In many ways the modern face of Germany, Dusseldorf has plenty of historic charm to offer too; a contrast which makes it a particularly satisfying port to explore when you’re on a Rhine River cruise. An economic centre of world standing, Dusseldorf is renowned for its plethora of trade fairs and is home to some 11 million people and is one of Germany’s most populous cities. Culturally, it’s regularly at the cutting edge, hosting numerous fashion shows and being home to the respected Academy of Fine Arts and once a year the Rhine itself, which passes directly through the city, is the star of the show when it hosts the Largest Fair of the Rhine.
One of the best examples of Dusseldorf’s modern side is Medien Hafen, or Media Harbour, the city’s contemporary harbour district which features a wealth of striking yet contemporary architecture. It’s unmistakably modern yet thoughtfully designed and is a great place to go for a stroll. Another contemporary attraction is the Rhine Tower, which as you would imagine, offers the ultimate view of the legendary river and indeed, the rest of the city, from its lofty observation platform.
In contrast, Dusseldorf’s Old Town offers a pleasing walk through the city’s past and is home to some splendid historic architecture as well as plenty of restaurants and particularly, pubs. Indeed, it’s hard to beat Dusseldorf’s Old Town when it comes to that authentic German beer experience. Perhaps the most noted landmark in the area is St Lambertus Church, which dates back to medieval times. Its soaring tower and pleasing architecture are attraction enough but inside you’ll find an oasis of calm and some beautiful works of stained glass. The Rathaus, or Town Hall is another key landmark here, built in a Renaissance style and very much the heart of the old city.
Dusseldorf has retained much of its green space despite its contemporary development and as such, there’s a good choice of parks to explore if getting back to nature is a river cruise excursion must for you. The Wildpark certainly lives up to its name, being home to free-roaming deer and numerous walking tracks, while Nordpark lies in the city and neighbours Dusseldorf's Aquazoo, which is another popular attraction for lovers of nature and wildlife. Hoftgarten is another popular park, well-known for its illuminated fountains and benches, not to mention a wealth of greenery.
Beer is a serious business in Germany and Dusseldorf is no exception. The local brew is Altbier, and it’s recommended to try a glass while there. Konigsalle is the city’s celebrated shopping street and the place to head if you want to indulge in a spot of retail therapy. If you're a classic car lover, don't miss Classic Remise Dusseldorf, which houses a fantastic collection of classic vehicles.