The best way to get to know Düsseldorf is to discover its Altstadt (Old Town); its compact city center is best explored by walking, and it’s easy to navigate: the east side of the Old Town is lined by the famous shopping boulevard Koenigsalle, while the west side is bordered by the river Rhine (public transportation: Heinrich Heine Allee).
Start at the central square Burgplatz close to the Rhine – the cobble-stoned square was once the site of a baroque palace, which burned down in 1872. All that remains of the palace is the tower, which now houses the Navigation Museum. From here, you can already see Dusseldorf’s largest church, St. Lambertus Basilica on Stiftsplatz, which was built in 1206 and is famous for its twisted spire. Other noteworthy churches in the Old Town are Neander Church, which displays a truly unique pipe organ from the 1960s, and St. Andrew’s Church.
Another must-see is Düsseldorf's Market Square, where you find the landmark of the city: The statue of Elector Jan Wellem; sitting high on his horse, the Elector is set on the beautiful square right in front of the City Hall, which was built between 1570-1573.
If you are looking for a typical souvenir, make your way to the old-fashioned Gewürzhaus (spice house)on Mertensgasse 25, where you can buy the local mustard ABB in hand-decorated ceramic jars. It’s a wonderfully old fashioned family-run store, with hundreds of spice jars lining the wall.
Hungry? Bolkerstrasse in the heart of the Old Town is also called the longest bar in the world – the pedestrian street is lined on both sides with bars and restaurants that offer everything from Rhenish local specialties to Lebanese, Spanish, Italian, and American fare. This is a great place to have lunch. For some local cuisine and rustic atmosphere, check out these recommended Gastro Pubs in Düsseldorf's Old Town.