9 Remarkable Dusseldorf Historical Sites

Updated on October 31, 2023  


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Are you planning a trip to Germany and looking for historical sites in Düsseldorf that can enrich your experience? Known as the city on the Rhine, Düsseldorf is brimming with significant landmarks that narrate tales of its rich past.

Our comprehensive guide will help you discover some of the best historic gems this city has to offer - from Baroque-style palaces to ancient cathedrals, and more! Get ready to step back in time and uncover Düsseldorf's captivating history.

9 Dusseldorf Historical Sites to Visit

Schloss Benrath

Schloss Benrath stands as a testament to the grandeur of the 18th century in Düsseldorf. Elector Karl Theodor von der Pfalz commissioned its construction, envisioning it as an elegant summer residence and hunting lodge.

Architect Nicolas de Pigage brought this vision to life, crafting a palatial residence that shines with Baroque-style architectural flair. [1]


Despite time's passage, Schloss Benrath remains stunningly preserved – even earning comparisons to a doll's house due to its meticulous maintenance.

The extensive restoration work carried out during the 20th century has kept this architectural gem sparkling through centuries.

It now serves not only as an admired historical landmark but also houses a museum open for public exploration.

Visitors flock from all corners of the world for glimpses into royal life in Germany’s bygone days and admire Schloss Benrath - an undeniable tourist attraction and heritage site emblematic of Dusseldorf's rich cultural heritage.


Exploring the old town of Dusseldorf, known as Altstadt, takes you on a captivating journey back in time.

This historic district boasts narrow, brick-paved streets that wind their way between unique architectural structures.

It's like stepping into another era. Every corner reveals an array of traditional buildings and cobblestone alleys that have seen over 700 years of history unfold.


Altstadt has not just preserved its cultural heritage but also evolved to host an energetic nightlife scene.

The area houses approximately 200 bars, cafes, and restaurants - earning it the nickname "the longest bar in the world."

Whether you're a history buff eager to absorb Europe's past or a foodie looking for your next gastronomic adventure, this vibrant atmosphere filled with landmarks delivers memorable experiences for every visitor.


Hofgarten, a stunning park situated in Dusseldorf's bustling city center, paints an idyllic picture of peace.

Going back to the 18th century in its history makes it the oldest public place for recreation in this German city. [2]


Lovingly planned with English landscape styles, it proudly showcases lush meadows decorated with rare trees that are home to diverse wildlife.

It's not uncommon to find locals and visitors alike seeking solace near its tranquil ponds or basking under the sun by the beautiful fountains.

Enjoying a lazy afternoon here makes you part of Dusseldorf’s rich heritage and historical narrative while you soak up nature's beauty at its best.

Basilika St. Lambertus

The Basilika St. Lambertus, located in Dusseldorf's old town, is a prominent basilica with a twisted tower that has become an iconic symbol of the city.

Built in the 13th century, this historic religious site has stood for centuries as a testament to Dusseldorf's rich cultural heritage.


Legend has it that the tower was twisted by the devil himself when he attempted to uproot the church but ultimately failed.

Despite being damaged during World War II, the Basilika St.Lambertus remains an architectural marvel and an important landmark in Dusseldorf's old town.

Düsseldorf Old Town Hall

The Düsseldorf Old Town Hall is a historic building located in the charming old town of Düsseldorf. It stands as the oldest structure in the city and is situated on Marktplatz.

This iconic landmark features a grand clock tower that adds to its historical appeal.


Inside, visitors can explore a fascinating museum that showcases artifacts and exhibits from Düsseldorf's rich history.

As one of the major highlights of Altstadt, this architectural gem serves as a symbol of the city's cultural heritage and offers breathtaking views of the scenic Rhine River.

Ratinger Tor

Ratinger Tor in Dusseldorf is a medieval city gate that has transformed into a bustling meeting spot for locals and tourists alike.

This historic landmark was originally built as the entrance to the city. It holds great significance as it is the only preserved city gate from Dusseldorf's past.


With its rich history and stunning architecture, Ratinger Tor attracts visitors who gather here to appreciate its beauty and immerse themselves in the city's heritage.


Burgplatz is a historic square located between the Rhine embankment and the Altstadt (Old town) of Düsseldorf.

With its cobblestone surface, it serves as a gathering place for the community and has significant historical value as a trading area.

One prominent feature of Burgplatz is the Schlossturm, which is the only remaining structure from the castle complex.


Positioned by Düsseldorf's Rhine embankment promenade, this square offers picturesque walks along the river, providing visitors with beautiful views and a chance to admire its charming surroundings.


