Düsseldorf Travel Guide
Düsseldorf is Germany's best-dressed city, and, too, its wealthiest. Its residents are decidedly more stylishly, more fashionably attired than their peers in any other city in the land. But that should really come as no surprise, for Düsseldorf is Germany's fashion capital where virtually every prestigious fashion house is represented. The city hosts the world's largest fashion trade show every year and has the best fashion shopping venues in all of Germany. Just stroll down Königsallee, the city's main shopping district, and you'll find not only a lineup of Germany's most expensive stores but literally a Who's Who of all the well-known fashion labels. Besides its fashion-centricity, however, Düsseldorf also has a thriving arts scene, centered around the Kunstakademie (Academy of Fine Arts), as well as impressive modern architecture and more advertising agencies and publishing houses than any other city its size in Germany – more than 400 ad agencies and 200-plus publishers. To add to that, the city enjoys huge stature as an international business and finance center, second in the nation only to Frankfurt.
Düsseldorf is the capital of the German state of North Rhine Westphalia, situated on a river delta in the center of the Lower Rhine basin, where the Düssel flows into the Rhine. It is approximately 25 miles (40 km) north of Cologne.
Düsseldorf is well linked to most major cities in Germany as well as in the Netherlands and Belgium via high-speed rail and autobahns. When arriving by air, it is best to fly into Frankfurt and take the train from there directly into Düsseldorf.
Düsseldorf's principal draws, apart from the fashion shops on Königsallee, are the Altstadt (old town), which offers a genuine historical experience in the middle of this largely modern city; scores of world-class museums and galleries, led by the Ständehaus Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Art Collection Northrhine-Westphalia) and the German Ceramics Museum; and several noteworthy modern buildings, chief among them the 18-story Colorium, Frank Gehry's stunning Neuer Zollhof, and the dazzling 238-foot-high (72.5 m) Stadttor that features a jaw-dropping 15-story atrium. There's also an impressive lineup of theaters here, and a Promenade along the Rhine that's worth visiting.
For party-goers, the best bet in Düsseldorf is the Altstadt (Old Town), famous as the "Longest Bar in the World," packed with more than 300 bars, pubs and restaurants in just under a mile. The principal areas of interest here are Bolkerstraße, to which German and international tourists are typically drawn, and Ratinger Straße and Kurze Straße which attract more university students and the artsy lot. Another area rife with bars, clubs and restaurants, just south of Altstadt, is Medienhafen, the city's upscale harbor district and newly-anointed clubbing hotspot.
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