Back in 2001, when Time Out Dubai first began riveting readers with its unique insights into city life, the city’s Emirates airline was also celebrating a new venture with the launch of its 50th route, headed to Düsseldorf.
While the majority of visitors to Germany might be drawn to the well-trodden straßen of Munich and Berlin, the North Rhine-Westphalia region’s capital can certainly compete with those cities when it comes to architecture, art, culture and nightlife.
A great starting point for any trip to Düsseldorf is Königsallee, or “Kö”, a 1km stretch of exclusive fashion houses that runs along a picturesque canal. After a spot of window shopping, take a breather at the Triton fountain as you ponder whether to splurge at one of the stores.
Next door to Kö you’ll find the old town, Altstadt, whose narrow streets are filled with about 250 restaurants and watering holes, leading Düsseldorf punk band Die Toten Hosen to claim their beloved city had the “longest bar in the world”. A great spot for a selfie or two is the baroque equestrian statue of Jan Wellem, the former Rhine ruler, which stands proudly outside the town hall, itself built in 1573.
It was Wellem and his wife Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici who instigated the city’s push towards becoming a cultural hub. The Kunstakademie (Academy of Art) is a must-visit, as is the unique KIT, an underground space built in a tunnel that houses contemporary works.
But the city really comes alive during carnival season, which runs from November 11 until March and includes a host of street parties.
“Dusseldorf has a lot to offer travellers from the UAE; it has an eclectic mix of the old and new,” Caro Degryse of Emirates Holidays tells us. “Families will have a great time here, from boat trips along the Rhine to castle exploring, there’s plenty to keeps kids occupied.”
From Dhs4,700 for three nights including flights. www.emiratesholidays.ae.