The capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Dusseldorf is teeming with contemporary architecture, impressive modern art, lively nightlife, and luxurious shopping. On the surface the city seems to be just another financial centre; banking, advertising, fashion and telecommunications have made Dusseldorf one of Germany's economic leaders, but tourists will soon see that the locals have no problem letting their hair down. Although the city's old town was reduced to ruins during the Second World War it has been meticulously rebuilt according to original historical designs. Today the old town, or Altstadt, is a celebrated shopping district by day and the "longest bar in the world" by night. Amongst the outstanding restaurants and coffee houses you will find a plethora of cosy bars selling the legendary Altbier, which is a moderately bitter, deep amber brew that is essential for visitors wishing to experience the taste of the city. According to the locals, the city's premier shopping street Konigsallee can rival the very best of Paris or Rome. The street certainly has an outstanding reputation and is home to a vast selection of exclusive high-end stores that stock lavish international brands at affordable prices. Although the Altstadt gets most of the attention, the city's Medienhafen, a recently redeveloped harbour area, dazzles with pioneering architecture and a vivacious art scene that provides a feast for the senses. Visitors to the city are certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to museums and galleries, for example The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is one Germany's premier collections of modern art.
When to fly to Dusseldorf
To experience the very best of the city make sure to plan your trip for the second and third weeks in July. Although this is considered peak season in the city, it also marks the arrival of Kirmes, the spectacular fun fair taking place by the river. To avoid the estimated 4 million visitors that enter the city during the month of July, plan your trip for early March and April. February is a cheaper time to visit the city and is also the month when the large parade takes place on carnival Monday, and it’s a thrilling celebration of local traditions. The city's spectacular Christmas markets make November and December months another popular time to visit.
Getting around Dusseldorf
There is an extensive network of reliable public transport around the city. Those who are interested in driving should be aware that the city centre is an "environment zone" and stickers declaring the vehicle's pollution category are mandatory.