The stunning German city of Dusseldorf transformed from a small fishing village into a cosmopolitan metropolis and the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is known for its booming fashion industry and art scene, as well as the iconic Old Town with narrow streets and alleyways alluring many visitors. The area is home to countless shops and numerous city treasures that will allow you to discover a piece of Dusseldorf’s history.
Begin your adventure at the city’s oldest building, the St. Lambertus church. It was founded in 1288 and constructed in the Lower Rhine brick Gothic style. Then, continue at the Rathaus, the Old Town Hall, which has been located in the north area of the central marketplace for almost 450 years. Some of the best museums in Dusseldorf, art galleries, and other cultural attractions and spectacular landmarks are also within a short walking distance of each other. It’s a true paradise for historians, art lovers, or anyone looking for something new to see and experience.
Coming to the city via Dusseldorf Central Station? If you plan to arrive early to make the most of your trip, leave your bags at Bounce luggage storage in Dusseldorf. It guarantees a safe and convenient place to store your belongings until you can check in to your hotel.
The Kunstpalast is a civic museum initially erected at Ehrenhof in 1902 for a major industry, trade, and art exhibition. It was redesigned in 1926, along with NRW-Forum, Rheinterrassen, and Tonhalle, to create an ensemble of Art Décor buildings to house an exhibition on social care, physical exercise, and health care.
Today, the museum brings together a multitude of historical periods and artistic genres through sculptures, paintings, drawings, and prints from the Middle Ages to early modern periods. It also contains an impressive glass collection, applied arts and design, Islamic and Japanese art, and many more.
Art lovers and fans of music, literary events, and concerts can enjoy a visit to Kunstpalast. See if there’s any event at the chamber music hall, as Robert Schumann Saal often hosts an array of events, including readings, literature and music events, and classical and jazz concerts. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM and extends until 9 PM on Thursdays.
Location: Ehrenhof 4-5, 40479 Düsseldorf, Germany
Kunst im Tunnel
Situated beneath the Rhine Promenade in an area nestled between two road tunnels, Kunst im Tunnel (KIT) is a spectacular contemporary art museum and meeting place in Dusseldorf. It’s an unassuming space, but below the concrete walls are works of up-and-coming young contemporary artists.
At the entrance is a glass pavilion facing the river Rhine on the Promenade. It features the KIT Café and a terrace where you can chill on a warm afternoon. Take the lift or the stairs, and you’ll see a large exhibition space displaying works by emerging artists, including installation art, paintings, photography, video art, and sculptures. It features four to six alternative exhibitions each year, so you’ll always find something new whenever you visit.
Besides the displays, take your time to admire the architecture. There are also guided tours and workshops available regularly. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and on holidays between 11 AM to 6 PM.
Location: Mannesmannufer 1b, 40213 Düsseldorf, Germany
Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum Dusseldorf
A museum may seem boring for kids, but not the city’s famous Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum. After all, what’s not to love about a zoo and museum in one? Exploring it is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Dusseldorf with kids. It is open daily except on Mondays, but you might want to skip your visit on Saturday, as it gets pretty crowded.
This cultural attraction combines an aquarium, a zoo, and a natural history museum. Its permanent exhibition focuses on biological diversity’s evolution, featuring twenty-five themed rooms. Its highlights include a massive shark aquarium, a sperm whale skeleton, a tropical hall with lush vegetation, extraordinary insects, crocodiles, and more. You’ll also find around 500 species, from chameleons and turtles to sharks, penguins, and stingrays.
Location: Kaiserswerther Straße 380, 40474 Düsseldorf, Germany
The Hetjens Museum
A historic ceramic museum located in the impressive Palais Nesselrode, the Hetjens Museum collects, researches, preserves, and displays the history of ceramics from around the world. The museum displays collections from Africa, pre-Columbian America, East Asia, the Middle East, and the Medieval era. It’s regarded as the most universal museum of its kind, with quality displays of up to 8,000 years old.
Check the schedule to see what temporary exhibitions are available during your visit. But no matter what time of the year you visit, a permanent exhibition in the palace includes the Ernst Schneider porcelain collection, featuring silver, porcelain, and silver from the 18th century. There are also guided tours, workshops, and family-friendly events.
The Hetjens Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 11 AM to 5 PM, and extends until 9 PM on Wednesday. There’s also a library and a shop where you can find interesting gifts and souvenirs.
Location: Schulstraße 4, 40213 Düsseldorf, Germany
The Schifffahrtmuseum is a maritime museum that chronicles the Rhine’s shipbuilding history, ecology, and role in trade and travel. It is one of the country’s oldest inland navigation museums, featuring films, restored shop models, archives, photographs, and a multimedia show.
This nautical museum specializes in presenting objects related to ships and illustrations of the Rhine. It has been housed in Schlossturm since 1984. The Castle Tower, an iconic city landmark on the riverside, is the only remnant of the castle constructed in the 16th century. Besides the exhibits, visitors can enjoy refreshments at the café on the top floor overlooking the Old Town. The museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday between 11 AM to 6 PM.
Location: Burgplatz 30, 40213 Düsseldorf, Germany
Sammlung Philara is a privately owned museum situated in the vibrant Flingern district. The area used to be an industrial wasteland but now houses a 1,700-square-meter exhibition space. It is nearly invisible, hidden in a rear courtyard. However, the former glass factory was transformed into a museum with smaller and larger exhibition spaces, performance halls, a café, and living areas for artists. There’s also a 550-square-meter sculpture terrace to enjoy the atmosphere.
