Düsseldorf…beyond drupa!!!

As curtains for drupa 2016 is all set to unfurl, we know that Indian contingent would be there in big number. To help them make their trip a memorable, Smita Dwivedi of Print & Publishing becomes a trip advisor for its readers!
Düsseldorf, a leading business centre at the heart of Europe is a lively and modern city, which stages around 50 trade fairs. The elegant quality-of-life city on the banks of the Rhine stands for fashion, shopping, culture and unusual events. From the Königsallee, affectionately called the "Kö", one of the most luxurious shopping boulevards in Europe, it's not far to the historic Old Town with its 260 bars and restaurants. The Old Town's flair is world famous, life pulsates in its alleys and the richly faceted cultural scene offers spectacular events and exhibitions. The art academy and more than two dozen museums and exhibition venues, Schloss Benrath, the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus (theatre), the Deutsche Oper am Rhein (German Rhine Opera), the Tonhalle (concert hall), over 100 galleries, the large number of stages, cabaret and variety theatres and many concert halls make Düsseldorf a recognised centre of culture.

Travellers’ Delight

Düsseldorf is an incredibly diverse city with many amazing qualities adding to its attraction as a tourist destination for countless national and global visitors! Due to the international airport and the many trade fairs and congresses, people in many countries know the metropolis on the banks of the Rhine as a business city with perfect transport links. The city’s great quality of life, its cosmopolitanism, its hospitality and the Rhineland joie de vivre which is so evident here, are appreciated around the world. In Germany, Düsseldorf is popular as a shopping city with a very special lifestyle. But the Altstadt (Old Town), the Rhine embankment promenade, the MedienHafen and top-ranking museums and events are also attracting increasing numbers of visitors and help shape Düsseldorf’s image both nationally and internationally.

Düsseldorf’s Altstadt (Old Town)

Nowhere else in the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia will you be so close to the city’s heartbeat as in the area sized not even half a square kilometre and located between the Rhine and Heinrich-Heine-Allee. Everything is here! Those wanting to party will find themselves as well catered for in the Altstadt as the culture vultures and historians. This variety is difficult to describe in a single sentence. Around 260 pubs, bars, discotheques and restaurants are concentrated in such close proximity to each other – more so than in hardly any other city. The food on offer here ranges from cuisine local to the Rhine region to Far Eastern specialities.

But the art and culture also make a stroll through the unique alleys. And furniture stores and boutiques are just as much at home in the Altstadt as are small shops catering to everyday needs, and specialist retailers of all kinds. If you want a night out in Düsseldorf, you can’t ignore the Altstadt.

Restaurants ranging from gourmet temples to Lebanese falafel takeaways have the right food for all budgets and tastes. And you’ll be spoilt for choice in the Altstadt if you just want a coffee or cappuccino. Countless bars and cafés invite people in to spend time and relax. The fashionable cafés at Stadtbrückchen, Marktplatz and on Mittelstraße are the place to meet – and to see and be seen. Düsseldorf’s nightlife enjoys a special reputation that extends far beyond the city. The Altstadt is home to the hottest clubs, the best cocktail bars, Irishpubs and the most famous local breweries.

Bolkerstraße, Kurze Straße and Berger Straße make up the “longest bar in the world”, which has often been praised in songs by the cult Düsseldorf band, “Die Toten Hosen”. Wednesday is the day when people meet just behind the Grabbeplatz for a dance or a cosy Altbier (a dark, top-fermented beer) on Ratinger Straße.

Düsseldorf’s Königsallee

It is one of a small group of internationally famous streets that may justifiably call themselves boulevards. Affectionately called the “Kö” by Düsseldorf’s residents, attention always turns to it when people talk about Düsseldorf. It is the primary shopping street in Düsseldorf, and as its nucleus, it connects the city centre to provide a continuous shopping experience ranging from the Altstadt (Old Town) through to the Kö and all the way to Schadowstraße. The “Kö” is characterised by its formidable width and the 580-metre-long and 32-metrewide trench – a leftover from the city’s moat – in which water from the River Düssel runs, but also by its impressive stock of trees, numbering almost 120 horse chestnuts. The “Kö” has undergone many changes throughout its eventful history.

