Hidden Gems: The coolest Düsseldorf attractions, that only locals know

update 27.12.2020 | in Germany, Städtetrip | von | Kommentiere! |

Königsallee? Overrun with snobs and wannabe rich people. The TV tower? The one in Berlin is 1,000 times better. Old town? Full of Ruhrpott hillbillies. Looking for Düsseldorf tips that not everyone knows?

Then forget the typical sights. In this article here, I’ll tell you Düsseldorf tips and sights that will take you to the cool and alternative corners of the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia that not every tourist knows.

Düseldorf tips and sights

All Düsseldorf tips at a glance Anzeigen

My Top 10 Dusseldorf Tips

Right at the beginning of the article I give you my pick of the coolest spots in Düsseldorf. These Düsseldorf tips are rather unknown and are among my absolute favorite places:

  1. The Paradies-Strand beach
  2. The street Kiefernstraße
  3. The city district of Kaiserswerth
  4. The art object Zeitfeld in Volksgarten
  5. The japanese garden in Nordpark
  6. Castle Eller with its beautiful park
  7. The licor bar Et Kabüffke in the old town
  8. The Jazzbar Em Pöötzke
  9. The restaurant Vente
  10. The inorbit-art exibition in the K21 building 

You can also find all Düsseldorf tips here on the map:

If you are still unsure whether a trip to Düsseldorf is worth it, then take a look at this video. After that, the decision should be easy.

Düsseldorf Hotel Tips

Before you travel to Düsseldorf, you will of course need an accommodation – preferably something special. I suggest several options for different budgets.

Breidenbacher Hof

The five-star Hotel Breidenbacher Hof is one of the top addresses in Düsseldorf. The stars regularly stay here. Even the Rolling Stones have stayed here. An overnight stay in this luxury hotel is not exactly cheap, but still worth it for a special occasion.

Another advantage is the very central location. The hotel is located between the old town and Königsallee.

Price: Expensive

Haus am Zoo

The small and cozy Hotel Haus am Zoo is located in a very quiet area, but still quite central in the city. It is about 10 minutes by streetcar to the old town and most of the sights.

Hotel in Dusseldorf: Haus am Zoo

The quiet garden with pool from the bird’s eye view.

What I like most about this hotel is the fantastic garden with pool – perfect for relaxing. My tip: Book a room with a view of the garden, so you can enjoy the green oasis in the middle of the city from your balcony.

Price: Cheap-Medium

Hotel Friends

From the outside, Hotel Friends near the train station looks rather plain. What counts here is above all the interior. The 70s-style lobby with its hip bar is unique in itself. The 40 rooms of the design hotel are all individually designed. For example, you can stay in the music room or the Sherlock Holmes room.

Price: Medium

Hyatt Regency

The Hyatt Regency is located in the trendy district of Medienhafen, directly on the Rhine, and accordingly offers a special atmosphere for your visit to Düsseldorf. There is also a spa with sauna and whirlpool and a pretty cool cocktail bar.

Hotel Hyatt Regency in Düsseldorf

The mirror glass facade of the Hyatt Regency.

Price: Medium-Expensive

Too lazy to explore Düsseldorf yourself?

Then just book a guided tour through the city:

Hidden Spots: The coolest places and spots in Düsseldorf

Explore Düsseldorf by bike

With a population of about 700,000, Düsseldorf is not one of the largest cities in Europe. In terms of area, Düsseldorf is also really manageable (ranked 73rd among Germany’s largest cities and towns). Nevertheless, there is a subway with several lines as well as several streetcar lines and an extensive bus network. So you can get around Düsseldorf super easy and fast with public transport.

Bicycle break on the banks of the Rhine in Düsseldorf

The best way to explore the banks of the Rhine is by bike.

However, you are better off on nice days by bike. There are many bike paths (especially along the Rhine) and the distances are not so huge. Even as a visitor you can explore the city by bike. Everywhere in Düsseldorf there are rental stations from various providers, for example:

  • Nextbike: 9 € pro Tag (Du findest die Mietfahrräder an definierten und beschilderten Verleihstationen in der ganzen Stadt.)
  • Radstation: 13 € pro Tag (am Hauptbahnhof)
  • call a bike: 9 € pro Tag (nur am Hauptbahnhof)

Look where Rudi Völler lives (Oberkassel)

There, where the rich live. That’s what they say about Oberkassel. And indeed, many better-off people and, above all, soccer players live in the Art Nouveau villas in the district on the western side of the Rhine. Once, while exploring the narrow alleys, I saw Rudi Völler walk out of the car and into the house.

So a walk through Oberkassel has a lot of VIP potential. By the way: Rudi Völler was one of the most famous football players in Germany. He won the worldcup in 1990 and kept his mullet haircut from that time.

Villas in Oberkassel Düsseldorf

The birthplace of Heinrich Heine in Düsseldorf. Photo credit: tnarik via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Watch clowns and breakdancers at the Rhine Steps

Right next to the Kasematten on the Rhine are the Rheintreppen. In the evening, when the weather is nice, lots of people meet here with a beer from the nearby Büdchen (= kiosk) and enjoy the sunset.