Kaiserswerth, located in the northern part of Dusseldorf, is a historic district that offers a glimpse into the city's rich past.

This picturesque area is home to a magnificent castle, Kaiserpfalz Kaiserswerth, which dates back to the 12th century and stands proudly along the banks of the River Rhine.

As you explore this ancient district, you'll also encounter charming 17th-century houses and the captivating ruins of a grand palace.


Don't miss the chance to visit its landmark church and immerse yourself in the cultural heritage that has shaped Kaiserswerth throughout centuries.

Additionally, Kaiserswerth is renowned for its connection with nursing education through the esteemed Kaiserswerth Deaconess Institute, adding another layer to its historical significance.


ArcheoPoint is a fascinating museum in Dusseldorf that showcases the city's rich history through its exhibits.

Located in the heart of Dusseldorf, this small archaeological museum provides visitors with valuable information about the historical sites and cultural heritage of the city.

With a focus on archaeology, ArcheoPoint offers engaging exhibits that allow visitors to delve into Dusseldorf's past and gain a deeper appreciation for its significance.


Whether you're interested in learning about ancient artifacts or discovering more about the city's historical events, ArcheoPoint is sure to provide an informative and enriching experience.

The museum has received positive reviews from visitors who appreciate its wealth of knowledge on display.

Düsseldorf's Rich History And Culture

Düsseldorf's role during the Renaissance period

Düsseldorf played a significant role as a cultural hub during the Renaissance period. Under the leadership of Johann Wilhelm II, the city became known for promoting art, architecture, theatre, ballet, and music. [3]

Its rich history and vibrant culture attracted artists, intellectuals, and merchants from all over. The ruling dynasty contributed to Düsseldorf's growth by establishing it as a center of cultural and artistic excellence.

During this time, Düsseldorf housed one of the world's premier collections of modern art.

Influence of the House of Wittelsbach

The House of Wittelsbach, a powerful royal family in German history, had a significant influence on Düsseldorf's rich history and culture.

As the rulers of territories including the Electorate of Bavaria and the Rhenish Palatinate, they left their mark on the city through their monarchy and nobility.

The House of Wittelsbach played a crucial role in shaping Düsseldorf's architectural landscape, with many historic buildings and landmarks reflecting their influence.

Their dynasty contributed to the cultural heritage of Düsseldorf, making it a must-visit destination for those interested in exploring Germany's fascinating past.

Düsseldorf during the Baroque and Rococo periods

Düsseldorf flourished during the Baroque and Rococo periods, thanks to the patronage of its ruling dynasty.

The city became a hub of artistic activity, with grand palaces and churches showcasing intricate designs and lavish decorations.


Trade and commerce also thrived during this time, as Düsseldorf's strategic location on the Rhine River made it an important center for merchants.

However, war and destruction would later impact the city's progress, with invasions by French troops during the Napoleonic Wars leaving behind scars that still resonate today.

Despite these challenges, Düsseldorf managed to rebuild itself and continue its transformation into a vibrant cultural destination with a rich history that is evident in its architectural landmarks and preserved heritage.

Düsseldorf 's experiences during World War I and II

Düsseldorf suffered immense destruction and devastation during both World War I and II. The city, which was a major industrial and manufacturing center, played a significant role in these wars.

As a result of this involvement, Düsseldorf experienced extensive damage to its infrastructure and historical sites. In fact, the city was almost completely destroyed during World War II.

Despite the hardships faced, Düsseldorf's boom and industrialization during this time made it one of Prussia's wealthiest cities.

After the end of World War II, Düsseldorf became the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1946.

Tips For Exploring Historical Sites In Düsseldorf

Plan Ahead And Book Tickets In Advance

To make the most of your visit to Düsseldorf's historical sites, it is advisable to plan ahead and book tickets in advance. By doing so, you can ensure a hassle-free experience and avoid long queues at popular attractions.

Booking tickets ahead of time allows you to secure your entry and guarantees that you won't miss out on exploring the city's rich cultural heritage. So, before embarking on your historical tour, take a few minutes to prebook your tickets online or through official channels.

This will help you save time and make the most of your visit to Düsseldorf's fascinating historical landmarks.

Take A Guided Tour To Learn More About The History

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Düsseldorf by taking a guided tour to explore its fascinating history. With a variety of historical tours available, you can delve deeper into the city's past and gain valuable insights from knowledgeable local guides.


Joining a guided tour allows you to discover hidden gems and iconic landmarks while learning about Düsseldorf's Roman architecture, Renaissance period, influence of the House of Wittelsbach, and experiences during World War I and II.