It used to be part of the fortifications of Düsseldorf’s Altstadt (Old Town) before they were demolished. Between 1802 and 1804, royal architect Kaspar Anton Huschberger, landscape artist Maximilian Friedrich Weyhe and water architect Wilhelm Gottlieb Bauer created a new city moat that was over 30 metres wide, five metres deep and almost 1,000 metres long. The Neptune fountain, which feeds it with water, is supplied directly from the River Düssel. “Königsallee” was only named so in 1851, as a gesture towards the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who during the legendary “Horse Manure Attack” three years earlier, had suffered an outrage: arriving from the railway station to the south, horse manure was hurled at him on his way to Schloss Jägerhof. The city fathers of Düsseldorf – as the anecdote goes – thought long and hard about how to atone for the misdeed. They then decided to rename the street until then called “Kastanienallee” into “Königsallee” (“King’s Avenue”) with the aim of restoring the city’s honour and getting back into the royal family’s good books. Today, the world-famous avenue stands for a highly sophisticated approach to life, with many top-class shops and shopping centres. More and more international names are popping up on Königsallee. It has become the most expensive shopping street in North Rhine-Westphalia and the most upmarket luxury address in Germany, with a top rent of EUR 290/sqm in 2015. In the last survey carried out in 2015, Königsallee had a pedestrian flow count of up to 5,000 people per hour, which easily makes it the busiest luxury streetin Germany.

The west side of the “Kö” has also developed into a first-class hotel location. Besides the long-established Breidenbacher Hof and Steigenberger Parkhotel, the Hotel Intercontinental opened its doors for business in 2005. All three hotels on Königsallee carry five stars and bear the “Superior” label.

Düsseldorf Altbier

Altbier, frequently just called “Alt”, is a special type of dark, top-fermented beer that has its origins in and around Düsseldorf. Alt is usually brewed from several different kinds of barley and hops. The dark colour of the beer ranges from amber through to copper to a deep dark brown and varies with the quantity of malt it contains, which imparts colour to the beer during the roasting process.

Füchschen, Schumacher, Schlüssel, Uerige, and since 2010 also Kürzer, beers are brewed in Düsseldorf. The term “Alt” refers to the “old” brewing method employed before technical refrigeration came into use. Before the invention of refrigeration, top-fermenting yeast, which was able to convert the malt sugar into alcohol at temperatures ranging between 15 and 20°C, was used almost all over Germany. This meant that it was possible to brew beer even during the warmer months of the year. Bottom-fermenting yeast, which is used, for example, to brew Pilsner beer, requires temperatures between 4 and 9°C. The brewing method employed to make this kind of beer was only invented by Carl von Linde in 1873 when refrigerators came into use.

Alt is brewed with an average wort of 11.5% and has an alcohol content of around 4.8%. This creates an aromatic and refreshingly bitter flavour that develops particularly well at temperatures of between 8 and 10°C. It tastes best straight from the barrel and served in a typical 0.2 litre Alt beer glass. It’s said that Beuys, Immendorff, Grass and Reinhard Mey have met and chatted in one of the many pubs and bars in Düsseldorf’s Altstadt. Aleida Guevara is also a great fan of the beer. The daughter of the legendary Cuban revolutionary leader, Che, spoke very highly of it when she visited Düsseldorf. German expatriates have also taken the beer into the wider world. There is even a category for “German-Style Brown Ale/Düsseldorf- Style Altbier” in the annual World Beer Cup. A hit song has also been dedicated to the beer: the “Düsseldorfer Altbierlied” by Hans Ludwig Lonsdorfer – which was also covered as a punk-rock version by Düsseldorf's “Die Toten Hosen”.

Shoppers’ paradise

The metropolis on the banks of the Rhine is famously regarded as one of the hotspots of international fashion. So much fashion competence concentrated in one area means that the opportunities to shop in Düsseldorf are just endless – it’s where “shopping at its best” can be enjoyed! Düsseldorf’s city centre is the ideal destination to savour the perfect shopping experience. From the Altstadt (Old Town) via Königsallee all the way to Schadowstraße, it is virtually one big connected shopping location. Individual districts such as Flingern or Unterbilk equally offer an innovative and unique range of small boutiques and designer stores, several of which can be found only in Düsseldorf. The city is a platform for the world’s major fashion designers to present the whole gamut of fashion alongside large flagship stores of well-known brands – but also budding fashion stars – to satisfy any taste.

