Germany: Romance on the RhineWords by Carolyn Steere
Strolling along the Rhine embankment promenade through the heart of Düsseldorf, Germany, the contrasts between ancient and new are hard to miss. The cobblestoned streets of Altstadt (Old Town) are home to historical treasures such as the Rathaus (city hall) and the Schlossturm (palace tower), but the area is also known for being “the longest bar in the world” with more than 250 trendy bars, brewery pubs and restaurants. Düsseldorf has recently emerged as a sophisticated fashion capital, with well-known designers adopting it as their home and elegant shopping options that leave nothing to be desired.
From vibrant downtown high-rise hotels to palaces and quaint inns, Düsseldorf offers a wide range of destination wedding venues – all within the city limits.
If you dream of a fairytale setting, the 200-year-old Benrath Palace, situated on the Rhine River, may be the picture-perfect choice. As you approach the Baroque-style pink palace, you are struck by how it is beautifully mirrored in the reflection pool and embraced by the manicured gardens that surround it. Elegant ballrooms, grand halls and hidden sitting rooms are appointed with intricate parquet floors, silk wall coverings, crystal chandeliers and carefully preserved artifacts from a bygone era. The palace is a masterpiece and can be the setting of a truly inspired destination wedding.
In contrast, the ultra-modern Hyatt Regency Düsseldorf boasts magnificent views from almost every vantage point. It is located in a prominent position on the tip of the peninsula and in the heart of the city’s trendy MedienHafen area. A pedestrian bridge connects the property with the opposite side of the river. Many venues are available on property, but the main ballroom with its light-flooded glass roof provides amazing ambiance. For even more drama, you can surprise your guests with a sensational entrance through the hydraulic outdoor staircase. Be sure to reserve one of their luxury suites on an upper floor for your wedding night where the sparkling city lights literally surround you. It doesn’t get more romantic!
If you prefer a quaint village atmosphere, hop on the city tram and venture a short way to the historic area of Kaiserswerth, Düsseldorf’s oldest neighborhood. With its medieval ruins, charming Baroque-style houses, cozy cafés and beer gardens, you will feel as though you have been transported to another time.
Explore the picturesque ruins of Kaiserpfalz, the legendary Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa’s Royal Palace (also an amazing backdrop for wedding pictures). A few steps away, discover the charming Hotel MutterHaus, once the site where countless women from around the world were trained as nurses, including Florence Nightingale.
When selecting a destination for a wedding away from home, accessibility is key and Düsseldorf is blessed with a modern, convenient airport that serves 190 destinations worldwide. Air Berlin, the second largest airline in Germany, has frequent non-stop flights from several U.S. cities and very competitive fares.
Upon your arrival, it is simple to master Düsseldorf’s public transportation system and you will find many affordable options to accommodate your guests. The Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel is located central to the airport and city tram system and would be a great option for hosting your guests for other events including a rehearsal dinner or welcome brunch.
Charm and convenience coupled with rich culture and heritage…all in a city where the motto is “visitors become friends.” Destination Düsseldorf has kind of a nice ring to it.
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2016 issue. You can order a copy here.
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Dusseldorf Marketing & Tourism GmbH (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) and Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf (5th, 6th, 7th, 8th).
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