How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

Düsseldorf is serviced by three airports: Düsseldorf International Airport, Köln Bonn Airport, and Weeze Airport.

If you have not booked a private transfer with us you have a few options. The Düsseldorf Airport is located 9 miles from the main railway station. The airport is linked to the GermanRail network. Transfer to the Düsseldorf main rail station is via S-Bahn 11, offering service daily 4:03 am to 12:30 am, with trains every 20 minutes (trip time: 12 minutes). One-way fare is about €3. For more information visit: www.bahn.de. A taxi ride to central Düsseldorf takes about 20 minutes (depending on traffic) and costs about €22. Car rentals are also available at the airport.

Köln Bonn Airport is about a 60-minute drive or train ride to Düsseldorf city center. Trains run every 20-minutes during the day. Take the S13 commuter train from the airport towards Horrem. Change at the Köln Messe/Deutz and take the S6 towards Essen. Tickets cost around €11 and can be bought from the machines in the train station; make sure to select that you want to travel by local transport only, otherwise the machine will offer somewhat faster, but much more expensive express train (IC/OCE) connections.

Weeze Airport (used almost exclusively by Ryanair) is 50 miles from Düsseldorf main railway station, a 90 minute drive by car or bus (bus: 6-8 departures per day, around €14 fare). The airport itself is not connected directly to the railway network, something that is rather unusual in Germany.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

How do I get from the train station to my hotel?

The main train station, the Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof, is a major stop for Deutsche Bahn (German state railway). There are different types of trains such as S-Bahn, Regionalbahn, and Regionesxpress. The station is a short walk, about 5-10 minutes to the city center. There is a taxi stand at the station as well to get you to your final destination.

How do I get to Düsseldorf by car?

Access to Düsseldorf is by the A3 Autobahn north and south or the A46 east and west.

I will have a car in Düsseldorf, where can I park?

Those who want to drive in the city center should be aware that it is an `environment zone` similar to that found in many other large German cities. Cars are required to have a sticker declaring the car`s pollution category.

Central Düsseldorf is compact, so you typically won`t need to drive unless you plan to visit outlying areas. There is plenty of parking available across the city, including parking garages. Always park in a secure place if possible.

The Rhein-Ruhr region is well serviced by public transport, so unless your plans include a lot of touring, having a car is not necessary. If you do want to rent a car, all the major national and international companies operate out of Düsseldorf airport.

How do I get to Düsseldorf by bus?

Access to Düsseldorf is a lot easier by rail than by bus. The region`s largest carrier is Adorf GmbH (tel. 0211/418970; www.adorf.de), most of whose buses service small towns within the Rhineland that don`t necessarily have railway stations of their own. Buses usually pull into Düsseldorf at the northern edge of the Bahnhofplatz.

Is Düsseldorf a walking city?

The city center is not that large and most attractions are in a walkable distance from one another.

How do I get around by taxi?

Companies include Taxi- Düsseldorf (tel: +49 211 33333) and Rhein-Taxi (tel: +49 211 212 121). You must hail taxis from designated ranks, or book them by phone. You can`t flag them down on the street.

Officially licensed taxis are always in ivory color and on the back window you always find a black number on a yellow patch. Taxi rates start around €4.50 plus the rate per kilometer, generally around €2.20 per kilometer. There is a credit card service fee of around €2.

How do I get around Düsseldorf by public transportation?

Düsseldorf has an efficient and extensive network of trams, buses, U-bahn (partially underground metro trains), and an S-Bahn (regional trains, with lines linking Düsseldorf with nearby Dortmund and Essen).

Rheinbahn (tel: +49 1806 504 030; www.rheinbahn.com) runs Düsseldorf`s integrated public transport system. Single tickets are available from vending machines located at all the tram and U-bahn stops, and from bus drivers. Validate them before use. You can also buy a day ticket, which is valid until 3am the following morning, but a much better alternaive if you are sightseeing is the DüsseldorfCard, which gives you unlimited free travel within the city as well as free entry to museums.

Is Düsseldorf an area that can be explored by bike?

Cycling is a popular way of getting around Düsseldorf and is a great way to see the city if you have experience of urban cycling. Biking around the narrow lanes of the old town and along the Rhine promenade is particularly enjoyable. Make sure to use caution to trams and never leave an unattended bike unlocked.

There are several bike rental companies in Düsseldorf, which offer daily or longer term rentals starting around €9 per day. You can rent bikes from the `Hauptbahnhof` (main station) at the RadStation, which is owned by the city of Düsseldorf.