Breakdancer at the Rhine steps in Düsseldorf

BBoys, Flygirls, put your hands in the air.

Especially on weekends, street performers always appear here to entertain the crowds. My favorites are the various breakdancing groups and a clown who pulls pranks on unsuspecting passersby.

Chille on the Paradiesstrand Beach

Yes, Düsseldorf even has its own sandy beach. To the west of the Medienhafen, sun worshippers flock to Paradies Strand in fine weather to play beach volleyball or go for a swim in the small bays. The view of the Düsseldorf skyline from here is phenomenal.

Paradies Strand Düsseldorf

The bays of Düsseldorfs paradise beach.

Sometimes illegal beach parties are held on the beach, where people dance around the campfire until the early hours of the morning. Barbecues are also allowed.

Caution is advised if you are traveling with children. Unfortunately, the beach is often littered and sometimes there are also shards lying around on which you can cut your foot.

Paradise beach dusseldorf skyline view

Idyllic tranquility in the Japanese garden.

Discover Little Tokyo

Düsseldorf is the city in Germany with the largest Japanese community. About 8,000 Japanese live around Düsseldorf and many Japanese companies have also settled here.

The influence of Japanese culture in Düsseldorf is especially evident along Immermannstrasse. Here you can find the German-Japanese Center and many sushi and Japanese BBQ stores as well as Japanese supermarkets, bakers, bookstores or specialty stores.

Once a year there is also a large-scale Japan Day in the old town with impressive fireworks.

Buy and sell old things at Aachener Platz

A charming mix of Parisian flair and Made in Germany: the flea market at Aachener Platz has been around for 36 years. Up to 20,000 visitors and 600 dealers come here every Saturday to browse and trade.

Here you can find everything you need, or don’t need. The offer ranges from antique mirror frames to used leather shoes to rickety but cheap bicycles.

Café Sperrmüll also hosts events every weekend with jazz or other music. So if you can’t find what you’re looking for, just sit down with a piece of cake and a cup of coffee and listen to the sounds of the musicians.

Let yourself be dazzled by the bright colors in Kiefernstraße

Probably the most unique street in Düsseldorf is Kiefernstraße in the Flingern-Süd district. In the 80s squatters lived here, allegedly also people from the RAF. Even today, the former squatters still live here, but now with a rental contract.

Kiefernstraße in Düsseldorf

Whole rows of houses are painted here.

Why is it worth a visit? The walls of the houses are painted with lots of graffiti art. Even the construction trailer, which has probably been standing on the street for half an eternity, has not been spared.

crossword puzzle house kiefernstraße

This house on Kiefern Straße was painted with a crossword puzzle.

Just around the corner is also the zakk – a cultural paradise for all those who are tired of the dull party hustle and bustle in the old town. Alternative parties are held here regularly: from electro to Balkan beats to tango evenings. Cultural and political events are also part of the program at zakk.

Kiefernstraße Düsseldorf

You can tell that life in Kiefernstraße is a bit more alternative than in the rest of Düsseldorf.

Treat yourself to an after-work beer in Kaiserswerth

Walking through Kaiserswerth like this, you might think the picturesque district doesn’t even belong to Düsseldorf anymore. But that’s exactly the great thing. You only have to ride your bike for 15 minutes and you’re already in the middle of nature.

Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth from above

The district of Kaiswerswerth from above.

Kaiserswerth has a medieval core with restaurants and a great ice cream parlor. Here you can simply stroll through the narrow streets, admire the courtyards of the monastery and the church or rest on a bench on the banks of the Rhine and watch the passing ships. To cool down, treat yourself to a fresh beer in the beer garden “Galerie Burghof”, right next to the old castle ruins, with a panoramic view over the river.

beergarden Galerie Burghof at the rhine in Duesseldorf

Drinking beer with a view of the Rhine in the Burghof Gallery.

Meet locals on Nordstraße

Nordstraße is one of the busiest streets in all of Düsseldorf, though little visited by tourists. This is where the locals go: to store in the many small specialty stores, to eat in the restaurants and bistros, and to drink Alt-beer in the long-established pubs and bars.

If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the old town, you should take a closer look at this street. It hardly gets more typically Düsseldorf than here.

Watch the sunset at the media harbor

Where once the ships brought fresh fish, today there are plenty of media companies, restaurants and architecturally appealing buildings.

Medienhafen Düsseldorf sunset

Beautiful, when the skyscrapers are reflected in the water, while slowly the last sunlight disappears.

We are talking about the Düsseldorf Media Harbor. However, a few private boats are still anchored.

Medienhafen Düsseldorf with Gehry buildings and tv tower

From the Medienhafen you have a great view of the TV tower and the Gehry buildings.

Count sheep on the banks of the Rhine

In a big city in Germany, you certainly wouldn’t expect to see sheep grazing. But in Düsseldorf it is different. Because along both sides of the Rhine are many and wide green areas. There is enough grass here to feed whole flocks of sheep. So one moment you’re scurrying through the hustle and bustle of the old town and the next you’re already relaxing at a picnic in the pasture and listening to the sheep chewing and “Määhhh”-ing.

