Düsseldorf in two days

Two days are plenty to not only discover the city centre, but also to go on an excursion: Schloss Benrath palace is one of the most popular destinations in the surrounding area.

Düsseldorf in two days – the ports of call
Düsseldorf in two days – the ports of call

First day

We start at the Schwanenspiegel pond, where the (1) K21 is located in the historic Ständehaus. The branch of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia Art Collection) presents exclusively contemporary art. We then go on to (2) Königsallee, generally known as the “Kö”. The magnificent boulevard came into being at the start of the 19th century and has not lost any of its charm even today. Small bridges over the city moat connect the two sides of the road: the banks are located on the west side of the boulevard, whereas luxury boutiques and brand stores are located on the east side – absolutely perfect for a spot of window shopping. From the Kö, we head past the (3) Triton Fountains, a figure fountain which forms the end of the city moat, to the (4) Hofgarten (Court Garden).

Many residents of Düsseldorf use the park for a small breather from a shopping trip before they jump back into the hustle and bustle and move on to the (5) Old Town, for example. This district is often referred to as the “longest bar in the world”, so called because the dark beer pubs are packed together in this area. However, the Old Town has other sides to it: numerous churches, historic buildings and museums are more than worth a visit. Just one example of a historically interesting Old Town building is (6) eine’s birthplace, located at Bolkerstraße 53. The famous poet was born here on the 13th December 1797. Today, the Heine-Haus (Heine House) is a bookstore, café and literary meeting point, in which author readings regularly take place.

Heading in the direction of the Rhine, we reach Burgplatz with the Schlossturm (Castle Tower). The old (7) Schlossturm is the last remains of Düsseldorf’s City Palace. Burnt down in 1882 and damaged in the 2nd world war, the building was renovated and today houses the Schifffahrt-Museum (Maritime Museum), in which you can find out more information about the historic relationship between the residents of Düsseldorf and the Rhine. You can discover how this relationship looks today – really relaxed – by heading outside to (8) Burgplatz, where what seems like half of Düsseldorf relaxes on nice days, enjoys the sunset near the water and drinks a dark beer. The square is also an ideal starting point for a walk along the river.
Approx. 300 metres up the Rhine, you will reach the (9) Sankt Lambertus church, the twisted turret roof of which has become a Düsseldorf icon. After a fire in 1815, the roof was renovated. The wood became warped – however, according to popular belief, it will straighten itself out again if a virgin were to get married in the Lambertus church. The shrine with reliquaries of the patron saint of the city Apollinaris is located inside the basilica. Heading up the Rhine via the (10) Rhine promenade, we pass by the (11) Film Museum, located on the left-hand side of Schulstraße a few hundred metres further on, and reach (12) Carlsplatz, which attracts tons of people with its market stands and snack bars. To the south of Carlsplatz, you can find numerous boutiques, antiquarian bookshops and galleries to explore on (13) Bilker Straße and Hohe Straße. There is generally something to discover for everyone.

Evening programme

Spoilt for choice: whether for an aperitif or a full-evening programme – the bar and pub landscape in Düsseldorf has something for everyone. Classical and classy around Grünstraße and Steinstraße, quaint in the Old Town, trendy and modern in the Media Harbour or young and hip on the Party Mile (14) Ratinger Straße: numerous bistros, pubs and cocktail bars will ensure that you have a nice evening.

Second day

Today, we will visit the harbour and start at the around 234-metre-tall (15) Rheinturm (Rhine Tower). From the viewing platform, you can see most of the buildings, which you are going to discover in the coming hours. The restaurant at the top of the tower revolves around its axis once every hour. The flashing circular portholes are another special feature of the Rheinturm – they form the biggest decimal clock in the world. Just a short distance from the Rhine, passing by the circular building (from a bird’s eye view at least) of the (16) Landtags Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia State Parliament), we head towards the (17) Stadttor. (City Gate). The imposing steel and glass construction (home to the State Government) is already an integral part of the modern skyline in the Media Harbour, which is made up of the Kniebrücke road bridge, the Landtag (State Parliament), the Rheinturm (Rhine Tower) and the new harbour high-rises, including the (18) Gehry buildings. They represent the modern architecture in the Media Harbour like no other building.

In the (19) Media Harbour you should not just focus on the architecture. The richly varied gastronomic scene promises many a relaxed hour against a unique backdrop: from the postmodern to the baroque. At the “Landtag/Kniebrücke” stop, we take the tram in the direction of the Hauptbahnhof (Main Rail Station) and jump on the 701 in the direction of Düsseldorf-Benrath at “Berliner Allee”. You get off just before Benrath Rail Station, at the (20) Schloss Benrath stop. The most well-known of all of Düsseldorf’s palaces was built in the 18th century for the elector Carl Theodor von der Pfalz. The court architect Nicolas de Pigage also designed the rolling parklands, which make the excursion spot yet more attractive even today. Amongst other things, the palace is home to the Museum für Europäische Gartenkunst (European Horticultural Art Museum).