Located in Western Germany, Düsseldorf is a renowned city for its art scene and fashion industry. One of Germany’s wealthiest cities, Düsseldorf is also known for its luxury shopping on Königsallee (King’s Avenue), a mile-long street of big-name designer boutiques. History lovers will appreciate the city too, especially Altstadt (Old Town), which lies on the east bank of the Rhine River, as well as the 13th-century Schlossturm (Castle Tower) and St. Lambertus Church. Enjoy beautiful city views from Rhine Tower, which houses a revolving restaurant. And for accommodations, you’ll find plenty of hotels and vacation rentals in the city that are worthy to check out. You can choose to stay in one of the wellness hotels for a pampering experience. If you feel like taking a break from the city, check out some of the top day trips from Dusseldorf, Germany.
Zons is a charming and picturesque town located in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Its well-preserved medieval architecture and winding streets are a delight to explore, and you can easily spend hours strolling through the town’s narrow alleys and admiring the historic buildings.
One of the highlights of a visit to Zons is the impressive Zonser Gracht, a moat that encircles the town and dates back to the 14th century. Stroll along the banks or even rent a boat and explore the waterway.
For history buffs, Zons is also home to the fascinating Schloss Burg, a restored medieval castle that now houses a museum. The castle’s imposing towers and ramparts are a testament to its former grandeur, and a tour of its interior will take you on a journey through centuries of history. After a day’s worth of exploring, returning to a wellness hotel in North Rhine-Westphalia will certainly be rewarding.
Wuppertal is a hidden gem in western Germany known for its unique suspension railway system, the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn. A ride on the Schwebebahn (SkyTrain) offers stunning city views as you glide above the streets. Visitors can also explore the historic old town, with its winding streets and traditional architecture. The city is also home to several museums, including the Von der Heydt Museum, which houses an impressive collection of art ranging from the Middle Ages to contemporary times.
Wuppertal is also an excellent destination for nature lovers, with several parks and gardens to explore, including the expansive Hardt-Anlagen Park. The park features several walking and cycling paths, a zoo and a botanical garden.
3. Cologne, Germany
Cologne is a 54-minute or 49.4-km (30.7-mi) drive from Düsseldorf via the A59 motorway (Bundesautobahn 59). This beautiful city dates back 2,000 years and nestles along Rhine River. It is known as the cultural hub for the western region, and one impressive landmark is the reconstructed Old Town—or Aldstadt—which features High Gothic architecture, including Cologne Cathedral. The cathedral is renowned for its gilded medieval reliquary and offers river views. Right next door is Museum Ludwig, where 20th-century art can be seen, including a number of masterpieces by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. Another museum of interest is Romano-Germanic Museum, with its exhibits of Roman antiquities from Cologne’s past.
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4. Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Eindhoven is in the Netherlands and is a 1-hour, 56-minute—or 115.9-km (72-mi)—road trip from Düsseldorf on the A67 motorway. Located in North Brabant in Southern Netherlands, Eindhoven is a design and technology hub. The city was the birthplace of Philips Electronics. The company built the renowned Philips Stadium in the city, which is the home of the PSV soccer team. The history of the company can be viewed at Philips Museum. Van Abbemuseum close by offers exhibits relating to art and design. DAF Museum in Eindhoven features trucks and automobiles. For those seeking design shops and upmarket restaurants, Strijp-s, a former industrial complex, is the place to go. Families will enjoy a visit to Dierenrijk, an interactive city zoo, which is aimed at entertaining children.
5. Neandertal (Neander Valley), Germany
Neandertal or Neander Valley is a 37-minute or 21.6-km (13.4-mi) drive from Düsseldorf on the A46 motorway (Bundesautobahn 46). Neandertal is located on River Düssel in a small valley in North Rhine-Westphalia, close to the towns of Mettmann and Erkrath. The valley got its name from the first site discovered of Neanderthal man, and a museum has been built on the location, in Mettmann. A fascinating exhibit relating to human evolution can be explored, as well as an archaeological park on the actual discovery site, an art trail dubbed “human traces,” and a Stone Age workshop. The museum also features realistic models of Neanderthal man.
6. Ruhr Area, Germany
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Ruhr Area is roughly an 80-minute drive from Düsseldorf on the A42 motorway (Bundesautobahn 42). Ruhr Area (Ruhrgebiet)—or Ruhr Valley—is located in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The area encompasses several cities, including Dortmund, Essen, and Duisburg, among others. Dortmund is known for Westfalen Stadium, home of the Borussia soccer team, while close by, Westfalen Park houses Florian Tower, offering an observation platform with views over the city. Dortmund U-Tower can be clearly seen in the city, marked with a giant letter U at its summit—and which contains Museum Ostwall, exhibiting contemporary art.
Essen is home to Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, which has been overhauled to contain a number of museums. Duisburg is home to a large harbor, with a waterfront nightlife and dining district. Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord was an ironworks and has been transformed into a park with rope courses and trails.
7. Bonn, Germany
Located in Western Germany and straddling the Rhine River, just 75.7 km (47 mi) from Dusseldorf, Bonn is a historic and cultural city. It is home to the central Beethoven House, a museum and memorial to the composer, who was born there. Other buildings of interest include the Bonn Minster church with its Gothic elements and Romanesque cloister. The old city hall, or Altes Rathaus, is beautiful, in shades of pink and gold, while a mineralogical museum nestles in the baroque Poppelsdof Palace.