Sheep pasture on the banks of the Rhine in Düsseldo

Along the banks of the Rhine, Düsseldorf offers a lot of green spaces. That pleases not only the sheep.

Visit a DEG ice hockey game

Maybe only a few people know it, but the Düsseldorf ice hockey club DEG is one of the most famous and traditional in Germany. In the early 90s, the DEG team won one German championship title after another. Even though these times are over, it is still worth watching an ice hockey game in the ISS Dome. The atmosphere is unique and tickets for the games are also affordable.

Ice hockey game DEG vs Schwaningen in ISS Dome

The birthplace of Heinrich Heine in Düsseldorf. Photo credit: tnarik via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Take an Instagram worthy picture in front of the Hornet wall

Düsseldorf is especially known for its public artworks. One that you’ll find quite often on Instagram is “Hornet” by Sarah Morris at Paul-Klee-Platz in the middle of the Altstadt. It is a 180 m² wall covered with colored glazed tiles directly behind the K20 (Kunstsammlung NRW).

Mural Hornet Dusseldorf

Like the honeycombs of an insect, the mural “Hornet” appears.

Check the time in the Clockwork Forest

At Volkspark, there’s a particularly interesting installation of antique train station clocks that will make you feel like you’re in Alice in Wonderland. The work is called “Zeitfeld” (which translates to “Time Field”) made by Klaus Rinke.

the antique clocks of the Zeitfeld in Düsseldorf

“Uhrwald” would also be a good name for this hidden spot.

Admire classic cars in the Classic Remise

In a listed building, a restored roundhouse, you will find this fantastic exhibition of classic cars. A wide variety of classic vehicles are exhibited here. From Italian Ferrari, Porsche 911 to rare historical vehicles you will find everything in this center for classic and enthusiast cars.

In the location there is also a catering business and special events take place from time to time.

Classic Remise Düsseldorf Tipps

The oldtimers are displayed in the roundhouse on several floors to admire.

Find the perfect selfie subject at Calidreams Museum.

If you’re a big fan of kitsch, the color pink, and over-the-top pop music, then this place is probably your paradise. At Calidreams, the  Californian lifestyle is internalized and visitors become part of it themselves.

In this interactive museum you’ll find lots of crazy photo spots where you can take selfies for Instagram and the like, for example sitting in a US Cadillac, in a bathtub with hundreds of yellow ducks or in a pink ball pool.

Bet on a horse at the racecourse

A special experience is to participate in a horse race. In Düsseldorf this sport has a long tradition. In Grafenberg there is a racecourse right next to the golf course. Here is even still a scale building, which was built as early as 1913. Today it is under monument protection but the jokeys are still weighed there before the race.

Official races take place several times a year. Here you can find the dates. A walk around the grounds is worthwhile even on days without races. There is a great beer garden here and also the Aaper forest is only a stone’s throw away.

Grandstand Düsseldorf racecourse

One of the grandstands directly in front of the finish line of the racecourse

Parks & Lakes

Feed wild animals at Grafenberg Wildlife Park.

The game park in Grafenberg Forest is a great destination for families, and it’s free, too. You are even allowed to feed the animals (fallow deer and wild boars) with raw food.

Wildpark Grafenberger Wald Düsselldorf.

There are about 100 animals in the park. Photo credit: TijsB via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Go swimming, sailing or surfing at Unterbacher Lake

Unterbacher See in the east of the city is a popular bathing place in summer. There are two lidos here, one on the north beach and the other on the south beach. But you can also jump into the water from the shore at other places or just take a relaxed walk around the lake.

Duesseldorf surroundings Unterbacher See

View over Unterbacher Lake from the easternmost point.

Sailing courses are offered at the sailing school on Unterbacher See. And there is also a surf & kite school in the south of the lake.

Stroll through the Hofgarten

The centrally located Hofgarten was designed by the famous garden architect Maximilian Weyhe. There are trees up to 200 years old under which you can lie in the summer, while the Düssel ripples in the background.

pathway along the Hofgarten in Duesseldorf

At night, the benches in the Hofgarten are illuminated. In the background: The Goethe House.

Find your Zen in the Japanese Garden in Nordpark

Hofgarten and Volkspark are the largest and best known parks in Düsseldorf. But there are plenty of others that are worth visiting. The Nordpark is one of them. Here you should definitely walk through the Japanese garden: Perfect to let your soul dangle.

Japanese garden dusseldorf

Idyllic tranquility in the Japanese garden.

Pet animals in Südpark

Südpark is the largest park in Düsseldorf, covering 70 hectares. It consists of three parts:

  1. The historic Volksgarten in the north.
  2. The near-natural section “Vor dem Deich” in the south with a bird sanctuary and lake.
  3. “In den Gärten” with 16 different theme gardens.

    Sunset at Deichsee in Südpark in dusseldorf

    Sunset at lake Deichsee in Südpark.

In the middle of it all is the idyllic petting zoo at Südpark, surrounded by sunflower meadows and gardens. Especially with children a visit is worthwhile. There are bees, geese, goats, rabbits, pigs, donkeys and sheep to marvel at. Admission is free and dogs are also allowed. Food you have to buy.

