Wednesday 28 September 2011

Düsseldorf Königsallee / Altstadt / Rhine Running Route

The Classic Dusseldorf Route

Click here for route map
Length: 8.3 km (5.2 miles), terrain flat

Düsseldorf Running Routes:
Gerresheim hills  
Both Sides of the Rhine  
Rhine Harbor Route  
Stadtwald forrest run  

See the other running routes here! 
Here's a run that I consider a classic route for Düsseldorf, hitting all the main sights, including a parkside path along the Rhine. This moderately long jogging route will take in the famous, elegant Königsstraße shopping street, parts of the Altstadt (old town), the Hofgarten park, the art-deco Ehrenhof complex, and the Rheinpark, Düsseldorf's most popular jogging area.

Königsallee park
Düsseldorf is Germany's center for art and shopping, and is also home to a sizable Japanese community, who work in the many Japanese companies' European headquarters located here.

The route starts downtown, at Graf-Adolf-Platz. This is the southern end of Königsallee, Germany's most famous shopping paradise. Königsallee ("King's Boulevard", called "" for short) is a tree-lined boulevard running through the heart of town, with a park-bounded canal running up the middle. The east side of the street is bounded by designer shops while the west side has more offices. I'm normally allergic to shopping, but every time I'm in Düsseldorf, I like to experience this street once.

Königsallee shoping scene
Start running along the park on the west side of the street and enjoy the water, with its stone bridges. You can people-watch the shoppers along the shop-side.

At Schadowstraße, turn left, just past the neptune fountain. You are now heading west, or towards the Altstadt and the Rhine River. You will pass some elegant department stores and a bandstand on your left side.
The Neptune fountain
NOTE: In normal times you could just continue running straight from Königsallee as ti curves into the Hofgarten Park, but now the north end of Königsallee is a gigantic, impenetrable construction site, so we'll make a detour here through the Altstadt, which is never a bad move.

When you just enter the old town, turn right to run north on Hunsrückenstraße. The street passes the back side of a couple of art museums on the rigtht side. Keep running straight until the street ends at Ratinger Straße, where a few good pubs are located (Ohme Jupp and Zum Goldenen Einhorn).

Heading up Hunsrückenstraße
Now you turn right and run for a block to Mühlengasse and turn left to continue running north again. The street winds around a couple of big buildings and comes to a busy street, Fritz-Roeber Straße, with a lawn leading to a tunnel on the other side. The tunnel goes under the ramp leading to the Oberkasseler Bridge.

Run through the tunnel, and you'll come out into the Hofgarten Park. Just run straight across the lawn in the middle, then turn left to head west towards the river.

In the Hofgarten
You will come out into an open area in the middle of an ensemble of art-deco buildings, the Ehrenhof, with the domed Tonhalle (concert hall) to the left.

Rhine near the Ehrenhof
Turn right to run northwards through the courtyard, past the fountain. You will pass through the gateway and keep running north along the busy street ahead, Joseph-Beuys-Ufer.

At the first traffic light, at Robert-Lehr-Ufer, turn left to cross the busy street and then continue northwards into the big park ahead. Stay on the right edge of the park (on the way back, we'll take the left side).

Welcome to the Rheinpark, Düsseldorf's main running drag. You'll find dozens of others running (and biking and in-lining) every path in the park. Enjoy the park life: in good weather the place is full of people picnicking, playing soccer, and just plain hanging out.

Rheinpark: joggers, joggers everywhere
Running along the right edge of the park, you'll see some gigantic classical government buildings along the other side of the street.
The supreme court and regional government

NOTE: This part of the route parallels another Düsseldorf route, Both Sides of the Rhine Route.

Continue runnning north until you run to the end of the park, going under the massive Theodor-Heuss-Brücke.

Turn left just past the bridge to run along the little marina, where you hit the Rhine River. Here you turn left to run back through the park along the riverfront. You have the choice of staying on the gravel park path or running down on the pavement along the riverside.

When you get back to the south end of the park, run down to the pavement along the riverside, because the normal path ends here.

Keep running down along the water, going under the Oberkasseler Bridge again, and keep running along the water's edge until you see the ramp to go up to the pedestrian way on the ledge above you.

This will take you to the Schloßplatz, with its free-standing tower, where you head up Mühlenstraße for a block. At Mertensgasse, turn right to take a backstreet through the old town, heading south. You will go by dozens of little restaurants and pubs. The Altstadt is often called "Germany's longest bar".

Cross the main part of the old town, until coming to Grabenstraße, where you turn left and head east back to Königsallee.

When you reach Königsalle, turn rught to run on the west side of the green area, until you reach the end of the street at Graf-Adolf-Platz again.

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