Saunders 1865 | Moving to Düsseldorf

Moving to Düsseldorf

Are you moving to Düsseldorf? With its exceptional quality of living, this international business hub has much to offer families and younger singles.

Our in-depth Moving to Düsseldorf report covers the points below as well as many others:

• The excellent transport links throughout the city
• The best areas for rental properties
• Average monthly rental prices
• Details of the international schools etc

Putting Düsseldorf on the Map

Düsseldorf is located to the west of Germany, just over 50 kilometres from the Dutch border, at the confluence of the Rivers Düssel, Erft and Rhine. The far larger part of the city lies on the Rhine’s east bank—on the west bank lies the separate city of Neuss.

As one would expect for such a cosmopolitan and commercial city, transport links are good.

  • Düsseldorf International Airport is just eight kilometres from the city centre and is connected by both train and the S-Bahn, the city’s urban railway.
  • This is Germany’s third largest airport and it handles nearly 20 million passengers a year.
  • The city is also a major rail hub with more than 1,000 trains passing through daily—both local commuter trains and intercity connections to the rest of Germany and other European cities.
  • Naturally, the Rhein-Ruhr conurbation has a comprehensive road network, allowing easy access to Cologne, Duisburg, Dortmund, Bonn, Frankfurt and the rest of Europe.
The Areas

Düsseldorf itself is divided into 10 administrative districts called Bezirks and each of these is divided into a number of boroughs. Finding somewhere to live right in the centre of Düsseldorf can be challenging as properties are scarce and rents are high—but the city has a lot to offer, from state-of-the-art modern developments to beautiful art nouveau houses to apartments in traditional historic buildings.

Altstadt and Stadtmitte
These two districts cover the old town centre and banking/shopping district. Not surprisingly, property prices are high here and you’re much more likely to find an apartment than a house.

Just north of Altstadt and Stadtmitte, living here still places you in the heart of the action and it’s a popular area with young, single professionals. Diverse architecture and culture make it interesting—as well as offices, there are museums, galleries, antique markets, shops and plenty of restaurants.

The Media Harbour
Düsseldorf’s old Rhine harbour is the city’s equivalent of Canary Wharf in London. In recent years it’s been transformed into a sleek urban business and residential hub. There’s an emphasis here on the creative industries, including advertising (there are more than 400 advertising agencies in Düsseldorf), the arts, communication and the media.

Close to the centre of town, this is one of the most popular residential quarters as well as being home to the city zoo. Quiet streets with stylish apartment buildings share the area with new office developments.

Bilk is a busy residential area close to the university, so it has something of a student vibe. Most prized are properties on Die Karolinger, a street with a canal running down the middle.

This is one of Düsseldorf’s smarter residential areas, where you’re most likely to find sumptuous Art Nouveau houses. It lies on the river, approximately two kilometres from the city centre.

Like Oberkassel, Niederkassel lies on the west bank of the Rhein and is similarly sought after. It’s a popular place with Japanese expats, due to the Japanese temple and school that has been built here.

Derendorf and Flingern-Nord
Just to the north and east of the city centre respectively, these are a popular residential districts that offer a youthful, urban lifestyle.

Norden, Angermund and Kaiserwerth
A little further out to the north, these areas comprise small historic villages that attract families who’re looking for more space than can be found in the city centre. Larger houses and green open spaces explain the appeal.

Benrath and Urdenbach
Some 15 kilometres south of the centre, along a wide sweep of the Rhine, Benrath and Urdenbach are two of Düsseldorf’s most popular residential districts.

Beyond the city, the adjacent districts include:

  • Duisburg
  • Ratingen
  • Mettmann
  • Erkrath
  • Hilden
  • Langenfeld
  • Monheim
  • Dormagen
  • Neuss
  • Meerbusch
  • Essen
  • Oberhausen
Who Lives and Works in Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf has a population of just under 600,000, making it Germany’s seventh largest city. After Germans, the largest ethnic groups include Turks, Greeks and Poles. There’s also a sizeable Japanese population—approximately 11,000 live in and around the city, making it the third largest Japanese community in Europe.

