Thursday, August 8, 2013

Don’t Dis’ Düsseldorf: 6+ Artsy & Cool Reasons To Visit



Gehry’s Neuer Zollhof, Media Harbor 
 (photo: U. Otte ©Düsseldorf Marketing&Tourismus GmbH)
By Jacquelin Carnegie – (Düsseldorf, Germany)
While considered by many as a business destination, Düsseldorf should really be on the vacation list for anyone who loves art and architecture. Situated on a lovely stretch of the Rhine River, it has fabulous museums, great architecture, and famous beer. Founded on August 14, 1288, Düsseldorf is celebrating its 725th anniversary--another good reason to visit now!

1) Stunning “Starchitecture”

 Media Harbor (photo: JCarnegie)
Düsseldorf’s old Rhine harbor has been transformed into Media Harbor, a trendy residential and business area for creative industries--advertising, art, and media. Several top, international architects designed buildings for the area. Frank Gehry’s magnificent Neuer Zollhof will knock your socks off as will William Alsop's stunning Colorium, on the other side of the Rhine. In addition to the “starchitecture,” there are lots of cool restaurants and bars in this revitalized district.

2) Marvelous Museums
The world-famous, art academy Kunstakademie is here, so Düsseldorf is full of talented, emerging artists as well as several outstanding museums (Kunst means art):

Hetjens Museum (©Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus GmbH)
Kunst Palast: Old masters, contemporary art, and a world-renowned glass collection
K20: 20th-century masterpieces
K21: Cutting-edge, contemporary art of the 21st century
KIT (Kunst im Tunnel): A unique exhibit space for emerging artists
Hetjens Museum: An incredible ceramics collection

3) The Fusion of Art & Architecture

Langen Foundation  
(photo: Dirk Topel Kommunikation ©Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus)
In addition to the many museums, there are two unique places to view art that should not be missed:
Langen Foundation: Internationally-renowned architect Tadao Ando designed a stunning museum to house a unique Japanese art collection as well as changing exhibits of contemporary art.
Insel Hoimbroich: Art pavilions in a nature preserve. The tours are lead by artists; you can also have lunch in their wonderful café.

4) The Art of Beer

Altstadt (©Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus GmbH)
After all that museum-hopping, relax over a cold brewski. Düsseldorf is famous for a particular kind of beer, Altbier, which is top-brewed, copper-colored, and tart with a distinctive hops flavor. The best place to taste test it is in Altstadt (Old Town), a charming, part of the city with a lively stretch of some 260 bars and restaurants, known as the "longest bar in the world."

5) The Art of Shopping
(©Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus GmbH)
Fashionistas rejoice. Düsseldorf is as well known as Milan, Italy for fashion fairs and collection premieres. You can do some designer shopping along the lovely, tree-lined boulevard Königsallee at these boutiques: Armani, Gucci, Kenzo, JOOP, Prada, Jil Sander, Uta Raasch, Burberry, Onofri, Féraud and discover some Düsseldorf originals such as Sabine Schumacher, Peter O. Mahler, and Renate Harvan.

6) Dine in Glass Houses

Colorium & “Floosies,” Media Harbor (photo: Jochen Keute ©Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus)

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, they should have lunch or dinner. Enjoy a tasty meal in one of the all-glass restaurants along the Rhine riverside: KIT Cafe or the Lido with a view of Media Harbor.

Where to Stay:

Insel Hoimbroich (photo: Tomas Riehle ©Stiftung Insel Hombroich
)
There is every conceivable type of accommodation in Düsseldorf, why not try an artsy hotel: Stage47, Graf-Adolf-Strasse 47, www.stage47.de
Getting There:
Delta, Lufthansa, and AirBerlin all have direct flights from several US gateways, as well as flights from Berlin. In Germany, there’s an excellent train network between cities; you can even get your tickets before you leave through RailEurope.

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