Illustration Rheinturm, © Saskia Wragge

The sound of Düsseldorf

Everything back to NEU! In the city with the Kunstakademie

Take the Autobahn to get to Düsseldorf. Kraftwerk’s Autobahn. There is no faster way to dive deep into Düsseldorf’s 70s and 80s than Techno, New Wave and Punk. Which turned the city into one sweaty, bizarre, magnificient concert. NEU! – the favorite band and inspiration for legends such as Blur, Radiohead and David Bowie, resulted from Kraftwerk, one of the brightest stars in the German musical sky. The Krupps and die Toten Hosen came together here as well: The hearts of the punk fans beat faster even today when the name Düsseldorf is mentioned. The mainstay oft he scenes ist he Kunstakademie. The „Salon des Amateurs“ goes back to the former student and Kreidler member Detlef Weinrich, whose second name is furore.

To start the pop musical tour through Düsseldorf, choose the Pop Trail. It will guide you to carefully chosen spots in Düsseldorf. If you would rather browse around and explore the pop pilgrimage sites around you, choose the Proximity Search. The Travelogue will give you a detailed description in written and audio form on what has changed in the city with regard to rock and pop music in past decades.

Show spots in list
The Flinger Straße in Düsseldorfs Old Town, © Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH

Wolfgang Riechmann/Tatort Flinger Str.

Two weeks before his album "Wunderbar" hit the stores, the musician Wolfgang Riechmann was stabbed on the Carlsplatz.

Entrance with flair: The Museum Kunstpalast, © Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH


Just like the Beatles in Liverpool: 15,000 fans celebrated a best of concert by Kraftwerk with 3D glasses on their noses in light of the Tour de France and even elicited something like a sense of home from the Mensch-Maschine.

A historic photograph of Cream Cheese, © Creamcheese e.V. Sammlung Achim Reinert


What happens when an object artist (Günther Uecker), a filmmaker (Lutz Mommartz), a designer (Danilo Silvestrin) and an allround-artist (Ferdinand Kriwet) conceptualize a bar? The (former) Creamcheese is the answer.

Düsseldorf-based band Kraftwerk at Düsseldorf main station, © Gettyimages

Main Station Track 17

The last Trans-Europa-Express has long departed but track 17 is still the place, where the journey through the history of Düssseldorf pop with Kraftwerk and an iconic picture begins.

The Em Pöötzke in Düsseldorf, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Em Pöötzke

A jazz club since about half a century and a live-music line-up that does not omit any top division of handmade music.

View of the Tonhalle at the rhine embankment, © Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH

Rheinhalle (Tonhalle)

Long before the Tonhalle turned into a front room for Düsseldorf symphonies, this used to be the place to go for international rock legends.

The location Cube, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Cube (EX-Downtown)

Famous Jazzmen made the "Downtown" in the Mertensgasse world-renowned in the 60s and 70s. The owner Pütz published his memories and anecdotes in a book in 2013 that even received praise from Germany's most famous jazzman Klaus Doldinger.

The facade of the Engelchen, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Engelchen (incl. Schaukelstühlchen & EX-Q-Stall)

Düsseldorfer celebrate here literally in the narrow circle:in a relatively small space with Altbeer and rock music in the middle of the old town.

The bar at Kreuzherreneck, © Markus Luigs


While the Kreuzherreneck used to be the heart of the jazz-scene of Düsseldorf in the 1950s, it is today still a place quite different than the nearby Bolkerstraße.

The famous Königsalle in Düsseldorf, © Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH

Königsallee / "Bergischer Löwe"

Created by the sculptor Philipp Harth and meeting point for the mod-scene of the city in the 80s.

Performance of artist Gigi Masin in 2016, © Markus Luigs


The art and music scene form a synergy in Düsseldorf like no other pop city in the world. The Art Academy founded bands and clubs and proclaimed revolutions - and called them off again.

The Salon des Amarteurs, © Markus Luigs

Salon des Amateurs

A place where the art academy's own subculture not only evolves but is actually even danceable.

The former Unique Club, © Andreas Schiko

EX-Unique Club

From a discotheque to his own (former strip-) club, Henry Storch materialized his dream of the Unique Club in gold, red and white.

The shop window of Pure Freude, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Pure Freude

The enchanting backyard café of the city is a tribute to the former record store of the same name: Pure Freude.

The Ratinger Hof, © Markus Luigs

Stone im Ratinger Hof

The Stone today is pophistorically superimposed by a controversial legend: Punks and artists created an explosive mixture in the Ratinger Hof, that went off in blatant sounds.

The entrance to the Mitsubishi Electric HALLE, © Jörg Eicker

Mitsubishi Electric Halle (EX-Philipshalle)

Fans go on a pilgrimage to this multipurpose hall since the 70s. Stevie Wonder and AC/DC have given the honor when it was still called "Philipshalle".

The streetview of Zakk, © C. Wolff

zakk - Zentrum für Aktion, Kultur und Kommunikation

The old factory hall in Flingern stages people, ideas and projects since 1977. The Lieblingsplatte Festival features important albums of German pop history since 2016.

The "stage" at AK47, © Markus Luigs


Stage and audience space merge, pogo on eye level in Düsseldorf's club for punk rock, in the middle of the formerly occupied houses on Kiefernstraße.

A performance of artists Klein and Kuball, © Markus Luigs

Mintropstraße 16

The "Elektro Müller"- sign and a conspicuous pylon still commemorate a place, where chequered music history has been created until 2009.