I’d heard mixed reviews about Dusseldorf before I actually went there. It didn’t seem to be much of a tourist destination and my friends who had been there for work-related reasons had said that it was quite industrial and they weren’t big fans. My experience of Dusseldorf was quite different. I found some beautiful areas and met some great people. Apparently, the city is a great base from which to visit other places in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, due to its handy train links. I didn’t get the chance to take advantage of that but the city had enough to keep me occupied. I’ll admit that Dusseldorf may not be the ultimate holiday destination, but if you’re looking for stop-offs on a Europe trip or for a destination for a weekend break it is definitely a city you shouldn’t under-estimate.
This post is part of my series of city guides, designed to give you a bit of an introduction into the city in question: activities, accommodation, transport, restaurants, food and nightlife. It’ll also basically act as a contents page for everything I’ve ever written about the place. I visited Dusseldorf in August 2014 for a two-week work placement at a company based in the city’s Medienhafen. Not only was it my first experience of working abroad but it was also the only time I have travelled solo. I wasn’t sure what to expect in Dusseldorf but I was pleasantly surprised. Admittedly, it is not the kind of place you’d go on your summer holiday but if you are travelling around Germany, or Europe in general, I’d definitely recommend stopping off. Dusseldorf is also a good base to visit other cities in the state. Alternatively, if you are flicking through Ryanair’s flights, looking for a good deal for a city break, then you should seriously consider Dusseldorf. The city is also a hub for business so if you …
23rd-30th August 2014 I was reliably informed that Dusseldorf is a great base to visit other places in the state. Sadly, I only had one weekend in the city so I decided to stay put- I guess I’ll just have to go back so I can explore more of Nordrhein-Westfalen. I started my Saturday morning on a hunt for Marmite. I should explain. Earlier in the week I had met the Australian, who was also interning at the firm. One thing led to another and before I knew it, the Marmite-Vegemite debate had reared its head. He had Vegemite, I therefore needed Marmite so that we could place them side-by-side in the kitchen for a mite-off. I tracked down an international store that sold it so off I marched, bright and early. After almost an hour (I made a slight accidental detour, aka I got a bit lost), I found the place. It had closed down. Perfect, apparently the office would never know the joys of Marmite.
20th-29th August 2014 My stay in Dusseldorf quickly settled into a routine and I loved my time at the firm, which had a friendly and collegiate atmosphere, not to mention the fantastic views of the River Rhine and the surrounding city. I spent my days working, attending law talks, touring the Landtag and visiting the courts. The events were all held in German but between my fellow interns kindly helping me to translate, the presentation slides and my basic knowledge of the language, I managed to get a general gist and my listening slowly improved- although I was still pretty happy to discover that one of the talks was going to be held in English. I had that one down.
18-19 August 2014 Despite the fact that I have travelled quite a bit, I still encounter travelling-firsts. On Sunday, I ticked off two more: working abroad and travelling solo. I feel that the latter is something I should have done already . Sure, I’ve flown alone, I’ve stayed in hostels alone and I’ve even spent almost an entire day alone- but it’s not quite the same. I always knew I had a friendly face close by.