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Top 8 things to do in Düsseldorf

History, culture and electrifying nightlife, Düsseldorf's got it all. Come and explore the most exciting city on the Rhine.
Ship on the Rhine at sunset

Düsseldorf is chic, wealthy, cosmopolitan, and sitting along the Rhine – and the city offers a wealth of cool things to do. It’s industrial, but pretty darn picturesque too. Make the most of your stay by checking out the top eight attractions and things to do in Düsseldorf.

8 best things to do and places to see in Düsseldorf, Germany

1. See the city in 360° at the Rheinturm

View of Dusseldorf harbour (Medienhafen) with modern buildings for media and communications activities and Rheinturm

The Rheinturm (Rhine Tower) is clearly Düsseldorf’s tallest building and perhaps less obviously is the world’s largest digital clock. At night it lights up to display the time down the side of the tower and from the top you can dine in style in its revolving restaurant. By day you can also take in the views from an observation deck at the top. Hands down Düsseldorf’s most scenic attraction.

2. Drink and be merry in Altstadt

Burgplatz in Altstadt, one of Dusseldorf's top tourist attractions

Dusseldorf’s old town is one of the city’s top tourist attractions – and with good reason. Locally nicknamed as the ‘longest bar in the world’, the Altstadt has crammed over 300 bars and clubs into the area of half a square kilometre. This is prime bar crawl territory, with pubs ranging from boisterous sambuca-swigging student haunts to traditional beer halls serving up the local speciality beer – Altbei. A traditional recipe, served in small glasses to retain its flavour.

Old Town Square, Dusseldorf

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3. Find modernity in Neue Zollhof

Dusseldorf's Medienhafen

Over the past decade, more and more buildings have been popping up that push the boundaries of modern architecture. This is most clearly evidenced in the city’s revamped port, where you can see three buildings by Canadian-born architect Frank Gehry (the man behind the Guggenheim in Bilbao).

Frank Gehry's Neue Zollhof - best things to see in Dusseldorf

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4. Spend a fortune on Königsallee

Königsallee, best things to do in Dusseldorf, Germany

If you’re on a budget you can simply enjoy a stroll along the tree-lined canal, but if your looking to splash your cash on a new Armani suit or Chanel handbag, this is the place to start. You’ll find every designer label under the sun along this street but if the budget doesn’t suffice you can maybe just stick to window shopping…

Königsallee street sign

5. Step back in time in Kaiserswerth

Kaiserswerth, places to visit in Düsseldorf

Being one of the oldest areas of the city, there are plenty of interesting places to explore such as the Deaconess’s Institute of Kaiserswerth where Florence Nightingale worked along with the ruins of the legendary Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa’s “Royal Palace”, that are located by the banks of the River Rhine.

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6. Relax along the Rhine embankment

Ship on the Rhine

Take a break from Düsseldorf’s city centre and wander along the splendidly lively esplanade. In good weather this area is packed with people sunbathing beside the Rhine or indeed taking in the sights of the city by boat. One of the best, and most relaxing things to do in Dusseldorf hands down.

7. Unleash you inner hipster at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf has a massive bohemian scene and for a city of only 600,000 people, it has a plethora of galleries and museums – more than cities almost double its size. One of the most interesting has to be Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, where local artists hold regular exhibitions in an underground tunnel known as Kunst im Tunnel (Art in the Tunnel).

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8. Explore the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex

‘Really, a coal mine?’ I hear you cry, but this perhaps unlikely UNESCO World Heritage Site is an immensely interesting look at Germany‘s modern history – and one of the top things to do in the wider Düsseldorf area. Situated just outside the nearby town of Essen, this maze of concrete and steel structures are weirdly beautiful and stand as a monument to the country’s industrial heritage. The site also hosts regular historical and cultural exhibitions.

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Dusseldorf at sunset

8 best things to do in Düsseldorf, Germany

1. See the city in 360° at the Rheinturm
2. Drink and be merry in Altstadt
3. Find modernity in Neue Zollhof
4. Spend a fortune on Königsallee
5. Step back in time in Kaiserswerth
6. Relax along the Rhine embankment
7. Unleash you inner hipster at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
8. Explore the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex

*Updated August 2019. Information correct at the time of publication but subject to change and/or availability.

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