Düsseldorf and neanderland
Art, fashion, lifestyle – and Neanderthals
Where modern life meets Stone Age culture: Düsseldorf, the art and fashion metropolis, is just a stone’s throw from the Neander Valley and its museum of prehistory.
The state capital lies at the very heart of North Rhine-Westphalia: Düsseldorf is a gateway not just to NRW, but to the entire world. Business people and tourists from countries far and wide arrive at the international airport and disperse in all directions. So it is no surprise that Düsseldorf has gained a cosmopolitan reputation, a city where art, fashion, lifestyle and the Rhinelanders’ zest for life all come together in a perfect melting pot. The city’s cultural diversity can be seen in its calendar of events: from the traditional Carnival with its speeches and high-stepping dancers to Japan Day
Düsseldorf at its most authentic is best enjoyed with a tour of the old town, with an obligatory glass of Altbier sipped in a cosy pub at the “longest bar counter in the world”. A spot of shopping on the famous Königsallee street or a stroll along the Rhine embankment promenade are other boxes to tick on a visit to the state capital. Architecture buffs should not miss MedienHafen, the modernised harbour area where the Gehry buildings are particular stand-outs. Flingern is another young and creative district with its small boutiques, cafés and galleries.
As well as over 100 art galleries large and small, Düsseldorf also boasts two internationally renowned museums: the Kunstsammlung NRW and the Museum Kunstpalast.
Stone Age art in the Neander Valley
Visitors can discover art and handicraft from a much earlier age in Düsseldorf’s hinterland. The Mettmann district, just to the east of the North Rhine-Westphalian capital, is also known as neanderland. In the middle of the 19th century, a 42,000-year-old skeleton of a Neanderthal man was discovered in the Neander Valley. The Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann is dedicated to this species of early human. It has interesting exhibits for young and old, including the story of our own evolution.
The region’s best-known hiking path also goes right by the Neander Valley. The neanderland Steig trail takes in picturesque old towns and historic town centres like Wülfrath or Velbert-Langenberg as well as the lakes, moorland and heathland that make up the Niederberg landscape.
Families with kids can choose from a range of outdoor activities in neanderland, from waterskiing to obstacle course climbing, while in Düsseldorf, children will love the City Rally walking tour or their first trip to the theatre.
Arriving at Düsseldorf Airport