The city of Düsseldorf is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous federal state in Germany. Düsseldorf is the 7th largest German city with a population of over 617,280 people. Moving to Düsseldorf is worth considering due to the high quality of life it offers in terms of infrastructure, healthcare, job opportunities, education and transport links.
Is Düsseldorf a good place to live? As the 2nd largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has transformed itself over the years into being one of the best places to live in Germany. It has exceptional international schools, superb infrastructure that has a futuristic feel, excellently renovated city centre and a cosmopolitan feel.
Perhaps you are moving to Dusseldorf soon for work purposes or just looking to start a new life and you have some questions.
- Which are the best neighborhoods?
- What is the cost of living?
- How much do properties cost?
- What are the schools like?
This blog post answers those questions. Read on to know more.
Is Düsseldorf a good place to Live?
Düsseldorf has many great neighborhoods such as Stadtmitte (banking district & melting pot of culture), Pempelfort (popular among the singles), Hafen (new architecture & attracts young people), Bilk (filled with foreigners and students), Oberkassel (rich in art nouveau architecture & and superbly green) and Niederkasse (over 25% of the city’s Japanese population live here).
Similar to many other cities, Düsseldorf also has some neighbourhoods that are not so nice such as Garath, Reisholz, Rath, Flingern South, Holthausen, Eller, and Heerdt. But overall, Düsseldorf has low crime levels, even lower than Hamburg and Berlin, which makes it an attractive relocation place.
In general, schools in Düsseldorf are very good. Many expatriates living in Dusseldorf usually opt to take their children to international schools where they are taught in English. International schools are really popular in this city; some good examples are International School of Düsseldorf, ISR International School on the Rhine, and St. George’s The British International School Duisburg-Düsseldorf.
Düsseldorf is home to many colleges and universities such as Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Haus Der Universität, Heinrich Heine Universität, IN.D Institute of Design Düsseldorf, Daa Wirtschaftsakademie Düsseldorf, Hfh Hamburger Fern-Hochschule, Studentenwerk Düsseldorf, AMD Akademie Mode & Design, Fom Hochschule, and Hochschulsport.
Public transportation in this German city is efficient, affordable, and easy to understand. Local public transportation services are provided by Rheinbahn AG. Rheinbahn manages buses, streetcars and Stadtbahn (subway). The city’s public transport network is part of the connected transport network Rhine-Ruhr area (VRR). Fares are set by VRR and not by Rheinbahn.
Social life in Düsseldorf is fairly lively. Green spots aren’t that many in the city centre, but the city has a nice green feel to it because of the many trees and the Rhine River. The city also offers multiple swimming pools, sauna & massage facilities, golf courses, gym centres and social clubs.
Is Düsseldorf a good place to Work?
Apart from being a major international business centre, Düsseldorf is also very famous worldwide for its fashion industry. It has actually been nicknamed “Little Paris”. However, this city is also a cultural and tourism hub as numerous events and exhibitions are conducted here.
Düsseldorf’s economy is primarily based on automotive manufacturing, biotechnology, chemistry, energy, information & communication technology, logistics, micro-technology, nanotechnology, plastics & new materials manufacturing, seaport and trade.
This city is a top telecommunication centre being home to many large national and international companies like EON, E-Plus, Ericson, Espirit Holdings, Eurowings, Henkel, Huawei, Peek & Cloppenburg, Rheinmetall, and Vodafone.
1 in every 7 companies in the city of Düsseldorf originates from a foreign country. The area is home to over 13,000 foreign registered firms. There are also about 170 financial institutions (including banks and credit unions), more than 130 insurance firms and media & advertising agencies.
The city’s labour market is really open and dynamic. Unemployment rate in Düsseldorf stood at 6.9% in December 2017. Finding a job here is not that hard, but job seekers should ensure they have the skills required by the local labour market before applying for jobs.
Salaries in Düsseldorf are good; the average net salary is €51,463 (as of 16th March 2019). People with a Bachelor of Science degree earn €48,748 on average and those with a Master of Engineering Degree earn an average salary of €58,958.
Is Düsseldorf a good place to buy a House?
When it comes to buying or renting properties in Düsseldorf, the most popular neighborhoods are situated around the centre of the city. These are Alstadt, Bilk, Carlstadt, Derendorf, Friedrichstadt, Golzheim, Oberkassel and Stadtmitte. These neighbourhoods have restaurants, bars, shopping centres, pubs, clubs, and easy access to public transport networks.
Carlstadt is perhaps the most sophisticated and centrally placed residential area to stay in. Along the amazing Mannmannufer river bank there are magnificent buildings offering a scenic view over the Rhine River toward Oberkassel.
