Best Places to Live in Dusseldorf: The City’s Top 10 Neighborhoods
Situated in the heart of Germany’s Rhineland, between the Rhine-Rhur and Rhineland Metropolitan Region, the city of Dusseldorf has long been a popular city to settle for both locals and ex-pats alike. Considered to be the financial capital of Germany, Dusseldorf has risen as one of the most modern and booming metropolitan areas in the country.
Aside from its fantastic financial sector, Dusseldorf is renowned for its fashion scene, modern culinary landscapes, and its huge array of television companies calling the city home. From Old Town in the inner city to the green suburban communities, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the best neighborhoods in Dusseldorf.
Whether you want to be in the bustling heart of Dusseldorf’s booming financial sector, the historic Old Town of Dusseldorf, or amongst the green and pleasant suburban neighborhoods on its outskirts, this city, in the center of the Rhineland, has it all.
Finding the best areas to live in Dusseldorf will come down to your own personal preferences, your budget, and how you wish to spend your time in this famous European city. Read on to find the best neighborhoods in Dusseldorf and where to live in Dusseldorf to suit your needs.
Best for: History buffs, city center living and walkable shops.
Living in the Old Town of Dusseldorf and at the heart of the city.
Altstadt, translating as the Old Town, is situated in the very center of the city. Also known as Stadtmitte, meaning the city center, Altstadt happens to be the oldest neighborhood in Dusseldorf too. Although only small in comparison, spanning around half a square kilometer, Altstadt continues to captivate thousands of visitors every year.
Surrounded by the mega-city of Dusseldorf, Altstadt has managed to retain its old town feel that has passed down through the centuries. The narrow winding streets of Altstadt house an array of historic buildings that hark back to the days of ancient Dusseldorf, making it one of the most charming neighborhoods in the city.
Set along the eastern banks of the River Rhine, Altstadt allows you to be in the center of all the action, while still being able to add a little nature and natural surroundings to your home here. Popular with tourists and tourist-based businesses, Altstadt can be one of the busiest and most expensive places to live in the city. However, for those who wish to be amongst the very beating heart of the city, Altstadt makes the ideal place in which to settle.
All in all, Altstadt is one of the best neighborhoods to live in in Dusseldorf if you want to retain a little of the old facade and feel of the city.
Best for: Busy streets, lively atmosphere and young professionals.
Located in the south of the central district, the neighborhood of Friedrichstadt is another popular choice if you wish to be in the center of the city. Unlike the Old Town, Friedrichstadt was a preplanned neighborhood, drawn-out and built from plans in the 19th century.
This pre-planned neighborhood design gives Friedrichstadt a real symmetrical feel, made up of straight lines and square blocked streets – ideal for those who crave a little order. Originally designed as a garden city, Friedrichstadt has quickly grown into one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Dusseldorf.
Despite this dense population, the openness of Friedrichstadt is surprising for a central city neighborhood. The perfectly straight roads all meet at a circular center, at the very middle of which is Fürstenplatz, a recreational and playground area, that has become a central meeting point for locals.
Perfectly situated between the very center of the city and the outer city, Friedrichstadt is one of the best places to live in Dusseldorf if you want streamlined connections to the rest of the city. Overall, Friedrichstadt is perfect for those who enjoy being amongst the hustle and bustle of the inner city. Due to the dense population and location, however, Friedrichstadt has very few green spaces, making it a lesser choice for those with young children settling in Dusseldorf.
Best for: Transport connections, budget rental properties, and a thriving ex-pat community.
A little further out from Dusseldorf’s city center is the neighborhood of Oberbilk. Oberbilk is home to the city’s central station, making it another ideal spot for those who want strong public transport connections to the rest of the city. Once renowned for being the epicenter of Dusselfdorf’s working-class community, Oberbilk has now grown into a neighborhood famed for its third-sector industries.
A highly popular neighborhood for ex-pats, Oberbilk’s population is 23% non-German, which is higher than the 17% found in Düsseldorf as a whole. The multicultural nature of Oberbilk has not only made it one of the best neighborhoods in Dusseldorf for ex-pats but also brought with it a melting pot of foreign culture. This takes the form of an incredible multinational food scene, including restaurants selling cuisine from Japan, Greece, Turkey and so many more.