Such major international designers as Armani, Bulgari, Gucci, Jil Sander and Prada have opened shops along the luxurious shopping mile – Königsallee – which is one of Europe’s top retail boulevards. It’s here that exclusive boutiques rub shoulders with major fashion houses, and where shopping malls with elegant street cafés can be found. It is a true catwalk for the latest trends – a great place to see what’s going on and to be seen! Düsseldorf caters to every budget, from upmarket to bargains. It is a popular place for a stroll along countless designer shops and jewellery stores.

Königsallee, often called the “Kö”, is easily the busiest luxury street in Germany. At peak times, there can be as many as 5,000 pedestrians strolling along the boulevard. In a European comparison, the Kö belongs to the shopping locations with the greatest density of high-end businesses. With the opening of Kö-Bogen in autumn 2013, Königsallee has actually been extended for keen fashion followers and, on the whole, received a burst of new inspiration.

Those who like curious and trendy things will just love taking a stroll through the Altstadt (Old Town). The narrow alleyways have become home to unconventional fashion shops and many avant-garde stores. A particularly idyllic flair may be enjoyed in the historic district of Carlstadt, with its many antique shops, galleries and art shops. Schadowstraße also has many attractive shopping opportunities to offer. And there are lots of shopping arcades in the city centre, to make shopping enjoyable even on rainy days. Schadow Arkaden, Sevens, Kö Galerie and Stilwerk could not be more different from one another in style and appearance.

The legendary and exclusive Breidenbacher Hof hotel opened its doors again in Düsseldorf in the summer of 2008. Marco Polo, Hugo Boss, Strellson and Michael Kors are but four of the tenants, and Abercrombie & Fitch opened its first German flagship store in the direct vicinity. But that’s not all! Prada displays its haute couture directly opposite, close to Gucci and Louis Vuitton. If that alone hadn’t made Audrey Hepburn’s eyes sparkle, the branch of Tiffany & Co. would have made her fall in love with Düsseldorf.

But you don’t have to avoid Düsseldorf if you don’t want to shell out on luxury and chichi. The 120 shops at Düsseldorf Arcaden also attract many visitors to the down-to-earth district of Bilk. Shopping enthusiasts and trendsetters will find fashion away from the mainstream all around Lorettostraße, in close proximity to the MedienHafen, or in the trendy, upand- coming district of Flingern.

Those who have trouble in Düsseldorf deciding between Ansons, Peek & Cloppenburg, Esprit, Zara, Mango, Primark, New Yorker or Karstadt and two Galeria Kaufhof outlets, can also seek inspiration for new furniture and the latest consumer electronics or browse through one of the many large book stores in the city.

Sightseeing tours

Whether on business or a leisurely city trip, whether on shopping tour or a stroll through the museums – the lifestyle metropolis on the Rhine invites you to discoveries, experiences and enjoyment. Explore its highlights on our guided tours between the Old Town, Königsallee and the "MedienHafen", by bus, on foot, by boat, carriage or bike. Our well-trained, knowledgeable city guides will make you familiar with Düsseldorf’s sights and landmarks.

Public guided tours in Düsseldorf

City tour in Düsseldorf: If you are a visitor in Düsseldorf and want to take part in a guided tour spontaneously, one of our numerous public tours is bound to be just right for you. From the classical guided walk through to old town to the individual HopOn HopOff bus tour accompanied by guides. Guided group tours in Düsseldorf: MedienHafen – You want to discover the city on the banks of the Rhine on foot or by horse carriage? It could be done easily, all arranged by local operators there.

Boat tour on the River Rhine: In Düsseldorf, a boat tour on the river Rhine is a must! Choose between a boat excursion to the new “MedienHafen”, a variety of day trips or enjoy beatiful fireworks onboard the ships. The boat tours can be combined with guided tours as well. Barrier-free guided tours – Exploring Düsseldorf without barriers: Düsseldorf offers a multitude of choices for people with limited mobility to discover the many aspects of the city on the Rhine, which is coupled with Photo-Shooting, Personal Shopper, city rallye or coffee break at 172m height. It's your choice!

