What to do in Düsseldorf: Visit Schloss Benrath

The Stadtteil (area) of Benrath in the south of Düsseldorf is popular place for many reasons.  Its proximity to the river Rhine and a number of nature reserves, along with the beautiful Baroque pleasure palace and vast park made it the perfect place for those wanting to escape the city chaos, providing them with somewhere that they can spend a peaceful afternoon.

Schloss Benrath was built as a summer residence and hunting lodge for the Elector Palatine Carl Theodor in 1770. The palace is considered today to be one of the few examples of late rococo Gesamtkunstwerk in Europe and although I have not yet been inside, I am told that the furniture, porcelain and paintings inside are rather impressive.

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An aerial view of Schloss Benrath – from duesseldorf-tourismus.de

The palace itself is split into 3 main buildings – the central building was built for the Elector Palatine and his wife, with two symmetrical wings which originally accommodated the servants. At the front of the palace is the Schlossweiher, a circular pond, and on the south side lies a long rectangular pond which cuts through the enormous 63 hectares of parkland.

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A short distance from the palace is another of the old servant wings, called the Alte Orangerie (Old Orangery). Nearby are the French and English rose gardens – both of which are very charming!

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Today the central building houses a museum in which you can take advantage of guided tours. Occasionally the building is also used as a venue for music concerts. The two wings also house museums – the Museum for European Garden Art in the east wing and the Museum of Natural History in the west wing.

Top Tip: For those wishing to visit, the park is open 24/7 and the museums from 1100 -1700 Tuesday to Sunday.

Within the grounds is also a rather lovely café, offering outdoor seating on a warm summer’s day, or if you prefer, a rather decorative inside area for when the weather is not so nice or you prefer the shade. The prices are very reasonable and there is always a varied choice of cakes, ice cream or, for those who like it hot, fresh waffles during the winter months.

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Inside the Schlosscafe

Top Tip: The best way to get to Schloss Benrath is to take the Regio Bahn from the HBf – the RE1 (Aachen) or RE5 (Koblenz) takes just over 5 mins from the Hbf and on arrival at Benrath S-bf  the Schloss is only a short walk down the road.