Dusseldorf is located in Western Germany and is best known for its fabulous fashion industry and art scene. It is also one of the wealthiest cities in Germany. Many people come to Dusseldorf to shop along Konigsallee or King’s Avenue, a mile-long luxury shopping experience with name-brand designer boutiques.
Schadowstrasse, another fantastic shopping area is on the west side of the city near Altstadt, or Old Town, along the bank of the Rhine River. St. Lambertus Church and Schlossturm are also in the heart of the city. With so many amazing things to see and do, spending time in the city will go by quickly, especially when wandering through the best museums in Dusseldorf.
However, sometimes you want to get out of the hustle and bustle of the big city and experience some of the interesting and lesser-known attractions close to the city. Finding the best day trips from Dusseldorf is no problem when you open your mind to spending time exploring villages and the countryside in both Germany and the Netherlands, which happens to be a stone’s throw from Dusseldorf.
Once you have settled on which area you want to venture to during a day trip, drop your luggage at a Dusseldorf storage locker for safekeeping and hop on a bus, hire a car, or join an existing tour for a day of adventure.
How to get out of Dusseldorf
Many times, public transportation is the best way to get from Dusseldorf to other parts of Germany and even the Netherlands. Depending on where you are headed, the bus or train is the best way to get there. Did you know about one million passengers pass through Dusseldorf Central Station daily? When you see the clock tower, you'll know you are there.
Rideshare is available to many places and is a cheap alternative to public transport, but does take a little longer to reach your destination. You can always drive yourself to any of these recommended places.
Organized day trips from Dusseldorf are sometimes so much better than trying to plan your own trip and find appropriate transportation. Tour companies operating in Dusseldorf offer several different tours into the surrounding areas, including crossing the border into the Netherlands. Pick the tour or tours that interest you the most.
From Dusseldorf to Neandertal, Germany
Neandertal, or Neander Valley, is only about 13 miles from Dusseldorf. It is located in North Rhine-Westphalia in a small valley along the River Dussel. Neander Valley is close to Erkrath and Mettmann. The valley is home to an amazing archaeological park on the spot where the first Neanderthal man was discovered.
Take a walk along the Human Traces art trail that leads away from the archaeological site. The Stone Age workshop is quite intriguing. There is also a museum in Mettmann with an enthralling exhibit on the theory of human evolution. Be sure to check out some of the very realistic models of Neanderthal men.
How to get to Neandertal
The quickest and cheapest way to get from Dusseldorf to Neandertal is by train, which is only about a 14-minute ride. You can also take the Line 7127 bus from Dusseldorf, but this will be about a 30-minute ride, although you can see more of the countryside as you travel between cities. Rideshare and taxis are also an option or you can choose to drive yourself if you are comfortable driving in Germany.
From Dusseldorf to Eindhoven, Netherlands
Most tourists may not realize that Dusseldorf is only about a two-hour drive from Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Eindhoven is home to the iconic Philips Electronics, and the company even built Philips Stadium, home to the PSV soccer team. Drop by the Philips Museum during your day trip from Dusseldorf.
While seeing the city, drop by the DAF Museum with its large exhibits of automobiles and trucks. The Van Abbemuseum offers art and design exhibits. Visit during Dutch Design Week to see exhibitions from around the Netherlands. The contemporary art world never looked so fabulous as it does at Van Abbemuseum.
There is also a large selection of designer shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants, a film studio, and a skate park in the former Philips warehouses called Strijp-S, which is an industrial complex turned entertainment complex. Strijp-S is open from Wednesday to Saturday, so plan your trip accordingly if you want to visit this complex.
How to get to Eindhoven
It is actually shorter and a bit cheaper to take the bus from Dusseldorf to Eindhoven, the ride will be under two hours and you will get to see more of Germany and the Netherlands. You can take the train but it will take you a bit longer, just over two hours. Rideshare is another way to get to Eindhoven or you can always drive there if you want.
From Dusseldorf to Roermond, Netherlands
Less than an hour’s drive from Dusseldorf, Roermond in the Netherlands is another great day trip. Shopaholics will love making the 36-mile trek from Dusseldorf to Roermond. There are more than 200 outlet stores, many selling name-brand clothing and accessories at up to 70% off.
Take a break from shopping and enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the cafes or restaurants. If you are not that into hitting the stores, check out the beautiful architecture of Roermond such as the Romanesque architecture of the Munsterkerk Church and St. Christopher’s Cathedral. Visit the Cuypershuis to learn more about architect Pierre Cuypers, the architect of Amsterdam Central Station, and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
How to get to Roermond
While you would think taking the train from Dusseldorf to Roermond is the fastest route, it actually is not. Taking the bus takes just under an hour whereas you would be on the train for just under two hours. It is also a little cheaper on your pocketbook to ride the bus rather than the train. Driving only takes a little over half an hour but if you are not familiar with the area, you could get lost.
From Dusseldorf to Cologne, Germany
Cologne is 30 miles from Dusseldorf and less than an hour’s drive down the A59 motorway. This 2,000-year-old city is nestled along the Rhine River and is a cultural hub for western Germany. It is one of Germany's oldest cities. The best landmark in Cologne is Alstadt, or Old Town, with the Cologne Cathedral and its High Gothic architecture. The cathedral’s architecture inspired Notre Dame.
