DÜSSELDORF We are thirsty for traveling. Not for endless journeys – those that last for years – but for those “touch and go” that allow you to see a place and go away fast enough to feel the desire to stay. So as soon as I found out that the work would stop for more than I expected, we booked a flight to Düsseldorf.
Germany has given us so many joys in the past that we want to discover a new “slice” of It. We fly with Ryanair and we book a private room – cheap but functional – at the A&O hostel. Strangely when arrived we find an abnormal heat that touches 30/35° from early morning.
With a backpack on we are ready to discover the city, easy to visit and explore in the 4 days we’ll spend here. Born as fishing village, today it is a small metropolis overlooking the Rhine. Elegant, modern and historic at the same time, Düsseldorf is an open architecture museum.
A short walk from our hotel rise the famous Königsallee, also called Kö, a long shopping street overlooking the Düssel stream that reaches its peak at Kö-Bogen, a new shopping center with stunning architecture. In this long stretch sidewalk there are fast-fashion chains, boutique shops, galleries, restaurants and cafes.
The heart of the city is of course the AltStadt (Old Town), where the City Hall, old breweries, shops and a fresh vegetables market are located. The atmosphere is still typical of an old German town: brick buildings, a lush blooming nature and typical slick roofs of northern Europe. Tourists crowd in the center to enjoy local dishes, tasty beers and the relaxed atmosphere of a hot week at the end of August.
A series of small streets depart from the center and wind up to reach the long river, the Kunsthalle Museum of Modern Art and the Medie-Hafen. Walking along the Rhine river is compulsory to appreciate the 20th century architecture from the Jugendstil masters to the modern avantgarde that trace the interesting contemporary skyline.
From it you can see the dark roofs of the ancient churches, the elegant facades of the northern houses illuminated by the warm sunset light and the western planar trees, whose leaves already begin to bloom with fiery autumn colours.
It’s hard not to be enchanted by modern art and architecture that emerges everywhere in the city. The promenade is interrupted by an elegant bridge, near which stands the elegant Rheinturm. Here begins the local dock – the new creative district. Old warehouses and binaries create a vibrant contrast to the bright modern architecture of the Medie-Hafen. The most wonderful is the triptych of Der Neur Sellhof by Frank Gehry.
The city dedicates Carlstadt to antiques and small galleries. At the heart of this busy street stands the local market. Düsseldorf is also one of the few European cities to host a large Japanese community. That is why there is a street with shops (a bit run down to say the truth) and Japanese restaurants.
We obviously do not miss the opportunity to enjoy two bowls of Noodles from Naniwa. Not far from the center is also the Eko House of Japanese Culture. On a trance we drive to the spiritual center with Zen Garden and Temple. On our way there we see many Japanese, teens coming out of school or a group of moms pushing their kids on the swing.
The busy day of Düsseldorf is reflected in the tranquility of the Rhine promenade. In the city, you can choose from over 260 restaurants and pubs in the Altstadt stretch of the Medie-Hafen. Simple but delicious, Düsseldorf is worth a visit especially if you love beer and architecture.
CCTips | not to be missed:
- The tasty ice cream of Giovanni L in Altstdt.
- Haussmann’s culinary innovations.
- The delicious Bob & Mary‘s hamburgers.
- Mandatory visit to the K20 and K21, museums hosting modern art exhibitions.
- Kunsthalle to discover new local artists.
- A picture at the beautiful and lively Schauspielhaus, theater designed by the local architect Bernhard Pfau.
NEXT STOP > KÖLN (Cologne)!
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