Düsseldorf is the capital of North-Rhine –Westphalia, the most densely populated federal state of Germany. The city itself has a population of over 600 000. Today Düsseldorf is an important centre for fashion, trade, administration and the service industries. The city has been chosen as headquarters for many multinational companies and host for many international trade fairs such as DRUPA fair (the no. 1 for print and crossmedia solutions). It is a very multicultural and cosmopolitan city and world famous architects such as Frank Gehry have left their traces here. Lots of festival/ local activities such as Carnival, Japan day and Metro Marathon take place every year. Düsseldorf is a centre for chic hotels, fashion showrooms, telecom companies, media (mainly at the Media harbor area) and advertising agencies and offers an exciting nightlife. Fashion lovers as well as antique lovers will find all they need on the famous KÖ (Königsallee), one of Germany’s best-known shopping streets.
The average yearly temperature is at 10.6 degrees Celsius with 800 mm of rain. During the summer months (July and August) it can get warm and sticky especially at the end of the day. On the other side the winters stay quite mild with only a few days of snow per year.
local business etiquette and customs
In general for most Germans life consists of two largely separate areas: their professional life and their private life. In professional life, cool correctness is the order of the day. In private, they like to be easy-going and informal. Being on time and following the rules will make your life much easier. In Düsseldorf people are very international (lots of Asian cultures based here), known for being friendly (the Rhine area is well known for their open minded and friendliness approach) and 70% speak at least a little English.
TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT
Public transportation: The public transportation in Düsseldorf is very easy; trams, underground, S-bahn lines run every approx. 5-10 minutes, and every 10-15 min during the weekend. You can buy your ticket at the Rheinbahn ticket machines and pay with coins/notes or card (no credit cards)
Taxi: Taxi stands in Germany are located in the vicinity of many of the larger hotels, close to tourist attractions, airport, central train station, downtown. When leaving a restaurant or hotel, it is common for them to order a taxi for you. They will then inform you how long the waiting time until arrival will be and it is advisable to wait outside or close to the entrance when the taxi arrives. Often taxi drivers are not German natives and speak a variety or bits and pieces of foreign languages. You can rely on them to get you to your destination in the shortest/fastest possible manner as they are monitored.
Average costs (compared to other German cities) are high. Transfer to airport around €30,- single way (from city centre). There are two taxi companies in Dusseldorf: Rhein taxi and Taxi Düsseldorf. You can call and order on phone, price is the same: Rhein taxi 0049 211 21 21 21, Taxi Düsseldorf 0049 211 333 33. I personally prefer to use the Mytaxi app and pay by credit card.
Düsseldorf Airport is the third largest in Germany and has some nice shops & restaurants. You can get the S11 from the main train station directly to all the terminals.
dining and bars
Düsseldorf provides a great variety of leisure activities. There is a huge number of art galleries, museums and theatres which offer a high standard of culture and art. There are a lot of beautiful parks, great restaurants, bars, wonderful shopping. The wide range of typical food offers something for everyone. Düsseldorf is also known for a big Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese community. Immermann (Little Tokyo) strasse is filled with their traditional restaurants and little stores. Great shopping is also on Königsallee (called also Kö ), Schadowstrasse, Altstadt and many more.
You can find a lot of bars/restaurants on http://prinz.de/duesseldorf/ (German website)
Sitske’s Top 3:
1/ Sushi restaurants such as Maruyasu, Kiku or Okinii- enjoy one of the best Sushi places around the Immerman Strasse/ Ost Strasse.
2/ Harbour Area restaurants such as Meerbar, Hans im Glück or Böser Chinese. A great variety of food; fish, burger or Asian food. Insider tip: After a lovely dinner enjoy a nice cocktail at the Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf or Innside Düsselorf Hafen view bar on the 16th floor.
3/ Ratinger Strasse: lots of local/Italian restaurants and bars such as Schlösser Quartier, Zum Goldenen Einhorn or Pinocchio (best pizza ever). Lots of local people especially on the Thursday night. (after-work drink)
In Altstadt you can find the longest bar in the world, which is actually a whole street, bar after bar, it is difficult to tell where one ends and the other one starts. Drinks specific for this area are Altbier (darker beer), Killepitsch (liqueur) and the Rhenish (white wine); all very tasty.
WOMEN’S NETWORKS AND EVENTS
Lean- In Düsseldorf at http://leanincircles.org/circle/dusseldorf
bEAUTY AND FITNESS
There are a couple of Fitness First clubs in and around the city (KÖ or Schadow Arkade). The International Hotel offers Holmes Place. Next to this you can also rent a bike (https://www.duesseldorf.de/radschlag/fahrradhaendler-werkstaetten.html) or take your running shoes for a ride/walk along the Rhine River (evening with lighting).
For a short relaxation you could enjoy swimming/sauna at the Münster Therme (beautiful traditional swimming hall). Or enjoy a relaxing beauty treatment at Babor Spa Düsseldorf at the Hofgarten. There are also many of the 5* hotels offering special packages (via hotel website)
SAFETY and emergency services
As for the safety I do feel very safe in this city. The one area where I maybe don‘t feel as comfortable is around the central train station so called “Hauptbahnhof” (only 1 KM around the station). Just like any other train station in the world. Also one of the “wilder parts” of the city are some of the streets around Altstadt (downtown), where a lot of partying takes place, the area can be very crowded with lots of bachelor/ette parties going on during the weekend. Lots of fun though.
AMBASSADOR: SITSKE DE ROO
I am a positive thinking Dutch lady living together with my husband and 2 cats in Düsseldorf –Oberkassel only 300 meters from the Rhine River. During the week I travel between Frankfurt- Düsseldorf- London for work. Enjoying my true passion for the Hotel Industry and dreaming of having my own hotel one day. At the weekends you can either find me biking/hiking or running outside in and around the city. Especially enjoying the summer evenings outside with friends having some wine/ alt beer and dinner at one of the several “Biergarten”. My addiction: ice cream or cupcakes (depending on the season). My motto: When in doubt…..do it! You can always regret later.
Feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Networking: See who is networking in Dusseldorf now
Read the doing business in Germany guide.