In recent years, Dusseldorf, which began as a small fishing village, has joined the list of the most touristic cities in Germany, and many Israelis flock to it in droves and include it as part of their trip to the entire country. Although it is not as popular as Berlin, it is definitely a center of attraction for quite a few visitors, who enjoy the many attractions it offers and its immediate surroundings. Dusseldorf was almost completely destroyed during World War II, and suffered severe bombing at the time. After a long recovery period, it was rebuilt and today brings to its visitors charming combinations between different types of architecture and between old and new.
Dillsdorf is not far from the city of Cologne (a notable tourist destination in itself) and in the western part of Germany. It is home to over half a million inhabitants and its area is about 217 square kilometers. It is located near the Rhine River and is known as a successful and very prominent city economically. Among other things, due to its location and being a very important commercial center. Leading communication companies and one of the largest advertising companies in Germany.
In its distant past, until the beginning of the 19th century, a relatively small number of Jews lived in the city (570 in number), but today the Jewish community numbers close to 8,000 Jews, making it the third largest in the country. Most of the members of the Jewish community of Dusseldorf come from the Commonwealth of Nations and since 2000 there has been a Chabad house, known as one of the largest in Germany and among the largest in Europe itself, operating without interruption.
Those arriving in Dusseldorf are offered a wide variety of accommodation solutions: five-star, four-star, and even three-star hotels, and even guesthouses that are mainly suitable for backpackers. Most of the hotels are located in the city center, they are accessible, comfortable and include all the necessary facilities. For those planning to come there during the summer, between the months of June and August or near Christmas, it is recommended to book accommodation in advance due to the high demand. You should also compare prices and examine in depth the location of the hotel in relation to the attractions in the city and the other sites in it.
Similar to other cities in Germany, in Dusseldorf you can also find a huge selection of restaurants, partly based on traditional local cuisine and partly on various international cuisines. Some of them are in the city center, some in the vibrant old city (Altstadt) and some are scattered in its various streets. Dusseldorf has luxurious and expensive restaurants as well as cheap working class restaurants. It has restaurants that serve local dishes and those that offer dishes from Italian, Asian, French and Mediterranean cuisine. You can find fast food chains and vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the city, which are considered very popular in recent years.
Those who choose to come to Dusseldorf for a stay of a few days will discover a great variety of attractions and interesting sites that must be stopped at. A visit that includes a stop at them will teach quite a bit about the history of the city and the history of the entire environment and will also offer a different kind of experience, the likes of which can only be experienced in the city itself.
Tip – if you plan to come to the city for several days, The DusseldorfCard is the right solution for you. This is the convenient and also the cheapest way to experience the city and combine, while visiting it, as many stops as possible at the various destinations. The card allows free travel, free of charge, in the city itself and to the airport as well as a 100% discount (ie free entry) on 50 attractions and museums throughout Dusseldorf. You can purchase a ticket for one, two, three or four days depending on the duration of the vacation. The cost of a ticket for 24 hours per person is 10 euros and for a group/family – 19 euros, for 48 hours per person – 15.50 euros and for a group/family 29 euros, for 72 hours per person 17 euros and for a group/family 32 euros and for 96 hours (4 days ) per person – 21 euros and for a group/family – 40 euros (family = 2 adults and two children aged 14 maximum, group = 3 adults).
Here is a short overview of attractions in Dusseldorf that warrant a stop:
The old city of Dusseldorf (Altstadt) – the old part of the city is definitely an area not to be missed and also one of the most visited in Dusseldorf. The old city is home to lively clubs, pubs and bars as well as quite a few chic, fashionable restaurants and cafes. Next to the ancient buildings, which tell the long story of the city, the old city has a colorful and young atmosphere. In addition to sushi restaurants, you will find fine Italian restaurants and the boardwalk, which is close to the Rhine River, is full of pleasant places to hang out and, of course, quite a few pedestrians, some of whom are tourists and some of whom are locals.
Konigsallee – this long and beautiful boulevard is a very prominent urban boulevard in Dusseldorf, located on both sides of the canal, which crosses the city. Along its length are luxurious and highly invested shops, commercial houses of various types, offices and great entertainment places. Locals have made it one of the most respected centers of Dusseldorf’s shopping scene and it is also among the busiest and most prestigious shopping streets in all of Germany.
The Rhine Tower (Rheinturm) – it is considered the tallest tower in Dusseldorf and an attraction in itself. The Rhine Tower is a very important communication tower in the city at a height of 240.5 meters. The construction of the tower began in 1979 and ended in 1981. On this high tower there are radio antennas, FM transmitters and TV antennas, and of course a revolving restaurant and an observation deck, overlooking the city itself. Since the tower was inaugurated on December 1, 1981, many visitors have come to it and thanks to its balcony, which is open to the curious every day from 10 am to 11 pm, the tower is an attraction for many.
The exhibition complex (Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen) – this spectacular complex is a must for art lovers. It displays a huge art collection in three different exhibition spaces and was established in 1961 by the local government in order to house important art collections collected over the years. During its 50 years of activity, the complex gained an international reputation and a place of honor in the list of museums considered in the 20th century (art museums). Among the various works that can be seen there are works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, paintings by Paul Clay and collections of post-war American art, including works by Jackson Pollock, Frank Stella and well-known pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns.