By the way, in the park there are also plenty of well-maintained water playgrounds and other attractions for the little ones.

petting zoo at Südpark düsseldorf

The petting zoo at Südpark is part of a beautifully restored farmstead with a farm and a large garden.

Benrath Palace: Wander through a huge palace garden.

The baroque Benrath Palace from the 18th century, in the southern district of Benrath, is definitely worth a visit. The whole complex with palace, park and the canal system is architecturally very impressive.

Especially the huge palace garden (61 hectares) has something special about it. During a walk through the park you can sort out your thoughts and find meditative peace. A map of the entire park can be found here.

Benrath Palace in Düsseldorf from the front

Dream in pink: Benrath Palace. Inside the castle, too, there are one or two pink surprises.

A guided tour of the castle is also possible. A day ticket costs 14 € for adults. However, the castle park can be visited free of charge.

Visit the idyllic Eller Castle

Schloss Eller is not as big and famous as the one in Benrath. But it is at least as relaxing to walk in the park around Eller Castle.

Front view of the Eller Castle in Düsseldorf

Eller Castle as seen from the main entrance.

The castle itself can be booked for ceremonies. But otherwise you have no access to the interior. Therefore, the most exciting thing to do here is to explore the surrounding area, such as the park island or the courtyard with the huge linden tree.

Lake in the park of the eller castle in Dusseldorf

The idyllic Park that surrounds Eller castle.

Flip an ollie in Germany’s biggest skatepark

Also in the Eller district, located right next to the castle, you can watch the boarders and bikers or test your skills yourself at the Skatepark Eller. With a total area of 3,800 m², the Skatepark Eller is the largest skatepark in Germany.

The entrance is free.

Skatepark Eller

The park offers something for every experience level.

Discover botanical plants in the botanical garden

The botanical garden belongs to the University Hospital of Düsseldorf. There is an outdoor area as well as a few show greenhouses. Access is free of charge.

Round greenhouse botanical garden Düsseldorf

An eye-catcher in the botanical garden: the round greenhouse.

I found the domed greenhouse right at the entrance particularly exciting. This is worth a visit even in winter. There are many plants from warmer regions of the earth, such as Australia or New Zealand, to admire here.

botanical garden duesseldorf dome greenhouse interior

In winter, the dome greenhouse is pleasantly warm 10-15 degrees.

Shopping & hip stores

Go shopping in Flinger Straße

Next to the Kö, Flinger Straße is probably the one with the most clothes stores and shoe stores in all of Düsseldorf. From Zara to Douglas you can find everything here.

Shop till you drop in Shadowstraße

The largest shopping street in Düsseldorf is Shadowstraße, which directly connects to Königsallee. Here you will find about 200 stores for every budget. In addition to large fashion houses, the Apple and tesla Store is also located here.

Take an alternative shopping tour in two of the craziest stores in Düsseldorf.

Düsseldorf is known throughout Germany for its endless shopping opportunities. Along the Kö and also Flinger-Strasse in the Altstadt, one brand-name store follows the next. That gets boring in the long run.

If you are looking for something different, then pay a visit to the two stores MicMac and Vaseline.

MicMac is a studio with lots of cool photo art and other unusual works that you can buy here.

At the Vaseline store, it’s not just the name that’s curious. At the entrance you are greeted by a long-necked giraffe and when you walk into the store, it’s a bit like entering another world. You can grab a wide variety of unique items, some of them crazy. There’s everything from a skull lamp to a baroque decorated picture frame to an unidentifiable hypfvieh deco object.

Curiosities dealer in Dusseldorf "Vaseline

Just strolling through this cabinet of curiosities is an experience in itself.

Maintain your beard at Barber Bros

Also something for men: Barber Bros is one of the hippest hairdresser and barber stores in Düsseldorf and also quite inexpensive. For example, a haircut costs only 17 €. Haircut, beard, eyebrows and wax together cost 32 €.

Barber Shop in Düsseldorf Barber Bros

A barber store as you would imagine.

The 3 barbers are experts in their field and super friendly. Also cool: Saturdays between 5 to 6 pm there are free drinks.

Buy spices at the Spice House “Gewürzhaus”

In the “Gewürzhaus” spice house in the old town you are guaranteed to find the salt for your soup. How about Himalayan salt, for example?

In addition to spices from anise to cinnamon, you’ll also find Düsseldorfer ABB Mostert, various sauces and pastes, different types of mustard and much more on offer.

Browse through records at Hitsville Records

In times of Spotify and Co., an almost nostalgic feeling will grip you when you enter the Hitsville Records store in the Altstatdt. Here you’ll find lots of vinyl of different music genres – a great store to browse for music lovers with passion.

Have a drink at the Schmittmann distillery

Korn has been produced at the Schmittmann distillery in Oberkassel since 1818. Over the course of the last 200 years, a few other creations have been added, such as chocolate-chili liqueur or double juniper. I can especially recommend the 1818 Dry Gin. By the way, when you buy on site, you’re also allowed to taste all the varieties beforehand.

The distillery also offers guided tours. These last about 90 minutes and cost €12 per person.

