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It’s Saturday, the sun is out and you’re looking for something to do with your kids. Good news – Johanna from Blackriver Photography has planned a relaxing, child-friendly day in the beautiful north of Düsseldorf in and around Kaiserswerth for you. All the activities have been tested by Johanna and her two kids Martha (4) and James (2).

 

1 – Roam through Kaiserpfalz: Pretend to be emperors 

Park your car at the free parking lot on the corner of Niederrheinstraße/An St. Swidbert or get off the U-Bahn at Klemensplatz and walk from there (put the address “Burgallee, 40489 Düsseldorf“ into your phone and follow the directions.)

I suggest getting there at around 10 am on a sunny day so you can enjoy the view of the old ruins appearing in front of the Rhine to your left, illuminated by golden light shining through the lime trees that line your path. Unfortunately, the immediate area around the ruins remains closed between October and Good Friday (usually in April), but the view and the walk alone are worth the visit.

Get ready to tell your kids all about Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa who had the Kaiserpfalz (Imperial Palace) built almost 1,000 years ago (in 1184).  He wanted an impregnable fortress and the location was well chosen: From here, the view is good in both directions up and down the river. This is where two traditional trade routes meet at the Kaiserpfalz. 

In the summer, you and your kids can climb to the top of the Kaiserpfalz and pretend to be emperors and princesses in their own castle and enjoy the view over the Rhine.

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2 – Sip a hot chocolate at Galeria Burghof

After your little history lesson, take a break next door at Galeria Burghof (Burgallee 1) to enjoy some hot chocolate. When it’s nice outside, you can sit in the backyard enjoying the view over the river. If you have sensitive little ones, make sure you accompany to the restrooms though – the artwork in there is quite spooky.

 

3 – Watch the ships pass by along the Rhine

After your break, take a walk north up the Rhine, past the Kaiserpfalz. Kids can run freely and they usually get excited with every new ship they spot. There are benches every few meters, where you can sit and enjoy the beauty of it all – the water, the ships, the foggy opposite side of the river in the distance, laughing children. After your 10-minute-walk turn right into Kaiserswerther Markt.

If you’re keen on actually hopping on one of the panoramic river cruise boats, there’s one that costs around 11 Euros and is it totally worth it!

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4 – Visit Kaiserswerther Markt: Take in the beauty 

The first time I visited this fantastic little street, I turned to my husband and said: “I want to move here, it’s so beautiful!” Amazing well-kept antique buildings next to the river, geraniums everywhere, cobblestones, ornate facades – it’s like you landed in a little French village somewhere in Alsace. 

Walk down Kaiserswerther Markt and just take in all the beauty – or stop in one of the little stores left and right. If you’re looking for a little something for your house or a gift for a friend, be sure to stop at “Tafeltraum” to your right, a store with a great selection, and a friendly, passionate owner. If you’re more interested in fashion shopping, take a look at “Mein Wunderhaus” to your left. The clothes tend to be pricey and the service can vary, but the selection is stylish and up-to-date with some really nice quality pieces.

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5 – Climb aboard the pirate ship 

When you reach the overpass, walk down the stairs on the left and let your kids run wild at the playground. The main attraction here is a huge wooden pirate ship. The area around it is spacious and closed-off – you don’t have to worry about your little ones wandering off into traffic.

 

6 – Grab some french fries at the Tonhalle 

Leave the playground on the opposite side of where you entered it. Instead of the stairs, you now follow up a relatively steep little path and find yourself on the curb of Arnheimer Straße. Cross the street and keep slightly to the right: You’ll reach your lunch place, Tonhalle Kaiserswerth (Klemensplatz 7). 

Tonhalle is a child-friendly restaurant that serves mostly traditional German food, but there are vegetarian options as well, and chances are that everybody will find something they like. Depending on the day, we usually order french fries, wiener schnitzel, soup or a huge baked potato with mushrooms. I have always felt welcome there, no matter how many kids we walked in the door with. When the weather is nice, we sit in the restaurant’s back yard, which overlooks Klemensplatz.

 

7 – Head to Klemensplatz: The heart of Kaiserswerth 

When you come out of Tonhalle, turn right at the next corner into Klemensplatz, the heart of Kaiserswerth. You will find a square with a fountain, a big clock, some shops, ice cream, and frozen yogurt. Beware of the toy store in the far right corner if you want to avoid screaming children. 

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8 – Indulge in some waffles at Café Werthvoll

For dessert and a cup of coffee, check out Café Werthvoll. It’s a great place to come with kids because it’s not as pricy as some of the hipper cafes down Kaiserswerther Markt and it’s much more relaxed. You’ll have to cross Arnheimer Straße again but stay slightly to the left as you do so (Sankt-Göres-Straße 11).

The booths at Café Werthvoll are great when you have small children with you that don’t want to sit on their butts but prefer to take their shoes off and climb around on the bench cushions. We usually get waffles with powdered sugar for everyone and it’s a hit. Service fluctuates but I have the feeling that generally, kids are welcome.

Now for your way out, I’d like to suggest two options, depending on which side of the Rhine you call home or how much energy you have left. 

 

9 – Take the Rhine ferry to Meerbusch 

Taking the little Rhine ferry (Düsseldorf-Kaiserswerth/Meerbusch-Langst) is an adventure in itself if you have small kids with you. Walk back to your car and drive towards Galleria Burghof. Just before you reach the restaurant’s parking lot, make a sharp turn into a small road that is going to lead you all the way to where the ferry takes off (past the restaurant “Alte Rheinfähre”). The ferry schedule varies, depending on the day of the week and the season, so before you embark on this adventure, make sure you check the Rhein Faehre website.

Once the boat reaches your side of the river, you can drive right onto it (- the payment will be collected right at the car window -) and then slowly make your way over to the other side. The first time we did it, my kids didn’t believe their eyes and showered us with questions.

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10 – Walk around Kalkumer Schlosspark: a fairy tale-kind-of-place

Another location that is really worth a visit on your way out of Kaiserswerth is Schloss Kalkum. Drive down Kalkumer Schlossalle, take a right into Oberdorfstraße (opposite Landhaus Freemann) and park your car at the side of the street (next to the alpacas).

Kalkumer Schlosspark is a fairy tale-kind-of-place, if you take your time and take a closer look at things – the pale-pink main building with beautiful ornate doors, the little duck pond, where you can observe ducks, geese, muskrats, squirrels and frogs, the gigantic ancient trees and the enchanted little buildings (- my daughter believes that Sleeping Beauty lives in the back). The whole park changes from season to season, from day to day sometimes, and there are always new things to discover.

(Schloss Kalkum was recently sold and will be the future home to an academy for the arts but fortunately, the park will remain open to the public.)

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Want more? Here are some more explorations from Life in Düsseldorf in the beautiful district of Kaiserswerth!

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