If you make this your destination for a weekend trip from Dusseldorf, be sure to visit Drachenfels Hill which features a cog railway and castle ruins to view. Those interested in post-World War II history can visit Haus der Geschichte.
Roermond is located in the Netherlands and is a 48-minute, or 63.8-km (39.6-mi), drive from Düsseldorf on the A52 motorway (Autoroute 52). Roermond is the ideal shopping destination, with over 200 outlet stores to choose from, selling popular clothing labels at discounts of up to 70%, as well as many cafés and restaurants. Besides shopping, the city has much in the way of architecture and museums to explore, including the Munsterkerk church, with its Romanesque architecture, and St. Christopher’s Cathedral. Cuypershuis Museum is dedicated to architect Pierre Cuypers, who designed Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Amsterdam Central Station. Cuypers was born in Roermond and also restored Ridderzaal in The Hague, including a throne from which the Dutch king gives speeches each year.
Duration: 8 hours
9. Essen, Germany
Essen is located a 33-minute, or 35.4-km (22-mi), drive from Düsseldorf on the A52 motorway (Bundesautobahn 52). Located in Ruhr Area, Essen has many fascinating locations to visit, besides Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, mentioned earlier. Botanischer Garten Grugapark is a lovely botanical garden and park created in 1927, with an aviary and a nature school for children. Baldeneysee is a lake in the city, offering a range of outdoor recreation options, including picnics and boating. Meanwhile, Villa Hügel is an industrialist’s manor house from the 19th century, built for Alfred Krupp between 1870 and 1873. The large mansion is surrounded by Hügel Park, manicured gardens just waiting to be explored.
10. Koblenz, Germany
The journey from Düsseldorf to Koblenz takes around 1 hour 41 minutes—to travel the 152.8 km (95 mi) via the A61 motorway (Bundesautobahn 61). Spread over both banks of Rhine River, where it meets the Moselle, Koblenz was originally established as a Roman military post in around 8 BC. Of interest to explore in the city is Deutsches Eck, a giant statue placed at the confluence of the two rivers. There are many historic buildings in Koblenz, including Ehrenbreitstein Fortress from the 19th century, with a museum. The fortress can be accessed with the Koblenz cable car, connecting the banks of the Rhine with the hill where the fortress stands. One of the romantic castles of Germany, Stolezenfels Castle, stands above the Rhine.
11. Königswinter Bahnhof (Königswinter Station), Germany
The train journey from Düsseldorf’s main station to the historic Königswinter Bahnhof (Königswinter Station) takes approximately 1 hour and 18 minutes, with around 34 trains running each day. The station was built on East Rhine Railway in 1870 in the city of Königswinter, in the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis district, and is protected as a national monument.
This day trip from Düsseldorf by train allows you to be nicely acquainted with this popular summer resort city that sure has many attractions, including Drachenfels Hill’s cog railway and castle. Another castle can also be marveled at Siebengebirge, a mountain with hiking trails, a volcano, and ruins. The kids will enjoy SEA LIFE Königswinter, with its many marine and oceanic exhibits.
12. Aachen, Germany
Aachen is an excellent city to visit near Dusseldorf. It is strategically located along the borders of Belgium and The Netherlands. The drive from Düsseldorf takes around an hour to travel 81.9 km (51 mi) on the A44 motorway (Bundesautobahn 44).
For points of interest to visit in this spa city, you can explore Aachen Cathedral, which was built around AD 800. The cathedral contains Domschatzkammer, or treasury, which protects many medieval artifacts, including the shrine of Charlemagne, interred there in AD 814. The building lies close to the baroque Aachen town hall, Aachener Rathaus, with its 19th-century frescoes. The fountains of Elisenbrunnen are filled with sulfurous water from the natural springs in the city.
Maasmechelen Village in Belgium is a 1-hour, 9-minute—or 102.9-km (64-mi)—drive from Düsseldorf on the A52 motorway (Bundesautobahn 52). This is a shopping destination, with more than 100 boutiques to choose from, selling wares from the world’s leading designers. The village also features a number of cafes and restaurants, where visitors can enjoy the local cuisine or relax with good coffee.
Duration: 8 hours
Experience the history and splendor of Düsseldorf
Explore everything this renowned German city has to offer in the way of art, architecture, museums, and more. There are plenty of things to do and as well as things to buy in Düsseldorf. Also spend time exploring further afield in Germany, The Netherlands, and Belgium by taking some of these best day trips from Düsseldorf.
Frequently asked questions about the day trips from Dusseldorf, Germany
1. What are some of the best places to visit near Dusseldorf?
For an immersive time touring around Dusseldorf, make sure to visit: i) Cologne for its gothic architecture, ii) Eindhoven for its many museums, iii) Essen if you’re a nature lover, and iv) Aachen to enjoy soothing soaks in natural springs.
2. What are some of the best day trip activities from Dusseldorf?
To fully enjoy your trip to the neighboring sites of Dusseldorf, include these pursuits in your itinerary: i) rent a boat and explore the waterway of Zons, North Rhine-Westphali, ii) ride the Schwebebahn (SkyTrain) in Wüppertal, iii) go museum-hopping in Eindhoven, and iv) take pleasure in views of Ruhr Area from Westfalen Park houses Florian Tower.
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