Golzheim and Oberkassel are considered to be the city’s posh neighborhoods. Here there are luxury apartments, family houses, and villas plus large, contemporary shopping malls and luxurious shops.
Friedrichstadt is a favorite among young families. This neighborhood is friendly, lively, relaxed and near Südpark with a good quality of life.
Most neighborhoods in Düsseldorf offer a variety of accommodation options: furnished and unfurnished apartments, studios, family homes, villas etc. The interest rate for a mortgage loan in this city is 1.88% for 20 years. This is a great deal for any expat who would is deciding on living in Germany.
Rents in Düsseldorf are generally high. The monthly rent for a 1 bedroom apartment located in the city centre is €619.67. An apartment with 3 bedrooms in the city centre goes for €1,396.67 per month. Outside the city centre apartments are cheaper: a 1-bed apartment goes for €525 per month and a 3-bed apartment is worth €1,010.71 per month.
Property prices are high too, but this is no surprise as the city has a good economy and high quality of living. It is possible to find a 5-bed house selling for €2,595,000, a 3-bedroomed home going for €1,680,000 and a single-bedroomed home selling for €530,000.
Is Düsseldorf a good place to invest in property?
Investing in real estate is one of the best investments a person can make in their life. Success in property investing is highly dependent on the location chosen. In Düsseldorf, the demand for great central property is very strong such that sellers usually look for buyers with a strong financial background.
Düsseldorf has an expanding population, good infrastructure, good local and international schools and numerous cultural amenities. With these qualities, it makes for a good real estate investment location.
Investing in a property in Düsseldorf is also worth considering as interesting tax incentives are offered to investors purchasing residential property to rent out. Moreover, any profit resulting from selling a residential investment unit is not charged any tax given the property’s been held for a minimum of 10 years.
Is Düsseldorf a good place to raise a family?
Düsseldorf’s popularity is not a secret. It is a nice location to raise a family due to many factors. The air and railway connections are excellent, and there are high quality medical facilities throughout the city. In addition to that, Düsseldorf is generally safe with very low crime levels.
The city of Düsseldorf offers the best of the best standards of living and is a hot spot among foreigners and international workers. Despite being a fairly small city compared to Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, Düsseldorf is actually home to some of the most engaged communities for expats.
Düsseldorf is the 3rd most expensive German city. The monthly living cost for a 4-person family without rent is roughly €2,647.75. Overall cost of electricity, water, heating, cooling, and waste removal bills is €225.84 per month. Internet bills (At least 60 Mbps unlimited data, cable or ADSL) add up to around €30.38 a month.
Preschool or kindergarten for one child costs €391.67 monthly while education at an International Primary school for one child costs €17,933.33 per annum.
Is Düsseldorf a good place to Retire?
Düsseldorf ranks highly when it comes to the most popular German cities for foreign retirees. This is because it has high safety levels, many recreation opportunities and world-class healthcare facilities.
However, the high standards in healthcare come with high costs. As a result it is important for foreign retirees to acquire comprehensive medical insurance prior to relocating to this city. Most doctors in Düsseldorf speak some English, but it is always better to know how to speak some German before moving to Germany.
Although the weather tends to fluctuate between hot summers and very cold winters during the year, many foreign retirees love the romance of the ever-changing seasons – and find one unchanging climate monotonous.
While the German cuisine isn’t as revered as the Italian or French cuisine, the offerings are sumptuous and unique to the region. There are juicy sausages, savory pretzels, crispy schnitzel, sauerkraut and absolute quality beer.
Düsseldorf is also a viable retirement destination because it has a good offering of retirement homes distributed in different parts of the city. Some good examples include Seniorenwohnanlage Rosenhof Hochdahl, Haus Lörick e.V. Wohnstift, AWO-Alten-und Pflegeheim Helene-Simon-Haus, Seniorenresidenz Paulus Haus, Liebfrauen-Betreutes Wohnen, and DRK-Zentrum Wersten.
Is Düsseldorf a good place to Visit?
Sitting along River Rhine’s banks, Düsseldorf is a contemporary, cosmopolitan city bustling with exciting activities to keep all sorts of travelers entertained. For those you love to shop, Konigsallee’s long stretch of interesting retail shops is bound to get anyone in the mood. To chill out, the old town’s alleyways are filled with bars and pubs that can cater to any sort of palette.
Düsseldorf is conveniently located an hour’s flight away from London. Moreover it is just 30km away from Cologne and it is possible to catch a train to the beautiful city of Paris. There are great transport links leading from Düsseldorf airport which means that visitors can get on with their sightseeing activities in no time.
