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Düsseldorf's transport system is a vast and somewhat confusing system of trams, busses and underground trains (more like trams that spend some time underground). There is also a similarly bewildering array of tickets to choose from, from simple single tickets at €1.10 to monthly tickets to the "Ticket 2000 9.00 am by subscription" (whatever that is). The day ticket is probably your best bet, and at €7 for up to 5 adults (Zone A) on the same ticket is an absolute bargain if you are in a group. Zone A will cover you for practically everything you might, as a tourist, want to see in the city. If you are in doubt, just ask at the tourist information centre.
Like Cologne, Düsseldorf is building a new subway
All you loyal readers of my Cologne page (thanks again to both of you) may recall that in March 2009 the Cologne city archive building collapsed, killing two people and damaging or destroying numerous historical documents. By coincidence a new subway line is being built right in front of where the archive building used to be, but Cologne city officials indignantly denied that the subway had anything to do with the building's collapse.
It turned out, however, that shoddy construction practices had seriously destabilized the tunnel walls. Large metal clamps that were supposed to hold the walls in place had not been built in, but had been stolen and sold as scrap metal, and the daily construction reports had been systematically falsified.
Now it happens that Düsseldorf, 55 kilometers downstream from Cologne, is also building a new subway line. The same construction companies are involved, and even some of the same workers have been working on both projects. The daily construction reports in Düsseldorf have been falsified just as in Cologne, and the state's attorney is investigating allegations that also in Düsseldorf essential building materials have been stolen and sold. So presumably the Düsseldorf tunnel is also in danger of collapsing at some point, just as the one in Cologne did.
Both of these new subway projects are quite controversial, by the way. Critics consider them to be mainly prestige projects and a way of freeing up the streets for more and faster cars, to the detriment of us non-motorized human beings.
This tip is especially for those who stay close to the Dusseldorf Fair (Messe). The station is called Messe Est and U-bahn 78 and 79 pass through it. The main destination is Altstadt (the old city) and the journey takes around 15min.
- Business Travel
Trams and underground trains
Düsseldorf has a very efficient system of thirteen tram lines and seven underground (subway) lines, not counting the controversial new one that is just being built (previous tip).
For us opera-goers it is very easy to use the public transport system, because each opera ticket also allows us to take public transport to and from the opera house on the night of the performance.
Small Underground Subway Line
In Düsseldorf, there is a small U-Bahn line that is an underground subway. I took it once from the Koenigsallee area back to the Hauptbahnhof. It was a quick ride -- definitely shorter and easier than walking!
Excellent trams and buses
Of all of the German cities that I visited, I was most impressed with Düsseldorf's system of public transportation. Within the city, there is an extensive network of trams and buses that are easy to use, clean, comfortable, and safe. Therefore, a visitor to Düsseldorf can easily and inexpensively get around the city without having to rent a car.
Düsseldorf (and actually all of Northrhine Westphalia) has a great public transport system. The company that runs the system is called "Rheinbahn".
You can use trams, busses or the subway within Düsseldorf. Tickets aren't exactly cheap. A single ticket is €2,10! If you are travelling in a group the better deal is to get a day ticket. It costs € 10,60 and it works as group ticket for five people! A day ticket for one person costs 4,90.
Be careful! Night service is a bit on the weak side so trams stop running around midnight during the week and you will get home best by taxi. At the weekend some trams run until 2 in the morning but the system is quite confusing. In autumn 2006 they finally invented the wheel in Düsseldorf: There are night busses now! I haven't tried them yet but I will let you know once I did.
The S-Bahn will bring you to all the other big places around (like Cologne, Essen, Dortmund etc) or to the airport.
Düsseldorf has a good public tram system, but I stayed in the central city area and didn't really need to take advantage of it. However, if I'd gone out to the Museum Kunst Palast I would have gone on a tram.
Took the train from Koln to Dusseldorf and bought a train ticket that was also good for the public transport in Dusseldorf. I was glad that I did as the metro/tram system was straight-forward and the train station is a decent ways from the city center.
learn to cope with ticket-machines and schedules
A significant difference to other Multi-cultural-centres like London or New York:
In London English is spoken in Public, in busses etc. in spite of all the people from different continents. In Dusseldorf, at many places nowadays, neither German, nor English, French or Spanish is spoken. You may ask several people how to get to x and y place and you never get a sufficient reply even if you used your german you once studied hardly at school.
