Since the middle ages, the West German city of Duisburg, situated in the North Rhine-Westphalia region, has been an increasingly thriving city and its important trading status has, over the years, made a significant contribution to the wealth of the country as a whole. In the 18th century major tobacco and textile produces emerged in the city and as a result of the boom Duisburg became one of Europe’s key industrial centres.

Today, the city is host to Europe’s largest inland harbour and is renowned for its steel and commerce productions with 34.4% of the nations crude steel being produced in Duisburg each year (status 2000). With a population of over half a million Duisburg is the twelfth largest city in Germany and, comprising many of the small towns and cities around it has, in recent years, become an important metropolitan borough. Since its establishment in the 1960s, the University of Duisburg has played a crucial role in the city’s development and the institution now has thirteen departments with more than 33, 000 students coming from all over the world to be educated in its lecture halls.


During the war Duisburg’s flourishing steel industry made it a primary target for bomb raids. As a result the city was attacked numerous times, particluarly during the last years of the war and most of its most important historic and industrial buildings were reduced to rubble. Since then, Duisburg has risen out of the ashes and today the visitor can witness numerous impressive architectural achievements, buildings of commerce, and a multitude of attractions that have also put the city on Germany’s cultural map.

An example of Duisburgs architectural and industrial wealth can be found in the city’s Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, an abandonded industrial complex that is now open daily to visitors wishing to celebrate Duisburg’s achievements as a thoroughly modernised city. Its status as a pioneer of modern industrial urban life is also reflected through its annual “Duisburger Akzente,” a festival that focuses on the modern social, political and cultural topics that are prevelant in today’s climate.

One of Duisburg’s most popular attractions is its magnificent zoo which has developed vastly in size since its pre-war days as a small animal park. Highlights of the zoo include a recently established giraffe house, a dolphinarium and a large monkey house, and to date it is the only zoo in Germany that boasts its own pair of koalas.

There are several fascinating museums that have been established in Duisburg most of which are based on a particular aspect of the citys industrial or trading achievements. The German Canal Museum is dedicated to the technology, economics and social history of canal transportation. The museum’s exhibition space offers a fascinating insight into the history of the development of the canal from the first recorded canal up until the present day. Another museum of particular interest is the Haneil museum which charts the history of shipping on the Rhine. Whilst the Haneil is a private museum visitors are welcome to access the collection providing they make an appointment before turning up.

For art, the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Foundation Museum displays a unique collection of international contemporary sculpture which, set against the backdrop of the city centre, lifts the city and makes it a site of inspiration and creativity. Additionally the Grothe collection housed in the Kuppersmuhle museum is an impressive array of modern art in a building of equally impressive archiectural worth.


Duisburg is a popular commercial centre and residents from all over the region visit the city to experience the delights of its many shops and arcades. The city’s main shopping street is the Koenigsstrasse which was named in memory of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhel IV and runs the course of the entire city. Lined with trees and known as the “fountain mile” the street is partly pedestrianised and surprisingly picturesque given the urban vibe that pervades the city. As with all cosmopolitan cities, the street has a wealth of well known high street names as well as more individual shops and boutiques and, with its large student population, the city can’t help but be ‘on board’ with current German fashions.

Eating Out and Nightlife

As well as shops, the Koenigsstrasse also has an array of restaraunts, ice cream parlours and coffee houses for those wishing to dine out in style or enjoy a drink and respite from a hard day of shopping. Like most German cities, Duisburg also boasts a multitude of bierkellers with most of its good beer bars and brew pubs being conveniently located at the station end of the Koenigsstrasse. Heinrich’s Im Wickuler is a cheerful bar which whilst lacking all pretensions, offers an unusually large selection of draught and bottled beers.

For those desiring a drink in a quintessentially German location, the Kartoffel-Kiste is as German as it gets. Established at the end of the 18th century, the Kartoffel is the oldest pub in Duisburg and with its ancient but cosy traditional interior the pub bears witness to the generations of visitors who have drunk in its midst over the past two hundred years. The pub also sells traditional German food and true to its name most of its dishes are based on potatoes. A particularly good deal is offered on Sundays when soup and dessert is added to the meal for the price of a main course.

Staying faithful to its student population, Duisburg is not short of bars or clubs in addition to its wealth of public houses. For those wanting something a little less wild, however, visitors can enjoy a cultural night out at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, one of the major opera houses in Germany. Additionally, the city also hosts the Duisburg’s Philharmonic Orchestra, a company that is one of the country’s most renowned orchestras boasting an excellent national as well as international reputation.

Tourist Information

53 Köenigstrasse47051 Duisburg

  • [http://www.duisburg-tourism.com/en/ www.duisburg-tourism.com]


Duisburg’s closest airport is Dusseldorf, which is served by both regional and international airlines. There is a free airport shuttle bus that takes travellers to and from the airport’s train station. A regular train service operates between the airport and Duisburg and the journey takes between 10 and 20 minutes depending on the train.

All car hire locations in Germany