The Perfect 1, 2 or 3 Days in Dusseldorf Itinerary

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by Paola Drexler

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Whether you like historical or modern architecture, you’ll get both beautifully blended in Dusseldorf. As Germany’s fashion capital and with a big international business hub, there are tons of interesting things to do when planning a 1, 2 or 3 days in Dusseldorf itinerary.

For those who love shopping, visiting museums or wish to visit the world’s longest bar, there’s certainly a dedicated street for you – there’s even a place for cartwheel lovers. In Dusseldorf, you’ll find something for everyone!

How Many Days in Dusseldorf?

With such a fascinating city like Dusseldorf, you can get lost and spend days in the city exploring every quaint corner. However, when the circumstances don’t allow it, you might be contemplating how many days to spend in Dusseldorf. But we can help you make that decision.

For travellers with limited time, 1 day in Dusseldorf can give you a wonderful overview of the city. While it may leave you with little downtime, you’ll get to see the main sights.

If you have a bit more time to play around with, 2 days in Dusseldorf is plenty of time to do the city justice and even have some wiggle room to explore additional activities.

For those with more flexibility, 3 days allows you to venture outside the city centre, to places within wider Dusseldorf or even surrounding cities.

MedenHafen & Rhine Tower in Dusseldorf
MedenHafen & Rhine Tower in Dusseldorf

Getting To & Around Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf is easily accessed by different forms of transportation, whether you prefer flying or driving, or using other methods. Dusseldorf is well-connected by train to several different German cities, such as Cologne, Berlin, Munich and Hamburg. You can view train schedules here.

When flying into Dusseldorf, you’ll find the main airline carriers and direct flights flying into the closest airport which is handily the Düsseldorf Airport.

This airport is located 10 minutes away by car or just 20 minutes by train from the city centre. The next closest airport is the Cologne Bonn Airport but requires about an hour to reach Dusseldorf once landed. You can organise private transfers from the airport.

Getting around in Dusseldorf is done with ease since many of the main sights are within walking distance but for further attractions trains and buses are also available. Travellers can purchase a Düsseldorf Card that comes with extra perks.

When you decide on a longer stay for your Dusseldorf itinerary, it’ll be helpful in saving money on the Düsseldorf Card since one day starts at €12.90 and the more days you purchase the less you spend each day.

With the card, you won’t just receive free rides on public transportation but also discounts or free entry around the city at certain attractions, museums, tours and restaurants.

With the river flowing through the city, an additional way to explore the city is by riverboat. So once you’ve seen all there is to see, you can relax floating down the river and enjoying Dusseldorf from the water.

Dusseldorf at dusk
Dusseldorf at dusk

1, 2 or 3-Day Dusseldorf Itinerary

As mentioned, in Dusseldorf you’ll find an excellent balance between historic and modern in one city. On the first day, you’ll be able to see how well the city blends together.

Day 1 – MedienHafen, Altstadt and Konigsallee

Although only 1 day in Dusseldorf can feel a bit packed, it will be filled with most of the must-see sights in the city centre. For extra guidance, you can book a walking tour to make sure to cross all the items on your list, which is a great option if you’re only planning to visit Dusseldorf in a day.


You’ll begin your trip on the southern side of the banks of the Rhine river in the Media Harbour. Here you’ll find uniquely beautiful buildings as well as the impressive Rhine Tower that towers over the city.

At the top of the tower, you’ll find the rotating restaurant QOMO and the viewing platform that is open for visitors to enjoy the breathtaking city’s panoramic views. On good days you might even spot the Cologne Cathedral over 40km (25 miles) away.

After getting a magnificent look at the city from above, let’s continue up the river towards Altstadt. On the way, you’ll walk on the Rheinuferpromenade or Rhine Embankment Promenade, which is one of the most popular promenades on the Rhine. As you stroll on the riverside you’ll see many cute shops and cafes, so you can grab a drink and enjoy the view. 

