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Supermarket door

Supermarkets in Düsseldorf and Germany as a whole have improved markedly recently, having learned from the demands of clientele to meet expectations in alignment with international standards. Products are presented in a brighter environment, aided by more generous aisles and a somewhat open and friendlier style.

Stores are often still seen slotted into small buildings in city neighbourhoods. However, newer premises are larger, often erected on the peripheries with plenty of space for both shopping and parking.

Staff attitudes towards their clientele and service levels have also changed for the better. Younger staff with positive attitudes and cheerful manners have inspired colleagues willing to change. Thankfully, customers also seem to respect employees far more than even just a few years ago.

The sector is split between companies offering a wider assortment of brands as well as the famous German discount chains, known and respected in other European countries too. The challenge of lower prices is cited as a major factor in improvements.

Netto and Penny are in the midfield and generally considered to be less expensive, while discount giants Lidl and Aldi tend to offer better deals. Real presents larger supermarkets on the outskirts of the city.

Rewe was noticeable in leading the way on redesigning their supermarkets. Edeka is taking a dual approach with stores sometimes challenging, yet their Zurheide offering a shopping experience in alignment found abroad. For instance, in the US, UK, France, Finland and Estonia, to name just a few. Their enormous store in the city centre is a favourite for international produce to the delight of many expats. 

By Vincent Green, Jul 12 2020

Two cups of coffee on a table


Staying in touch and meeting with other international residents in a similar situation can be important. Socialising in Düsseldorf can include relevant events, international clubs, popular spots and expat groups on social media.

Plastic recycling


Recycling starts in the home. Aiming to save important resources, the Germans are famous for having one of the most complex and detailed recycling systems. They introduced deposits very early on. Coloured bins are available for separation at home and in the streets.

Public Transport

The public transport system in Düsseldorf is safe and normally efficient. A dense network of trams, Strassenbahn, above and below ground as well as buses serve the city and its suburbs. Links via the S-Bahn train system reach further outlying areas and some neighbouring communities.