Future State: A Forward-Thinking Guide to Düsseldorf, Germany

Future State: A Forward-Thinking Guide to Düsseldorf, Germany

Düsseldorf, the glittering capital of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, is a hub of entrepreneurial innovation, its architecture-rich riverside streets a magnet for both culture-hungry tech-heads and work-hard, play-hard creatives in search of the Next Big Thing

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city of Düsseldorf perches on the point where the River
Rhine meets the Düssel tributary, and this is something of a
metaphor for life in this fast-flowing urban jungle where tech and
art, work and play and progress and tradition blend so

Known as much for their style as their cosmopolitanism,
Düsseldorfers have always been early adopters. Between 1882 and
1892, the population doubled as residents embraced steel
manufacturing. During the Nineties and Noughties, the city sashayed
to the front of the country’s fashion scene (glossy Königsallee
boulevard is still Germany’s answer to Fifth Avenue). And, over the
last decade, it has been gaining a reputation as a mecca for the
tech industry – in 2021 alone, 20,000 new jobs opened up in the
field. That’s a lot of interesting, creative people in one place:
the sense that literally anyone could be the next Elon Musk or Kara
Swisher permeates the city like the smell of fresh pastries does
its many upscale bakeries.

Cityscape of Dusseldorf
Conservations by the Düssel river

City views, left, and conversations by the river.

Wander through Flingern and you’ll find factories filled with
artists’ studios and vintage shops to rival Berlin’s, while the
Japanese quarter, a few blocks south of Central Station, is as
ramen-filled and sake-sodden as any area in Tokyo. On sunny
evenings after work, locals head to the banks of the Rhine in
Düsseldorf-Pempelfort to sip craft beer at waterfront bars such as
Three Little Birds and watch the sun sink slowly behind
Oberkasseler Bridge. Follow the river west and you’ll spot the
iconic skyline of MedienHafen (Media Harbour). Despite postmodern
architectural highlights that include three sinuous Frank Gehry
buildings, the Lego-like Colorium and spiny Rheinturm, it’s the
huge concentration of digital companies that have sprung up here in
the past decade that makes it one of the most exciting cities in
the country.

In the know: a city guide to Düsseldorf

Japanese interiors at Me and All Hotel, Düsseldorf


Me and All Hotel

This design-led hotel in the buzzy Japanese quarter combines a
sleek modern look with whimsical touches – lanterns, masks – for a
cosmopolitan effect. The 11th-floor bar has sweeping city views and
a DJ every Thursday, while the excellent Rösterei Vier keeps those
in its co-working space well-caffeinated.


Immermannstrasse 23, 40210

A room at 25 Hours Hotel Das Tour


25 Hours Hotel Das Tour

Despite facilities including an on-site florist, bicycle shop
and 14th-floor sauna, the bedrooms are the highlight of this funky,
French-inspired hotel. Expect contemporary four-posters, working
record players and freestanding bathtubs on balconies. Crack open a
complimentary craft brew and relax.


Louis-Pasteur-Platz 1, 40211

The Lowdown

Join the tech startups and creative entrepreneurs making
Düsseldorf their home by heading to visit-duesseldorf.de and urbanana.de to discover
more. Purchase Volume 39: Ritual to read our 20-page travel companion
to Ruhr, Cologne and Düsseldorf.

View of Cologne from a rooftop bar

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