Although all children learned English at school for min. 4 years since the 1960 - no one dares to use it due to lack of practise. The problem is (like with the french) that all intern. movies and TV serials are synchronised. We never hear English reading german subtitles on TV or at cinema. A big disadvantage nowadays.
That's why I recommend you to study the system of schedules and maps and display. It is easy to understand but you need 10-20 minutes of concentration to get through it.
- Budget Travel
new tickets and prices effective January 2006
All tickets for public transport are valid on city- and regional trains (S-Bahn, RE, RB), trams incl. Underground, busses.
A : Dusseldorf incl. Kaiserswerth (north) and Benrath (south)
B : Wuppertal, Duisburg, Monchengladbach
C : Dortmund, Hagen, Hamm, Munster, Bielefeld
Suitable tickets for single-travellers are in A (you stay within Dusseldorf):
one way - single ticket = Euro 2,- --- expensive
one way - 4 pack------- = Euro 6,90 -better but still too much
day ticket------------------ = Euro 4,70 - NOT a 24h ticket, valid from morning until 3am
day ticket - 4 pack -----= Euro 16,90 - choose all days on your own, suitable also for groups
Suitable tickets for groups or several travellers:
day ticket - 4 pack -----= Euro 16,90 - 2 adults travel on two days or 4 adults on 1 day
group day ticket - single= Euro 10,20 - up to 5 adults, worth buying for 3 adults or families
supplement tickets: if going to Neanderthal or whereever
supplem. - single ------= Euro 1,90
supplem. - 4 pack ------= Euro 7,60
The transportation company 'Rheinbahn' is located opposite of the central station.
Buy tickets at Ticket machines at tram-stops or inside trams. Busses and trains have no Ticket machines so far. In busses you cannot purchase economic 4 pack-tickets. No ticket sale in trains but at all railway station (machines only).
- Budget Travel
Only the Germans can do it like this
As usual,in most German towns the Public transport system is a joy to behold.
There really is no need to use a car in Dusseldorf itself. If you arrive at the airport it is directly connected by an S-Bahn train. If you arrive by train (and Dusseldorf is a major connection on the German rail network) then the old-town is just three minutes away on the U-Bahn.
The U-bahn is quite unusual : in the centre of town it operates like a metro train with easy floor-level access, but once out of the centre it operates as a normal street-tram.
Coming from a country like England, it never fails to amaze me how well intergrated, clean and well organised the whole operation is.
The Welcome Card
For as little as 9 euros you can get 24 hours of free transport in the city, along with large discounts (sometimes even free entry) to the main attractions. Because I slept a large part of my first day in the city, and because I didn't find the transport system all that useful or easy to use, I don't think I got my money's worth out of it. However, if you organise yourself and do some fairly hardcore sightseeing, you will easily make the purchase worthwhile. The best part of the deal, apart from the free city transport, is the free entry to the Rhine Tower (a must see) and the half price entry to the K20 and K21 art museums. Just visiting those three sites would pay for the 24 hour ticket alone.
You can buy the WelcomeCard from the Dusseldorf Tourist information offices, many of the hotels and cultural institutes and also the manned sales points of the Rheinbahn public transport system. When you get the card just fill in your name on the back and the time you want it to start. Unlike ordinary travel tickets you don't need to validate it, and you are unlikely to ever have to show it.
Price: 9, 14 and 19 euros for 24, 48 and 72 hours respectively. Double the price for the "group ticket", which covers three adults, or two adults and two children (up to 14).
Call: +49 (0)211 17 202-854
Transportation to Dusseldorf
Dusseldorf is in the heart of the Rhine industrial area, about half way between the cities of Essen and Koln. This region is full of najor highways, making driving easy.
If you don't have a car (or even if you do) trains might be your best bet. There are 15-20 trains per day Between the major cities in the area, they are inexpensive, and you don't have to worry about parking!
Boats on the Rhine are also available.
Trams and Buses
Düsseldorf, and all of Northrhine Westphalia, has a plethora of public transport to use which is run by the "Rheinbahn" company.
Single tickets can work out dear at €1,80 a go but if travelling in a group a great bargain is the day rover ticket at € 6,55.
Buses, trams (old and new) metro and S-Bahn can all be used. Service on trams mya be resticted after midnight.
Now Sabsi had never seen a ticket inspector on a tram......until we viisted! They did random checks and an inspector got on at each dor of the tram - so no-one could make a sharp exit! So play safe, get a ticket and get it validated on board.
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Düsseldorf Travel Guide
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