Buy old things at Wandel Antik

The store Wandel Antik is best known for the show “Bares für Rares”. The owner Markus Wildhagen is a regular guest as a dealer on this TV show. In his store in the south of Düsseldorf, he offers mainly antique furniture, furnishing objects from Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Bauhaus as well as industrial design, vintage furniture and design classics.

You can definitely admire a lot of old things here on an exhibition area of over 1,300 m². Most of them are for sale.

Nightlife: Bars, Clubs & Breweries in Düsseldorf

Party in the Kassette

There are also great bars and cafes outside of the Altstadt. One of my favorite of these is the Kassette in Oberbilk. The interior is very cozy, there are board games as well as books and live bands play here every week or events are held.

Kassette Bar in Düsseldorf

The Bar “Kassette”

Drink a Killepitsch in Kabüffke

Killepitsch is a Düsseldorf schnapps specialty.

„If you haven’t had a Killepitsch at least once at Kabüffke, then you haven’t really been to Düsseldorf.“

Killepitsch drinking at the Kabüffke in Düsseldorf

Do you see the bottle of Killepitsch in this picture?The origin story of the Killepitsch goes back to the Second World War. Supposedly Hans Müller-Schlösser and Willi Busch were talking in the air raid shelter and Willi Busch said: „Ech sach dech bloß ens, Hans, koome meer he heil erus, dat se ons nit kille, dann brau ech dech ö Schabäuke, do kannste de Zong noh lecke, dann dommer eene pitsche on dä kannste dann von mech us ‚Killepitsch‘nenne!“

This means translated: “I’ll just tell you one thing, Hans, if we get out of here in one piece, that they don’t kill us, then I’ll distill a schnapps for you, you can lick your tongue, then we’ll drink one and you can call it ‘Killepitsch’ for all I care!“

Right next to the Kabüffke, you can also buy the herbal liqueur in bottled form during normal opening hours, for example as a souvenir. By the way: At Kabüffke you can also order through the window from the outside if it’s too busy inside.

Chat with a Köbes at one of Düsseldorfs famous breweries

Speaking of alcohol: Düsseldorf is also known, above all, for its Altbier. In the Altstadt alone, there are five smaller breweries that have managed to achieve cult status:

entrance to the brewery at Füchschen in Dusseldorfs oldtown

The entrance to the brewery at Füchschen, one of the local Alt beer breweries.

It’s worth taking an Altbier tour here and checking out all the breweries one by one. The special thing about it (besides the delicious taste, of course): the Köbes, who serve the beer at the breweries. These Rhineland waiters belong to a special breed of people. They sometimes serve the Alt in combination with a hearty joke at the guests’ expense. Questions such as: “Is there actually water here?” are answered by the Köbes with the counter-question: “Does this look like an indoor swimming pool?

The Köbes are not exactly squeamish about putting one Alt after the other on your table. Tip: if you don’t want to drink another Alt, put the lid on top of the glass. However, a good Köbes will then simply put the next Alt on top. Conclusion: You have to experience it once.

By the way: Interesting reading on this topic is the book Der Köbes: Ein rheinisches Original.

Drink a Guiness in the Irish Pub

I’m a fan of Guinness, so I think it’s great that the Old Town offers more than just Altbier breweries. There are also numerous Irish pubs here. Most of them are located on Hunsrückenstraße, which could therefore also be called Little Dublin:

  • O’Reilley’s
  • Fatty’s
  • Mojo
  • Sutton’s
Irish Pub Fattys in Düsseldorf

One of my favorites: Fattys.

Around the corner, on Bolkerstraße, there is also the Tir na Nog and on Kurze Straße you can treat yourself to your Irish coffee at McLaughlin’s. The Irish pubs often broadcast soccer and rugby matches. In addition to beer and schnapps, there are also meals and snacks.

Sip cocktails in the best cocktail bars in the old town.

There are plenty of fantastic bars in Düsseldorf. Here are my favorites for cocktails in the Altstadt:

  • Melody Bar – (Google Maps). Because of the inconspicuous entrance, the Melody Bar on the Kurze Straße is easy to miss. It is located in one of the thinnest houses in the old town.
  • Beuys – (Website | Google Maps). Here you’ll find some interesting cocktail creations on the menu, but the classics are also available on demand.
  • Oh Baby Anna – (Facebook | Google Maps). In the evening cocktail bar with cozy sitting areas, at night electro club with dance floor.
  • Elephant Bar – (Facebook | Google Maps) Bar & Music with style, Try the Gin Fizz here.

Drink a Rudi Carrell Memorial Sangaree at the Square Bar

The Square Bar is a pretty cozy cocktail joint, located in a small space between two arches of houses.

But more importantly, the cocktails here are of the highest caliber. There are the classics, as well as all sorts of original creations with sometimes curious names that change every season.

The staff at the Square Bar can also advise you very well and are super friendly.

Enjoy the small weekend in Ratinger Straße.

The term “little weekend” has established itself in Düsseldorf as a synonym for the Wednesday after work. The best place to celebrate it is on Ratinger Straße, especially in summer.