Alternatively, nextbike (www.nextbike.de/en/duesseldorf) runs a bikeshare scheme, with docking stations located throughout the city. You will need to register online to receive a combination lock code to access the bikes. A working mobile phone is required; you can pick up a SIM card fairly cheaply from a local mobile phone store.

Is Düsseldorf a dangerous city?

Düsseldorf is generally safe; however the surroundings of the central railway station might be a bit intimidating, we recommend you use caution, particularly at night. As always, there are certain precautions that should be taken in order to ensure a smooth trip. Common sense is the most important tool to be used in staying safe. Beware of pickpockets, mostly in crowded buses and in the pedestrian streets. Do not leave any luggage out of view as it might disappear.

Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency used in Düsseldorf and all of Germany is the euro (€), US dollars are not accepted. ATMs and banks can be located all throughout town.

We recommend that you exchange a small amount of cash prior to your trip, enough for a cab ride or basic spending on arrival. It is also useful to remind your bank and credit card company that you will be travelling to make sure your cards will work while in Germany. We recommend you record all your credit card numbers, as well as the phone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen.

Under the euro system, there are seven notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros. Notes are the same for all countries. There are eight coins: 1 and 2 euros, plus 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents.

In Germany, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa are commonly accepted, with the latter two cards predominating. Note that many banks now assess a 1% to 3% `transaction fee` on all charges you incur abroad (whether you`re using the local currency or your native currency).

What is the weather like? When is the best time to visit?

Düsseldorf has a temperate climate with warm summers and cold winters; prolonged periods of frost or snow are rare. Rain, however, can fall at any point in the year, so it`s best to pack a variety of clothes. July and August, when the city is in holiday mood, is the best time to enjoy alfresco dining, while the Christmas Market offers a magical atmosphere to the Old Town in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

I don`t speak German. Will many people speak English?

German is the official language spoken in Düsseldorf. Hotel and restaurant staff in Düsseldorf likely speak enough that you can communicate your order or check into your hotel, but it`s always polite to at least try the local language. Younger people will more likely be able to speak English opposed to the older population. We suggest you get a good English-German guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.

What is the food/drink like?

The food in Düsseldorf is famous for its diversity and its deliciousness. The city offers a wide range of restaurants catering to every taste and budget, from Michelin-stars to snack bars. And although you`ll find just about every cuisine you can think of, you`ll want to be sure to try the traditional cuisine of Düsseldorf. Some of the local dishes are specialties of the state of North Rhine Westphalia (NRW), served with a special Düsseldorf touch. Below is a list of some must try dishes.

Halve Hahn: This simple, small, vegetarian dish consists of half a slice of rye bread with a dollop of butter and cheese. It is served with onions, pickle and mustard. In Dusseldorf, the cheese served with Halve Hahn is Mainz cheese, produced from skimmed and acidified milk, while other varieties of cheese are served elsewhere in NRW.

Rheinischer Sauerbraten: `Sauerbraten` (sour roast) was once traditionally cooked with horse meat, but it has now been replaced by beef, pork, venison or mutton. The meat is prepared by marinating in vinegar, wine, spices and herbs for a number of days before roasting it, which makes it juicy, sweet and sour and oh so soft. In Düsseldorf, sugar, beet syrup and raisins are added to the dish, and it is typically served with apple sauce, potato dumplings and cabbage.

Westfälischer Pickert: This has been a popular dish throughout the North Rhine region since the 18th-century. The dough for the pancake is made from potatoes, eggs and flour and is cooked over a pan. It is typically served with sugar, butter and marmalade, or with ground meat.

Himmel und Erde: The name of this dish translates to `sky and earth`, which is named after two of its most important ingredients: apples (from heaven) and potatoes (from the earth). This dish consists of black pudding, apple sauce, mashed potatoes and onions, with certain regional variations. In Dusseldorf, this dish is known as Himmel und Ähd, and thinly cut apple slices (often caramelized or sprinkled with powdered sugar) are served, instead of the more traditional apple sauce. Many restaurants in Dusseldorf also include sausages in the dish.

Grünkohlessen: A traditional German dish that is very popular here. This is a hearty dish that consists of kale, sausages, baked sweet potatoes, bacon and mustard. It is traditionally a wintertime dish and often associated with merriment and festivals.

Westfälische Rinderwurst: Made of beef sausage, vegetables, barley or oatmeal, butter and a variety of spices. In Dusseldorf this dish is served accompanied by bread and boiled potatoes, making it a very filling meal.

