The city became known as the garden city in the 18th century when Johann Wilhelm II, Elector of Palatinate, chose Düsseldorf as his royal capital. Today, residents can enjoy several beautiful parks and splendid gardens.
The central park is known as the Hofgarten, originally laid out in 1769 as a royal pleasure garden for the Jägerhof stately home. Reaching between the river to the opera house, the Goethe Museum and the theatre, it is now possible to walk across the Düssel (which gave the original village its name) to the Königsallee. The strict classical style of the French and park style of the English combine with free open spaces, accentuating the natural flavour of the scenery.
Another very artful park lies in Stockum. The Nordpark fascinates with its long water fountains and skillfully laid paths and flowerbeds. This large park is nestled betwen the Rhine and the north cemetery (Nordfriedhof). The Japanese garden is a most beautiful part, an hommage to the large number of residents from Nippon living in Düsseldorf. Showing nature in the typical idealised way, the garden serves as a place of meditation.
Südpark & Botanischer Garten
The south park (Südpark) is both the largest and the most visited natural area and includes the people’s garden (Volksgarten) created in the late 19th century. Spacious and simple in structure, the concept of the Volksgarten was to enable local residents to be close to nature. The nearby botanical garden is situated next to the Heinrich Heine Universität. Serving as a scientific connection to the university for research and apprenticeship it is also is opened to the public. There is a dome for tropical plants, orangery and a fascinating digital apothecary garden.
This highlight also reaches back to the 18th century. Surrounding the historical stately home in Benrath to the south are some of the most beautiful gardens and natural zones in Düsseldorf. The style of the gardens and the beauty of the trees create delightful spaces to enjoy.
Lovers of the wild can find large areas of woods and natural vegetation in the Düsseldorfer Stadtwald. The parklands are in three locations fom the north and east to the south of the state capital. Some spots are rather dense and some of the tall majestic trees are up to 250 years old.
More parks can be found in Eller, Heltorf and Mickeln. The Zoopark is in the district Düsseltal. The west bank of the Rhine to the north of the city centre is also a delightful green space, especially when the crocusses create a sea of colour in the spring.