Duesseldorf tips Kreuzherrenecke ratinger strasse

The Kreuzherren Ecke is one of the oldest liquor bars in Düsseldorf. You can find it right at the beginning of Ratinger Straße. At your own risk you can try one of the homemade Peperoni-Schnapps here.

Because then the whole Ratinger Straße is sometimes so full of people enjoying their well-deserved Alt at the numerous bars that you can’t even get through by bike.

ratinger strasse duesseldorf

The Ratinger: A place for young and old.

Spend Thursday After-Work in one of the hottest clubs in town.

Sir Walter has established itself as one of the hottest locations for Thursday after-work.

Although Sir Walter calls itself a bar, there is always a DJ playing. There’s free admission but usually a long line, sometimes you have to wait an hour before you can get in.

There is also a dress code (no sneakers). The guests are well dressed, the women dressed up and the drinks a bit more expensive. But if you like this chic culture, Sir Walter is a must.

Party till the doctor comes at Schickimicki.

The name of this rather small but totally cool place is pure irony. Because the Schickimicki is anything but Schickimicki (The word Schickimicki translates to a posh and snobby place). It tends to attract the more alternative people who just want to drink and party in a chilled-out atmosphere.

Admission is free, there is no dress code and everything from hip hop to rock music to the Spice Girls is played here, usually mixed.

However, since the Schickimicki is quite small, the bouncers don’t let anyone in when it’s completely crowded, which it usually is, at least on Saturdays after a certain time.

Conclusion: One of my favorite stores in the old town.

Listen to a live jazz band at Em Pöötzke

Update: The Em Pöötzke has closed for the time being because of Corona. Unfortunately, it’s uncertain if the place will ever continue as it was. Too bad.

The Em Pöötzke is located in the middle of the old town and is easy to miss. It is an institution in Düsseldorf and also the oldest jazz pub in Düsseldorf. Live bands have been performing here regularly since 1966, mostly jazz bands. Mondays to Saturdays from 8 p.m. (sometimes 9 p.m.), you can drink Alt here as well as end the day to relaxed music.

By the way, there are also other jazz bars in Düsseldorf, such as.

Stay awake for three days to electronic music in Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf is nowhere near Berlin when it comes to electronic music. But there are a few good techno clubs in North Rhine-Westphalia’s capital, too.

  • Salon des Amateur – A good, diverse student club that is different every time you visit.
  • Silq – Super cool interior with 2 floors.
  • Oh Baby Anna – Cocktail bar and club in one.
  • Kiesgrube – Beach bar with beats in Neuss.
  • Golzheim – Once started as a secret techno party, the location under the car bridge is now a club on its own.

Here is also a good article about electronic music events in Düsseldorf with tips from locals.

Cool restaurants & cafes

Eat at the best restaurant in the old town

Vente is my absolute favorite restaurant in Düsseldorf. The interior, with its magnificent chandeliers, ornate mirrors on the walls and old wooden furniture, creates a particularly cozy atmosphere.

For food, there’s a mix of German and Mediterranean dishes, such as dates wrapped in bacon, Rhenish wan tan, or the fish fillet (daily special) in chili vanilla butter with chorizo tomato risotto. The Vente has an open kitchen, meaning you can watch the chefs prepare your food: A sign of quality.

Entrance to the restaurant Vente in Dusseldorf

Entrance to the restaurant Vente.

Feed your way through the city’s burger joints

The hype surrounding hip burger joints has not stopped in Düsseldorf. In addition to well-known chains like What’s Beef, Hans im Glück and Space Burger, however, there are also many diamonds in the rough to be discovered throughout the city. Here is my incomplete list of recommendations:

Make a culinary trip to Latin America at Palito Latino

Cuba, Mexico, Argentina – at Palito Latino you can experience all these countries. Both the food and the decor will transport you to different regions of South and Central America. There are also cocktails and live music.

Ask for the original Cuban rum. It is especially delicious.

Enjoy the best kebab in town at Dönerdreieck

Dönerdreieck says it all. That’s how the traffic triangle around Worringer Platz (where I used to live) is affectionately called, because there really is one kebab store next to the other.

Particularly well known is probably the smallest store Yede Gör with its slogan “Döner super, Sauce spitze”.

But my favorite is the Izmir Kebap House. Here you get not only delicious kebabs, but also the most authentic Turkish food in the city (Turks living in Düsseldorf often come here because the food reminds them of their homeland).

Izmir Kebap house in Düsseldorf

Here it is: Izmir Kebap.

Enjoy the best ice cream in town

Unbehaun Eiscafé in the Bilk district probably has the best ice cream in the whole city. The ice cream here is made without chemical additives.

Unbehaun’s ice cream is made from fresh milk. All ingredients such as milk, vanilla bean, cocoa, sugar and fruits are boiled. Unbehaun’s ice cream is free from essences!

I can only recommend it to everyone.

Invite someone to a nautical candlelight dinner on a boat.

Ever had a candlelight dinner on a boat? Well, it’s possible at the Canoo ship restaurant. It’s anchored in the quiet harbor basin at Robert-Lehr-Ufer in Golzheim. On three decks, you’ll get Mediterranean-maritime dishes that you can enjoy with a view of the Düsseldorf skyline and the passing ships. Tip: Be sure to try the waffles with ice cream and whipped cream!

