TRAVEL REVIEW: A taste of the very best of German cuisine in Düsseldorf
PUBLISHED: 21:00 11 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:17 12 April 2018
Features writer Karen Richards travelled to the German city of Düsseldorf to see the heady sights, sample the cuisine and soak up its 24-hour culture.
Take a huge slice of culture, add a mix of stylish modern and stunning historic architecture, and a smattering of beautiful waterside views and wash it down with a good glug of dark brown beer and you get a small taste of what Düsseldorf is about.
The western German city runs along the banks of the river Rhine, with a smaller river, the Düssel running through it and into the main river. The Rhine straddles the city, dividing the old town (Altstadt) on the east bank and the newer, commercial area on the west.
It is the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia and is the seventh most populated city in Germany.
The beauty of a visit to central Düsseldorf is that everything, from the old town, to ‘the longest bar in the world’ and the lively shopping streets to the harbour (Medienhafen), plus its 100 or so museums and art galleries in between, are within easy walking distance.
What struck me first after getting off the underground tram from the airport into the city centre is how clean and well-kept it is. Starting with the underground itself, the staircases are sparkling and litter-free and it is soon apparent where Düsseldorf gets its city of art reputation from as each station has its own artist commissioned to individually decorate it.
The city’s newest areas are still under construction, with fascinating virtual plans on display but so far the modern architecture is all state-of-the-art sharp, clean lines, steel and glass.
The shopping streets are plentiful, with all the big names in attendance and plenty of designer goods on offer for the eager shopper. I was surprised to see how quiet and empty the streets were at 10am but our guide assured us this was because people were still in bed.
A good indication of how much Düsseldorfens enjoy their nightlife perhaps?
But what I really enjoyed most was the old town.
What a beautiful half of the city this is – all quaint buildings and grand churches, leading up to the promenade aside the River Rhine with views which do not disappoint. A longboat converted into a floating bar and restaurant, offers a stunning vista across the famous river and an avenue of plane trees alongside a wavy path lead all the way along to the more traditional shopping streets and roads lined with open-air bars and restaurants.
After a steaming and very tasty bowl of street-food at a permanent open-air market called Carlsplatz we visited the modern part of the city – the MedienHafen with its impressive buildings and multitude of galleries and headed to the dizzy heights of the city’s tallest structure, the 168m-tall Rheinturm or Rhine Tower.
I was happy the lifts in this colossal building are extremely fast and offer a smooth ride – the only indication of the altitude are your ears popping. But once ascended the views from the viewing platform are well-worth the entry fee, affording breathtaking views of the city and river.
The city’s oldest restaurant and brewery Zum Schiffchen was a highlight of the weekend. Not only was the wiener schnitzel the biggest one I had ever tackled it was also the yummiest, as was the baked camembert starter which was served two ways, with traditional German bread.
But the best meal was one I had in our hotel, The Maritim, which is ideally situated next to the airport and is so big it feels like a village. I can highly recommend the hotel – the service was second-to-none, with nothing too much trouble for the efficient and courteous staff.
I stayed in a huge comfort room, with a fancy glass drinks cabinet, a table and lounge chair, a huge en-suite complete with bidet and air conditioning. The spacious lobby with beautiful glass ceilings are spectacular and it has ample rooms for business use, as well as a wellness suite with gym and pool.
All in all I had a fantastic weekend and one I would have no hesitation in recommending to others, even if Düsseldorf is not on your bucket list it really is worth considering for a short or longer break full of art, culture and lashings of fine beer.
Getting there could not be easier, with a direct route from Bristol Airport via BMI taking just over an hour.
Flights to Düsseldorf
Flights from Bristol to Düsseldorf depart daily (excluding Saturdays) with fares from £86 one way. The price includes 23kg of hold luggage, allocated seating and complimentary in-flight drinks and snacks. To book your flight, visit the bmi website here.
Maritim Hotel Düsseldorf
Ideally located next to the airport, the first-class deluxe Maritim Hotel Düsseldorf offers 533 sumptuous rooms and suites, three restaurants, three bars, an exclusive wellness complex with pool, sauna, steam bath and fitness area with massage facilities.
Prices for a classic room start from 99 Euros per night.
Prices for a comfort room start from 109 Euros per night.
For reservations call +49 (0) 211 5209-0 or email firstname.lastname@example.org