The Old Town of Düsseldorf remains remarkably well preserved and should be included on your list of must-see attractions. The heart of the Old Town is the Marktplatz where you’ll find the imposing Town Hall (Rathaus) and a statue of Elector John William II.
Another landmark is the Castle Tower (Schlossturm) in Burgplatz on the banks of the Rhine. The tower houses the Schiffahrts Museum, one of Germany’s best marine museums with fascinating exhibits on the shipbuilding history. One more local attraction is the Hetjens Museum, dedicated to ceramics, earthenware, and porcelain.
Königsallee, affectionately called by the locals as Kö, is the most elegant avenue in Germany. This long stretch of high-end real estate laid out in 1802, is a fashion and shopping mecca and offers an eclectic mix of luxury boutiques, posh shopping arcades and art galleries, as well as countless restaurants and cafés. Lined with beautiful old chestnut trees, a catwalk of Königsallee stretches all the way from Graf-Adolf-Platz in the south to the Hofgarten in the north, where it ends at the fabulous Triton Fountain.
The Hofgarten is a delightful 68-acre park that stretches all the way from the Altstadt and Königsallee to the banks of the Rhine. With beautiful meadows, flowerbeds, ponds and fountains, the Hofgarten is a lovely place to chill out during a long day of sightseeing.
The English-style park includes many outstanding buildings such as the Baroque Court Gardener House (Hofgärtnerhaus), a former home of the garden architect Maximilian Weyhe, now housing the city’s Theatre Museum.
You should also visit Schloss Jägerhof, a rococo hunting lodge built in in 1763 and once occupied for a short time by Napoleon. Today, the building houses the city’s Goethe-Museum with its rich collection of exhibits devoted to the great German writer and poet. The park is also home to some historic monuments and memorials, like the Märchenbrunnen with its fairytale figures, and Henry Moore’s sculpture.
Incorporated into the city in 1929, Kaiserswerth is one of oldest neighborhoods in Düsseldorf. With its picturesque location on the Rhine and old buildings, it is a wonderful place to explore. The Church of St. Suitbertus, dated of the 13th century, is noted for its beautiful reliquary of the saint. There is also impressive Kaiserpfalz, the stronghold of Emperor Frederick I, also known as Barbarossa.
Schloss Benrath is a fabulous Baroque palace constructed between 1756 and 1773, located in an easy ten-kilometer ride from the city centre by public transport. Originally built for Elector Carl Theodor, the palace with an extravagant interior houses three museums displaying various aspects of life in the 18th century. The Museum Corps de Logis in the main building traces the history of Benrath and its architecture, while other park buildings enclose the Museum for Landscape Art and the Natural Science Museum. With linden trees and flowers surrounding the picturesque pink structure, Schloss Benrath is a lovely spot for architecture enthusiasts and nature lovers.
The Museum of Art (Kunstpalast) encompasses artwork dating from the 3rd century BC to nowadays, including fine art, sculptures and drawings, as well as more than 70,000 items of graphics, photos, and applied art. Other highlights include a glass collection by Helmut Hentrich, rare Italian Baroque works, a modern art collection with works by Dali, Warhol, and Caravaggio. There are also some works from the members of the Düsseldorf School of Painting and Expressionism. Theatrical performances and classical concerts are also held at the museum.
North Rhine-Westphalia Art Collection
The North Rhine-Westphalia Art Collection is the largest collection that unites three different exhibition venues. K20, located in Grabbeplatz, a state-of-the-art building with a facade of polished black granite, is a huge gallery of modern art works, including a remarkable paintings by Paul Klee. K21, in the Ständehaus building, includes a variety of modern painting and drawing art pieces, as well as sculpture and film, with works by Reinhard Mucha, Thomas Schütte, and Thomas Hirschhorn. The third venue, Schmela Haus, offers numerous temporary exhibits on display.
Neue Zollhof and the Gehry Buildings
The best of the boldest modern architecture can be seen in Neue Zollhof, a fabulously redeveloped section of the city’s old port. The highlights are the Media Harbor office buildings designed by Frank Gehry – three leaning and curving structures seem to defy gravity. Another attention-grabbing architectural landmark is the Rheinturm Tower, a 240-meter-tall telecommunications tower with an observation deck that offers superb views of the city.
Rhine Embankment Promenade
Opened in 1997 as a means of hiding one of the city’s busiest roads, Rhine Embankment Promenade offers one of the best ways of enjoying Düsseldorf’s spectacular riverside. Lined with cafés, restaurants, galleries, shops and trees, this lengthy pedestrian route gives the city a distinctly Mediterranean air. Running all the way from the Oberkassel Bridge and connecting the Old Town and the Parliament buildings, the promenade encompasses pedestrian and bike paths and offers perfect opportunity for sightseeing and people watching.
One of the most popular parks in Düsseldorf, Nordpark is a fantastic place to explore. Many wide pathways crisscross the park through its spacious lawns and gardens, including the gorgeous Lily Garden. Other highlights are the Horse-Tamers statue and the Japanese Garden, the latter presented to the city by the Japanese community of Düsseldorf. Another local attraction is the Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum. With its excellent natural history displays as well as large aquarium and insectarium, it is a great place for kids of all.
You will also enjoy the Botanical Garden at Düsseldorf University with numerous plants, wildflower meadow, beehives, Alpine gardens and a lovely apothecary.