As one of the more affordable neighborhoods in which to live in Dusselfdorf’s central district, Oberbilk is a popular neighborhood for students and younger residents looking for smaller apartments and low-budget rental properties.
Best for: Young professionals, waterside living, and a thriving arts and culture scene.
The neighborhood of Unterbilk is considered to be one of Dusseldorf’s biggest transformations and success stories. Made up of the historic Dusseldorf docks, Unterbilk spent most of its life as a rather run-down region of the city, relying on the booming dock economy and labor class that lived and worked here.
Over the past few years, however, Unterbilk has gone through an extravagant transformation. Unterbilk has transformed from a dockyard neighborhood to the center of media and the creative arts. Known as a media harbor, Unterbilk has begun offering modern and central workspaces to a variety of media and creative companies, making it the heart of the media industry in Dusseldorf.
With this burst of funding and improved economic status, Unterbilk has seen a time of gentrification, which has made it one of the most desirable places to live in the city. Competition for rental properties has increased the cost of living here, yet it makes it one of the best neighborhoods in Duseelfdorf for creative types to settle.
A combination of riverside accommodation, a thriving media and arts scene, and the historical culture of Dusseldorf docks all contribute to the popularity of the Unterbilk neighborhood, and it is easy to see why.
Best for: Suburban living, families with young children, and open green spaces.
Lying on the western banks of the River Rhine, opposite the city center, the neighborhood of Oberkassel is seen as one of the most well-to-do areas in Dusseldorf. The perfect combination of proximity to the city center while at the same time having the idyllic river separating you from the inner city congestion only adds to Oberkassel’s popularity.
Oberkassel blends the city neighborhood perfectly with a feel of a suburban and a countryside setting, made up of a variety of different homes, from detached standalone houses to apartment buildings. These often cobblestoned streets are balanced out with a rich brown of treelined streets, bringing an idyllic greenness to the Oberkassel neighborhood.
A short walk from your home, you will also come to a huge sway of green fields on the western banks of the River Rhine. Although extremely close to the city center, this green belt of fields gives the impression that you have stepped out into the countryside. With winding, riverside trails cutting through Rhine meadows, the banks are even home to a flock of sheep – only adding to the green and countryside feel.
All of this idyll makes Oberkassel one of the best places to live in Dusseldorf, but this does come at a price. Oberkassel is one of the most upmarket and expensive neighborhoods in the city, yet many would see the price worth it to live in such a nice part of the city.
Best for: Families, city-center living, outdoor spaces and high-street shopping.
From one upmarket part of the city to another, the neighborhood of Dusseltal is located in the eastern central district of Dusseldorf, all within a natural valley. Seen as one of the best shopping districts in the city, Dusseltal is not only a great place to live for all things shopping, but it also attracts its fair share of city break visitors.
Until 1943, Dusseltal was also known as Dusseltal-Zoo, as it was home to the zoological garden of Dusseltal. Although the zoo is no longer running, it has been replaced by Zoo Park, one of the most popular features of the Dusseltal neighborhood. This huge city park makes a pleasant escape from the hecticness of the modern city and is set right in the middle of the neighborhood. The park is made up of sweeping green fields, numerous trees, and a huge duck pond at its center.
Aside from its fantastic retail opportunities and swathes of green spots, Dusseltal is also home to a number of child-friendly spots, all of which make it an ideal neighborhood for families wanting to settle in Dusseldorf. These include things such as kid-friendly cafes, Schillerplatz, a big playground for kids of all ages, and a number of green spaces in which they can play safe.
Best for: Students, job opportunities, and affordable housing.
Located in the east of Dusseldorf, the neighborhood of Filngern long held the status of being the city’s premier blue-collar neighborhood. Today, Filngern is divided into two different boroughs, Filngern-Nord and Filngern-Süd. This north-south divide has given Filngern two different feels to two neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive identity.