Canoo REstaurant am Rhein

Dinieren mit maritimen Ambiente.

On Sundays, the restaurant also offers brunch with buffet between 10:00 and 15:00.

Eat in a sennhütte with a view of the rails.

Normally you find sennhütten rather in the Alps. But this one is located in a former station house on Rethelstraße. In the beer garden of the iconic restaurant “Zur Sennhütte” you can drink your beer with a view of the rails and passing trains: There’s something about it.

Breathe in the aroma of freshly roasted coffee at the Schvarz coffee roastery.

The Schvarz coffee roasting plant in Flingern is one of the best-known micro-roasting plants in Düsseldorf. On the weekend, there is also a factory sale here.

The two owners are passionate promoters of coffee culture. They have a Mirage by Kees van der West – a machine for absolute coffee professionals. The coffee is correspondingly good. The roastery sources the beans from small farmers around the globe through fair trade.

the Gehry buildings (aka Der neue Zollhof)

In the back of the roastery lie the coffee bags. A pleasant aroma permeates the small but cozy salesroom.

Learn everything about French wine

La Passion de Vin is THE address in Düsseldorf for French wine. The owner of this wine shop, Michael Krieg, has his roots in France and Germany and is a real wine expert.

Wine shop for French wine in Düsseldorf: La Passion de Vin interior

A piece of France, in the middle of Düsseldorf.

The wine seminars are especially cool. You learn a lot about France as a wine region and can taste 8 hand-picked wines. In addition, there are various French cheeses served on a platter.

There is also a beer garden right next to the establishment.

Dine at the best Italian restaurants in town

What’s the good thing about working with colleagues from all sorts of countries around the world? Exactly, you always get the best restaurant tips where the food is like in your home country.

That’s why I asked my Italian colleagues and found out that Düsseldorf has a very good selection of pizzerias and restaurants where the food tastes like in Italy.

Art & Culture in Düsseldorf

Watch an alternative film at Filmkunstkino

Düsseldorf is a mecca for culture enthusiasts. In addition to the city’s many exhibitions, galleries and museums, however, cineastes will also find numerous places to indulge their passion for films away from the Hollywood mainstream – namely in small film art cinemas. There are five of these in Düsseldorf, plus an open-air cinema.

  1. Bambi Film Studio
  2. Cinema Filmkunstkino in the Schneider-Wibbel-Gasse in the old city center
  3. Metropol Kino in Bilk
  4. Atelier Cinema at the Savoy Theater
  5. Basement
  6. Vier Linden Open-Air (with beer garden)

You can find the program on the website of the Düsseldorf Film Art Cinemas.

There is also the Black Box in the Filmmuseum in the Altstadt, where classics of film history are often shown.

Discover Urban Art in Flingern and Bilk

All over Düsseldorf walls have been decorated with all kinds of graffiti. But especially in the districts of Flingern and Bilk you can discover Düsseldorf’s street art. Sometimes even entire houses are painted with complex works of art.

From stencil graffiti to large-scale paintings to glue art, you’ll discover it all here.

A painted house: street art in Düsseldorf

Colorful spots in the otherwise rather gray Flingern.

Find the advertising barrel saints of Düsseldorf

The first time I was walking around the main train station in Düsseldorf, I wondered about the guy who climbed up the advertising barrel to take pictures from up there. It took another minute or two before I realized that it was not a real person, but just a figure. There are a total of 10 of them to be discovered all over the city. Their creator is the artist Christoph Pöggeler, who is actually a painter.

dusseldorf advertising pillars pillar saints

One of 10 pillar saints: The businessman

  1. The businessman on the banks of the Rhine
  2. The woman with red sweater who has closed her eyes and put her head backwards
  3. The couple, hand in hand
  4. The couple kissing
  5. The vacationer with towel over his shoulder
  6. The father carrying his son on his shoulders
  7. The photographer at the main station
  8. The reader, waiting with book for the streetcar
  9. The stranger, with child in her arms
  10. The bride

Visit Heinrich Heine’s birthplace

Bolkerstrasse in the old town is known for excessive party nights with lots of drunks staggering around and tourists from the Ruhr area. Locals prefer to avoid it.

However, there is a cultural highlight on the street: Heinrich Heine’s birthplace is located here. It houses a bookstore and hosts readings and other cultural events from time to time.

Henrich Heine is one of the most famous german writers and poets.

Birthplace of Heinrich Heine in Düsseldorf

The birthplace of Heinrich Heine in Düsseldorf. Photo credit: tnarik via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Check out the Art in the Tunnel (Kunst im Tunnel aka. KIT).

A special exhibition of contemporary art is located directly under Düsseldorf’s Rhine promenade – in a space between the tunnel tubes for car traffic. Frequently changing works of sculpture, painting, photography as well as video and installation art are exhibited here. Admission costs € 4.

KIT also has a café, where live music is often played in the evenings.

Art in the tunnel KIT (Kunst im Tunnel) Düsseldorf

Art in the tunnel (KIT) under the TV tower.

