Now that we are living in Europe, we are enjoying our exploration of some of Europe’s great, but smaller, cities. It’s something we can now do on a weekend trip. We actually had slightly more than 48 hours in Dusseldorf, Germany, but in that time we experienced some of the top things to do in Dusseldorf, particularly for food travelers. We packed a lot into a short amount of time, and we wanted to share our Dusseldorf trip tips with you. And, because we travel for food, most of our recommendations include what and where to eat and drink in Dusseldorf.
In this Dusseldorf travel guide, we are not only going to offer recommendations on the top things to do in Dusseldorf Germany, but we are also going to offer advice to make the most of your time in Dusseldorf. If you have a particular question, feel free to use the table of contents below to answer your question. If we don’t cover it, leave a comment at the bottom of the post and we will try to get back to you shortly with an answer. Or, check out this guide for more Germany travel tips.
Dusseldorf Travel Guide
Top Things To Do In Dusseldorf – Day 1
Dusseldorf is in the western part of Germany, close to the border with Belgium and the Netherlands. It’s located along the famous Rhine River, which winds through the city. The city has a population of around a half million people, meaning it’s pretty accessible and easy to navigate for tourists. The city is actually located where the Rhine River and its tributary, Düssel meet. The word “dorf” means village in German, so the name of the city basically means a village on the Düssel river.
When people visit Dusseldorf, they probably think about beer and sausages, but many people don’t know that Dusseldorf has the third largest Japanese population in Europe, after London and Paris. There will be plenty of time for typical German fare on Day 2, but our advice includes tips on how to explore Dusseldorf in Germany from a different angle – enjoying the Asian influence.
First Stop – Japanese Lunch
Assuming an early morning arrival in Dusseldorf, or a late arrival the night before, we start with a classic Asian lunch, slightly off of the typical Dusseldorf tourist map. Just east of the main sights of old city Dusseldorf is the Japanese Quarter. For anyone who has ever eaten in Japan, it’s amazing at how many of the restaurants in this neighborhood look just like they do in cities like Osaka or Kyoto.
When asking “what is Dusseldorf famous for?” could the answer actually be Japanese noodle shops? There are a few options for great places to eat in Dusseldorf when it comes to Asian cuisine. Here are our recommendations for some of the best Japanese in Dusseldorf. Soba-An makes fresh Japanese soba noodles. Get there early, there is sometimes a pretty hefty line. Another alternative, just next store is Naniwa Noodles. If you are staying more in the Dusseldorf city center, and are short on time, there is a great new sushi store called Natsu. Natsu offers contemporary takes on traditional sushi set inside one of the newest supermarket complexes in Dusseldorf.
Afternoon In The Japanese Quarter
When looking at what to do in Dusseldorf, particularly after a lunch of sushi or hand-made ramen noodles, what about touring the Japanese quarter, or visiting a local Japanese market? It really is something to see the strong Japanese influence in Dusseldorf. It’s so unexpected.
After the Second World War, Japanese companies were looking for a market to import steel and chemical products to help rebuild Japan after the war. Near Dusseldorf is a region that is a steel producing area. In the years that followed many large Japanese companies set up their European headquarters in Dusseldorf, starting with Mitsubishi in 1959. Over the years, the influence grew. Now, walking up and down Oststraße at the intersection of Immermannstraße, it’s possible to get a glimpse into Japanese life in Dusseldorf, with shops, hair salons, and a large Asian supermarket (where we stocked up on some spices to cook in Girona). Just wander around the neighborhood surrounding the Hotel Nikko Dusseldorf to check it out, and pop into Shochiku supermarket too.
Asian Tea Ceremony In Dusseldorf Old Town
Looking for a more leisurely way to explore the Asian influence in Dusseldorf? How about visiting a traditional Asian tea house. Just a 12-15 minute walk from the Japanese Quarter into Dusseldorf Old Town is Shennong Tea Lounge. Again, I felt like I had walked into a memory of our time spent living in Asia. The owner is German, but is a certified tea master and can explain, in detail, everything there is to know about tea and proper tea service etiquette.
Read what other people have to say about the Shennong Tea Lounge in Dusseldorf.
Unique Dinner In Dusseldorf – Asian Street Food Cooking Class
Who would ever think that one of the top things to do in Dusseldorf would be to take an Asian cooking class, but it continues with the theme of day one. We spent the evening at a different Asian market, learning how to cook Filipino street food from Maite, a lovely woman who was born in the Philippines but has been living in Dusseldorf most of her life. Maite taught the class on one side of the Tains Mein Asia Market.
Maite taught us how to make Chicken Binakol, a chicken and coconut soup, adobo flakes on lettuce leaves, and Taho for dessert. Taho is a silken tofu dessert made with sago pearls. We focused on the adobo flakes, which involved shredding marinated pork belly, mixing it with Mama Sita’s seasoning and serving it over lettuce leaves topped with fried garlic.