Palaces and castles

For many years, palaces and castles with their “enchanted” parks have stimulated the imagination of visitors, transporting them back in time to the fairy tale age of counts and knights. Within a radius of 80km, Düsseldorf’s surrounding provides plenty of options for visitors to travel back in time to different eras. Be it the most important moated castle in the lower Rhine region, a fortress dating from Emperor Barbarossa’s times, or a playful palace ensemble from the late baroque period – the region is a revelation to anyone interested in history or who simply wants to experience an authentically historic setting.

Schloss Benrath (Benrath Palace) in the south of Düsseldorf was built on the banks of the Rhine over 200 years ago as a summer residence and hunting lodge for Elector Carl Theodor. Created by Nicolas de Pigage, it is one of the most beautiful garden palaces of the 18th century. In its artistic entirety comprising structures, interior furnishings and the 60-hectare park, the ensemble is today a late rococo work of art that in its completeness has become rare in Europe. The east wing houses the “Museum für Europäische Gartenkunst” (“Museum of European Garden History”) and the west wing is home to the“Museum für Naturkunde” (“Museum for Natural History”).

Rising up from the banks of the Rhine, the mighty ruins of the medieval Kaiserpfalz (royal palace) built by the legendary Friedrich I Barbarossa – once one of the most important castles of the Hohenstaufen dynasty on the Rhine – may be found on the outskirts of the picturesque centre of Kaiserswerth to the north of Düsseldorf. The walls of these impressive ruins of the once much larger royal palace and imperial fort are still more than 50 metres long and up to 4.5 metres thick.

The impressive Wasserschloss Dyck (moated Dyck Palace) near Jüchen is regarded as one of the most significant cultural monuments in the lower Rhine region and is able to look back on almost 1,000 years of history. Since it was first mentioned in documents in 1094, Dyck Palace has always been owned by the zu Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck family.

The moated castle of Linn, one of the oldest castle complexes in the region, is located on the outskirts of Krefeld. Today’s castle dates in the main from the 13th century. The southwing and the low outer defence wall were among other things built in the 15th century. With towers, battlements, keep, dungeon, hall and chapel as well as an entirely intact outer bailey all surrounded by a broad moat, it presents a true image of a medieval castle.The hunting lodge is home to several furnished burgher rooms dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, a fully equipped farmer’s kitchen typical of the lower Rhine region and a collection of historic mechanical musical instruments.

The Museum Schloss Rheydt (Rheydt Palace museum) in Mönchengladbach is a complex of buildings whose origins date back to the 12th century. The ensemble’s present day appearance is the result of conversion measures carried out during the middle of the 16th century.

Art in Düsseldorf

Fashion city, trade fair city or “desk of the Ruhr area” – Düsseldorf is called many things. But the capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia is also a pulsating metropolis of art and the city of fine arts in western Germany. With Kunstakademie (the art academy), 26 museums, over 100 galleries and projects such as the Duesseldorf Photo Weekend, the city possesses a rich and varied landscape of art and culture that is second to none in Germany.

The Kunstakademie constitutes the nucleus of Düsseldorf — as the city of art. It is regarded as one of the most important institutions of its kind and has been associated with major artists’ names almost throughout its history. Paul Klee, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Jörg Immendorff, Katharina Sieverding, Andreas Gursky and, of course, the co-founder of the internationally influential ZERO group of artists, Günther Uecker, are just a few of the many famous artists that Düsseldorf’s Kunstakademie has produced. The cultural high point in 2016 will be the “Horst: Photographer of Style” touring exhibition of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum from 12 February to 22 May 2016.

From 23 April to 14 August 2016 the Museum Kunstpalast will devote itself in a joint cooperation with the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam to the works of Swiss artist Jean Tinguely (1925-1991). Tinguely was best known as an experimental artist who liked to transcend the boundaries of performance art, creating several massive projects with kinetic objects and mechanical sculptures that helped redefine art after 1945. With a total of 26 museums and exhibition venues, the city covers a broad range of cultural interests – from unique special museums as the Hetjens Museum (The German Museum of Ceramics) to such major flagships as the Museum Kunstpalast and Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Around half of Düsseldorf’s museums and exhibition venues are dedicated to the fine arts.

