How to become a true Düsseldorfer

– Tips from an expat –

 

As a foreigner myself I know that moving to a new country can be an overwhelming and intimidating expierence.  A new culture and possibly a foreign language can certainly make you feel out of place and stickout like an outsider. However there are several things that have helped me to acclimatize to German life:

 

German and US flag

 

Take a break like a German

A staple part of the German lifestyle is going to a café for coffee and cake.  From morning until evening virtually any café that you visit will be filled with Germans taking a break from the rush of the day to slow down and enjoy a good cup of coffee and cake.  Before moving to Germany I was used to taking my coffee to go, but I have learned that slowing down makes it much more enjoyable.

 

Go out of your immediate area

Explore outside of the tourist areas and visit more loca attractions like the Volksgarten.  Far from the banks of the Rhine and the Old Town, the Volksgarten is a sprawling park visted daily by many locals.  The park offers dozens of paths for walking, running, and biking.  After enjoying a stroll you can sit and enjoy a drink and a snack at several beer gardens and cafes scattered throughout the park.  Young kids will also enjoy the petting zoo located in the back of the park.

 

Beer at Schumachers

Nothing will make you feel like a German quite like drinking a beer in a brewery.  Düsseldorf has several brewers which make ‘Alt’ (old) style beers, but Schumachers is the best of the local brewers.  Dating back to the early 1800s it’s pretty hard to surpass in terms of a traditional beer house.  While you are there you can enjoy a pork shank or many other traditional foods to go with your beer.

 

Home sickness

At some point or another you are bound to have a yearning for your home country. Fear not however, Düsseldorf is very much an

international city.  I personally have been able to find foods from home as well as English book stores. If you are a film buff like me, english movies are availible in the theater in their original version (OV) in some theaters; so don’t be afraid of having to watch subtitled or dubbed movies. The city is also home to many other expats from around the world so connecting with your fellow country men and women is not a difficult task.

 

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