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Exploring Dusseldorf’s Historic Old Town

Düsseldorf is an ancient city on the Rhine in western Germany, whose picturesque old town is filled with cobbled streets, bustling markets and splendid architecture. The old town has been a center of culture and commerce for centuries and is the perfect place for a visit if you want to experience German history and culture at its best. Here is a guide to exploring Düsseldorf’s Historic Old Town.

Historical Highlights

Düsseldorf’s old town has been the center of the city since the Middle Ages, and is full of historical sights and attractions. The old town hall, or ‘Rathaus’, is a magnificent building from the 17th century, and the nearby Marktplatz is a lively cobbled square lined with cafes and restaurants. The Burgplatz is a large park and former palace, with a grand fountain at its center, and is a great spot for a picnic or a stroll along the river. For a more in-depth look at the city’s history, visitors can head to the Stadtmuseum, or City Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts and art from Düsseldorf’s past.

Culinary Delights

Düsseldorf’s old town is renowned for its culinary delights, with plenty of restaurants and cafes offering traditional German dishes as well as international cuisine. The city is famous for its Altbier, or ‘old beer’, which is a dark, malty beer served in traditional German pubs. Street-food stalls offer traditional snacks such as bratwurst and pretzels, while cafes serve delicious cakes and pastries. For a more upscale dining experience, head to the old town’s Michelin-starred restaurants, where you can enjoy exquisite dishes prepared by award-winning chefs.


The old town is a shopper’s paradise, with plenty of boutique stores and independent shops selling everything from designer fashion to handmade crafts. The Schadowstraße is the main shopping street, with designer stores, bookshops and cafes. For something more unique, head to the Marktplatz, where you can find vintage clothes, antiques and souvenirs. There are also plenty of markets and markets stalls selling fresh produce, handcrafted items and local delicacies.

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Culture and Art

Düsseldorf is home to a thriving arts scene, with plenty of galleries and museums to explore. The K20 and K21 art galleries display works from the 20th and 21st centuries, while the Kunstpalast museum houses a vast collection of art from the Renaissance to the present day. Visitors can also explore the city’s many churches and cathedrals, which are adorned with beautiful stained glass windows and impressive sculptures. For a more contemporary experience, head to the Rhine banks, where you can find street art, live music and performance art.


Düsseldorf’s old town is the perfect place to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife. The Altstadt is filled with traditional pubs and bars, where you can sample the city’s famous Altbier, while the trendy Flingern district offers clubs, bars and live music venues. The Rhine banks also come alive at night, with open-air bars and pubs, and the city’s many parks are the perfect place to enjoy a picnic or a night of stargazing.


Düsseldorf’s old town is the hub of the city’s cultural and social life, and there are always plenty of events taking place. The Marktplatz hosts weekly markets and festivals, while the Burgplatz is home to food and music festivals throughout the year. The city also hosts a variety of film festivals, art shows and music performances, so there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

Festivals and Celebrations

Düsseldorf’s old town is the perfect place to experience the city’s traditional festivals and celebrations. The Karneval is one of the city’s biggest festivals, with colorful parades, music and dance taking over the streets. The Christmas Markets are also a must-see, with stalls selling handmade gifts, festive treats and mulled wine. The old town also hosts a variety of religious festivals, such as the Easter procession and the Corpus Christi procession.

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Public Transport

The old town is well connected to the rest of the city by public transport. The U-Bahn and S-Bahn train lines link the old town to the rest of Düsseldorf, and there are plenty of bus and tram lines running throughout the city. There are also plenty of cycle lanes and pedestrian paths, making it easy to explore the city on foot or by bike.


The old town is filled with accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury hotels. For a more unique experience, visitors can stay in a traditional guesthouse, or book a room in one of the city’s many boutique hotels. The old town is also home to plenty of Airbnb apartments, offering a homely and private stay.


Düsseldorf’s old town is the perfect place to experience the city’s traditional entertainment. The Altstadt is home to a variety of theatres, performing everything from classic plays to modern musicals. The city also has plenty of cinemas, showing the latest films from Hollywood and Europe. For a more traditional experience, visitors can head to one of the city’s many beer gardens, where they can enjoy a cold beer and a game of skittles.

Family Fun

The old town is the perfect place to take the family on a day out. The Marktplatz hosts weekly markets, where children can try traditional snacks and buy handmade gifts. The nearby Burgplatz is a great spot for a picnic or a game of frisbee, while the banks of the Rhine are lined with playgrounds and outdoor activities. The city also has plenty of family-friendly museums and galleries, as well as a variety of activities for younger and older children.

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Düsseldorf’s old town is a fascinating place to explore, with centuries of history, culture, art and entertainment waiting to be discovered. Visitors can sample traditional German cuisine, explore the city’s many shops and markets, and experience the city’s vibrant nightlife. With plenty of events, festivals and family-friendly activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Düsseldorf’s historic old town.

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