Who would have thought that one of the best places to eat in Dusseldorf on a Friday night would be Asian food we cooked ourselves!
It’s possible to purchase Mama Sita’s Adobo seasoning from Amazon too!
*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER.
Maite’s Fascinating World of Asian Cuisine
Cooking seminars are held in the evenings and start around €65 per person. It’s possible to book the cooking class directly from Maite’s site, but she doesn’t hold classes every day. If you have questions, just contact her through her site. Even if she is not running a class, the Tains Mein Market also offers a handful of Asian dishes in a small dining space inside the market.
Want to learn more about the Japanese influence in Dusseldorf? Check this out:
Enjoy Some Dusseldorf Nightlife
Okay, after a day spent enjoying the surprisingly Asian side of Dusseldorf, finish off the evening with something a little more along the line with what the city is known for – Dusseldorf nightclubs. I will say, we didn’t really explore much of Dusseldorf by night. That said, I still have a few recommendations on how to spend an evening exploring the city’s famed nightlife.
Book a 4-Hour Dusseldorf Pub Crawl from €25 to experience Dusseldorf nightlife.
We were recommended Nachtresidenz night club, which has unique themed evenings and, apparently, great music. But, our idea of experiencing nightlife in Dusseldorf Germany would be a little more low-key, enjoying a few beers, and maybe some typical local Schnapps. We actually visited the Schmittmann distillery, where they produce schnapps and even a pretty darn good gin. That’s my idea of some fab Dusseldorf nightlife.
But, I know it’s also very popular to visit Dusseldorf for some prime nightlife, particularly if traveling in a group. And, if that’s the preferred travel style, I just have to say, bottoms up!
Top Things To Do In Dusseldorf – Day 2
Yes, the first day in the city offered less traditional German things to do in Dusseldorf. But, it’s such a unique Asian experience in Germany, that I wanted to share it. For Day 2, let’s focus on the Dusseldorf things to see that are a lot more traditionally German, with a focus on Dusseldorf Old Town.
A Morning In Dusseldorf Old Town
A great Dusseldorf walking tour would, of course, be a Dusseldorf food tour! This is a great way to better understand what to see in Dusseldorf, but also to get an idea of what food is on offer. This is particularly important if you only have 48 hours in Dusseldorf. The Dusseldorf Culinary Soul food tour is offered in German and English and spends about 3 hours exploring Dusseldorf Old Town, including the beer halls, the central market, and other interesting shops. And, yes, this meant we learned about traditional pickled eggs, served with vinegar and spicy mustard, and a cold beer, at about 11 am. Because one of the best places in Dusseldorf to be on a Saturday morning is at a traditional beer hall on a Dusseldorf food tour.
Book the Dusseldorf Culinary Soul Food Tour now, from $45.
Here’s a great tip. Most of the Dusseldorf guides suggest meeting at Marktplatz because it’s so central. And, there is an amazing coffee shop on the square that is a must-visit for any coffee lover. I loved Rosterei Vier Dusseldorf. They not only take great care in making great coffee in Dusseldorf, but they really focus on sustainability in the farmers they work with around the world to source beans.
Learn what others say about Rosterei Vier in Dusseldorf.
Visiting The Longest Bar In The World – Dusseldorf Beer Halls
Well, there is no denying that one of the top Dusseldorf attractions is what many people call the Longest Bar in the World. Really, it’s a long street filled with Dusseldorf beer halls, bars, and restaurants. But, this part of Dusseldorf Old Town offers so much more.
Within just a few blocks are two of my favorite Dusseldorf tourist attractions – traditional German beer halls, and the Carlsplatz Market. Both of these make great stops for both lunch and a leisurely afternoon in Dusseldorf Old Town.
First, the Carlsplatz Market. This should be on any list of the top places to visit in Dusseldorf, particularly for food lovers. But, this is much more than just a typical European market. Yes, there are stalls selling meats and produce as well as lovely in-season flowers. But, there is also a wine bar with local German wines called Concept Reisling, one of the top pastry chefs in town has a stall called Pure Pastry, and there are prepared food stalls. The Carlsplatz Market also offers events throughout the year, like cooking classes and tasting seminars. It’s a great place to wander for an afternoon.
But, when the feet get tired, it’s time for a reward – a local German beer. Now, what might be considered Dusseldorf bar street can get to be a bit much at night, but during a nice day, a German beer hall is a perfect tonic. We enjoyed Uerige on Berger Str. There are tables inside, where it’s possible to order food. Or, there are loads of high top tables where revelers stand around and order German beer.
A note about Dusseldorf beer prices. At most of the beer halls, a server comes around with beer and marks on the coaster how many beers you had. There is no need to pay at the end of each round. Moreover, it’s necessary to order and pay from the server, not at the counter or register. The servers get paid a percentage of beer served, not a salary.
