Moving around in Düsseldorf

Local Transportation System

Düsseldorf provides you with a strong network of buses and trains [Map]. The bus, tram and subway network is operated by Rheinbahn AG. There is also a suburban railway network (S-Bahn).

You can use this timetable system to plan your trips. It also tells you which ticket level you need (“Preisstufe”). There are several construction sites in Düsseldorf, e.g. around Jan-Wellem-Platz, which means that some trams do not go the normal routes. This is already considered in the timetable system.

Whether you travel on the bus, the subway, the tram, the S-Bahn or on the RB- and RE lines of the Deutsche Bahn – your ticket is valid for all means of transport in the region of Düsseldorf. However, there are many different ticket types, and the vending machine’s instructions are mostly in German. This page provides the most relevant local transportation information for ESSLLI participants. You will have to decide on the best option for yourself taking into account the location of your accommodation, how long you stay etc. Don’t forget that Düsseldorf is a large city and that the university campus (= ESSLLI venue) is 4,5 km south of the city center!

For trips within Düsseldorf, e.g. from the city center to the campus, you need a ticket of price level A (“Preisstufe A/A2”). If you are travelling a maximum of three stops, a short-distance ticket (“Kurzstrecke”) is usually enough. (On each vending machine there is a list telling where one can travel on a short-distance ticket bought from that particular machine.) The tickets for areas B, C and D are for the suburban areas.

Ticket name Ticket type Short distance Level A Comments
Einzelticket Single ticket €1,50 €2,50 transfer included, not for return or round trips
4er-Ticket 4x ticket €5,50 €9,00 4 single tickets
Tagesticket Day ticket €5,90 unlimited number of trips from stamping until night (3am of the following day)
Gruppenticket Group ticket €13,00 day ticket for up to 5 people
YoungTicket Monthly ticket for students €48,60 unlimited number of trips within one calender month (August) for one student; student ID required
Ticket 1000 Monthly ticket €64,95 unlimited number of trips within one calender month (August) for one person


Tickets, except the monthly tickets, are bought from vending machines on the tram or subway stops. They have to be stamped before using the transportation service.

There is also the option to buy a ticket via your smartphone. Unfortunately, most information is provided in German.

The Ticket 1000 and the YoungTicket have to be bought at a Rheinbahn Customer Center (“KundenCenter”) because they are personalized. There are two Customer Centers in Düsseldorf:

  • KundenCenter, opposite the main station, Immermanstraße 65 A-D, Opening hours: Mon-Fri 08:00 – 19:00, Sat 9:00 – 14:00
  • KundenCenter, Heinrich-Heine-Allee 23, Opening hours: Mon-Fri 07:30 – 19:00, Sat 9:00 – 14:00

Offer for ESSLLI students: ESSLLI participants who register as a student have the possibility to purchase the YoungTicket during the online registration. This means that you can pick up your YoungTicket at the ESSLLI registration desk and that you do not have to deal with the Customer Center yourself. This offer is no longer available.

Tickets for travelling from Düsseldorf to Cologne

Option 1: You do not have a monthly ticket for Düsseldorf. You need a VRS ticket that covers 5 zones (Düsseldorf-Köln). It costs €10,80 one-way. VRS is the enterprise that runs the transportation system around Cologne, but you can also buy the VRS tickets from vending machines at Düsseldorf main station.

Option 2: You have a YoungTicket or a Ticket1000 for Düsseldorf. You need two supplementary tickets in addition to your monthly ticket. This is because the transportation system around Düsseldorf is operated by an enterprise called VRR, while Cologne is part of the transportation system of VRS. You need (1) a “Zusatzticket” (€3 ony-way) that brings you to the last stop of VRR (Langenfeld), and (2) a VRS ticket from Langenfeld to Cologne (3 zones, €4,80 one-way). You can buy the VRS ticket in Düsseldorf, so there is no need to get off or change trains in Langenfeld. However, you cannot buy the VRR Zusatzticket in Cologne, so you have to buy your return ticket in Düsseldorf. If this sounds complicated, you can also go for option 1 of course.

As the tickets for within Düsseldorf, the VRS tickets are also available in different types: “Einzelticket” (one-way), “4er-Ticket” (four one-way tickets), “Tagesticket 1 Person” (day ticket), “Tagesticket 5 Personen” (day ticket for 5 people). Information about the VRS tickets and timetables are also available in English online.

Bike Rental

If you would like to rent a bike, you can indicate this while registering online. This offer is no longer available. People that have opted for a bike have been contacted via email to fix the details.

Alternatively, you can rent a bike on your own. Of course there is no guarantee that there will be bikes available.

  • Fahrradverleih Düsseldorf, bike rental near the youth hostel (rates: €10 per day, €40 per week)
  • Radstation, bike rental at the back entrance of the main station (rates: €10 per day, 1 week €50). Opening hours: Mon – Fri 7:00 – 21:00, Sat + Sun 10:00 – 20:00
  • nextbike offers a bike rental system, which, however, cannot be used for a ride to the university since there is no bike terminal near the campus.

The ride from the City Hostel to the university takes about 25 minutes. Please be aware that many streets do not have a cycle path while there is a lot of car traffic at the same time. You can find an online bicycle route planner at [link].