The first in a series of posts about Dusseldorf
The Rhine Promenade is really what I love the best about DÃ¼sseldorf. A stroll along the Promenade on a weekend or even a weekday evening, is probably the best introduction to life in DÃ¼sseldorf. A favourite hangout for locals as well as tourists, the Rhine promenade is very lively and bustling in the spring and summer. Numerous breweries line the Western bank of the Rhine and though the prices for food and drinks tend to be slightly higher here than elsewhere, the ambience is well worth it. Its also an excellent place for jogging, cycling or roller blading. There are also touring and sightseeing boats that leave for Kaiserswerth, KÃ¶ln, Bonn and other places from the river promenade. Starting from the Rhinepark in the north, the Rhine Promenade stretches all the way to RheinkniebrÃ¼cke in the South, and is within walking distance to the tram stops Graf Adolf Platz, Benrather StraÃŸe or Heinrich-Heine-Allee. If you are taking the U-Bahn to the city, the place to alight is Heinrich-Heine-Allee.
The Rheinturm, or the Rhine tower is where we get our TV signals from. This 234m tower boasts to be the world’s largest digital clock, even though why anyone would want to decipher the time from the Rheinturm is beyond me. You see, the way you can read the time from the Rheinturm is not all that simple : the tower is divided into three horizontal regions. Starting from the top, the regions represent hours, minutes and seconds. In each of these, there are two layers of lights – the top one in 10s and the lowers one in 1s. You add up all that to get the time.
At the top of the Rhine tower is ‘Top 180’, a classy revolving restaurant, slightly on the expensive side for most of us, but an ideal place for a romantic first date if you are particularly keen on impressing someone. The restaurant completes one rotation once every hour, a speed slow enough not to churn your date’s stomach, but fast enough that he or she will be kept enthralled by the city’s charms in each direction and won’t have time to notice your less desirable traits, if any. Just below the ‘Top 180’ is a viewing deck, the best place to have a bird’s eye view of the city. The glass sides of the tower are inclined outward at an angle of about 25 degrees and I was told that an ideal way to cure a fear of heights is to lean forward and lie on the glass without holding onto anything. Though I have no fear of heights (in fact, I relish heights), I just couldn’t bring myself to do it! There was no sign anywhere that said don’t lean on the glass and its common sensical that they would build a glass window that can support at least girl’s weight, but there was no one else leaning on the glass, and without any confirmation, my subconscious just wouldn’t let me. But if you are up there, go on, try it, coz I think it really must be worth it!
The Rheinturm is located at StromstraÃŸe 20. It is near the southern end of the Rhine promenade, so if you are already by the Rhine, it is within walking distance. If not, you can take trams 706 or 712 to Graf Adolf Platz, get off and walk for about 5 mins towards the east.
DÃ¼sseldorf is often called the ‘Longest Bar in the world’, and the reputation is mainly because of Altstadt, literally the ‘Old Town’, which is lined by breweries and filled with people enjoying an evening drink. The ‘Altstadt’ is really the heart of DÃ¼sseldorf, the hip and happening place, and it is crowded throughout the year – be it summer or winter. Most of the city’s events happen in and around Altstadt. My office is located right bang in the middle of Altstadt, which means we sometimes get a day off for the major city events when the street gets too crowded – how can I not love the Altstadt!
Cuisines from many parts of the world (though being used to Singapore, I don’t really think it is a very impressive or comprehensive collection), breweries, pubs and shops line the Altstadt. Though less fashionable than the KÃ¶ningsalle, which is a stone’s throw away, you can find many more affordable labels at the Altstadt. The Altstadt is really where you would find a young DÃ¼sy’s every day life, but if you really must do touristy things, try the ‘Schlossturm’ tower at Burgplatz (there is a Schiffsmuseum or Ship Museum next to it) the Stadterhebungsdenkmal, which tells the story of the city, and the statue of Jan-Wellem-Reiterdenkmal on horseback at the Rathausplatz. If you are at the Burgplatz, the eatery next to it sells a wonderful Wurst teller (a plate of miscellaneous sausages). There are also a few museums at the Altstadt, including the Film Museum, the Stadt Museum, The Ceramic Museum and so on. I haven’t been in any of these yet, so I can’t really say if they are worth the entrance fees, but do let me know if you visit any.
This is the beginning of a series, so watch out for more!