music scene reloaded mythical techno pioneers kraftwerk may be düsseldorf’s most famous musical export, but there are plenty of new musicians worth keeping on the radar. among them: the neo-electro band stabil elite and star-dj jan schulte. under his alias wolf müller, schulte has even produced sets for the ‘boiler room’ and is a resident at salon des amateurs, the most avant-garde electro venue in town. over in flingern, zakk is the go-to place for non-mainstream indie and alternative artists, while ak 47 does punk and stahlwerk dance parties. new takes on ‘old’ beer düsseldorf’s beverage of choice is a smooth, copper-hued ale called ‘altbier’ . for over 150 years, the traditional craft breweries – uerige, schlüssel, schumacher and füchschen – have kept the suds flowing in the historic altstadt quarter. fresh competition came in 2010 from new kid brauhaus kürzer and its no-fuss brewpub with exposed brick walls and look-at-me glass barrels. another start-up, gulasch alt, boasts a pert and slightly fruity beer brewed in the suburb of oberkassel. old-school beer halls like brauerei im füchschen oﬀer classic pub grub. rib-stickers like schweinshaxe (roast pork knuckle) and rheinischer sauerbraten (pot roast marinated in wine and vinegar) are perfectly suited for keeping the brain in balance.
extreme makeover ‘hoods flingern, a former blue-collar neighbourhood, is alive with owner-run boutiques, homey hangouts like café hüftgold (divine cakes!) and minimalist-chic restaurant- bars like nooij on the ackerstrasse. even kraftwerk’s old kling klang studio has been reborn as an edgy sound lab, while an old tram depot hosts tanzhaus nrw, an acclaimed contemporary dance academy and performance venue (famous düsseldorf dance company ballet am rhein, led by the renowned martin schläpfer, performs across town at the deutsche oper am rhein). adjacent to medienhafen, unterbilk brims with creative vibrancy, especially along lorettostrasse, which hosts wildly popular spring, midsummer and indian summer festivals. an industrial-flavoured event space called boui boui lures a motley crowd with parties, concerts, street food fairs and a night flea market year round. shop ‘til you drop düsseldorf is a great place to shop – the city’s appetite for high fashion manifests itself on its glamorous königsallee, a historic avenue bisected by a canal and lined by international couture labels. for a dose of street cred head to ackerstrasse in flingern or lorettostrasse in unterbilk, which have some funky galleries, local designer boutiques, jewellery studios and vintage stores along with charismatic cafes for giving your feet (and credit cards) a rest.