Shopping in Düsseldorf
Mention shopping in Düsseldorf and the 'Kö' (short for Königsallee) will inevitably be in the next breath. This handsome leafy boulevard, bisected by an ornamental canal and fountains, hosts top designer shops such as Cartier, Lacoste, Gucci, Chanel, Hugo Boss, Joop and Prada.
The Altstadt features small, individual shops and local specialities, such as the Mustard Museum and Shop, Berger Strasse 29, and the Gut & Gerne Schokolade chocolaterie and café at Burgplatz 3. There is a daily, high-quality food market on Carlsplatz with some mouth-watering gourmet items. Naturally, Königsallee still draws the most shoppers, but the Schadowstrasse, known as ‘Germany's shopping mile', does its best to challenge it.
For everyday items, there’s a large daily market on Carlsplatz, at the southern edge of the Altstadt. The Altstadt is also home to a popular Christmas market that sets up each December.
The shopping centre Kö-Galerie with around 100 shops is located at the "Kö". Off the Kö, the Stilwerk mall at Grünstraße 15 is a temple to modern interior design, while the striking Schadow Arkaden mall (nearby at Schadowstraße 11) is home to more designer outlets. Saks of 5th at Heinrich-Heine-Platz 1, occupies a splendid art nouveau building and is Düsseldorf’s top department store. The Düsseldorf Bilk Arcaden attract shoppers with 120 shops, restaurants and a swimming pool.
Shop opening times in Düsseldorf are generally Monday to Saturday 0930-2000, with late opening on Thursday evening. Some shops close early on Saturday afternoon.
Tourist shops sell classic Germanic souvenirs from across the country. Browse for anything from Black Forest cuckoo clocks to large and ornately decorated beer steins. The latter are slightly ironic since the local tipple, Altbier, for which the city is famous, is always served in small measures. The symbol of Düsseldorf is the Radschläger, or ‘cartwheeling man’. His image can be found on everything from key rings to coffee mugs.
The standard rate of sales tax (VAT) in Germany is 19%. A lower rate of 7% is applied to certain everyday items, including food, plants, books, newspapers and entry to cultural sites. Permanent residents of non-EU countries can ask for a Tax Free Form in shops displaying the Global Tax Free Shopping logo in their window, and can claim a VAT refund at the airport on departure. Duty-free prices at the international airport are only available to passengers departing the European Union.