Discover Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth: Day Trip To Kaiserpfalz Ruins

Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth is a beautiful historical area of Dusseldorf that you can’t afford to miss. From the promenade overlooking the Rhine, to the small cobblestone streets, it’s easy to understand why this neighborhood is among the more expensive Dusseldorf areas. It offers visitors and residents unparalleled views, medieval ruins of the castle Kaiserpfaltz, a Michelin-star restaurant, and typical German architecture.

Coincidentally, Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth is the oldest inhabited area of Dusseldorf. There is a monument to prove just how far back this settlement goes. The Menhir of Kaiserswerth monument dates back to a whopping 2000 to 1500 BC! So if you’re wondering what to do in Dusseldorf Germany, Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth could be a great addition to your classic Düsseldorf itinerary.

Are you convinced yet? I hope so because today we’re stopping by this beautiful gem hidden away from the Dusseldorf city center.

Brick wall with a tablet displaying a medieval scene of ships and horses

How to get to Kaiserpfalz in Kaiserswerth from Dusseldorf

Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth is one of Dusseldorf’s areas and can be easily reached by car. In fact, it’s only a 15-minute drive from Altstadt. The public transport connections make it easily available for visitors as well: you can take the U79 line to Klemensplatz from Heinrich-Heine-Allee or thereabouts. If you’re uncertain, check the connections through the Deutsche Bahn app or website.

Beautiful house in Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth with a rose arch growing over the entrance

Discover the 12th-century Kaiserpfalz castle ruins

One of the reasons why I was so excited to travel to Germany was because of the number of authentic castles that are sprinkled across the country. Even when I’m walking among ruins, I still revel in the atmosphere and untold stories that come with a building that old. I love imagining the history behind the place, envisioning the regal guests that had once visited. It’s all an elaborate ploy on my part to regain that bit of magic that is at its strongest in childhood.

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Kaiserpfalz ruins with a girl standing in front of the gate at Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth

But who said that adults can’t have fun climbing ruins and becoming princes and princesses, if only for a second? The Kaiserpfelz fortification was finished in 1193 and meant to serve as the King’s residence after he moved the Rhine customs collection to Kaiserswerth from the Dutch city Tiel.

The castle changed hands many times throughout the years before falling into disrepair. Now Kaiserpfelz is free for all visitors to explore. The remains give a pretty good idea of the practicality of a well-defended fortress on the river Rhein.

Walk up the stairs to the well-preserved wall and peek out of the slits in between the age-old stones. Perhaps you will see a boat making its way down the river.

Fun fact: the ruins are cleverly repurposed as a hosting place for concerts of classical music thanks to great acoustics. If you feel like attending, google ‘Kaiserpfalz Konzert’ to research upcoming performances.

View of the Kaiserpfalz ruins in Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth

Explore the Suitbertus-Stiftsplatz courtyard

View on the promenade of Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth with a staircase leading towards the local church

Wander along the promenade as local cyclists in sportswear stubbornly navigate the narrow pedestrian-filled road. Turn right to the alley leading towards the St. Suitbertus church. As you walk past the arched entrance, a beautiful courtyard opens up before you. It’s tranquil and charming, surrounded by houses that stood here for centuries.

View of the courtyard at Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth next to the local hospital and timbered houses

Suitbertus-Stiftsplatz is an oasis of calmness, hidden as it is from plain sight. The linden trees, brushes, and red-tiled roofs complete the impression of typical German dwellings. And this earea feels very centered: the most important things were always centered around the church. Next to the St. Suitbertus church, you will find the white gate leading to the local hospital, or Krankenhaus.

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Local hospital at Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth

The gabled houses draw associations with Amsterdam but the half-timbered buildings feel very German. Take a turn around the courtyard and slip into the narrow passage flanked by a traditional timbered house with wood panels. The Dauzenbergstraße will lead you straight to the main street of Kaiserswerth: Kaiserswerther Markt.
Beautiful brick house front at Düsseldorf KaiserswerthIf you’d like to explore the neighborhood further, seek out the Menhir Kaiserwerth. This is the monument dating back to 2000 – 1500 BC, and it’s an important reminder of how long ago the area was inhabited first.  You will find the monument at Zeppenheimer Weg 8 which is 10 minutes away from the courtyard.

Eat in a 2-star Michelin restaurant ‘Im Schiffchen’

Building front decorated with flower pots: Michelin star restaurant Im Schiffchen

If you are ready to splurge in order to get a superb combination of food and ambiance, this is the place to be. This beautiful historical building houses not one but two Michelin recognized restaurants. The ground floor offers the visitors access to the one Michelin star restaurant “Enzo im Schiffchen”, while the top floor offers the two Michelin-starred cuisines of “Im Schiffchen”. Both restaurants are owned by Jean-Claude Bourgueil. The chef has been part of Dusseldorf’s haute cuisine scene since the seventies.

Unfortunately, I was unable to stay for a meal during my day trip to Kaiserswerth. We were brought to Kaiserswerth by a local who often visits the restaurant with her friends so it was fun getting local insight. The restaurant is well-loved by the residents of the surrounding area, but then again, after hearing ‘Michelin star’ I am pretty much sold. I’m aching to return with a bursting wallet to slim it down and fatten me up!

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Building front decorated with flower pots: Michelin star restaurant Im Schiffchen

Enjoy the Biergarten Burghof with a view on the RheinOld Rolls Roys car at the Biergarten of Dusseldorf Kaiserswerth

The beautiful Burghof Biergarten is just the right spot to take a short break, have some beer and lunch. The Biergarten’s visitors are a mix of locals and tourists. The portions are generous even though the prices are on par with the heart of the city center.

The decor is also worth noting! You will definitely notice the retro car parked in the entrance but the washrooms have very peculiar decor as well. The ceilings are bedecked with skeletons dressed in fancy armor. The corridor next to the washrooms had a mannequin-inhabited carriage. I really wasn’t sure what the overall message was, but the quirk of this place is certainly enchanting! If you’re after something with character, this is definitely it.

In case you’re tired of dark beer I recommend you to try some Rhubarb soda, aka ‘rhabarber schorle’ in German. It is a fun fizzy drink that I haven’t encountered before Germany. It’s the perfect mixture of sweet and sour.

It’s typical for Biergartens to host many people at one table so that you can chat and connect with your neighbors. Although this is not an individual trait, I really appreciated the opportunity to experience something true to the local customs. It was the perfect way to wrap up a day trip to Kaiserpfalz Ruins and my explorations of Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth.

I hope you found this tour of Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth and the Kaiserpfalz Ruins inspiring! Tell me, which destination was a hidden gem for you?

Next on I’m taking you along for the as I leave Dusseldorf in favor of Solingen and Schloss Burg an der Wupper!

Discover Düsseldorf Kaiserswerth: Day Trip To Kaiserpfalz Ruins

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