If you find yourself in Belgium, the Netherlands or Luxembourg, a visit to the western parts of Germany can be a fantastic idea for a day trip. Admittedly, there is much and more to see in the three aforementioned nations alone; however, there is no other city so close by that provides quite such a change of scenery as Dusseldorf.
For one thing, unlike Belgium and the Netherlands and even much of Germany itself, Dusseldorf and the surrounding Rhine valley region are wine country. Some of the best white wine from around the globe, and some of this particular author’s favourite brands, are made from the grapes grown in this part of the Old World. If you find yourself on a bar patio in the summer in Dusseldorf, do yourself a favour and order a glass of the local Riesling – you will not regret it!
Unsurprisingly, Dusseldorf is also famous for its local beer brand – the Altbier, which translates as “old-style beer” and first appeared in the 19th century with the opening of the Schumacher brewery in 1838. There are currently five brewpubs that both make and serve Altbier on premises: Füchschen, Schumacher, Schlüssel, Uerige and the Brauerei Kürzer.
One of the best times of the year to enjoy either an Altbier or a glass of white wine is, of course, during the time of Karneval, which begins every year on November 11th and ends on Rosenmontag, or “Rose Monday”, and features a huge parade and party along the streets of the city.
In terms of more high brow culture, the city is home to some of best-loved museums in Germany including the Goethe-Museum, the Film Museum, the Akademie-Galerie, the Mahn- und Gedenkstätte für die Opfer des Nationalsozialmus (“Memorial Museum for Victims of National Socialism), the Stadtmuseum, the Botanical Gardens, and. of course, the Rheinturm or “Rhine Tower”which can be seen from almost any point in Dusseldorf and is the city’s highest point.
Bombed heavily by Allied forces during the war, much of the city is modern, rebuilt in the 1950s and 1960s. However, older buildings, built in that very particular to Germany style, can be found in the Altstadt – the historic center of the city. While in the modern center you will find abundant parking spaces, modern shopping plazas, and international coffee shops, in the Aldstadt you will find cobble stones and centuries old buildings with visible bullet holes as a remnant of war-time.
Dusseldorf is one of those cities that perfectly combines culture and history with the modernity that is a tell tale marker of urban metropolises. You will not be disappointed by your experiences.