One of Germany's richest cities, Dusseldorf always intimidates the uninitiated. The modern skyscrapers, high-end fashion shops and the perpetually busy, urban feel exuded by the capital of Germany certainly won't match your idea of vacation fun at first. But when you throw all caution to the winds and step right into the stylish boutiques at the heart of Konigsallee (called the Ko by locals) or enjoy the beauty of the sun setting over the river at the Rheinufer Promenade or experience the enjoyable Kirmes in July, you'll immediately know that the city that means business is also serious about fashion, fairs and fun!
The Old Town or Alstadt is a must-see because of its historic feel by day and boisterous night life. At its limits, you can find the Burgplatz or the Castle Square which holds a tower with a navigation museum. The City Monument there will also tell you a lot about Dusseldorf's history. The Schloss Benrath, the summer palace home of Prince Carl Theodore, boasts of elaborate gardens and plays host to the Museum of European Garden History. Art lovers can revel in the wide collection of European art at the museum kunst palest (and that's not a typo, it has always been spelled in lower case) or the works of Matisse and Picasso, among others, at the K20 Kunstsammlung am Grabbeplatz. Churches like St. Lambertuskirche and Andreaskirche also have gems worth seeing. After all the sightseeing, relax with a cold beer at the Hofgarten, the largest park in Dusseldorf.
Dusseldorf is a foodie's paradise. In the Old Town, particularly in the streets of Bergerstrasse, Lambertusstrasse, Neustrasse and Ratingerstrasse, you can get your taste of amazingly authentic German cuisine. In the evening, this area bursts with raucous nightlife and features more than 200 bars. Beer gardens, cafes and eateries also line the banks of the River Rhine while the newly restored harbor at Medienhafen also holds restaurants and bars.
Konigsallee, fondly called the Ko by locals, is the premier shopping district with its high-end boutiques. In the Shadowstrasse crossing, you will find such German department stores as Galleria, Karstadt and Peek and Peek & Cloppenburg. Good shopping can also be had at the Marketplatz found in the Old Town. There are also many good buys in Flingern Nord, one of the hippest quarters of Düsseldorf. The Pemnpelfort and Bilk districts also have their share of good shopping. If you want books, head to Buchhaus Stern-Verlag. At the Japanese Center located in Immermannstrasse, you can find jewelry and designer clothing labels.
Kö Galerie, Enter on Grünstrasse
Bilker Allee 128