Love German beer? Book a Dusseldorf Brewery Tour & Food Tasting from $70.
Afternoon Sweet Tooth
If exploring Dusseldorf downtown in the afternoon, it might be time for a little sweet stop. Sugarbird Cupcakes is one of the top places to eat in Dusseldorf, for cupcake lovers. They offer cupcakes and mini cupcakes of all varieties, plus macaroons and cake pops too.
We visited their bakeshop in a Dusseldorf suburb and learned how to make cake pops. We made quite the mess in their bakery, with all sorts of glitter and sprinkles applied, some artfully, and others, well, not so much. Don’t worry, none of our creations would ever make the cut for their shop. If looking for something really unique to do in Dusseldorf, Sugarbird also offers workshops for small groups. Workshops start at €79 per person and can be booked on their website.
See what others say about Sugarbird Cupcakes in Dusseldorf.
Final Fancy Dinner At One Of The Best Restaurants In Dusseldorf
There are loads of great restaurants in Dusseldorf. We enjoyed two lovely meals, each entirely different from one another. Sure it’s possible to eat traditional German food at some of the German beer halls, but it’s more likely the locals are eating at one of the more upscale international restaurants that Dusseldorf is known for.
As for Dusseldorf restaurants in Old Town, MASH is right on the edge of Old Town and is a classic choice. Well, it’s a classic American steakhouse choice. Try their American New York Strip or a German tenderloin, with a side of macaroni and cheese and sautéed corn. Okay, this might not seem like a classic choice for what to eat in Dusseldorf. But, for a couple of Americans who left the US six years before, it really hit the spot.
See what other travelers have to say about MASH Dusseldorf.
I also would recommend MASH as one of the best bars in Dusseldorf for cocktails. Their mixologist was stellar! And, made an amazing Old Fashioned, which I expected from an American steakhouse, even one in Germany.
One of the newest Dusseldorf restaurants is the Paris Club, which just opened a few days before our visit to Dusseldorf. Located on the top floor of the 25 Hours Hotel, the Paris Club was hopping the night we visited. The entire 25 Hours Hotel is Parisian inspired because the neighborhood was once the French neighborhood of Dusseldorf. And, the menu, including steak frites, with bearnaise sauce, and a French Pinot Noir, all with unparalleled views over the entire Dusseldorf area.
See what other travelers have to say about The Paris Club.
More Dusseldorf Nightlife – German Wine Bar
I saved the best for last. Yes, Germany is known for beer, but there is an amazing wine bar in the city that should be on any list of the best bars in Dusseldorf. Eiskeller wine bar is set inside a building originally from the late 1800s that once served as the ice cellar of the neighborhood, particularly for the beer makers. During WWII, the building suffered bomb damage, so it’s still not entirely clear where the old ice cellar is located. At one point it served as an artist studio, which also pays homage to its location across the street from one of the largest art schools in Dusseldorf.
The history of Eiskeller is nice to hear, but what about the wine? The owner of Eiskeller, Dorina, is as pleasant as they come. She is entirely knowledgable, not only about German wines but also international wines as well. In addition to educating people on wine, she has one main goal, to treat everyone like family. To make them feel at home.
Dorina also focuses on sustainability. They used refurbished materials to create the space (which is like artwork in itself), serve uber-local cheeses and meats, and offer a selection of biodynamic wines. All set in a cozy wine bar with exposed stone. We visited in June, but I could imagine drinking wine all warm and toasty in the winter too.
So, yes, on a final night in Germany, enjoy one of my recommendations for the top things to see in Dusseldorf, and visit this historic location, and drink wine!
Read what other people have to say about Eiskeller wine bar.
Other Dusseldorf Things To Do
We recommended a whole lot of Dusseldorf sights and eats above, but there are other things to do in Dusseldorf, particularly if you are not into food as much as we are (the horror!). If you fancy a Dusseldorf museum experience, there are loads of great ones. Here is a list of the top 10 things to do in Dusseldorf when it comes to museums. Or, how about a Dusseldorf Sightseeing Tour on Segway! The tour explores the Dusseldorf promenade and allows travelers to see Dusseldorf from a whole different viewpoint. And, if short on time, it’s possible to make the most of your time in Dusseldorf. Just don’t take the tour after a visit to one of the German beer halls.
Book a Dusseldorf Sightseeing Tour on Segway from €99.
What If You Don’t Have 48 Hours In Dusseldorf?
I definitely think a minimum of two nights is needed in the city, and three is preferable. There’s just a load of Dusseldorf activities on offer. But, if a layover is what you have, there are plenty of things you can squeeze in during a short stay in the city. In this case, there is no way to see even some of the Dusseldorf top 10, but we can try to pack a lot in any way.
