REGIONAL CITIES OF DÜSSELDORF
There are many cities to explore, drop by for some shopping or gather new impressions in the region close to Dusseldorf. This is, after all, the most densely populated area in Germany and visiting one of the large cities nearby can be quite rewarding. Whether travelling by car or by train, it is easy to discover the large urban region of the Ruhr. A thrill for city lovers are also the cities of Cologne and Bonn.
Duisburg is located just twenty minutes northeast of Dusseldorf. While not an especially beautiful place, it forms the western boundary of the Ruhr region and with almost half a million inhabitants is fairly large. Since 2005 a major regeneration program for the city centre has been underway and general improvements have already been achieved. The main shopping street, the Königstrasse, Kings Street, has been extensively rebuilt and upgraded. The bistros and restaurants in and around the impressively redeveloped harbour area are some of the best places to spend some time.
Essen can be found some twenty minutes further east from Duisburg and thirty minutes northeast of Düsseldorf. The core city of the Ruhr Metropolis and European Capital of Culture in 2010. Essen was the powerhouse of German heavy Industry and has managed economic transition to the service sector. The city remains one of the largest in Germany and has gained a reputation for its excellent shopping facilities. Not too many historical buildings stand today but the abbey and the synagogue are two remarkable premises in the city centre.
Passing twenty-five kilometres further East from Essen and arriving in Westphalia lies Dortmund. This eastern boundary of the Ruhr Area is a place to visit some medieval churches and the home of Borussia Dortmund, one of Germany’s most famous football clubs. The city grew dramatically during the industrial boom of coal and steel yet lost little of its charm.
Between Essen and Dortmund, lies Bochum, a medium-sized city that hosts the German Mining Museum, which is a rather fascinating institution about the region’s industrial past. The city’s residents are proud of their heritage straddled on the borders of Rhineland and Westphalia giving it an interesting mix of traits and characteristics. Add to that many cultures brought by immigrants from eastern and southern counties.
A big city feeling can be found further along the river Rhine to the south. Cologne is Germany’s fourth largest city after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich and just forty kilometres away from Düsseldorf. Its most famous landmark is without doubt the Cathedral, which houses the relicts of the Three Magi and became a World Heritage site in 1996. Other sights are the twelve Romanesque churches, the Roman-Germanic Museum and the Chocolate Museum. Its great nightlife and tolerant attitudes are good reasons to drop by.
The city of Bonn is not too far further south of Cologne. The former capital of West Germany became somewhat quieter after much of central government was moved to Berlin. The picturesque city centre, the Museum of the history of the Federal Republic of Germany still attract thousands of visitors and the international flair of the city’s past is still alive. Many international companies and NGOs have their German headquarters here. A cosmopolitan atmosphere and the feel of a prosperous, clean German city are omnipresent.
By Vincent Green, Aug 9 2013
Germans, on the whole, love and respect pets and are friendly towards dogs. Dogs are permitted on public transport and inside restaurants but keeping a pet on a leash is a must. Dog ownership in Düsseldorf is highly regulated and taxed through a compulsory licence fee.
A great way to get to know Düsseldorf is to take an inspiring and rewarding walk, allow impressions to cause a pause, interact and allow details to remain more memorable. Admiring quaint side streets, strolling the promenade, the riverside or numerous woodlands bring joy to the soul.