Photo courtesy of Paul Oxtoby

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Düsseldorf International is the largest airport in North Rhine-Westphalia, & the third largest in Germany, handling 20 million passengers in 2011.

It is an excellent airport for enthusiasts, seeing a wide variety of airlines & aircraft types.

Viewing at Dusseldorf Airport is easy, & photographers will not have a problem at either point mentioned below.

Photo courtesy of Paul Oxtoby

Viewing Area A – Official Viewing Area – Top of Terminal

The area on top of the terminal overlooks the 05 end of both runways. All aircraft will taxi very close by, whether they be departing or arriving, so photos are easily obtained.

As the general rule of thumb, the runway that gets most use is 23R for landings & 23L for departures. If landing on 05L, planes are along way off & you would need at least a 400mm lens on a DSLR in order to be able to reach anything even the size of a 757 on landing.

Viewing Area B – Official Viewing Area – On Top of The Train Station

Photo courtesy of Paul Oxtoby

Another viewing area is offered on top of the train station & this is situated at the 23 end of the runways. Aircraft taxi very close by & everything can be photographed lining up on 23L. 23R which is normally used for landings is a little further away, but it is closer than the 05L end from the other viewing area, so a 300mm lens may be enough for 757 or above, 400mm was certainly enough for a 737.


Sheraton Airport Hotel

Located on top of the car park, opposite the main terminal building, but connected by walkway. If you want to spot from the hotel, any high floor rooms ending in a 10 will give limited views of the domestic apron & lead off taxiway, although movements are distant. If you have an SBS unit, then tie-ups would be that much easier.

Maritim Düsseldorf Airport Hotel

This hotel is to be found less than a five-minute walk from the terminal, via a walkway. It is a 5* hotel, so therefore far from one of the cheapest places to stay in the area. Limited views of the airport can be had from some of the rooms.

Holiday Inn Düsseldorf Ratingen

Some ten minutes by shuttle bus away from the airport, this hotel is located in a small hamlet of Ratingen, in the vicinity of Düsseldorf Airport. It has a breakfast/dining room, as well as a small bar area. Some rooms do have views towards the airport, so you will see arrivals & departures, albeit from a distance.

For any travel requirements you may have, please contact us for a quotation.

Editor’s Note: Having stayed at all three hotels, on different visits, I believe the Holiday Inn to be the one having the best rates. That said however, I have found reasonable rates at the Sheraton, so it’s all a case of looking to see which hotel has the best rates for your stay.

For anyone that hasn’t visited this airport, if the planes are landing on 23, then the viewing area located at the railway station is second to none, in terms of photography opportunities, as everything taxis by, only a few feet away. From a spotting point of view, even the editor couldn’t miss anything on his visits!