10 things to do in Düsseldorf

Last Updated on 21st February 2019 by Sarah and Justin

We flew from Bangkok to Germany because (1) we wanted to go home for the holidays, (2) we wanted to enjoy the German Christmas Market season for longer than we had in the past, and (3) we found an an award flight that let us do both. (For those of you who don’t know, Justin is pretty good at finding tricky routings.) So to kick off December, we flew from Bangkok to Frankfurt and then took the train to Düsseldorf. And our friends met us there!

Düsseldorf is a great German city. Even though it’s on the smaller side, there’s a lot to do and see in Düsseldorf – especially during winter when the Christmas Markets are open!

Here are 10 things to do in Düsseldorf

1. Go to Christmas Markets

You of course need to visit during Christmas Market season to do this. Düsseldorf has several Christmas Markets, and we quite like all of them. The main ones are located in the Altstadt (Old Town) and are walking distance from each other so you can easily taste all the different varieties of Glühwein (the best winter drink hands-down) on offer.
Enjoying Glühwein in Düsseldorf, Germany

Christmas Market in Düsseldorf, Germany

2. Taste and buy mustard at the Düsseldorfer Löwensenf Museum

This is one of our favorite shops in all of Germany. We once visited Düsseldorf just for a couple hours solely to visit this place and stock up on our favorite, garlic flavored Senf (mustard). It’s a small shop in the middle of the Altstadt where you can sample all of their flavors as well as pictures and stories of its history.
Düsseldorfer Löwensenf Museum in Düsseldorf, Germany Happily, our friends liked the Senf Museum too! Chris took this shot of the storefront. 

At the Düsseldorfer Löwensenf Museum in Düsseldorf, Germany

At the Düsseldorfer Löwensenf Museum in Düsseldorf, Germany

Halloween costume at Düsseldorfer Löwensenf Museum in Düsseldorf, GermanyFor those of you who love mustard as much as we do, you can get a Löwensenf costume for Halloween!

3. Watch hockey

Düsseldorf is a great base for watching ice hockey because there are a few teams pretty close to each other. During our four days there, Justin and our friends saw three hockey games in three different cities: Düsseldorf, Köln, and Krefeld.
DEG hockey, Düsseldorf, GermanyChris took this photo of Düsseldorf EG vs. Augsburger Panther.

4. Drink Altbier

Düsseldorf’s local brew is called Altbier. What Kölsch is to Köln, Altbier is to Düsseldorf. Unlike Kölsch, Altbier is dark in color and a bit heavier and sweeter. But it’s consumed the same way, in small, 0.2L glasses which get replaced without you asking until you surrender and top your glass with your coaster. We thoroughly enjoyed the Altbier-drinking experience at a local Kneipe (pub) near our hotel called Auf’m Hennekamp.
Altbier at Auf'm Hennekamp in Düsseldorf, Germany

Auf'm Hennekamp, Düsseldorf, GermanyThanks to Chris for getting a shot of our favorite Kneipe in Düsseldorf. 

5. See modern art

For those of us who go to modern art museums in every city we visit no matter how many times we see works by Picasso and Klee and Kandinsky and Matisse and so on and so on (read: Sarah), Düsseldorf is a great city to visit. Their Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is actually two museums right next to each other, K20 and K21. In addition to nice collections, the buildings are quite cool and interesting spaces.
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf, Germany

Pollock in K20, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany

Kandinsky in K20, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany

Exhibit in K20, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany

6. Walk along water

The Rhine River cuts right through the city. The smaller Düssel meandered close to where we were staying. Then there’s the Königsallee canal, which is in the middle of one of the greatest shopping streets in Europe (the ). Even in the winter, it’s lovely to walk along the water.
Rhine and Altstadt, Düsseldorf, Germany

The Düssel, Düsseldorf, Germany

Tritonenbrunnen, Königsallee, Düsseldorf, Germany

7. Eat Döner Kebab

To our utter dismay, our favorite Döner Kebab spot in Düsseldorf (and one of our top two in Germany) is no longer. This was a place we had gone to multiple times – once even for breakfast! But this sad fact let us give a second chance to a famous spot we had previously visited but not loved, Yede Gör. Around the corner from the train station, it’s been consistently ranked as the top Döner spot in the city. We’re happy we had a chance to give it another try. Their simple and traditional Döners greatly exceeded our expectations.
Yede Gör Döner Kebab, Düsseldorf, Germany

Yede Gör Döner Kebab, Düsseldorf, Germany

Yede Gör Döner Kebab, Düsseldorf, Germany

8. Wander

Düsseldorf is a relatively small, easily walkable city. Take a wrong turn in the Altstadt and explore the small streets. You won’t get too far without finding your way back to where you meant to go.
Wandering the streets of the Altstadt in Düsseldorf, Germany

The rest of the city is pretty neat too. We found this cool exhibit called Zeitfeld at the entrance to the Volksgarten while walking around our neighborhood. We imagine the Volksgarten itself is a great place to wander around too – but it was too cold to do so when we were there.
Zeitfeld, Düsseldorf, Germany

And we stumbled onto this thing…
Miscellaneous monster in Düsseldorf, Germany

9. Eat at a traditional Brauerei

Eat heavy, delicious food and drink lots of Altbier. We can recommend Zum Schiffchen, Zum Schlussel, and Uerige, although there are many all over the city.
SpätzleThough Brauerei food like Rotkohl and Schweinebraten are absolutely delicious, they’re not that photogenic. Trust us, we ate more than this Spätzle. 

