Recently, I got to spend a few days in Düsseldorf and Cologne. Here is my take on these two cities and Germany.
Generally speaking, Germany can be slightly more expensive than France, excepted for food. Supermakets are really affordable. Same goes for restaurants. However, note that tipping is still a thing in Germany, as opposed to France where hardly anybody tips.
Travelling to Germany from France can be done by riding a train, usually Thalys. Quite pricey but very convenient.
One funny fact - and sometimes irritating: not many businesses accept credit/debit cards,they tend to favor cash. Be prepared!
I recommend a little walk in Düsseldorf's old town, Altstadt. Walk by the Rhein, enjoy the fresh air.
A very nice place to chill out and enjoy a nice view at sunset is 25hours Hotel Das Tour. Go to the bar at the top, get yourself a drink, it's very affordable!
Finally, if you're into getting high... check out the Rhine Tower. 9 euros, if my memory serves well.
Unfortunately, I did not get to spend much time there. However, I can still recommend the Cathedral. Most of it is open to the public for free, even a few parts of the crypt.
Going to Cologne from Düsseldorf is cheap, only 11.5 euros by train. I heard one could get even lower prices, depending on the type of train.
Such a beautiful city! It is the third-largest city of Germany, and yet it does not feel so big. The must-see places include:
- Marienplatz, the main square of the city, and the New Town Hall, which you can climb to get a view of the whole city
- Ratskeller München, a restaurant right in the city hall courtyard
- Nearby are a bunch of churches: Peterskirche (you can go to the top), Heiliggeistkirche
- The world famous cathedral with its Devil's footprint: Frauenkirche
- Theatinerkirche, next to the Residenz (a 3-hour long museum)
- Feldherrnhalle, a monument between Theatinerkirche and the Residenz
- Deutsches Museum: again, dedicate at least 3 hours, and don't forget about the mine in the basement, a fun experience!
- Siegestor: a triumphal arc
- In the Englischen Garten: Monopteros, Chinese Tower and its beer garden
- Schloss Nymphenburg
- In Olympiapark: Olympiaturm (a tower, 7 euros to get to the top, with a rock museum at the top), BMW Welt (free) and BMW Museum (paid)
- Pinakothek der Moderne, a modern art museum - I did not really like that one, as opposed to others like Centre Pompidou in Paris or the Tate Modern Museum in London
- Maximilianstraße, a beautiful street
- Asamkirche, a tiny and surprising church
- Müller'sches Volksbad - pro tip: at night after 8pm, for 13 euros you get both spa and swimming pool
- And of course, the iconic Hofbräuhaus München
I also highly recommend the Tollwood Winter Festival. That's where we spent 2018-2019 New Year's Eve, and it was F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S. They even had lockers for us to store our fireworks. Anyone could freely walk in and out, as long as they showed a stamp of their wrist to get back inside. Plus the bands and the music were great!
Pro tip: most museums cost 1 euro on Sundays! The Deutsches Museum does, at least.
Transporation tip: buy a weekly IsarCard. Also, I hear the CityTourCard is a good deal, with 80+ attraction discounts included. We did not try it though.
That's it for now! Until next time...