Travel review: A weekend in Dusseldorf flying from Bristol Airport
PUBLISHED: 09:49 25 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:21 25 June 2015
A new destination has been added to the variety of flights available from Bristol Airport. Bmi has now begun operating flights to Dusseldorf in Germany - and reporter Sarah Robinson went along to find out more about the city.
CARTWHEELING was invented in Dusseldorf, a city in the west of Germany and one of the new locations accessible from Bristol Airport.
The city sits on the river Rhine and is home to around 11 million people. It boasts an impressive array of art in the streets and an eclectic mix of architecture.
It is just over an hour from Bristol via one of bmi’s aeroplanes, making it a great location for a weekend break. There are snacks and drinks to enjoy during the short flight.
I stayed in the comfortable surrounds of the Maritim Hotel, conveniently linked to the airport through a walkway.
Breakfast was a sight to behold, even for someone who doesn’t usually eat it. How could I turn down a glass of sparkling wine at 8am, along with my bacon, eggs, sausages and yoghurt?
The room was spotless, bright, airy, and the bed was comfortable. I didn’t have time to make use of its pool and sauna facilities, but for anyone embarking on a longer stay, it is an added bonus.
I did, however, enjoy a sneaky look at its Presidential suite, previously used by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and singer Anastacia. It came complete with its own sauna and hot tub.
Getting from the hotel into the heart of the city could not have been easier.
Dusseldorf’s public transport was certainly up to scratch. It was incredibly simple to get from one place to another, either via the light-rail system or the SkyTrain.
5 things to do
1) Visit the Old Town and enjoy a glass of Altbier, which is brewed by eight bars in the town. And make sure
you try Killepitsch too. It is Dusseldorf’s liquor and surprisingly sweet. But be warned, it is 43 per cent alcohol.
2) Go for a walk through the city’s many parks. There are plenty of attractive pieces of art dotted around, including some by well-known artists.
3) Snap up a souvenir. Dusseldorf is home to several shopping districts, each with well-known German, European and international brands.
4) The Old Town is home to a number of attractive older buildings with plenty of character. It is an interesting place to explore and relax.
5) Sit by the Rhine and watch the world go by. The river can be enjoyed by boat, or in one of the many bars alongside it. For those who enjoy architecture, there are some interestingly-shaped buildings just outside of the Old Town too.
Like most of Europe, the city has embraced modern and clean public transport, which is sadly lacking in some parts of England.
Dusseldorf has what is described as the largest bar in the world in its historic Old Town. The city certainly boasts an eclectic mix of bars and pubs – and the occasional eye-opening experience.
Fans of any types of music are likely to find what they are looking for. And considering many people were probably drinking the city’s Altbier all day, there was remarkably little trouble.
Where to stay
The Maritim Hotel is directly connected to the airport terminal by a covered walkway.
It features 533 bedrooms and suites, and three different restaurants including the sushi bar SushiSho – complete with a singing chef.
It provides a continental breakfast or buffet breakfast, and also has a pool, sauna, steam bath and fitness facilities.
We found ourselves in a bar full of German songs and the associated, compulsory chanting. While I wouldn’t choose to listen to music plucked from a best of Eurovision album on a regular basis, it was an amusing experience, and certainly a lot of fun.
A visit to the Old Town is the perfect opportunity to try Dusseldorf’s beer – Altbier. Although darker in colour than a drink I would chose at home, it is surprisingly refreshing.
I also couldn’t recommend the food highly enough. At the hotel, I tucked into a meal of perfectly-cooked beef with a mustard crust.
How to get there
Flights are operated from Bristol to Dusseldorf by bmi every day excluding Saturday.
Fares start from £79 one-way, and include complimentary food and drink and a 20kg hold baggage allowance.
Bmi operates more than 300 flights every week, visiting 22 UK and European destinations.
My meal in the Old Town was similarly delicious, although I wish I had chosen the pork knuckle. It would have been far too big to finish, but it is a famous delicacy in Dusseldorf, complete with crackling.
I would recommend going for a walk along the river, and tours can be arranged through Dusseldorf Tourism. There are plenty of bars to choose from, all serving a variety of cocktails and beers.
There is also a boat trip, although its seating arrangements are poorly organised, so you may be forced to stand up if you would like to be outside.
The city has a lot of art, although it doesn’t appear to always make best of use of it. There are plenty of carvings in the walls and statues in the streets, making a walk through the town an interesting experience.
It is home to the Academy Of Fine Arts, a beautiful building and one of Dusseldorf’s visual highlights.
Fans of architecture will find plenty to keep them interested along the Rhine, from the 240-metre high Rheinturm Tower to the office buildings, all with their own unique character.
Dusseldorf is an eclectic city which hasn’t quite worked out what sort of place it wants to be. But in many ways, that is part of the appeal. It’s a great place to mix with the locals, enjoy a drink in one of the many bars and taste its delicious food.