Altstadt, Burgplatz and Hofgarten

Once you reach Altstadt or Old Town in English, you’ll know you’ve found the heart of the metropole since it’s the oldest part of the city and you’ll notice many of the old but beloved landmarks. Some of the landmarks dating back to the 13th century like the Castle Tower and St. Lambertus Church.

The Schlossturm or Castle Tower, which is located on the Burgplatz square, was once part of the Dusseldorf Castle that was built in 1260. Today the tower is the only part of the castle that still remains. Inside the tower, you will find the Rhine Maritime Museum which showcases the city’s transportation history on the water. 

Also in Burgplatz, you’ll find the very interesting Cartwheeler’s Fountain, which honours the city’s old tradition of cartwheeling for joyous occasions.

As you head towards Hofgarten, you’ll pass by the St. Lambertus Church which, apart from being a grand historical Catholic church in Old Town, is believed to be the oldest landmark in Dusseldorf. The church is also known for inspiring one of the largest public festivals in Germany, the Rheinkirmes, which is still celebrated in Dusseldorf every July.

As you continue east on Ratinger Straße, you’ll walk until you see the Ratinger gate where you’ll reach the Hofgarten, known as not only Germany’s oldest but its first public garden. Here you will leisurely stroll through the park until you see the Jägerhof Palace.

Depending on the time, feel free to take a peak inside, or head straight to the next destination. Interesting fact: the palace was built in the 17th century and was once a hunting lounge, but now it houses the city’s Goethe Museum and Ernst Schneider Foundation.

Walking back to the Ratinger gate, you’ll follow Heinrich-Heine-Allee Street to the Konigsallee.

Castle Tower and St. Lambertus Church
Castle Tower and St. Lambertus Church


End your first day on the elegant Konigsallee street – the city’s main shopping street along the beautiful canal.

Whether you’re a serious shopaholic or just an admirer of clothes, you’ll find whatever you are looking for on the Konigsallee, also known to locals as the “Ko.” Not only is it home to some of the biggest luxury brands, but you will also find popular restaurants and cafes on this street.

Head to a local bar or join a brewery tour and maybe enjoy an Altbier — a style of beer native to the Rhineland (and Dusseldorf specifically).

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Dusseldorf in one day. Should you have limited time, you’ll be able to get through the highlights, but if you’re in search of more, then let’s continue to the second day.

Day 2 – Nordpark, EKO-Haus and Botanical Garden

The second day of your Dusseldorf itinerary will begin on the northern side of the city on the Rhine River. You’ll slowly make your way to the south later on in the day.

Nordpark and EKO-Haus

Nordpark translates to North Park and you’ll soon see how it differs from other parks in the area, as well as the opposing Südpark.

In this park, you’ll find vibrant colours all around you in flowerbeds and trees, along with its various ponds, water features and themed gardens. You’ll find serenity in the park’s lily or Japanese garden.

From the park, you’ll walk down the river to the Theodor-Heuss bridge and walk across the river to the EKO House of Japanese Culture.

With one of the largest populations of Japanese in Dusseldorf compared to other European cities, you’ll notice the strong influence and representation it has in the city, for example with food and cultural centres. The city is sometimes referred to as “Japan am Rhein” or “Little Tokyo.”

At the EKO House, you’ll feel like you’ve walked from Germany into Japan in seconds. The centre includes stunning Japanese gardens, cherry blossom trees, Japanese-inspired houses and a Buddhist temple.

Japanese Garden in Dusseldorf
Japanese Garden in Dusseldorf

Rhine River Cruise

After having walked all around the city on the first day, after the EKO House, your second day will continue with a leisure boat ride on the Rhine River so you can take in the beautiful city and see it through a different lens as you head to the southern part of the city. You can book an hour cruise here.

From the Rheinuferpromenade, you’ll head northeast to the underground at Heinrich-Heine-Allee. Take a train to the Kettwiger Straße stop which is a short 5-minute walk away from your next destination.

