Parking in Düsseldorf on a Sunday

Halteverbot mit 2 PfeilenI learnt a valuable lesson last weekend: you can’t park in Düsseldorf on a Sunday.

Well, maybe that’s not entirely true, but it’s definitely not easy.

Last Sunday I wanted to hear Cathy Dobson’s public reading from her book “Planet Germany“.  I left in plenty of time.  Driving to Düsseldorf is usually a matter of about 2½ hours.  A bit more if I hit Cologne around the rush hour, but not on a Sunday.  Not on a public holiday.

But I decided to allow myself plenty of time anyway, and left home 4 hours before the reading was due to start.

The only trouble was, that the motorway to the east of Cologne was closed to allow a bridge to be removed!

I ended up going along the motorway to Aachen and then to the west of Cologne to get there, as did quite a few other motorists, and so it was that my journey took me the exact 4 hours that I had planned.

Arriving in the Düsseldorf Altstadt at exactly 5pm, I was glad that I had been given a tip as to the nearest car park.  Instead of driving to the reading, I set the satnav to go to the car park instead.  It was closed.

But luckily I had seen signs to two other car parks.  Unluckily, they were closed as well.

I proceeded to spend the next half hour driving around the streets of Düsseldorf looking for a parking space, but I didn’t find one.  Not one!

I was on the verge of giving up, when I eventually – after widening the search – found a car park that was open and had only 5 spaces left in it.  Not surprising, if the rest were shut.  Only I calculated the walk back to be a good 30 minutes.  So I’d be arriving at least an hour late, that’s assuming that I found one of the 5 spaces straight away.

So I gave up and drove home, which entailed another detour via Gießen to avoid the closed part of the A3 motorway.

What I do not understand, is the way the car parks in Düsseldorf are signed.  Perhaps the city council has a strange sense of humour, but I find it annoying that outside they show spaces available, only to greet you with a message at the ticket barrier that the car park is closed.

More to the point, where do you park if you are visiting Düsseldorf on a Sunday?


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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.


  1. Cathy Dobson says

    I was really sorry to miss you, Graham. I did manage to find somewhere to park, right outside the venue. OK… it wasn’t exactly a legal parking space, but it didn’t obstruct anything… and I was pretty sure that no wardens would be working on a Sunday, which was also a public holiday!

  2. @eumel_8 wrote: “If no events are scheduled in Esprit Arena you can park in the area of ? Duesseldorf Fair. 10 min with U78 inner city.”

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