Did you know that the debt-free metropolis of Düsseldorf on the Rhine is regarded as one of the hot spots of international fashion? No, we didn’t either but apparently this German city has more than a few surprises for those of you who like to do some serious shopping.
Such major international designers as Armani, Bulgari, Gucci, Jil Sander, Prada and Versace have opened shops along the luxurious shopping mile – Königsallee – which is one of Europe’s top retail boulevards.
It’s here that exclusive boutiques rub shoulders with major fashion houses, and where shopping malls with elegant street cafés can be found. It is a true catwalk for the latest trends – a great place to see what’s going on and to be seen. Wealthy visitors, models and bankers may be seen browsing the many designer outlets and jewellery shops.
Königsallee, often called the “Kö”, is said to be the busiest luxury street in Germany. At peak times, there can be as many as 6,000 pedestrians strolling along the boulevard, enjoying one of the greatest densities of high-end businesses in Europe. Once Kö-Bogen opens in 2013, the area for top addresses that is Königsallee will be elongated and receive new impulses.
Those who like curious and trendy things will just love taking a stroll through the Altstadt (Old Town). The narrow alleyways have become home to unconventional fashion shops and many avant-garde stores.
A particularly idyllic flair may be enjoyed in the historic district of Carlstadt, with its many antique shops, galleries and art shops. Schadowstraße also has many attractive shopping opportunities to offer. And there are lots of shopping arcades in the city centre to make shopping enjoyable even on rainy days. Schadow Arkaden, Sevens, Kö-Galerie and Stilwerk could not be more different from one another in style and appearance.
The exclusive Breidenbacher Hof hotel finally opened its doors again in Düsseldorf in the summer of 2008. As did, incidentally, several shops inside the building, too. Marco Polo, Hugo Boss, Strellson and Calvin Klein are but four of the new tenants, and Abercrombie & Fitch opened its first German flagship store in the direct vicinity.
But that’s not all: Escada displays its haute couture directly opposite, close to Gucci and Louis Vuitton. If that alone hadn’t made Audrey Hepburn’s eyes sparkle, the new branch of Tiffany & Co. would have made her fall in love with Düsseldorf. And already, style icons and fashion fans are always talking about Prange, Franzen, Eickhoff and Jades.
But you don’t have to avoid Düsseldorf if you don’t want to shell out on luxury and chichi. The 120 shops at Düsseldorf Arcaden also attract many visitors to the down-to-earth district of Bilk.
Shopping enthusiasts and trendsetters will find fashion away from the mainstream all around Lorettostraße, in close proximity to the MedienHafen, or in the trendy, up-and-coming district Flingern.
Those in Düsseldorf unable to choose between Ansons, Peek & Cloppenburg, Esprit, Zara, Mango, New Yorker or Karstadt, and as many as three Galeria Kaufhof, stores should try reading an exciting book. Over six storeys in its largest outlet in Germany, the Mayer’sche bookshop presents the printed word in products ranging from novels to calendars.
Many visitors take advantage of the special hotel package Düsseldorf á la Card, available through the city’s tourism website. The special starts at €49 per person per double room and €65 for a single room, including breakfast. For more information on Düsseldorf and special holiday hotel packages, visit http://www.visitduesseldorf.de.
Düsseldorf International Airport is just 8km away from the city centre and easily reachable from 12 different UK cities. Many airlines such as airberlin, Lufthansa, British Airways, easyJet, Jet2com and Flybe offer great deals for a weekend break.
For more information on more than 200 weekly flights between UK and Düsseldorf visit http://www.duesseldorf-international.de.