Moreover, not far from northern Düsseldorf is Dortmund and Essen, which are popular tourist destinations. To the west lies Maastricht and Liege is just 1hr and 30 minutes away by train. Brussels is just 45 minutes farther. All in all, from Düsseldorf it is possible to travel to other attractive European cities with ease.
River Rhine is the centre point of much of the nightlife in this city. When it is sunny, the promenade on the river is filled with many skaters, couples picnicking, friends taking strolls, as well as bars and cafes wonderfully lit with lovely music. Here visitors can also enjoy a boat trip to the remodelled harbour in MedienHafen.
Strolling around the scenic MedienHafen it is hard to miss the modern architecture. There’s the famous Gehry buildings, which look impressive with the curving, slanting design and shiny surfaces. The fresh breeze from the river and the rejuvenated marina add to the beauty of this area.
Another must-see feature is the Rhine tower. A day with fine weather and €5 allow visitors to view the city’s skyline for miles. The Rhine tower also serves as a clock with a creative use of some dotted lights on the side to tell the time. Other visible structures around the town are the numerous churches constructed during the 17th century standing alongside modern buildings.
Sightseeing around town is made easier by the cheap transport options. Düsseldorf still operates tramlines linking the city centre with the outer city limits. This allows travellers to wander seamlessly to the northern part of the city where they can set their eyes on the famous Scholoss Benrath palace. This palace was built during the 18th century and it is surrounded by romantic statues, beautiful parkland and a lake.
Visitors will not only find an abundance of German food, but they will also stumble across Argentinian, English, French, Mexican, Moroccan and other international cuisine all at reasonable prices. A popular spot is Kasbah, which is a beautifully decorated Moroccan café that serves up hot chocolate. For something more filling, the city has numerous restaurants to pick from, with some offering full views of the scenic harbour area.
The Germans love their beer, therefore it comes as no surprise that the city of Düsseldorf produces its own brew (it is wonderfully light similar to sparkling wine). The most imported brews are in Alstadt. This area is lined with many bars and eateries that have brews from across the world.
Having hosted the Eurovision contests back in 2011, Düsseldorf offers a lively nightlife from its Apolo building, which promises to leave visitors in stitches due to laughter, to its Tonehalle Dome, which harbours top-notch acoustics.
With more than 20 museums and over 100 galleries, Düsseldorf is a city full of cultural opportunities. The city’s history and culture is featured in all its buildings, and for more exploration, the Filmmueseum has an exhibition that displays the art of filmmaking and visitors have a chance to get behind the lens themselves.
Another exciting attraction in Düsseldorf is Kaiserwerth. It is one of the oldest and “poshest” neighborhoods in this city, and it offers visitors a chance to view Baroque buildings and picturesque views of the Rhine.
Nordpark’s Japanese Garden is a great place to stroll and relax. This serene Japanese garden is one of the largest and most popular parks in Düsseldorf. It is crisscrossed by broad pathways passing through the spacious lawns and scenic gardens. Other highlights in Nordpark are a Horse-Tamers statue and Aquazoo Löbbecke Museum, which is a great place for children of all ages due to the fantastic natural history displays, big aquarium and an interesting insectarium.
Another large park in Düsseldorf is Hofgarten. This large park lies along the banks of River Rhine and has an English landscape design. It has extensive meadows, wooded areas, and many streams and ponds. A notable building here is the Baroque Hoftgärtnerhaus (Court Gardener House), which was formerly the home of Maximilian Weyhe, a garden architect.
Visitors who love classic cars should definitely visit Classic Remise Düsseldorf. This is a paradise for car lovers, a combination showroom, restoration and repair centre, parts shop, vehicle storage facility, and retail shop for vehicle-related attire and gifts. An unusual feature in this place is the abundance of glass storage boxes for owners to store vehicles securely where aficionados can view them.
Düsseldorf not only offers numerous entertainment options and activities, this city is also filled with super friendly locals and foreigners. For anybody worried about not being able to speak fluent German, needn’t be, as there are French speakers, English speakers, Spanish speakers and a very large population of Japanese speakers.
For any first-time visitors planning to see top attractions in Düsseldorf, the best place to stay is situated along Königsallee, which is the most exclusive shopping street. Here there are numerous designer boutiques, jewellery shops, and elegant cafes and restaurants. Several steps from Königsallee is the Old Town/Alstadt and it is also an attractive place to stay in while visiting the city.
There are plenty of great luxury, mid-range and budget hotels in Düsseldorf. Luxury hotels that are located in convenient locations include Breidenbacher Hof a Capella Hotel, InterContinental Düsseldorf, and Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf. Great mid-range hotels include Max Hotel Garni, Sir & Lady Astor Hotel, and Hotel National. Some of the best budget hotels in the city are Hotel Barcelona, Abode-Hotel and Hanseat Hotel.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.