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About Cologne & Düsseldorf

Both Cologne and Düsseldorf are cities that don’t like to be bunched together as they, of course, proudly exist independently from each other. Due to their close physical proximity, however, we’ve combined the two into one Project Expat hub where you can find English-speaking service providers for whatever you might need.

Below, read about both cities and their respective, individual charm!

Living in Cologne

Cologne, or Kölle as the locals say, is not only Germany’s fourth largest city, but also a very special metropolis. Those who decide to move to this beautiful, unique city should be prepared to get to know a special place with extraordinary people. Et hätt noch jot jejange – it has always gone well so far – means no less than the following: What went well yesterday will go well today. Every Jeck is different. Which means as much as: Every fool is different. Exercising tolerance and forbearance towards the other in the knowledge of one’s own imperfection characterizes the life of the people of Cologne, just like the local dialect in general. This attitude makes it easy for foreigners in particular to gain a foothold in this city.

The people of Cologne are extremely fun-loving and have a mischievous streak. For example, the city is divided into left and right of the Rhine. The left side is the so-called good side, while the right side, the Schäl Sick how it is called, symbolizes the bad because that’s where the poorer people lived. Today, of course, this is no longer the case and you can find apartments and beautiful neighborhoods on both sides of the city.

Must Visits
  • Belgian Quarter with chic cafes and trendy stores. The locals also call it the heart of Cologne. It is multicultural and reflects the cosmopolitanism of the Rhinelanders.
  • One of the numerous breweries that offer both the traditional Kölsch (a special type of beer), and traditional dishes
  • Cologne Cathedral, the most prominent feature of the Cologne skyline
  • the Museum Ludwig, dedicated to 20th and 21st century art
  • the Roman-Germanic Museum, dedicated to the archaeological history of Cologne.
  • the Old Town for its unique houses, gastronomic and cultural scene and wide shopping offer.
  • the Hohenzollern Bridge, the main attraction in Cologne for couples as it is most known for the love locks.

Read more about Cologne in our Cologne city guide!

Living in Düsseldorf

Even though it is much smaller than Cologne, Düsseldorf is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, which annoys many Cologne residents a bit. Several million tourists come to Düsseldorf every year because there is a lot to see here.

Düsseldorf is known for its art scene. Along with numerous museums, there are countless galleries and art stores that make this city an art metropolis. In the old town, there are numerous pubs and restaurants. A tour of the old town with its narrow streets is a must.

While Cologne is known for its Kölsch (a light beer), people in Düsseldorf drink Altbier (an old and dark beer). In addition, Düsseldorf is considered the city of the rich and beautiful, who enjoy life there. People are very open-minded and welcoming, making it easy for foreigners to make their life there.

Must Visits
  • the Königsallee is the place to do shopping in the city center
  • the three buildings by Frank Gehry with their curved facades, located in the Media Harbor
  • the district called Little Nippon on the Rhine. Düsseldorf offers a home to about 7000 Japanese, as over 400 Japanese companies are located there, so you’ll find not only traditional restaurants but also selected grocery stores for the Japanese cuisine.
  • the Rhine Tower, similarly striking for the Düsseldorf skyline as the Cathedral is in Cologne
  • the Art Academy, which makes its contribution to the fact that Düsseldorf is considered an art metropolis.
  • the Dreischeibenhaus
  • the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus
  • the Rheinterassen
  • Flingern, a trendy neighborhood in Düsseldorf, easy to recognize by the numerous graffiti that adorn the walls there. 

Read more about Düsseldorf in our Düsseldorf city guide!

The Fifth Season: Carnival in Cologne & Düsseldorf

If you plan on living in the Cologne and Düsseldorf region, you can’t miss the fifth season. Carnival, or Shrovetide, has a long tradition in the Rhineland, which can be traced back to the Middle Ages and had a peak especially in the early modern period. Even then, people dressed up and performed carnival games. Today, carnival is associated primarily with costumes, carnival speeches and the Rose Monday parade.

The “fifth season” begins every year on 11.11. at 11:11 a.m., when the jester Hoppeditz awakens in Düsseldorf and in Cologne, the “Cologne Triumvirate” is introduced. However, it then still takes a while until the world-famous street carnival begins. It is not until the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, Women’s Carnival (which is usually sometime in February) that the big party actually begins. Then, the first big carnival celebrations take place and the streets are filled with revellers and party animals.