Rivalry between Düsseldorf and Cologne
There is a rivalry between the two neighbors on the Rhine River, Düsseldorf and Cologne, that is clearly evident in beer distribution. Although Düsseldorf is only about 30 minutes away from Cologne by train, it is very rare to see a Kölsch in Düsseldorf -- or an Altbier in Cologne. I was told that it could be dangerous to order the wrong beer in either city.
WC (Water Closet) is Designation for Rest Rooms
In Germany, you won't see signs for rest rooms. Instead, look for signs for WC which stands for Water Closet. Be sure to note that Herren refers to men and Damen refers to women.
Also, it is a good idea to carry some pocket change with you at all times because public toilets in Germany are generally not free. On the positive side, the WC's in Germany are generally clean and well-maintained.
Sarcastic Köbes (waiters) in Altbier pubs
It is a Düsseldorf tradition for the Köbes (waiters) in the Altbier pubs to be somewhat sarcastic. It is done in a fun, lighthearted way -- and it adds to the atmosphere. I encountered a little bit of this Köbe tradition at a bar on the Rhine promenade with VTers Sabs and Thomas. On that occasion, our Köbe was a young guy who loved to talk -- and we were some of his only customers on a rainy afternoon. After a few Altbiers, he asked me whether I wanted another. In reply, I told him that I would prefer a glass of mineral water in the next round. Upon hearing this, he told Sabs and Thomas in German that he would bring me a toothbrush with my water. I'm sure this type of line is typical for the Düsseldorf Köbes, but it was very funny to me as a visitor to Düsseldorf.
Germany is well-known for its Christmas markets. Every year, thousands of people come to Germany around Christmas time to visit them.
Of course, Duesseldorf has its own Christmas markets. From around mid November to about the day before Christmas you can visit the St. Nicholas market on the Market Place in front of the Town Hall or the Christmas market on the Schadowplatz near the famous Koeningsallee.
The Christmas markets are open daily from 11:30 am to 8 pm.
Christmas time is wonderful in Düsseldorf, there are Christmas markets all over the city center. You get lots of food, sweets, hot drinks with a tiny little bit of alcool in it (you only notice after 3 cups or so), gifts, traditonal decorations for your home, lights everywhere, people enjoying themselves, meeting up for a drink after work or after an exhausting day of shopping, and the top of the Kö becomes the location for ice skating.
My favorite Christmas market is the one on Schadowplatz with a fantastic stand with yummy Feuerzangen-Bowle ( a hot drink made of red wine, rum and sugar). Check out their webpage:
Every year the is a little Finland village close to Schadowplatz as well, with food and drink and clothes and ice sculptures - see picture.
On weekends by the way, you will not see that many locals - the city is taken over by our Dutch and Belgian neighbours who come in huge buses and spend their money here. Town is very busy on these days (last weekend they counted 250 buses with visitors), but everyone seems to enjoy themselves!
PS: 3 cups of Glühwein is enough, 4 is too much! Even if you have something to eat in between.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
Düsseldorf is a city of arts.
There is an important arts university, there have been famous painters here in the past (Klee, Beuys), and there is an exciting contemporary arts scene today (Immendorf). Galleries and museums in every corner.
Having the choice I normally miss all the interesting exhibition and suddenly realise they are already over. I managed to go to a small but fabulous photo exhibition with photos taken by Nickolas Muray of his lover Frida Kahlo. Wonderful pictures!
Exhibition is running on the first floor of the NRW Forum until January 2005.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Night of the Museums
This year I attended the night of the museums for the first time, and I really loved it! You buy a ticket for 11 Euro and with that you have free entry to many many museums and galleries and you are also allowed to you use the shuttle buses.
It's not just that the museums are open until 3 in the morning! There are bands playing, there are special guided tours to special topics or with guides in old costumes, there are lectures and workshops.
You can buy food and drinks in most places which is sometimes quite expensive. But at the "main shuttle bus station" you can buy an espresso for 50 cent -you survive if you take one whenever you drop by. And some beer every now and then helps as well.
Our "itinerary" was:
- the House of Architects with some models of a medieval castle and an ancient arab city, with medieval musicians
- the Comtoise Clock Museum
- the Kunsthalle (art museum) with an electronic piano music performance
- the Goethe Museum with a guided tour focused on the Italian Journey
- the Malkasten
- watching open air commercials at the Ehrenhof
- NRW Forum with an exhibtion of "the red sofa"
- Maritime Museum with interesting exhibition and a drink high above the Rhine - one of the most beautiful views over Düsseldorf (that was around midnight!)
- Museum of the City, with a reading session by Düsseldorf author Eckert, reading from his criminal stories dealing with murders in Düsseldorf, and a great cover band playing like mad
- Ceramics museum - verrrry boring
- film museum, watching stan&ollie movies, around 2 a.m.
--taking a taxi home at 2.45 and falling into bed
What a great night!!Related to:
- Arts and Culture
An Olympic dream...
Düsseldorf was one of the German candidates who wanted to host the 2012 Olympic games ......... the colours of "our" bid were all over the city --- before the national olympic committee decided to give the vote for Leipzig. :-(
Too bad. I kind of got used to the colours of the logo everywhere. The people and businesses of Düsseldorf supported the games in Düsseldorf. See my "Olympic dream" travelogue to see how!
Among all the other street performers that are around during the summer there are quite a few organ grinders around in Duesseldorf. Some of them have very fancy barrel-organs, and they are often all dressed up with tophats and the lot.Related to:
- Theater Travel
Vorsprung durch technik...
Wow, in Dusseldorf they have shopping carts that won't run away down the escalator between the floors. We were amazed by this and could play for hours just going up and down... At home you'd need 6 guys holding back the trolley, otherwise granny would get killed as it goes careering down the escalator!
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I was really surprised of some advertisements those people use, I mean those people figures on the top of the cylinder advertising columns. Does somebody know?Related to:
- Arts and Culture
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Stayed here on business for 2.5 months during mid 2009. 4 star services - very comfortable rooms...more
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