My first trip to Germany was a revelation. I absolutely loved it.
But this new tradition isn’t all about Christmas, it’s about exploring a new city too. In the kind of way we could all enjoy at any time of year.
So what did I like about Düsseldorf? Well, lots actually. Certain parts of the city are extremely picturesque and the swish and swanky shopping street of Königsallee (where we stayed) was lovely for a stroll, even though I could only afford to window shop.
Then there was the Altstadt (Old Town). Largely pedestrianised, it’s easy to wander about while you concentrate on looking up and around. Just as well really, because this part of town is home to what’s known as the longest bar in the world – a street where almost all the establishments are of the watering hole variety; not the kind of place where you want to deal with traffic as you pass from one side of the road to the other!
You also need to get involved with Düsseldorf’s breweries, which are perfect places to refuel with both food and drink (these breweries offer nourishment that’s the very definition of comfort eating, and a glass of altbier washes it down a treat).
The local brew is all you’ll be sipping, so you may well get your first drink put in front of you before you even have chance to ask for it as we did in the Uerige brewery. Nowt wrong there in my opinion!
But aside from the beer, there’s more waiting to be discovered. Like the beautiful church of St Lambertus with its twisted spire (the fault of a fibbing virgin bride?) and the tower in Burgsplatz that was once part of a palace.
Then of course, there’s the Rhine. Wonderful to walk along in winter, I got the sense that in summer, the banks would really come alive in the most beautifully buzzy way.
In the end it was with a heavy heart that I left Düsseldorf, because I enjoyed every minute of my short but sweet weekend. And it’s a rather unexpected addition to the list of places I think I could happily live in.
Germany, you’re without doubt one of my new favourites.
Would you like to visit this city? And what other German gems would you suggest I spend a weekend in next? Let me know in the comments!