Filngern-Süd has retained the blue-collar working class routes for which the neighborhood is famous. This borough retains the factory economy, with numerous old and new factories providing work for a huge number of the neighborhood’s population. These working-class routes and endless job opportunities make Filngern-Süd one of the best neighborhoods in Dusseldorf for those looking to work in this sector.
On the other hand, Filngern-Nord has stepped away from its working-class, blue-collar reputation and gone through a series of reinventions over the past few years. The once working-class housing has given way to a more middle-class community, many of which live in converted industrial buildings and converted warehouses.
Alongside this residential transformation, Flingern-Nord is also home to a booming student arts scene. Despite its closeness to the city center, Flingern-Nord has managed to maintain its reasonable house and apartment rental prices, again, this makes it an appealing place to settle for students as well as families.
Best for: Close proximity to the city center, river-side housing and village-esque feel.
The neighborhood of Carlstadt lies just south of the Old Town in the center of Dusseldorf. Carlstadt makes a perfect district in which to settle if you want all the charm of the Old Town without the often overwhelming crowds. With winding little roads, flanked by vintage cafes, Carlstadt has the feel of a quaint village.
One of the biggest draws to Carlstadt is its open-air market. A daily occurrence on the streets of Carlstadt, the market sells a range of local foods such as cheeses and sausages, as well as other European influences such as French crepes and Italian delicacies, and even Indian street food.
With a perfect balance of boutique shops, popular restaurants, and a natural riverside feel, Carlstadt is one of the best neighborhoods in Dusseldorf for those seeking a little bit of everything. With the local market and river on your doorstep, you can while away your weekends in peace, yet it is close enough to the center of the city for you to make the commute in no time at all.
As well as popular shops and markets, Carlstadt is also home to some of the city’s most celebrated museums. These include the Museum K21 and the underground exhibition house Kunst im Tunnel.
Best for: Museum hopping, modern accommodation, and open green spaces.
Although Carlstadt boasts its fair share of museums, the neighborhood of Pempelfort has long been seen as the very center of Dusseldorf’s art and culture movement. Located in the north of the city’s central District One, Pempelfort has an ultra-modern feel, only boosted by the newly implemented urban building projects.
With an attractive mix of modern and Altbau-style architecture, the homes in Pempelfort instantly reflect the neighborhood’s artistic and cultured nature. Fitting in perfectly with this reputation is the splendid number of museums, theatres, and other cultural facilities that can be found in Pempelfort.
With a modern outlook on homes and housing, Pempelfort constructed the largest building project in the city, the Le Quartier Central. Le Quartier Central is made up of 140,000 sqm of flats and 311,000 sqm of office spaces. Although Pempelfort has seen a furious building program, the neighborhood still retains a number of green and pleasant spots.
Green spots in the neighborhood include a huge park that stretches up much of the eastern side of Pempelfort. This park is a popular spot for local dog walkers and those whole wish to breathe a little fresh air in the center of the city.
Best for: Friendly ex-pat community, student living, and low-cost rent.
Just north of Pempelfort is the neighborhood of Derendorf, seen as one of the next up-and-coming boroughs of the city. Home to many university faculties, Derendorf has a booming student population, which has made it a popular place to live for the city’s younger population. This rise in student residents has also had another effect on Derendorf, an increase in nightlife.
Derendorf’s reputation as one of Dusseldorf’s premier nightlife has been born out of its closeness to the city center, while still retaining its low-key vibe. Balancing out its nightlife is its reputation as being home to many national and international companies in Germany. Companies such as L’Oréal Deutschland, McKinsey & Company Inc, Deloitte Consulting GmbH, Metro AG, and TK Maxx all have their head offices based in the Derendorf neighborhood.
Over the past couple of decades, Derendorf has become a central neighborhood for Dusseldorf and Germany’s ever-growing Turkish community. The community has grown into one of the largest Turkish diasporas in western Germany, with Derendorf being home to the city’s central mosque. This Turkish influx has given Derendorf a truly multicultural feel, one that can be seen in the booming Turkish culinary scene throughout the neighborhood, only adding to its unique feel.