A city of expansive innovation and growth, Düsseldorf has gained a reputation as a centre of industry, highly popular with start-ups and high-profile fashion, media and communication brands.
I attend events in the city several times a year and I’ve found it to be an easy and progressive place in which to do business. There’s a large international community and it’s particularly well facilitated for corporate travellers and delegates with the vast Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre.
I’ve complied some information from my personal experience, which I hope will give any corporate newbie a useful heads-up.
Getting to Düsseldorf
With a flight time of just an hour and 10 minutes from London to Düsseldorf International Airport, for corporate travellers, getting there is often easier than travelling within the UK. Ryanair, easyJet, Germanwings and British Airways operate regular flights departing from Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted Airports, as well as other cities in the UK.
After landing at Düsseldorf (DUS), the best way of ensuring a fast, door-to-door transfer to your event or straight to your accommodation is on a pre-booked executive service with Shuttle Direct. A professional driver will meet you at the terminal and you’ll be whisked into the centre of the city in around 20 minutes.
This is a major international airport and, as such, it’s not just easy to navigate, it’s also very well appointed for corporate travellers.
Wi-Fi: The airport offers 30 minutes of free WLAN anywhere in the terminal. After that, you can pay for use in increments of 30 minutes. There are also several Internet terminals available for public use.
Facilities: There are more than 60 retail shops if you feel the need to spend up big while you’re waiting for your flight, along with a host of food outlets, with everything from fast food to fine dining. But to pass some time I can highly recommend the visitor terrace (Pier B), which is a great place to get some fresh air and watch the comings and goings of aircraft.
Corporate Lounges: There are six lounges in the terminal, but my favourites are the Lufthansa Business Lounge and Senator Lounge in Pier A. They’ve got all your business needs, along with a relaxing ambience, free WLAN and dedicated work areas. If you’re leaving from Pier B I can also recommend the Hugo Junkers Lounge.
My Favourite Düsseldorf Business Hotel
When I’m in the city I usually book into an executive room at the excellent Hotel Nikko Düsseldorf. You can’t beat its absolutely superb location right in the heart of the action in the Stadtmitte quarter, just a short walk from the famous Königsallee Shopping Street and the Old Town. The fact that the rooms are completely soundproofed adds a very big tick for me.
With the executive rooms you also get access to the fabulous Sky Spa, which is just what it sounds like: a roof top spa and wellness centre, with pool, sauna and gym. The excellent onsite restaurant, Benkay, serves up my favourite cuisine (Japanese) and it’s a great place for an informal working lunch or dinner.
If you’re looking at hosting an event or meeting at the Hotel Nikko, you’ve got a choice of 12 meeting rooms of various sizes, catering to up to 450 delegates.
A Couple of Others….
Another establishment highly recommended to me by a local associate is the Leonardo Hotel Düsseldorf City Centre. Again, it’s in a really convenient location, just 15 minutes from the Exhibition Grounds, and the spacious, comfortable rooms include a work desk. There’s also a handy 24-hour business centre, four meeting rooms and two boardrooms.
My last recommendation is the Sheraton Düsseldorf Airport Hotel – no guesses for where it is! It features lovely soundproofed penthouse-style rooms, with 24-hour room service and excellent views. Extras like the early breakfast (from 3.30am!) and the free business lounges make all the difference.
Wining & Dining Your Clients
The one place I keep going back to is the amazing Das Victorian restaurant and bar. While it is open in the evenings for dinner, it’s the lunch crowd that makes this such a popular venue for meetings. You never feel hurried because the lunchtime session runs from 12.00-5.00pm, Monday to Saturday. While the service is very attentive, it’s also very discrete and the staff really understand the concept of a “working” lunch.
The menu is a mouth-watering fusion of traditional hearty meats, cheeses and produce presented in an array of refined dishes topped off with contemporary delicacies like truffle foam and saffron jus. Mmm, I’m wishing I were back there just writing about it!
If you’re hosting a private business event, the Victorian’s private salons are ideal and can accommodate up to 60 people, fully catered.
Time to spare….
This is such a beautiful city I strongly urge you to take at least a few hours away from work to explore its wonderful culture, architecture and historical monuments. If you’re feeling like a little wind-down alone time, I suggest starting with an hour or two in the tranquil 90-acre Nordpark Japanese garden.
The wide, open streets of the city centre make for a lovely way to explore and strolling along these charming boulevards offers a taste of history in itself. The famous Königsallee (the Kö, to those in the know) has been touted as the most elegant avenue in Germany. Even if you have time for nothing else, take yourself off for a walk past the chi chi shops and restaurants and I guarantee you’ll feel like you’ve had a holiday by proxy!
The magnificent Kunstpalast (Museum of Art) gives a superb artistic overview, with the city’s most important art collection dating back to the 3rd century BC. For those looking to discover the heart of local culture, Alstadt (the Old Town) is remarkably well preserved, with multiple attractions including the Marktplatz, Schlossturm, SchiffahrtsMuseum and the Hetjens ceramics museum – which, believe me, is way more exciting than it sounds!
About Shuttle Direct:
Anyone doing business abroad knows the importance of having transport arrangements you can rely on. Shuttle Direct offers the most reliable and convenient range of transfers to and from airports all over Europe. Pre-book one of our Standard, Executive or Premium services online and a friendly, professional driver will be at your disposal to get you directly to your event, meeting or accommodation without delay.