Düsseldorf is a popular destination for expats. The city centre has been sympathetically remodelled and there’s an eclectic mix of traditional German style and modern urban architecture, all on the banks of one of Europe’s major rivers. Global headquarters and international schools attract a cosmopolitan workforce, and it’s a centre for banking, telecommunications, advertising, internet start-ups, publishing and insurance. Along the ‘Kö’ or Königsallee, retail and office rents are among the highest in Europe.

Düsseldorf is not the greenest of cities in terms of parks, but there are plenty of trees along the streets and, as well as the riverfront, plenty of water features and canals. The Rheinufer is a ten-mile stretch of riverfront which makes the perfect place for walking, jogging and cycling. There are also some excellent golf courses outside the city.

The Best Bits

Düsseldorf has a strong cultural scene, ranging from traditional opera, theatre and art galleries to the more avant-garde. There are 23 theatres in the city and more than 40 museums, art galleries and cultural institutes.

But if that all sounds a bit highbrow, Düsseldorf is also known for its local beer, Altbier, which is brewed in a traditional way that pre-dates the advent of lager. There are a number of microbreweries in the city centre, all of which produce seasonal beers with particular characteristics—Altbier tends to be pale and dry, like lager, but with a slightly more fruity flavour. Drink it with some of the traditional dishes of the region—Rheinischer Sauerbraten, a marinated roast beef dish, or Heaven and Earth, black pudding cooked with apples and served with mashed potato.

Düsseldorf is also well known for its carnival which lasts from November 11 every year until Ash Wednesday, and features a spectacular procession.

Bringing the Kids

One of the enduring symbols of Düsseldorf is the Düsseldorfer Radschläger, a small boy who does cartwheels—and the city is particularly child-friendly. It’s thought to date back to Düsseldorf’s victory in the Battle of Worringen in 1288, after which the children apparently ran through the streets performing cartwheels. Today, it’s celebrated with competitions and a fountain, and your children will find references to the little cartwheeler all over the city.

On a more serious note, there are also excellent education facilities.

  • The IB World School: International School of Düsseldorf caters for four to 18 year olds, and has a particular awareness of the needs of expat children. It’s located north of the city centre in the residential district of Kaiserwerth.
  • St George’s English International School Duisburg-Düsseldorf can be found in Duisburg, some 25 kilometres north of Düsseldorf. It takes children from two years to 18 and its intake spans more than 40 nationalities. It offers IB diplomas and A-levels, plus a wide range of sport, music and activities including the Duke of Edinburgh award.
  • Düsseldorf has its own university, with about 20,000 students.
  • There are also a music school, a high profile academy of fine arts, an academy of fashion and design and a number of prestigious institutes.
Relocating to Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf consistently ranks highly in best city and best quality of living surveys—and it’s not hard to see why. Modern urban planning combined with a traditional medieval city on one of Europe’s great waterways makes for a fascinating blend. As an international commercial hub, employment levels are good and as a consequence the city offers excellent facilities and transport links. At the same time, it’s a cultural centre with theatres, restaurants, galleries, museums and a great nightlife—so there really is, literally, something for everybody. Good schools and spacious houses further out attract families, while young single professionals will love having a city centre apartment here.

At Saunders 1865, our teams of experts combine local knowledge with first-hand experience to pinpoint the right area and the right property that will tick all your boxes. Do you have children that need to be enrolled in school? Are the transport links convenient for your needs? Does this location fit with your expectations of expat life and is the space configured in a way that suits your requirements? We can bring expertise to all these factors and help to arrange smooth, efficient and stress-free relocations – to London, other parts of the UK and destinations across Europe. Our services include home finding assistance, school finding, lease negotiations, temporary accommodation, move management and immigration assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you.


City Centre
Family friendly
Average Monthly Rent - Düsseldorf
1 bedroom in City Centre €744 (£660)
1 bedroom Outside of Centre €567 (£503)
3 bedrooms in City Centre €1660 (£1473)
3 bedrooms Outside of Centre €1323 (£1174)
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