Hear about travel to Düsseldorf, Germany as the Amateur Traveler talks to Erik and Anne Hess about this city on the Rhine. I was just in Düsseldorf for the huge Carnival celebration but brought on Erik and Anne who lived in the city to give a better picture of the city than one can get from a few nights there.
The carnival celebration in Düsseldorf is huge. The main parade is on Rose Monday before Ash Wednesday. The parade gets 1.2-2 million spectators. It is a bit like a combination between Mardi Gras, New Years, and Halloween. The parade has at least 50 floats, with bands and guilds marching in it as well. Many of the floats are political, while some just celebrate the region or promote local businesses. Many of the spectators show up in costume and people on the floats throw candy and goodies to the waiting throngs as shouts of “helau!” resound through the air.
The days that surround this parade are filled with local street parties, smaller parades in the surrounding cities, and Weiberfastnacht. On Weiberfastnacht (or Women’s Night) the ladies of the city take over. They get the keys to the city and go around cutting the ties off men in exchange for a kiss. The carnival festivities also include large costumed balls on Shrove Tuesday.
We also talk about the Christmas markets which are another popular time to visit the city.
Düsseldorf recently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world. We talk about shopping on the Königsallee, dining out in the Altstadt (old city), which beer to order, and the various art museums. Düsseldorf is a city built around fashion, media, and banking which help give the city an international flair, including a large Japanese population. The renovated Media Harbor includes buildings designed by the American architect Frank Gehry as well as the landmark Rhine Tower.
Erik and Anne suggest side trips down the Rhine River and a visit to the nearby Neanderthal Museum. I describe a day trip to the nearby walled city of Zons, the “Rothenberg of the Rhine”.
pictures of Carnival in Dusseldorf, Germany
pictures of Dusseldorf, Germany
Best of Dusseldorf
Carnival in Dusseldorf
2 Days in Dusseldorf
The Marling Menu-Master for Germany (Marling menu masters series)
Burg Stahleck Hostel (which is basic, but rents rooms to families)