The Museum Ludwig is next door to the Cologne Cathedral. This magnificent art museum is home to a number of 20th-century artworks including several pieces by Pablo Picasso. After exploring the Museum Ludwig, head to the Romano-Germanic Museum filled with several exhibits relating to Cologne’s past including several Roman antiquities.
Being the fourth-largest city in Germany, Cologne is a diverse city that is a must-see when you are in the region. While you cannot cover the entire city during a day trip, you can definitely hit the highlights. If you have time to visit Ehrenfeld, the food trucks and street art will more than impress.
How to get to Cologne
The bus is your cheapest option when traveling from Dusseldorf to Cologne but it will take you about 45 minutes to get there. The train is your next cheapest option and it is quicker than the bus, taking you about 30 minutes. You can drive yourself or take a taxi or rideshare which will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 50 minutes.
From Dusseldorf to Bonn, Germany
Less than an hour from Dusseldorf, Bonn is a historic city that straddles the Rhine River. The Beethoven House is located in Bonn. This memorial and museum is a wonderful place to learn about his early childhood. Many do not know that Beethoven was born in Bonn.
Take a tour of the Altes Rathaus, or old city hall, with its shade of gold and pink. Stop by the Bonn Minster church with its Romanesque cloister. Visit the Poppelsdof Palace and the mineralogical museum. Take the cog railway along Drachenfels Hill for terrific views of the city. History buffs will love exploring Haus der Geschichte to learn about post-World War II.
When you are visiting Bonn, take a trip to the suburb of Bruehl where the Schloss Augustusburg palace is located. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once the government’s official place to receive prominent guests. The late Queen Elizabeth II stayed here. Sign up for a guided tour where you will also get to visit the 18th-century hunting lodge of the archbishop.
How to get to Bonn
The train is the quickest way to reach Bonn from Dusseldorf and will not break the bank. A typical train ride will take about 45 minutes unless you take the line 16 tram which will take over two hours. A bus is also an option, but it will also take about two hours to arrive. Rideshare is another inexpensive option that will take about an hour.
From Dusseldorf to Ruhr Area, Germany
Ruhrgebiet, or Ruhr Area, is also called the Ruhr Valley and is in North Rhine-Westphalia. The valley covers several cities including Duisburg, Dortmund, and Essen. From Dusseldorf, the Ruhr Area is just under an hour and a half.
Look out over the harbor in Duisburg and enjoy the hopping nightlife on the waterfront. The restaurants in Duisburg offer delicious fare. Stop by Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord which is a park with walking trails and rope courses.
Dortmund is best known for Westfalen Park where the Florian Tower with an amazing observation platform is located. Westfalen Stadium is also here, and the stadium is home to the Borussia soccer team. Visit the Dortmund U-Tower where the Museum Ostwall is located. Home to several contemporary art collections, the Museum Ostwall is great for art lovers.
How to get to Ruhrgebiet
Riding the train is the quickest and cheapest way to get to Ruhr Area, taking just over half an hour. Driving yourself is also a quick way to get there, but if you are unfamiliar with the area, you may get lost. A bus ride is another good option but will take a little over an hour to get to Ruhrgebiet. A taxi will get you there quickly but will cost you a pretty penny.
From Dusseldorf to Essen, Germany
Only a short 30-minute drive from Dusseldorf, Essen is in the Ruhr Area. Plan to visit the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen. This complex has been completely restructured to hold several museums. Spend a few hours museum hopping without ever leaving the complex.
The Botanischer Garten Grugapark is a park and botanical garden that was first opened in 1927. The park has an aviary and the botanical garden hosts a nature program for children. Take time to relax near Baldeneysee, a lake located in the heart of the city.
Tour the Villa Hugel, the manor house of Alfred Krupp that was built in the 1870s and is surrounded by the manicured gardens of Hugel Park. Visit during a warm, sunny day for a lovely stroll through the gardens.
The Ruhr region was once a major mining area in Germany. Essen is home to the Zeche Zollverein XII, often called the most beautiful coal mine in the world. The mine was first opened in 1846 and was in operation for 140 years. Zelle Zollverein XII is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a fabulous museum that holds special events throughout the year.
How to get to Essen
Rideshare is the cheapest way to get to Essen from Dusseldorf but will take longer than taking the train. You will reach Essen in 25 minutes on the train, it will take about 45 minutes using Rideshare. The bus takes about an hour and is moderately priced.
A Day Trip from Dusseldorf is Worthwhile!
Traveling beyond the city can be such fun when you need time away from modern-day Germany and the crowds in Dusseldorf. Day trips from Dusseldorf are a popular way to see more of the country while on vacation.
Museums fans will love hopping on the train and heading to a small town to check out the museums, some located in former residences, and learn more about the history of the region. There are even several art galleries with fabulous art installations outside Dusseldorf. Plan your day trips to include activities that you enjoy and will not be able to do in the big city.
Being near Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands border, you are able to visit other countries during great day trips. Discover fabulous restaurants, breathtaking views, and wonderful attractions and landmarks.
Be prepared to explore the world surrounding Dusseldorf, take a walk through the country, surround yourself with natural beauty, and visit with locals as a way to get to know the area and learn more about its culture.