Rheinischer Döbbekooche: This is a potato cake that was historically consumed by poor people on St Martin`s Day when they couldn`t afford goose. It is made of grated potatoes, eggs, spices and onions, with sausages and bacon strips often added to it. The mix is then baked for a couple of hours giving it a crispy texture.

Westphalian Pumpernickel: A special bread belonging to the NRW region. It is made of rye flour, sugar beet syrup and malt extract. It is kneaded thoroughly and baked at a low temperature. Traditionally, it was baked for over 24 hours, giving it a brick-hard, burnt texture. But in modern times, it is baked for just a few hours, giving the bread a rustic appearance and a sweetish flavor.

Blutwurst, or blood sausage, is made from pork left over after slaughter. Other ingredients added to the dish include beef or mutton scraps, onions, oatmeal, milk, thyme and herbs. The dish is thickened with blood. The mix is then made into smoked or air-dried sausages.

Miesmuscheln: This is mussels cooked in white wine typically eaten accompanied by rye bread slathered in butter.

Beer seems to be the most common drink in Düsseldorf, named `Altbier` or simply `Alt.` This dark beer, served in small glasses, is available at practically any restaurant in the city. Altbier is only brewed in breweries around Düsseldorf. Some of the traditional breweries are the Uerige, Füchschen, Zum Schlüssel and Schumacher. In the old town you can enjoy all these beers at any traditional brewery restaurant.

What are the best areas for nightlife?

With hundreds of pubs crowding its streets, it`s no wonder Düsseldorf`s old town (Altstadt) has gained a reputation for being the `longest bar in the world`. The Old Town is a very lively place for a night out. In recent years, Medienhafen (Media Harbor) has become one of the very popular quarters for nightlife, especially during the summer. Other areas which are rather `non-touristic` include Pempelfort (Nordstraße), Unterbilk (Lorettostraße, Düsselstraße), Oberkassel (Luegallee), and Düsseltal (Rethelstraße).

What are the best areas for shopping?

Düsseldorf is a city of high fashion and high prices. Many chic Europeans visit the city just to shop for what`s new and hot. The opulent and trendy boulevard of `Ko` (short for Königsallee), bisected by an ornamental canal and fountains, is home of the top designer shops such as Cartier, Lacoste, Gucci, Chanel, Hugo Boss, Joop and Prada. The shopping center Kö-Galerie with around 100 shops is located at the Kö.

Those looking for a more inexpensive option for designer duds should head over to Schadow Arcade mall, off Schadowplatz, at the end of the Kö, home to more designer outlets. You`ll find a great selection of antique stores in Düsseldorf`s historic core, while Saks of 5th at Heinrich-Heine-Platz 1, occupies a terrific art nouveau building and is Düsseldorf`s top department stores. The Düsseldorf Bilk Arcaden attract shoppers with 120 shops, restaurants and a swimming pool.

For everday items, there`s a large daily market on Carlsplatz, at the southern edge of the Altstadt. The Altstadt is also home to the popular Christmas market that sets up each December.

Opening Hours: Shop opening times are generally Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm, with late opening on Thursday evening. Some shops close early on Saturday afternoon.

Tax Information: VAT is currently at 19%. Travelers who live outside the European Union can obtain a tax refund (www.globalblue.com) on goods bought in Germany by submitting the purchased goods and the original receipt to the customs office at the airport. The export certificate should then be taken to any of the five counters after the security check, where a cash refund is obtained. Note that a small fee will be charged on all refunds.

What is the DüsseldorfCard?

The DüsseldorfCard is a cheap and simple way of getting to know the city. This card offers free use of public transportation as well as free entrance to city museums, and reductions on city tours, boat rides, and opera and ballet tickets. Valid for 1 day, the welcome card costs about €9, 2 days is about €14, and a 3 day is €19. There are group/family rates available as well.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

Important phone numbers in emergency (dial without any local prefix all over Germany/always free of charge):

Medical emergency and fire department, dial 112

Police, dial 110

German medical facilities are among the best in the world. If a medical emergency arises, your hotel staff can usually put you in touch with a reliable doctor. If not, contact the American embassy or a consulate; each one maintains a list of English-speaking doctors. Medical and hospital services aren`t free, so be sure that you have appropriate insurance coverage before you travel.

Düsseldorf University Clinic, is the biggest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in Düsseldorf, Tel +49 211 8116132.