Most of the city’s historic buildings were destroyed during World War II, but Düsseldorf today is a wonderful mix of architectural styles.
For just a few Euros a visitor can purchase a Düsseldorf card that offers unlimited use of trams and buses within the city area and free or reduced entry to museums and various attractions. A short tram ride takes you Media Harbor featuring modern art and building that look like modern art, some from noteables German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and American architect Frank O. You’ll find Düsseldorf has plenty to offer even when it’s not Karneval time.
Walking along a lovely promenade on the left bank of the Rhine River, there are shops, cafes and bars.
The only person with a frown was the caricature of Donald Trump depicted on a Karneval float.
On Rose Monday, with the parade cancelled, the shops, museums and restaurants were closed, but it gave me a chance to walk around the City and see it in a different way.
Unfortunately, the floats are made of lightweight materials such as paper mache and Düsseldorf was having a great deal of soaking rain and high winds during Karneval season. and our small group of journalists couldn’t help but get caught up in the tradition as well.
Hopes that the parade would continue were kept alive until literally hours before the parade was to begin, but eventually, the powers that decided to be safe and cancelled it. Everywhere you looked people were dressed as something: leopards, cows, drag queens, nuns, policemen, firemen,clowns, superheros, aviators, and all sorts of strange outfits, even dogs sported decorated leashes or costumes of their own.
If you’re into the outdoors, there are parks and places for picnics, and for the kids to run around and play. History buffs will find what they are seeking just a short trip out of the City Center.
About 20 minutes by tram gets you to Kaiserwerth, a medieval village, with it’s charming little shops and cobblestone streets (Florence Nightingale trained here), The historical district features the ruined castle of The Holy Roman Emperor Barbarossa Frederick I.
During the rainy weather we had in February, a stroll down the riverfront was still lovely.
Walk to the Altstadt (old town), the historic town center filled with hundreds of pubs and restaurants and proverbially known by Germans as “the longest bar in the world.” If you’re partied out, plan for some time at one of the art museums or walk around the City and enjoy the public art which seems to be everywhere.
Are you looking for a new and different place to vacation this Spring or Summer, or maybe even a romantic place to propose? Whether you’re craving nightlife, history, fashion, art, or just a place to stroll and enjoy life, find that you can have a great time on the Rhine.