dusseldorf city view

Düsseldorf City Guide for Sports Travelers

Welcome to my home town!

Düsseldorf is renowned for a few things, such as its art and culture scene and its famous architecture. But, let’s be honest, there’s one thing that everyone associates with the city and that’s the Altstadt (Old Town).

The Altstadt is famous for being the “längsten Theke der Welt“ (the “longest bar in the world) and has an amazing 260 pubs, restaurants and bars spread over half a square kilometre.

In 2024 Düsseldorf will host five games at the UEFA European Championships. Whether you’re planning a trip to the city specifically to see a Euro 2024 game, watch a Fortuna Düsseldorf game or just visit the city for a holiday you’ll be delighted with what the “most beautiful city on the Rhine” has to offer.

Below, I take a dive into the highlights of the city’s 2024 calendar and I’ll give you some of my tips to ensure your time in Düsseldorf runs as smoothly as possible.

Düsseldorf’s 2024 Sporting and Cultural Events

Night of the Museums

From 7 pm to 2 am on 27th April 2024, Düsseldorf’s Night of the Museums invites visitors to experience the unique atmosphere of the city’s museums and galleries in the late evening and during the night. More than fifty establishments will take part in this year’s event, and there will be plenty of special exhibitions, poetry readings, concerts, installations, and dance and theatre performances to take in. A shuttle will be on hand to ferry visitors, if required, between the various venues.

Guided tours will be available in many of the museums and galleries participating in Night of the Museums, and there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy local, regional, and national food and drink throughout the evening and through into the early hours.

Japan Day 2024

Japan Day sees Düsseldorf transformed into a celebration of Japanese culture.

This year, on the 1st June, the city will celebrate the 21st version of Japan Day and each year the celebrations seem to get bigger. There is always plenty to see, like displays of Japanese art, theatre and music. There’s also loads of great Japanese food to try and the day ends with an awe-inspiring fireworks display on the Rhine.

In 2023 more than 650,000 people took part in Japan Day, many of them dressed as their favourite anime characters and this year’s event will no doubt be just as popular.

UEFA Euro 2024 Tournament

One of the most exciting events that Düsseldorf will host in 2024 is the UEFA Euro 2024 festival. With five matches set to be played in the city’s Düsseldorf Arena, including the quarter-final on Saturday, July 6th, football fever will be descending on Dusseldorf as summer approaches!

The excitement won’t be confined to the pitch, however: official Fan Zones will be popping up in Burgplatz and Schauspielhaus, where supporters from around the world can gather in a fun, inclusive, and convivial atmosphere to enjoy the games together on giant screens. These sites will also offer a wide range of cultural and musical events throughout the duration of the Euro 2024 tournament. Further, public viewing will be available in Rheinufer, with the Rhine Tower, state parliament building, and Rheinknie Bridge making for a stunning backdrop.

The Rhine Fair (Kirmes)

Kirmes is Düsseldorf’s equivalent to Munich’s Oktoberfest. It’s one of the highlights of the year in the city. The fun fair runs from the 12th to 24th July 2024, so great to visit if you’re in the city for the later stages of Euro 2024.

The funfair appears on the side of the river Rhine, and features over 300 different rides, stalls and carousels. Whether fast-paced, scary, child-friendly, breathtaking or even nostalgic there’s fun for everyone here.

There’s a huge range of street food options on offer. The classic fun fair dishes include sausage, fresh pretzels, potato pancakes and various fish dishes.

All of the local Altbier breweries have a party tent at the Funfair. These get packed in the evenings as thousands of people celebrate Kirmes. Expect loud music and plenty of fun and dancing!

Festival of Lights

Thousands of visitors will descend on Düsseldorf for this year’s Festival of Lights, to be held on August 24th, 2024, at Benrath Palace Park. Highlights (pun intended) will include the castle lit up in spectacular colours and a vibrant water dance, which will see coloured jets of water ‘dance’ in sync with the beautiful strains of classical music played by a live orchestra.

Interested? Take a look at this video of the 2023 Düsseldorf Festival of Lights to get an idea of what you can expect this year.

Düsseldorf Carnival

Karneval is crazy! It takes over the whole city and Düsseldorf turns into one big party. Karvenal has two main events and if you can be in the city during this time then fun is guaranteed!

The Karneval season opens every year on November 11th at 11:11 with a ceremony in front of the town hall on Marktplatz. The city then turns into a party with live music and lots of celebrating in the city’s pubs and clubs!

The main event of Karneval is then from 27 February from the 3rd March 2025. In this time the city turns into a huge party. There’s live music all across the city, people are dressed in costumes and the streets are packed with revellers. On the 3rd March 2025 over 100 carnival trucks and 30 bands will travel through the city and people throw out sweets to the hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets.

Top Ten Tips for Your Visit to Düsseldorf

If you’re travelling to Düsseldorf in 2024, here are the top tips you need to know to make the most of your trip. From how to order an Altbier to where to find some flea market bargains I’ve got you covered.