Whether you're interested in art and history or simply want to learn more about the city's heritage, a guided tour offers customized experiences that will leave you with a greater appreciation for Düsseldorf's historic significance.

Dress Appropriately For The Weather And The Site

Visitors to Düsseldorf's historical sites should dress appropriately for the weather and the site itself.

The climate in Düsseldorf can vary, so it is important to consider seasonal changes when planning your visit.

In colder months like December, be sure to dress warmly to stay comfortable while exploring.

Additionally, some sites may have specific guidelines or dress codes that visitors should adhere to, such as the Oper am Rhein opera house.

By dressing appropriately, you'll ensure a pleasant and enjoyable experience as you admire the stunning architecture and learn about the city's rich history.

Bring A Camera To Capture The Stunning Architecture And Views

Capture the stunning architecture and views of Düsseldorf's historical sites by bringing a camera along on your explorations.

From the intricate details of Schloss Benrath to the narrow, brick-paved streets of Altstadt, there are countless photo-worthy moments waiting to be captured.


Don't forget to visit the Rheinturm for panoramic views of the city or consider joining a photography tour for insider tips on capturing the best shots.

With Düsseldorf's rich history and architectural beauty, you'll want to have your camera ready at all times!

Respect Cultural Norms And Customs

Respect cultural norms and customs when exploring historical sites in Düsseldorf.

It is important to remember that these sites hold deep cultural significance and are reflections of the city's heritage.

Be mindful of local traditions, dress appropriately, and follow any rules or guidelines set by the site.

By respecting the cultural identity of Düsseldorf, visitors can fully appreciate the richness and diversity of its history.

Conclusion: Historical Sites in Dusseldorf

In conclusion, Dusseldorf's rich tapestry of historical sites has something to offer every traveler, be it a solo adventurer seeking a deeper connection with the past or a couple yearning for a romantic exploration of bygone eras.

Even on rainy days, the city's historical treasures remain open and inviting, allowing you to step back in time and discover the stories that have shaped this vibrant metropolis.

And the best part? Many of these historical gems are entirely accessible for those seeking free things to do.

From the enchanting Altstadt and majestic Schloss Benrath to the iconic Ratinger Tor, each landmark offers a glimpse into the city's vibrant history.

Key Takeaways

  • Düsseldorf's rich history and culture, from its Renaissance period to its experiences in World War I and II, make it a compelling destination for history enthusiasts.
  • Notable historical and architectural attractions include Schloss Benrath, Altstadt, Basilika St. Lambertus, the Old Town Hall, and Kaiserswerth's castle and ruins.
  • Visitors seeking nature and tranquility can explore Hofgarten, while ArcheoPoint offers a glimpse into the city's historical past through its archaeological artifacts.


1. What are some popular historical sites to visit in Dusseldorf?

Some popular historical sites to visit in Dusseldorf include the Castle Tower, Old Town Hall, and St. Lambertus Church.

2. Are there any guided tours available for exploring Dusseldorf's historical sites?

Yes, there are guided tours available that can take you through the historical sites of Dusseldorf and provide interesting insights into their history.

3. Can I enter the Castle Tower and other historical buildings in Dusseldorf?

Yes, you can enter certain historical buildings in Dusseldorf such as the Castle Tower and explore their interiors as part of a tour or during designated visiting hours.

4. Are there any entrance fees for visiting Dusseldorf's historical sites?

The entrance fees for visiting Dusseldorf's historical sites may vary depending on the specific site and whether you choose to take a guided tour or explore independently. It is advisable to check beforehand.

5. How long does it usually take to explore all of Dusseldorf's major historical sites?

The time it takes to explore all of Düsseldorf's major historical sites depends on your pace and interest level but generally a full day is sufficient to cover most of them thoroughly


1: Schloss Benrath, Duesseldorf, Germany, retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb6music/A41145059
2: Hofgarten, retrieved from https://www.silverkris.com/guide/germany/dus/do-dusseldorf/hofgarten/
3: Display and Art History: The Dusseldorf Gallery and Its Catalogue (Getty Research Institute), retrieved from https://www.getty.edu/research/exhibitions_events/exhibitions/display_arthistory/


1: Schloss Benrath, Duesseldorf, Germany, retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb6music/A41145059
2: Hofgarten, retrieved from https://www.silverkris.com/guide/germany/dus/do-dusseldorf/hofgarten/
3: Display and Art History: The Dusseldorf Gallery and Its Catalogue (Getty Research Institute), retrieved from https://www.getty.edu/research/exhibitions_events/exhibitions/display_arthistory/

About the Author

Stephan Drescher, founder of germanytravel.blog, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.