Hofgarten – This charming place is the place to escape from the noise and bustle of the city and take a break from shopping and other activities that Dusseldorf has to offer. This is the first and oldest park in Germany that has been operating since 1769. It includes an area of almost 70 dunams, where there are extensive meadows, ponds, fountains, flower beds, ancient trees and great paths to walk on pleasant warm days. At different points of the park you can see charming figurines that decorate it and also special buildings. Every year, between the months of May and September, free concerts are held in the park on Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m. for visitors.
Neanderthal Museum – This is one of the most fascinating museums in Germany and the one that attracts many. The Neanderthal Museum, located in the city of Mettmann, under the jurisdiction of Dusseldorf, was established on the site of the first discovery of Neanderthal man and includes an exhibition focusing on human evolution. The museum was first opened to the public in 1996 and was designed by the architects Zemp Kelp, Julius Kraus and Arno Brandhover. Over 150,000 visitors visit the museum every year and it attracts people of all ages. In the museum there is an archaeological park at the original discovery site, a workshop that characterized the Stone Age as well as an art trail called “Human Traces”. The signs in the museum, as well as the audio guide that can be purchased at the entrance, are available in both German and English.
Grafenberger Wald Park – this charming park in the Grafenberger Forest is a great playground, to which quite a few families with children flock. It covers an area of 36 dunams and is considered one of the largest parks in Dusseldorf. It was first opened to the general public more than 200 years ago and includes extensive areas where animals roam freely and where a variety of activities are offered for children.
Set. Lambertus (St. Lambertus) – this is one of the four Roman Catholic churches in the old city of Dusseldorf and an important tourist destination there. Church of St. Lambertus belongs to the members of the extended parish of St. Lambertus Dusseldorf, created in 2011 by merging several communities. The church building, it is speculated, is probably the oldest building and a prominent and very important landmark of the old city of Dusseldorf, in light of the discovery of old documents from Pope Hadrian IV from May 23, 1159. Following a very strong storm in the area in 1606 and due to an explosion in a nearby tower in 1634 the interior of the church was renovated, which has been preserved to this day.
Kunsthalle Dusseldorf – this is an exhibition hall for contemporary art in the city, one that is considered one of the most interesting attractions in Dusseldorf and for good reason. The current building, which you see today, was built in 1967 and was designed by the architects Konrad Beckman and Brooks. It includes two independent institutions, each of which separately hosts different art exhibitions focusing on contemporary art. Local and international artists appear in the exhibition hall, where the aim of the exhibitions is to stimulate social discourse and to wonder about the meaning of the work.
The Japanese Gardens (Japanischer Garten) – in the north-western corner of Nordpark (Nordpark) is a beautiful gem of a garden called “The Japanese Gardens on the Rhine”. The gardens, which include an area of 5,000 square meters, present, through the vegetation, buildings and sculptures in them, the mythology of the Far East and its characteristic culture. The gardens themselves were planned and created in the seventies of the 20th century by the Japanese garden and landscape architect Iwaki Ishiguro and his son Shujiro.
Filmmuseum Dusseldorf (Filmmuseum Dusseldorf) – this museum is a highly recommended stop in the city and not only for film fans. The Dusseldorf Film Museum presents permanent collections, spread over four floors and giving a place of honor to the first steps of cinema. In a restored movie studio, movie fans can feel, if only for a few hours, like a famous movie director or a movie star in front of the cameras and spotlights. There is also a cinema, where classic films and premieres are shown.
Renting a car in Dusseldorf is a great solution for all those who want to get to know the city and its near or far surroundings and combine, along with staying there, a visit to other cities in Germany. You can pick up the rented car at the airport, where you land or at one of the offices of the car rental companies. Although there are quite a few convenient and available public transportation solutions in the city, but for those interested in complete independence, a rental car is definitely the answer!
There are no direct flights from Israel to Dusseldorf, as of today, but there are quite a few flights with intermediate stops (connection). These flights depart from Ben Gurion Airport and arrive directly to the city after changing the plane at some European destination. The flights are offered by various international airlines such as LOT, Air Baltic, Ukraine International Airlines, Air Serbia, KLM, Pegasus, easyJet, Air France and more. Dusseldorf Airport is a large and very busy airport, the third largest in Germany. It is only 7 km from the city center and serves many passengers throughout the year.
Dusseldorf attracts visitors throughout the year and in every season. Each period has a different charm, and while in the winter months visitors enjoy the wonderful winter atmosphere, in the summer months visitors to the city can take part in the various events held at different points in it.
For those who choose to fly to Dusseldorf, you should take into account special events, which are recommended to include during the visit:
The Christmas markets, which are held at various points around the city, are definitely a big and important event in Dusseldorf, attracting locals from the city itself and tourists from all over the world. In these markets there are spectacular stalls, offering for sale a variety of wonderful gifts and souvenirs, which are worth bringing home, to all the people who love, and of course food stalls that warm the stomach and the heart. These markets are much more than a market as we know it. They are also an opportunity to meet quite a few people and learn about the local culture and the tradition that characterizes it.
The Great Fair on the Rhine is definitely an event not to be missed. It is held in the city every summer, in the month of July, and it includes various stands, sessions for visitors and many attractions. Quite a few families with children and curious tourists come to the fair, who want to experience, experiment and also have fun.