Theatre fans are also well catered for and are able to enjoy four venues at Düsseldorf’s Schauspielhaus (theatre) alone, including Junges Schauspielhaus (young theatre) and the Central at Düsseldorf’s central station, which functions as the main stage until summer 2017, which is when a renovation of the Schauspielhaus will take place. In 1999, the professional-independent art scene found a new platform at the Forum Freies Theater. Venues such as the “Kom(m)ödchen” cabaret at Kunsthalle, the boulevard theatres “Komödie” on Steinstraße and the “Theater an der Kö”, as well as, last but not least, Düsseldorf’s Marionetten Theatre on Bilker Straße, round off the wealth of theatre venues. The Tonhalle, which is the city’s largest concert hall, has become one of the most impressive and modern music venues in Germany.

Green tourism is “in” in Düsseldorf

Hardly any other major city is as green as Düsseldorf. Almost one fifth of Düsseldorf’s total area is taken up by green, recreational and forested areas. A total of around one third of Düsseldorf’s urban space is under landscape protection. All of which guarantees a high quality of life, enhances the city’s attractiveness as a living space and promotes the preservation of nature and the environment in harmony with the city’s development. Restoring the municipal greenery following the devastation caused by storm “Ela” during Whitsun 2014 has already got off to a successful start thanks to the great dedication of the public and the city’s Parks Department.

Many visitors come to the capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia just for its beautiful parks and green areas. These form a “green axis” right across the metropolis on the banks of the River Rhine. Besides such oases in the centre of the city as the Rheinpark and Hofgarten, the main attractions also include the Nordpark with its Japanese Garden, the Kaiserpfalz (Royal Palace) and Schloss and Park Benrath. The Südpark, which was extended over a wide area for the Bundesgartenschau (National German Garden Festival) in 1987, is Düsseldorf’s green lung.

Dusseldorf at a glance!

Historical Kaiserswerth: Located in the northern part of Düsseldorf, is always worth a trip at any time of the year. The pretty heart with its charming baroque houses from the 17th and 18th centuries is always a great place for an excursion. Palace of Benrath - Corps de Logis: You can reach the small station "Benrath" in the south of the city by regional train from the main station within 6 minutes (free ride with the DüsseldorfCard). From here it is only a few steps to the Palace and Park Benrath. Benrath Palace was built as a pleasure and hunting palace for the elector Carl Theodor.

Barbarossa's palace: You reach the tram stop Klemensplatz in Kaiserswerth from the city centre within approx. 20 minutes by underground U79 (free ride with the DüsseldorfCard). There you start your journey into the middle-age. Alter Golzheimer Friedhof (cemetery): Tombs of famous people can be found here: the garden architect and creator of the cemetery Maximilian Weyhe, the painter Alfred Rethel, the architect Wilhelm von Schadow and the theatre director Karl Leberecht Immermann.

Burgplatz: The mighty castle of the Count of Berg and the later Dukes of Jülich - Kleve - Berg stood at this place. Nowadays, a former side tower of a later baroque palace is all that remains.

Carlsplatz: The former farmers market is now a gourmet's paradise for Düsseldorfers and tourists (Mon-Sat).

EKO-House of Japanese Culture: Consists of a Buddhist temple (the only Japanese temple in Europe), a Japanese garden and a house in the traditional style with tea room.

Heinrich Heine birth place: Heinrich Heine (1797–1856), author of the Loreley song ('Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten..') was born in the rear part of the property. Historical Kaiserswerth: On the boundaries of the picturesque centre of Kaiserswerth, the ruins of lengendary Emperor Barbarossa's medieval palace directly by the riverside are what is left of one of the most important castles on the Rhine.

North Rhine-Westphalian State Parliament: In 1946, Düsseldorf was elected the state capital of the newly founded federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Oberkasseler Bridge: In 1896-1898, the Rheinische Bahngesellschaft (public transports company) built the first road bridge across the Rhine in Düsseldorf at this place.

Rathaus (city hall): The city hall complex consists of three buildings from different periods. The so-called 'old city hall' at the northern side of Marktplatz, the 'Wilhelminischer Bau' (period of the Emperor Wilhem II) and the 'Grupello house' at the western side.

Rheinturm: The Rheinturm (built 1979–1982, architect H. Deilmann) is a striking landmark on the Düsseldorf’s Rhine skyline. It stands on the edge of the southern city centre, at the entrance.

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