Kiefernstraße and Botanical Garden

The fascinating street of Kiefernstraße is filled with colourful graffiti on almost every possible surface, including buildings, trailers, trashcans and more. Once you’re finished admiring the art, you can walk or hop on a U-bahn south towards Dusseldorf’s botanical garden.

The garden, which is taken care of by the University of Dusseldorf, has over 6,000 different species with about 400 coming from all over the world including South Africa, Chile, Asia, and the Mediterranean. There are more than plenty of plants to admire and learn about.

After the botanical garden, you’ve completed your 2 days in Dusseldorf but if you still haven’t had enough, you can add an additional day to your trip.

Day 3 – Museums, Schloss Benrath or City Day Trip

For those who have an extra day to spend in the area, this is a great opportunity to visit museums you’re interested in and to take a day trip to cities nearby or on the way to your next destination.

Museums in Dusseldorf

For those spending 3 days in Dusseldorf, there are many museums to explore like the Kunstsammlung, which holds the regional art collections of the state of Nordrhein-Westfallen or the Museum Kunstpalast which holds a wider variety of art collections.

For travellers who prefer exploring the underwater world, the Aquazoo Loebbecke Museum in Nordpark gives you a look into life underwater with about 500 different species, including sharks, penguins, stingrays and more.

The Aquazoo is at the top of the list of visitors’ favourite museums in Dusseldorf, since opening in 1987.

Benrath Palace and Essen

Just 25 minutes outside the city centre, you’ll find the lovely Benrath Palace. While touring the palace, travellers can admire the impressive interiors, gardens and parks. Along with its beauty, you can learn about its long history which starts with the construction of the palace in 1756.

Benrath is nicely located on the way from Dusseldorf to Essen so you can spend the morning at the palace and then take a look at the city of Essen.

Essen is known as one of Europe’s Green Capitals. You’ll find that the interesting architecture of the rust-coloured Zollverein Complex was not only important for the coal mining history of the city but also for becoming a UNESCO site after closing its doors. Today you can also find the Red Dot Design Museum and Ruhr Museum in the complex.

Benrath Palace near Dusseldorf
Benrath Palace near Dusseldorf

Cologne Day Trip

A great day trip from Dusseldorf is Cologne since it’s just a short 25-minute train ride or 45-minute drive away. You can visit the Cologne Cathedral and other attractions in the area or take a boat ride on the Rhine to see as much of the city as possible.

You choose which side you’re leaning towards in the friendly rivalry that locals from Cologne and Dusseldorf have fostered for centuries.

Where to Stay in Dusseldorf

the niu Tab – This 3-star hotel located in the centre of Dusseldorf is a great choice for mid-range visitors to the city. There are a myriad of bright and clean rooms on offer, daily breakfast and an on-site restaurant/bar and terrace to enjoy.

Carathotel Düsseldorf City – Those after a luxury stay in this German city will love this sophisticated hotel close to all of the top attractions in Dusseldorf. They have lovely rooms to choose from and countless amenities to ensure you have a wonderful stay.

Centerapartments Marienstrasse – If you’re looking for your own space while visiting Dusseldorf you’re sure to love these centrally located apartments. With a wide array of different flats to choose from varying in size, they all come fully furnished and equipped with everything you may need during your stay.

City Youth Hostel Dusseldorf – This hostel is perfect for budget or solo visitors to Dusseldorf. They have a number of both dorms and private rooms on offer, good common areas and self-catering facilities and a great location for exploring the city.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Dusseldorf hotels!

Now that your Dusseldorf adventures are all planned out, you can daydream about your trip ahead. No matter the length you decide on for your stay in Dusseldorf, you’ll leave with many fond memories of your trip.

Are you planning a visit to Dusseldorf? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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Paola is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the state of Arizona in the USA, she lived in Germany before moving to the United Kingdom. Paola loves spending her free time travelling in Europe and sometimes ever further afield.

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