I visited multiple cities along Rhine Valley and Dusseldorf was my first stop. It was my first ever visit to Germany and i did loads of research before starting my trip, and must say that i was skeptical if i should visit there as i read that language would be a problem as Germans don’t speak English, food would be a problem as i am a vegan but Germans eat mainly beef/pork. Another aspect which made me a little worried was possibility of racism, i read it on quite a few articles and it was making me rethink my plan. In the end, i just went ahead with my plan and i am glad i did because all the above points are crap with not much truth in it. I loved Germany and German people are very helpful. Majority of people know English and Vegetarian food is very easily available. Just like any country there are bad eggs everywhere, i did faced people who wanted to check my religion and on one occasion it was a little scary as few people gathered but i simply moved on and they didn’t bother me.
I had chosen a hotel which was not far from Main train station, but still had to search for the right way as i was not having active mobile connection. First people from whom i enquired about my way were 2 policemen, as one of them was guiding me about the path, the other one held the handle of my luggage and said “You are not watching your bags. Eyes on your stuff all the time!! ”. I thanked them and it really made me feel good. A good Start!! I checked with few more people on the way and they were very helpful.
Before i started exploring the city, what i needed was a Sim card. I was looking for a Lyca sim card which has the cheapest plans. There were some shops with Lyca written outside but the easiest way was to visit a Retail store like “Rewe City”. Rewe city has stores almost everywhere, just walkin and ask someone for a sim card.
Germans prefer sparkling water, its almost like a Soda water with slightly less gas in it. If you need normal drinking water then you need to ask for “Still water”. Majority of stock in retail stores is of sparkling water, so you need to check carefully before buying. Also there is concept of “Pfand” which i really liked. All the water bottles and even beer cans carry a pfand charge which means that when you buy you would pay some extra amount as Pfand charge [Amount will be written on bottle]. Once the bottle is empty, then don’t throw it instead take it back to any retail store where they have a machine to recycle these bottles/cans. As you put bottles in machine it will issue a receipt of amount of Pfand charge which now you can use buy new stuff. A great concept which helps to keep the city clean.
Ok so i was all set to explore Dusseldorf but still had one more challenge i.e. to understand transport system. Its a little complex and i will talk about it in my other Rhine valley posts as well. In order to explore Dusseldorf a daily pass is sufficient, a single pass will allow you to travel in trams, buses, S-Bahn [rapid railway], U-Bahn [underground trains].
Dusseldorf is a busy city and is known for its exhibition centre which hosts exhibitions throughout the year.
I am not a monument person unless its something like Eiffel tower 😉 or an explorer of buildings, i rather prefer nature especially water bodies, meeting people, exploring markets, food items, beers etc. So my favourite place was “Rheinuferpromenade” its a promenade along Rhine river where you can take a long walk or just sit and enjoy the breeze and sun.
There are lots of restaurants alongside and nearby area is full of eating joints, pubs, bars. Another thing which really struck me was Sheesha [Hukkah] lounges, it quite popular in Dusseldorf. Dusseldorf is also home for “Altbier” [German style brown ale/beer], to be honest i didn’t liked it as its kind of dark beer which i don’t prefer.
Towards the end of promenade, there is Rhine Tower. It gives a great view of city and is must visit. You need to buy a ticket to go to the top via lift. There is a restaurant on top where you can enjoy the great view.
Nearby there is a place called “Konigsallee”, well again nothing great about it just a posh market and a canal along side the road. I would rather go back to Promenade 😉
Then there are other places like “Classic Remise” which is place where lots of vintage cars are kept. Its mainly for car lovers and is somewhat away from main city.
Overall its a nice city but it will not make it to the list of my favourite ones. People are nice, its a clean and well organised city but then its a kind of business hub and you do get that feel in the city. Its definitely worth visiting once.
Here are some more memories before i wind up.