10. Buy fresh baked goods at Hinkel

We are bread people. And when traveling in Europe, we eat it often. So we can confidently say that Germany has the best bread. And this shop Hinkel wowed us. Buy any of their fresh breads and Brezeln and Krapfen (amazing donut-like things). There will most likely be a line, but it moves quick. And it’s worth it. It’s all delicious, especially when eaten with salami bought at a butcher and Düsseldorfer Senf!
A Düsseldorfer feast

Hinkel, Düsseldorf, GermanyThanks to Chris for making and taking the photo of the above spread and the Hinkel storefront.

Hinkel, Düsseldorf, Germany

Special thanks to the Chimenti clan for joining us in Düsseldorf!

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10 things to do in Düsseldorf, Germany


30 thoughts on “10 things to do in Düsseldorf

    • Sarah and Justin says:

      Düsseldorf is a super easy day-trip from Cologne. It’s under a half hour between cities by regular train. Or, you can take the S-Bahn, which costs less but is about 40 minutes. That said, there’s a lot to see in Cologne, so if you only have a couple days, I’m not sure what I would do! I love both cities!

  1. Michelle says:

    I am just dying to go to German Christmas markets. We went to the Rhine Valley, Munich and Nuremberg over the summer and I absolutely fell in love with Germany. My husband would love all that mustard! LOL!

  2. Kavita Favelle | Kavey Eats says:

    I have only visited Dusseldorf once and frustratingly, it was on a work trip, so I didn’t have time to explore. I really want to see more. The mustard museum particularly appeals — I love food-based museums! The river front also looks like a must see, your sunset view is gorgeous. And of course I must try all the local specialities!

  3. mytraveltricks says:

    Wooow this truly looks amazing!! I’ve been to Germany so many times but never really got to explore Dusseldorf. Never knew the city had so many things to offer (modern art?!) it seems like an amazing place and it will go straight on my bucketlist for the upcoming Xmas markets!! Great read!

    • Sarah and Justin says:

      It is a great city with a lot to offer. And it’s a great place for Christmas Market hopping since things are pretty compact.

  4. countdowntofridayblog says:

    I had no idea the mustard museum was in Dusseldorf! I would love to get some fancier versions like the one you mentioned with garlic. I live in Germany and know the deliciousness that is doner kebab! I stopped eating meat earlier this year, but I still get veggie doner because the sauces are so good!

  5. Zoe says:

    I’ve never been to Düsseldorf before, but from reading your post I would love to go one day! Looks like there’s lots of yummy food to try there! And the Christmas market looks great 🙂

  6. vukojevic says:

    I’m a big foodie so the Glühwein Christmas drinks sounds very interesting and I’d love to try! Also, the traditional Brauerei looks very tasty and the fresh goods at Hinkel. Your post really made me hungry!

  7. kattrinna says:

    I love Germany and would love to go to Dusseldorf next year! Fingers crossed I get to visit this beautiful city. Christmas markets are the best and after looking at your suggestions, I wish I could hop on the next flight. 🙂
    Thank you for this list! Very helpful and now it makes me crave all the goodies I tried back when I was in your beautiful country. (Drooling now at the food above!).

  8. Ania says:

    I visited Düsseldorf at the start of December last year and loved the Christmas Markets! I didn’t have much time in the city beyond that, but I truly wish I had visited the modern art museums and tried the altbier. I will have to next time! Thanks for sharing this awesome list of sites and attractions!

  9. LC says:

    I’ve only spent a handful of hours in Dusseldorf, which makes me feel quite sad! Big fan of German Christmas markets and mustard too, haha. Would defo make a beeline for that shop if I returned.

    • Sarah and Justin says:

      It’s ok – there’s only so much time and too many places to explore! But if you do find yourself back, hopefully it’s during Christmas Market season! They do it well there.

  10. thegiramondo says:

    As someone who was actually born in Düsseldorf, but doesn’t have many memories of living there except for kindergarten, this was a cool thing to read! It’s funny how the things right in front of our faces often don’t really occur to us as worth visiting until someone comes from further away and sees the interesting things that we don’t see. I’ll make sure to visit the Kunstsammlung next time I’m around. Thanks much for sharing and safe travels to you guys!

    • Sarah and Justin says:

      These are the best types of comments! I’m glad we opened your eyes to your birthplace a little bit more. It really is a super city. 😉

  11. Kiyoko says:

    I love that this place has a mustard museum! Never heard of such a thing (or flavored mustard either for that matter)! That would really be a unique experience, and a great souvenirs to bring back to friends and family!

  12. Julianne says:

    My parents visited last year and have been raving about Düsseldorf. I have yet to travel to Germany (!!) but when I do, I’ll definitely visit Düsseldorf and have some of that tasty Glühwein and mustard! 🙂

  13. FoxintheForest117 says:

    I bet it must be nice to go home for the holidays! I know I look forward to it every year. I just met a couple from Germany when I was visiting Laos, they were from Dusseldorf. Looks like I need to make a trip out there with all of the tasty things to try!

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