Gil Bronner started building his collection in the mid-1990s. His strong connection to the Art Academy of Dusseldorf allows him to promote local emerging artists. Today, this contemporary art museum boasts over 1,700 works, including photography, sculpture, painting, works on paper, and installation.
School, public, and private guided tours are available, but you can always visit anytime on Fridays from 4 to 8 PM and weekends from 2 to 6 PM.
Location: Birkenstraße 47a, 40233 Düsseldorf, Germany
Suppose you’re curious about the city’s rich history, art, and tradition. In that case, one of the best museums in Duffeldorf you shouldn’t miss is Stadtmuseum or the City Museum Düsseldorf. It will take you back in time from its Prehistoric period, early history, and older town history. The collections include paintings, archaeological finds, sculptures, graphics, applied art objects, and archive materials.
The 19th century is one of the most crucial periods in Dusseldorf’s history. Its importance is reflected in the museum’s largest collection of objects of all kinds, documenting the period of French Rule and the city’s transformation. These and many other valuable items documenting the city’s past and present are spread over three floors.
Location: Berger Allee 2, 40213 Düsseldorf, Germany
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is a modern art museum featuring 20th and 21st centuries artworks. It was founded in 1961, providing a medium for artistic freedom in the country. It currently has two locations: the K20 at Grabbleplatz and K21 in the Ständehaus, next to the K20.
The first location, K20, includes the formative artistic trends of the 20th century, where you’ll find works by Paul Klee and painting from German Expressionism, Surrealism, and Cubism. You’ll also find masterpieces by Gerhard Richter, Joseph Beuys, Isa Genzken, and more. On the other hand, the newly renovated K21 is a contemporary art museum of Kunstsammlung NRW, featuring art pieces from the late 1980s onward.
Locations: Grabbeplatz 5, 40213; Ständehausstraße 1, 40217 Düsseldorf, Germany
Have a fun journey as you learn about the past and discover four million years of human experience and history at the Neanderthal Museum in Dusseldorf. Nearly half an hour’s drive from the city center, Neanderthal Museum is only a short distance from where the first recognized Neanderthal was discovered more than 160 years ago. It is one of Europe’s most modern museums that narratives the exciting story of humankind from the beginning to the present day.
Visitors can admire the life-sized figures created based on fossil finds using innovative reconstruction methods. There are also kid-friendly activities, guided tours for all ages, workshops, events, and special offers. Those who want to take their dogs to the museum can take advantage of DoggyDay on the first Friday of each month.
Location: Talstraße 300, 40822 Mettmann, Germany
Goethe Museum Düsseldorf
The Goethe Museum in Dusseldorf is one of Germany’s prestigious Goethe museums dedicated to the greatest poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It is housed in the majestic Schloss Jägerhof, constructed in 1772 according to Johann Joseph Couven’s plans. With its stunning architecture, well-kept gardens, and lush trees surrounding the palace, there’s no doubt it’s the perfect place to house Goethe’s works.
Featured in the museum are the first editions, draft sheets, letters, illustrations, medals, portraits, and numerous objects related to Goethe. It is home to around 50,000 items, making it the world’s most comprehensive Goethe private collection.
Location: Jacobistraße 2, 40211 Düsseldorf, Germany
For movie lovers, head to the Filmmuseum Düsseldorf, a film or movie museum in the bustling Carlstadt. It gives insight into the complex world of film from the earliest beginning to the present. It features technical equipment from cinematography’s early history, costumes, props, and set models.
You’ll feel like a movie star or director between the cameras, spotlights, and wind machine. There’s also a reconstructed movie studio and a Black Box program cinema, presenting premiers and classic films.
Location: Schulstraße 4, 40213 Düsseldorf, Germany
What are the best free museums in Dusseldorf?
A trip to one of Germany’s top cities may seem like an expensive pursuit, but you’ll be surprised how much you’ll save if you know where to go. Many museums in Dusseldorf offer free admission at certain times of the day or week, but most offer free access for children.
For instance, entering Hetjens - Deutsches Keramikmuseum is free for children and teens up to 18 years old. If you come on Friday, visitors up to 21 years old can visit for free. In addition, while Sammlung Philara requires a minimum fee for groups, visitors can pay as much as they wish.
Which are the best museums in Downtown Dusseldorf?
The city center is packed with historical sights, including baroque churches, art galleries, and several cultural centers. One of the best museums you can explore is Kunstsammlung, an art museum with locations close to each other. It’s also a short drive from Schifffahrtsmuseum, where you can admire the picturesque river view.
Are there any cheap museums in Dusseldorf?
Visiting Dusseldorf and its incredible museums doesn’t have to hurt your wallet. While it has prestigious places that require you to spend a lot, some museums can be explored on a tight budget. One of them is the Maritime Museum, with individual tickets costing around $3.12 per person and can be reduced to as low as $1.56. For groups, you only need to pay $1.56 for every person.
Discover Dusseldorf History!
A beautiful world of art and history unfolds as you explore the best museums in Dusseldorf. They will give you a glimpse of the past, immortalized by unique artifacts, art pieces, and different items that represent places, people, and experiences. Whether you’re a movie fan, animal lover, or just want to delve deeper into the city’s remarkable history, Dusseldorf has something to entertain and educate everyone, including free things to do and places to see.