourself in this out-of-this-planet area. Cute little shops, restaurants, cafes (there's also a manga cafe y'all!), hotel, school, and cultural centers are there for you with serious guys in suits and cute girls dressed al lolitas.If you visit Düsseldorf in May or June you might catch annual Japanese Festival as well!The next session will be held on May 25th, 2019.
EAT: Kushi Tei of Tokyo
We decided to have dinner in this restaurant which seems to be really popular in Düsseldorf. Kushi Tei offers a true Japanese izakaya experience, great quality of food and service, a wide menu a-a-and Japanese prices. Our order consisted of two highballs (a go-to drink in Japan which costs less than coke and is a mix of sparkling water and a few drops of whiskey), Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, deep-fried chicken karaage and deep-fried sardines. Genuine Japanese food, feelt like I was back in Tokyo again.
Address: Immermanstraße, 38
SHOP: Königsallee area
Königsallee (also known as Kö) is a real shopping könig ("king") of Düsseldorf. This street which is only 1 kilometer long has the largest concentration of branded shops in all Germany. Chanel, Cartier, Hermes, Prada, etc., they are all there. Luxury hotels and the best restaurants in the city add an extra spark.Schadowstraße, on the other hand, will have you covered for some mass-market brands like Zara, Primark, H&M etc. And if you want to see the works of young local designers, check out their boutiques at Lorettostraße.
BREATHE: Nordpark and EKŌ-Haus
What really amazed me, is how green Düsseldorf is. Tree-lined avenues are a very common sight while traveling through the city. Head over to the largest park, Nordpark for a peaceful walk among the trees, a picnic with friends, cooling down by the numerous ponds and fountains or for yet another piece of Japan, the garden. You can also find an Aquazoo and a Natural History Museum in the Nordpark.
Another hidden gem (also Japanese) is EKŌ-Haus which consists of a garden, traditional tea house, international kindergarten and, most important, the only Japanese temple in the whole Europe. Be sure to visit it if you want to add some zen into your daily life.
Address: Brüggener Weg, 6
EXPLORE THE WORLD: Düsseldorf Airport
Düsseldorf airport is the third largest airport in Germany. With three terminals, two runways and dozens of different shops, it makes a perfect hub for exploring the rest of the world. The longest flights departing from Düsseldorf will take you to Tokyo (operated by ANA) and Los Angeles (by Air Berlin), and European lowcosters like Ryanair, Easy Jet, Meridiana etc. can save you some cash for the rest of your eurotrip. Besides, the airport is only in 25 minutes walking distance from the city, and now you know how to spend a few hours in Düsseldorf if you're waiting for your next transfer flight!
We didn't spend nearly enough time here, but just a little over a day spent wandering the streets convinced us that when we return, we will definitely explore Düsseldorf city much deeper and, of course, share everything with you.
If you have any tips for shopping, dining and exploring in Düsseldorf, please do add them in the comments as I’m sure anyone looking to visit would be glad of even more addresses and locations to add to their list!