1. When to visit Düsseldorf

If you’re traveling to a sports event, such as to attend the Euro 2024 festival or visit a Fortuna Düsseldorf game, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s always something happening in Düsseldorf at every time of the year! If you’re keen to discover the cheapest hotel prices, it’s worth doing some research. Düsseldorf hosts many huge international trade shows and hotels can be very expensive during these shows. If there’s not a trade show on you can often get a bargain hotel! 

2. Learn how to order an Altbier

This is very important information to know about your sports trip to Düsseldorf! The attentive waiters, or Köbes as they are known in Düsseldorf carry trays of fresh Altbier around and are always ready to give you a fresh drink as soon as you near the end of your glass. If you need to catch the waiter’s attention then try and make eye contact with them.

When you’ve had enough beer, or want to pay for your drinks make sure to put a coaster on top of your glass otherwise you’ll get given a fresh glass of Altbier.

It’s also good to know that you only pay for your drinks once you’re ready to leave the pub. The waiter will keep a total of the number of drinks you have had by writing a note on your coaster.

3. Have cash to hand

During your trip to Düsseldorf, it’s a good idea to always have some Euros with you.. As with the rest of Germany the use of many pubs and restaurants don’t take bank cards at all. Things are slowly starting to change, but I recommend having cash with you.

4. Remember to tip

Here’s another tip about money, but it’s important! In Düsseldorf it’s important to tip in bars and restaurants. People are usually happy if you round the bill up to the nearest Euro, or maybe a bit more if you’ve spent a lot of money!

dusseldorf television tower

5. Remember to look up

Düsseldorf is renowned for its amazing architecture, so be sure to look up from time and time and marvel at the array of spectacular building styles. Take a stroll around Dusseldorf Harbor to see some fantastic examples of contemporary architecture by the celebrated Frank Gehry, including an apartment block with a stunning mirrored finish.

6. Make sure you have a public transport ticket

Make sure you have the correct ticket for public transport. Use of local buses and underground trains is done on a trust basis. Users are expected to buy tickets in advance and stamp them on machines in the bus or train. If you don’t have a ticket and you’re caught by the authorities during the journey then you will have to pay a fine. My recommendation is to buy a 24 hour, weekly, or monthly pass so that you’re covered!

You can find a guide to German transportation here on our website, https://www.travelingforsports.com/.

7. Prepare to relax on Sunday

Sunday’s in Germany are made for relaxing and spending time with families. This means that all shops are closed. I’ve lived in Germany for 12 years and still find it strange!

I recommend spending Sunday’s visiting one of Düsseldorf’s great flea markets and hunting for a bargain. The P1 and Radschlager flea markets are my favourites.

8. The City goes to bed early

Despite its vibrancy and cosmopolitan feel, Düsseldorf is a city that likes to get its beauty sleep. If you’re looking for a bar or eaterie that’s open after 10 pm, you’re likely to struggle. A couple of exceptions are Bilk (the student district) and Pempelfort, where you’ll have more luck finding venues that are open later into the night.

9. Enjoy a luxe shopping experience

Düsseldorf is home to the Königsallee, one of Germany’s most expensive and luxurious shopping streets. So, if you’re seeking some retail therapy during your trip, this is the place to make a beeline. As well as uber high-end stores such as Gucci and Chanel, the Ko-Bogen shopping mall can also be found here to take your shopping adventures to the next level.

10. Explore beyond the city limits

If you can fit it into your itinerary, it’s worth spending some time exploring some of the sites just outside of Düsseldorf, such as Benrath Palace, where you can explore the gardens for free, or pay a visit to Cologne, which is just a twenty-minute fast-train ride away.

FAQ about Düsseldorf

What are the best attractions in Düsseldorf?

Some of the highest-rated, must-visit sights in Düsseldorf include the Old Town (Altstadt), King’s Alley (Konnigisallee), and the Rhine River Promenade (Rheinuferpromenade).

What is Düsseldorf best known for?

Düsseldorf is one of the major cities of the Rhineland and is well-known for its art, architecture, and fashion scene.

How many days is enough for Düsseldorf?

Given the amount to see and experience in the city, it’s recommended to have at least three full days in Düsseldorf to fully appreciate everything it has to offer.

Düsseldorf: Home of art, architecture, fashion – and football dreams

If you’re visiting Düsseldorf in 2024 for a fun vacation, a relaxing break, or to catch some of the Euro 2024 matches, you’re in for a real treat. The city is packed with many sports events and places, museums, galleries, and must-visit sites to explore, such as the Altstadt, Königsallee and the Rhine River Promenade. There are also many accommodation options in Düsseldorf that you can decide according to your budget.

If you are in the city with a view to watching the football matches, be sure to build extra time into your itinerary to explore Düsseldorf and all it has to offer – I promise you won’t be disappointed!