2020 is a crazy year and I never thought that I have to cancel all my travel plans! After a whole year (!) I could finally take a step into the plane again. Yes, the last time was like September 2019, when I visited my relatives in Japan with my sister. I truly have to say that I was a bit worried that we have to cancel our travel plans again since the number of COVID-19 cases are rising again in Switzerland (and all around Europe), but now I can say – I managed to survive my short trip to Düsseldorf, Germany haha! Travelling has never been so stressful like this year! Worrying about cancellations and COVID-19 all the time… I really wish everything is over and gets back to normal soon! Anyway, let’s talk about the happy moments in Düsseldorf.
The last time I have been to this city was two years ago because of the Dokomi event. Düsseldorf did not change a lot since then, the shopping street (around Primark) became very beautiful and there are some new shops and restaurants around Japan Town. We stayed at the Nikko Hotel, which is located in the middle of Immermannstrasse. It is very near from Düsseldorf main station, in the centre of Japan Town and has a awesome Sky Spa with a pool and a view! Unfortunately, the Spa was closed – guess why – and the room service has been reduced to its minimum, which means, room cleaning will be done every four days and all the hotel amenities like slippers, toothbrush, comb etc. as well as notepad and pen were not available (which I can understand, because these are all small goodies, which people touch = cause more expense & COVID-19 risk). Even the “do not disturb/please clean” hotel signs disappeared, which was quite interesting lol. So after the check-in (and realising that 2020 is still a crazy year), we went out for shopping! First stop: drugstores – not (only) because of beauty stuff & co. but especially for disinfectants, haha! It’s way cheaper in Germany than in Switzerland and since it is a “must-have” nowadays, this was the first thing that I got in Düsseldorf. We went to PRIMARK, LEGO Store, Saturn and many other stores later on and checked all the Asian shops around Immermannstrasse to get some Japanese foodies! We ate a lot of Japanese food – from Katsu Curry to Sushi, Karaage fried chicken and super delicious lunch boxes! And not to forget the monster burger with fries downing in sauce and the amazing vanilla shake (@ What’s Beef)! In a nutshell, we had a lovely time in Düsseldorf spending most of the time with shopping & eating. We will definitely be back again – hopefully when the Spa is open again!
You can find some useful information about Düsseldorf (and Köln/Cologne) in my past blog posts → here, but since I never wrote about the general travel information, you can find all important point below (including COVID-19 restrictions).
*Travel Information COVID-19 | Germany – Switzerland 09.2020
*Switzerland is not on the list of risk countries, but since 16th September 2020, the canton of Geneva and Vaud are classified as risk areas. In case you are living or have been in Geneva/Vaud over the past 14 days you are required to go into quarantine or you have to submit a test to prove that you are COVID-negative. They did not do any control at the airport, but they will ask you at the hotel and you will be obligated to fill in a form with your personal information. The same applies to restaurants – you will be asked to leave your personal information, in case there is a COVID case.
*Compulsory wearing of face masks: If you travel by plane, you have to bring your own mask along. Face shields & FFP2 masks with valves as well as scarfs and other textiles are not allowed on board. Exceptions are only possible with a medical certificate in combination with a negative COVID-19 test. The negative test result must be dated and issued no more than 48 hours prior to flight departure (this applies to both the outbound and the return flight).
*The facial mask will be your BFF during your stay in Germany, so make sure to take enough with you. Since 29th April 2020, masks are mandatory in shops and all forms of public transports in Germany. If you are looking for ecological reusable masks, just check out my previous blog post.
*You can buy disinfectants at any drug store or pharmacy around Düsseldorf. I bought some gel and towels at the stores called ‘ROSSMANN’ and ‘DM’.
The currency of Germany is the Euro. One euro is about 1.08 Swiss Francs / 1.18 US dollars (09.2020).
In Germany the power plugs and sockets are of type F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
The public transportation in Düsseldorf is comprehensive and covers all corners of the city. You can use the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, buses. Düsseldorf main station lies very near from Düsseldorf Airport (approx. 16min with S11) and one way costs around 2.90 euros (zone A3). A day ticket is 7.20 euros. For more information please check rheinbahn.com
To be honest, I never did a lot of sightseeing in Düsseldorf, but here are some highlights…
…Japan Town (Immermannstrasse), Düsseldorf’s Little Tokyo, this is definitely MY reason why I love this city so much! You can find a lot of Asian/Japanese supermarkets, bakeries, Izakayas, restaurants, bookshops and more around this area.
…Japanese Garden (Nordpark), there is a small garden just next to the Düsseldorf exhibition halls. I went here with my sister many years ago. It’s nice for a short walk.
…Königsallee (Kö), it is similar to Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse shopping street. You can find the most exclusive shops here.
…Rheinturm (Rhine Tower), the TV tower of Düsseldorf. Tickets are available from 9 ~11 € and are valid for the observation deck and the M168. Guests of the QOMO restaurant & bar have free entry.
… Benrath Palace, a baroque-style pleasure palace from the 18th century.
