New links to the Rhine city of Dusseldorf have opened up at the Doncaster-Sheffield airport - the flight takes less than an hour, and a short taxi journey lands you in the heart of this under-rated German city.
So, it would almost be rude not to take advantage.
DSA can provide the full elite service, from meet and greet car parking to the Premium lounge experience with drinks and food to start your journey in style.
Once over the pond, hotels are in abundance.
We stayed in the Japanese quarter at Hotel Nikko. A spa and pool, free WiFi and conferencing areas, along with a Japanese restaurant are among the facitities this high-class hotel has to offer. And it is fair to say we also enjoyed the benefits of the karaoke booths .
This hotel is only three minutes away from the underground, and the city is well accessed with its train/tram and bus services which can be used via a Dusseldorf Card. That said, the city is compact and flat enough to enjoy walking around to take in the beauty hotspots including art deco style lanterns and shop fronts as well as the sycamore tree-lined promenade along the edge of the Rhine. I recommend trying the ‘hop on hop off’ tour bus first, which is great value for money and gets you around some of the top attractions the city has to offer like the Rhine Tower (Rheinturm), the palace (Schloss Benrath) and Japanese Garden (EKO-Haus der Japanischen Kulture ). The commentary as you pass the each landmark is really informative and this sets you up nicely to explore the sights at your own pace afterwards.
The Rhine Tower is worth a visit, even if just for a coffee. A lift takes you 240m to the top of the this concrete building that was formerly a communications tower, and is now the city’s tallest structure. There is a revolving restaurant at the top offering panoramic views, and you can still grab a snack in the cafe on the floor below while experiencing the same vista. On a clear day you can see nearby Cologne’s Cathedral towers.
If shopping is your thing then you are in luck. The Kings Alley (Konigsallee) is home to high end brands like Prada and Dior but the city also offers a huge range of high street shops too.
Dusseldorf prides itself in fashion and there are many fashion conferences in the city throughout the year.
Just off Konigsallee is a great place to treat yourself to a special lunch at the prestigious Breidenbacher Hof Capella. We had a bento box for 35euro which was available at the hotel’s pop-up restaurant. The modern bar had a huge range of quirky cocktails which were all served with a twist. The ‘Sex in the City’ came in a glass shoe, while Pretty Woman’ was served in a bath tub. This hotel is Dusseldorf’s finest, but they pride themselves in welcoming everyone to enjoy their facilities, and no dress code is required. Beer lovers can visit the many brewery houses which are traditional pubs serving their house dark beers, where waiters don’t stop pouring until you put a beer mat over the glass. And if you want to be in with a chance of experiencing more of the 300 bars in the old town then pacing yourself is a wise move .
Most locals drink stood at benches outside under warm shelters - which really does bring the streets to life.