What You Need To Know
Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf is the capital city of the North Rhine-Westphalia and also the most populous state of Germany. The city is second-largest in the state, after Cologne, and the seventh-largest city in the country, with a population of 617,280.
Located at the confluence of two rivers: the Rhine and the Düssel, a small tributary. The “-dorf” suffix means “village” in German ; its use is unusual for a settlement as large as Düsseldorf. Most of the city lies on the right bank of the Rhine (unlike Cologne, which is on the river’s left bank). Düsseldorf lies in the centre of both the Rhine-Ruhr and the Rhineland Metropolitan Region. Neighboring the Cologne Bonn Region to the south and the Ruhr to the north. It is the largest city in the German Low Franconian dialect area (almost Dutch).
In 2012, Mercer’s Quality of Living survey ranked Düsseldorf the sixth most livable city in the world. Düsseldorf Airport is Germany’s third-busiest airport after those of Frankfurt and Munich, serving as the most important international airport for the inhabitants of the densely populated Ruhr, Germany’s largest urban area. Düsseldorf is an international business and financial centre, renowned for its fashion and trade fairs, and is headquarters to one Fortune Global 500 and two DAX companies. Messe Düsseldorf organises nearly one fifth of premier trade shows. As second largest city of the Rhineland, Düsseldorf holds Rhenish Carnival celebrations every year in February/March, the Düsseldorf carnival celebrations being the third most popular in Germany after those held in Cologne and Mainz.
There are 22 institutions of higher education in the city including the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, the university of applied sciences (Hochschule Düsseldorf), the academy of arts (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, whose members include Joseph Beuys, Emanuel Leutze, August Macke, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, and Andreas Gursky), and the university of music (Robert-Schumann-Musikhochschule Düsseldorf). The city is also known for its influence on electronic/experimental music (Kraftwerk) and its Japanese community.
If you visit Germany from a country within the euro zone, you are a happy traveler! No need to worry about the best exchange rates before you leave home. While you travel in Germany, you don’t need to calculate prices into another currency.
In Düsseldorf, a city located in Western Germany, along the banks of the Rhine River, and the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, the climate is sub-oceanic, humid and rainy, influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, from which the wind blows for much of the year. Winters are cold but not freezing, while summers are mild. In fact, given the proximity to the ocean, in winter, that of Dusseldorf is the mildest area of the whole Germany.
The wind blows frequently, and can be intense, especially from November to March.
Düsseldorf is located south of the Ruhr, and in the middle of the metropolitan region called Rhine-Ruhr, which includes, in addition to those of the Ruhr, cities such as Mönchengladbach, the same Düsseldorf, Wuppertal, Leverkusen, Cologne, and Bonn.
The average temperature ranges from 3 °C (37.5 °F) in January to 19 °C (66 °F) in July. Here are the average temperatures.
The best time to visit Düsseldorf runs from mid-May to mid-September, since it’s the mildest of the year. July and August are the warmest months. However, it’s better to bring a sweatshirt or sweater, a light jacket and an umbrella, for cool and rainy days.
The official and most widely used language in Hamburg is Standard German. Standard German is spoken in Hamburg, but as typical for northern Germany, the original language of Hamburg is Low German, usually referred to as Hamborger Platt (German Hamburger Platt) or Hamborgsch. It’s also safe to assume that English will also be spoken and understood at all main Hamburg attractions.
Health and security
There’s a threat of terrorist attack in Germany. This includes by right-wing extremists and people motivated by conflict in Iraq and Syria.
The German Government has increased security measures, including at airports and major train stations.
Authorities continue to arrest and charge suspected terrorists.
Recent attacks include:
- October 2020 – a stabbing attack in the street in Dresden killing one person and injuring another
- August 2020 – an extremist deliberately drove a car into several others on a Berlin city motorway injuring several people
- February 2020 – an extremist opened fire on two shisha bars in Hanau near Frankfurt, causing several deaths and injuries
- December 2016 — a truck drove through a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, causing several deaths and injuries
- November and December 2016 — several attempted attacks at Christmas markets, despite tightened security
- July 2016 — a stabbing attack on a train in Bavaria, injuring 5 people (Daesh claimed responsibility)
- July 2016 — a suicide bomber injured 15 at a bar near a music festival in Ansbach, Bavaria
Terrorists may plan more attacks that could happen anywhere at any time.
Recent attacks in European cities have targeted:
- planes and airports
- public transport and transport hubs
- places of worship
- sporting venues
- major events that attract large crowds
Christmas markets and New Year’s celebrations remain vulnerable.
To protect yourself from terrorism:
- be alert to possible threats
- be cautious around known targets, including in crowds and public places
- report suspicious activity or items to police
- monitor the media for new threats
- take official warnings seriously
- follow the advice of local authorities
If there’s an attack, leave the area as soon as it’s safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
If you visit Christmas markets, avoid busy times. Have an exit plan if there’s a security incident.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Violent criminal attacks, not linked to terrorism, have occurred:
- February 2020 – a man drove his car into a crowd at the Rose Monday Parade in Volkmarsen injuring more than 60 people
- December 2018 – a man drove his car into a crowd in Bottrop injuring 4 people
- October 2018 — a hostage was taken at a train station in Cologne
- July 2018 — a man stabbed and injured 12 people on a local bus in Lübeck
- October 2017 — a man stabbed and injured 8 people in Rosenheimer Platz in Munich
Despite these incidents, violent crime isn’t common.
Monitor the media for news on crime.
Street crime, such as pickpocketing and theft from unattended vehicles can occur. Bags and personal items are sometimes stolen on trains.
To protect yourself from petty crime:
- pay attention to your personal security, particularly at night
- secure your valuables when visiting the central districts and larger-city train stations
Extremist youth groups have harassed or attacked people for racial reasons or because they seem foreign. This occurs more often in urban areas and in the former East Germany.
Drink spiking can occur at popular nightclubs and markets, often leading to sexual assault.
To protect yourself from drink spiking:
- don’t accept drinks from strangers or leave drinks alone
- stick with people you trust in bars and nightclubs
This advice pre-dates COVID-19
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won’t pay for these costs.
If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you’re not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
- what activities and care your policy covers
- that your insurance covers you for the whole time you’ll be away
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
- have a basic health check-up
- ask if your travel plans may affect your health
- plan any vaccinations you need
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.