Visit the Maritime Museum.

In the castle tower directly on Burgplatz there is a small, interactive shipping museum (admission: €3). Here you will first learn about the history of shipping on the Rhine over several floors and then enjoy delicious cake and coffee with a magnificent panoramic view of the Düsseldorf skyline on the top floor in the Café “Laterne”.

The Maritime Museum at the Burgplatz in dusseldorfs old town

The Maritime Museum at the Burgplatz.

Climb like a spider at a height of 10 meters.

Already a few years ago, Tomás Saraceno created a very special work on the third floor of the K21. In the walk-in installation “in orbit”, under the dome of the building, you can climb around like a spider.

For this, Saraceno first explored spider webs by observing 6 spiders in a web structure without a glass hood.

in orbit by Tomas Saraceno in K21 NRW Kunstsammlung

Not for people with a fear of heights.

Admission: 12 € – This also includes the visit of the exhibitions and works on the other floors of the house.

Visit the Kunstpalast

The Düsseldorf Kunstpalast is one of the most famous addresses for art in the city. Here you can marvel at a wide variety of artworks from all different eras. In addition, there are always special exhibitions.

Kunstpalast Düsseldorf exterior

The outdoor area of the Düsseldorf Art Palace

Watch a variety show at the Apollo Theater

Dive into the world of artistry and acrobatics at Roncalli`s Apollo Theater. It is one of the largest variety theaters in Europe. You can expect extraordinary shows with a variety of performances.

Especially cool are the Show & Dine tickets. With them you get a 3-course meal and can admire the performance at the same time. The appetizer and main course come before, the dessert is served after the show.

Apollo Theater Düsseldorf

The Apollo Theater is located directly on the Rhine under the bridge Rheinkniebrücke.

The most famous Düsseldorf sights

If you are visiting Düsseldorf for the very first time, you will surely be interested in the typical Düsseldorf sights. These are neither alternative nor secret, but still very popular with many tourists.

The Rhine Tower

On the 240 m high Düsseldorf Rhine Tower you probably have the best view over the city. For 9 € you can get to the viewing level, where you can also order food and drinks in the Bar & Lounge. From 17:00 there are also cocktails. Tip: Come just before sunset and watch the city slowly turn into a sea of lights.

By the way: The colorful glowing portholes on the outside of the tower form the world’s largest decimal clock.

duesseldorf attractions Rhine Tower

The Rhine Tower!

The Gehry Buildings (The New Zollhof)

None other than star architect Frank Gehry designed these three whimsically curved buildings at Düsseldorf’s Media Harbor. Even from a distance, the buildings are clearly recognizable and belong to the Düsseldorf skyline just like the Rhine bridges and the Rhine Tower.

the Gehry buildings (aka Der neue Zollhof)

The oddly shaped buildings from US architect Gehry.

The Königsallee

If you want to see rich people shopping, then you are in good hands on the Königsallee, also called Kö. Because here you will find all the famous stores with rank and name. From Gucci to Tiffany to Abercrombie&Fitch, everyone is represented here.

In addition, the city moats in the middle of the avenue also offer a fantastic photo motif.

Tipps Düsseldorf: Königsallee Düsseldorf

The most famous street in Düsseldorf: The Kö.

The Bolkerstraße in the Old Town

The Bolkerstraße in the heart of the old town is one of the oldest streets in Düsseldorf. Here, both during the week, but especially on weekends, the party-hungry party people cavort. In over 50 restaurants, pubs and bars, it’s a regular party. This paradise for bachelor parties is definitely not for the faint of heart, especially at late hours.

The City Hall

At the end of Bolkerstrasse, you’ll end up at the market square with the town hall and Jan Wellem monument – a popular photo motif with tourists. The historic city hall dates back to 1570 and is the seat of Düsseldorf’s city council. In the city hall itself, by the way, free guided tours are held every Wednesday 3 pm. Meeting point is in the foyer and the duration is about 90 minutes (More information on the guided tours of the city hall).

The casemates on the banks of the Rhine

The Kasematten are located in the middle of the old town on the banks of the Rhine. There are several restaurants and cocktail bars here. In addition, the ships of the White Fleet and the Köln-Düsseldorfer depart from here.

banks of the Rhine with the casemates

The beautiful banks of the Rhine with the Kasematten in the middle.

From here you can also take one of the popular boat tours. For example, take the white fleet to Kaiserswerth or make a round trip to the media harbor.

Even more Düsseldorf tips

If you still don’t have enough tips, then visit the page of “THE DORF”. There is a pretty extensive map with many more tips about Düsseldorf. There you will find a lot more shopping tips, places for inspiration (museums & galleries) and also cool cafés, which I myself don’t know yet.

Click here for the map.


Of course, the typical sights, such as the TV tower, the Königsallee (also called Kö) and of course the longest bar in the world – the Altstadt – justify a visit to Düsseldorf. So please don’t take the opening of this article so seriously. The fact is only one thing: Düsseldorf has definitely better beer than Cologne ;).


Which cool places in Düsseldorf do you know? Write me a comment with your Düsseldorf tips.

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