…Neuer Zollhof (New Zollhof), very special buildings made by architect Frank Gehry. Take a look and have a nice walk along the Rhine river.
Düsseldorf’s Little Tokyo | Mini Guide
Let me show you some popular (and my favourite) shops and restaurant around Immermannstrasse:
…Hotel Nikko, it’s definitely my favourite hotel in Düsseldorf. It has a Sky Spa on the top, which is heavenly! (Unfortunately, it was closed due to COVID-19)
…Bookstore Takagi, a small bookstore where you can find lots of Mangas, Japanese magazines, cute stationary, key holders and many more kawaii items from Japan. There is a second (more classical) bookstore called BOOKstore NIPPON just a few meters away from Takagi.
…Bubble Tea Shop Sphere Bay, looking for bubble tea? Just head over to Sphere Bay! They have a great variety of different Boba teas for only 4.40 €. I love the peach flavoured Early Gray with rainbow bubbles :)
…Asian Supermarkets: You can find a lot of Asian supermarkets selling products and food especially from Korea and Japan. Shochiku, Dae-Yang, Hanaro Markt and Tains mein-asiamarkt are some of the biggest shops around Immermannstrasse. Not that far way from Japan Town, there is a big supermarket inside GALERIA Karstadt called Go Asia.
…Bar Sakura, a super pretty bar (see pictures below) and it seems like they just opened it this year
…Restaurant Kushi-Tei of Tokyo, Izakaya
…Restaurant Takumi, Ramen bar
…Restaurant Hyuga, Japanese restaurant
…Restaurant Yaki-The-Emon, famous for sushi and Teppanyaki
…Restaurant NA NI WA, noodles & soups
…Restaurant Nagomi, Japanese restaurant
…Restaurant Seoul, Korean restaurant (enjoy Korean BBQ here!)
…Restaurant What’s Beef / What’s Pizza, check out these restaurants, if you need any change (from Japanese food)! Both restaurants are sooo good!
PS. Make sure to go to your favourite restaurants/shops during weekday! The street is very popular and very crowded at the weekend. There was a super long queue in front of the Takumi/Naniwa restaurant and the Bookstore Takagi.
There is a PRET at Zurich Airport!
Unfortunately, it was closed, buhuu T_TZurich Airport – I missed you! Never thought that I would need my passport
again this year LOL!This view! Nostalgic!
PS. face masks are mandatory on board!Arriving at Dusseldorf Airport
Single Ticket Airport – Main Station = 2.90 €The train was so empty! Don’t forget your mask,
they are mandatory on public transportationsSame rules, if you go inside a buildingHotel Nikko
Our room……with the minimum of hotel amenities This shopping street became so pretty! First thing to buy in Germany: Desinfectants *g*
You can buy them for ex. @ Rossmann or DMUNIQLO Düsseldorf
I had to buy some Heattech socks & leggins :)Königsallee (Kö) Found a super cute blouse @ Monki LEGO Store Düsseldorf Saturn has a lot of cool (electric) goods!
And it’s soooo huge!!!Back at Immermannstrasse for a lunch stop
I wanted to go to the Teppanyaki restaurant
YAKI-THE-EMON but it was closed (holidays)We went to our favourite restaurant instead: Kushi-Tei of Tokyo
We always order Katsu here =) Bookstore Takagi
It’s quite popular, so make sure to go here during weekdayAsia Shops around Immermannstrasse:
Tains mein-asiamarkt, Shochiku, Dae-Yang, Hanaro Markt and Go Asia (it is inside Galeria Karstadt) Our mini haul Amaretto Sour @ Köhlerliesel Next day
My stationary haulBreakfast @ TENTEN Coffee Off to Cali Dreams~
PS. You can buy tickets inside the trainHere we are at the “selfie” museum You can buy tickets online, but we just went right
at the beginning of the opening,
so there were not that many people there You can bring & change your clothes if you like When life gives you …ducks?So pink~ love, peace or happiness? Feeling like the little mermaid It made so much fun!
Thx to my Sweetheart for taking (lots of) pictures of me!Lunch stop @ Hyuga
They had my favourite rice with chestnut omg!Bubble Tea @ Sphere Bay Earl Grey with Peach Flavour & Rainbow Bubbles Sweet Taiyaki @ Asian TreatsSakura hira hira~Sakura Bar
It just opened recently, it was so pretty!#cheatday @ What’s BeefHaving a walk along the Rhine Last dinner – Italian Food!Time to go back home Last Breakfast @ Tomo Cafè Düsseldorf Airport Currywurst before heading back home The SWISS plane had new ‘mini screens’ If you fly to Switzerland, you have to fill in a form
from the Swiss BAG (Federal Office of Public Health FOPH)
Loved the content! Thanks for sharing your experience! I would def take your recommendations when I go there. Since I can’t go back to Japan now, it will be a perfect weekend destination for me. Looking forward to the upcoming blogs!
I am glad that it helps! And yes, I had the same problem so we decided to do a short trip to Düsseldorf’s Little Tokyo instead ^_^