Here are our two options for shorter itineraries:
What to do in Dusseldorf for one day – Option 1: Go for classic Germany. Take the Dusseldorf Culinary Soul Food Tour and follow it up with a few beers at one of the beer halls. Then, squeeze in a currywurst (one of the best things to eat in Dusseldorf) in old town to finish up a short layover in Dusseldorf.
What to see in Dusseldorf in one day – Option 2: If it’s a nice day, how about a hop on-hop off Dusseldorf cruise to make the most of your time sightseeing in Dusseldorf, along with a traditional Japanese meal in the Japanese quarter.
Dusseldorf Hotels – Where To Stay In Dusseldorf
There are loads of great options when looking at hotels in Dusseldorf Germany.
Where We Stayed: We stayed at a very new Dusseldorf hotel, 25 Hours. Considering its location, this could be one of the best hotels in Dusseldorf. Each room feels more like a Parisian apartment than a typical hotel room. The breakfast buffet was amazing, in the Paris Club restaurant, with views over the city. A definite recommend because it’s a great value with rooms starting at €89 a night. It’s not in the city center but is only 2 train stops away, or about a 20-minute walk on a great day.
Book a stay at 25 Hours Hotel in Dusseldorf.
If looking for hotels in Dusseldorf Old Town, be prepared for some noise, particularly at night and on the weekends. That’s one of the reasons why I liked 25 Hours Hotel, which was a retreat.
I would recommend the Breidenbacher Hof when it comes to Dusseldorf 5-star hotels, in addition to two of the more international chain hotels, the Intercontinental and the Hyatt Regency. Each of these 5-star hotels can offer comfort and convenience for any luxury traveler.
Another option for accommodation in Dusseldorf Germany is Airbnb. I generally prefer hotels for any stays less than four nights. As a result, I would recommend a hotel for 48 hours in Dusseldorf. But, if you’ve never tried Airbnb before then receive up to €25 off your first Airbnb booking.
See more recommendations on TripAdvisor Dusseldorf Hotels.
It’s one thing to recommend where to go in Dusseldorf, including what to see and where to eat. But, in order to better prepare a Dusseldorf itinerary, it’s helpful to see a Dusseldorf Germany map. Each of the Dusseldorf activities we recommended is included on this map to help you make the most of your time visiting Dusseldorf.
FAQs- Dusseldorf Tourism & Dusseldorf Travel
Working off our Dusseldorf itinerary guidelines above is a great start, but there are other Dusseldorf facts that I think are important for any traveler to the city.
- Where is Dusseldorf Germany? I’m embarrassed to say that I sort of needed to look this up before our trip! I’ve been to Berlin several times, as well as Frankfurt and some areas in Bavaria, but I’ve never been to this part of Germany before. Dusseldorf is in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. What does that mean? Dusseldorf is in Western Germany, close to both the Netherlands and Belgium. It’s only 45 minutes from Cologne, less than 3 hours north of Frankfurt, and about 5 hours west of Berlin.
- Where can I find more Dusseldorf tourist information? There are two tourism offices in Dusseldorf. One is at Central Station. The Dusseldorf Tourist Office in Old Town is located at Marktstraße/Ecke Rheinstraße. They can give more tips on some of the best things to do in Dusseldorf.
- How do you get to and from Dusseldorf Airport? The Dusseldorf Germany airport is not far from downtown, and it’s pretty easy to get to. Just follow the signs at the airport for the S-Bahn and take the train to the Dusseldorf Main Station. If you’re staying in the city center, you are there already. Otherwise, hop on the U-Bahn to Dusseldorf Old Town. Learn more here. Also, there is a Priority Pass Lounge at Dusseldorf Airport, which made our wait at the airport on the way out a breeze!
Sign up with Priority Pass and receive 10% off your first year.
- What is the best way to get around Dusseldorf City? The Dusseldorf train and tram system is pretty easy to use and the Dusseldorf Card provides free public transport throughout the city, as well as discounts on Dusseldorf museums. And, it’s possible to purchase the card before arriving, download the card to a mobile phone, and be able to use it on arrival to take the train from the Dusseldorf airport until town. The Dusseldorf card costs €9 a person, or €18 for a group or family.
- What are some of the top restaurants in Dusseldorf? Looking for more Dusseldorf restaurant recommendations? Check out what other travelers and locals say about the top Dusseldorf restaurants.
- Is Dusseldorf worth visiting? Absolutely! And, we are already planning a trip back.
- What is Dusseldorf weather like? The weather in Dusseldorf Germany is pretty similar to other countries in Western Europe. It can get warm in the summers and cold in the winters.
*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER. We were hosted by Visit Dusseldorf for our trip to Dusseldorf, but all views are, as always, my own.
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Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new Food and Drink Destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together over the last 20 years, they have traveled to over 70 countries. Amber is the author of the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna.