1. A cultural affair
Dusseldorf may not be as well known as Berlin or Munich, but this German city on the banks of the Rhine River packs a punch when it comes to art, fashion, culture and sports. Pay a visit to the strikingly charming Schlossturm (palace tower), a medieval masterpiece; the Renaissance-style Protestant church, Neanderkirche; and contemporary icons such as Neuer Zollhof by starchitect Frank Gehry – all standing side by side. As for art lovers, the Kunstsammlung gallery complex exhibits 20th- and 21st-century artworks by such celebrated artists as Picasso, Pollock and Kandinsky.
2. Raising the bar
Known as “the longest bar in the world”, Dusseldorf’s Altstadt (Old Town) borough in the city centre crams more than 250 bars into 1 sq km. The unique local altbier, served in quarter-litre glasses, is brewed in eight different bars, from the wood-panelled Uerige to the beam-roofed Fuchschen. If you have time for just one, head to the tiny Zum Schlussel which, arguably, serves the best beer of the lot.
3. Dreamy designers
Dusseldorf rivals Berlin as Germany’s spiritual home of designer-fashion shopping and is a fashion enthusiasts dream. While international designers are aplenty, seek out inspiring local labels such as Peter O Mahler and Annette Gortz, both known for their minimalist style, and avant-garde brands Bernhard Willhelm and Mykita.
4. Festival fever
Head to the city’s Christmas Market, which starts in November, when wooden huts selling traditional toys, gifts, gluhwein (mulled wine) and bratwurst line the streets. Other big festivals include Carnival in February, when dozens of floats parade through the city, and Grosste Kirmes am Rhein, a mammoth summer fair that welcomes more than four million visitors each July.
5. Slopes and stadiums
The sports scene is big here. In winter, hit the ski slopes at Europe’s highest indoor winter sports facility just outside the city, or cheer the local football team Fortuna Dusseldorf on at the city’s super-modern Merkur Spiel Arena that seats 54, 600 visitors and has a retractable roof to accommodate the weather. The arena also has a special heating system built within so that sports fans can enjoy games even in the height of winter. In summer, tourists can enjoy the city’s many outdoor swimming pools and water-sports facilities.
6. Glorious gardens
Take a break in Hofgarten, a beautiful park with meadows, water features and a bandstand, which was the inspiration for the famous English Garden in Munich. Stroll along the paths and themed gardens of Nordpark on the riverbank, or explore the baroque hunting park surrounding Benrath Palace.
7. Heels and wheels
The Erlebnisweg Rheinschiene (Rhine Experience Track) runs right through Dusseldorf’s centre – and then hundreds of kilometres in either direction – making it popular with bike enthusiasts. For those who prefer to walk, there are organised running groups that conduct guided jogs of the city along the same path.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
The information is accurate as of press time. For updated information, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights, visit singaporeair.com.
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings on 22 July 2016 and updated on 17 April 2021.