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Modern and medieval, exhilarating and relaxing, Dusseldorf is a city of contradictions that will have you wanting to come back again and again.
Back in the 14th century, the people of the small town of Dorf were famous for inventing the cartwheel. Today the locals of the now much bigger city of Dusseldorf don’t practice gymnastics so much, preferring instead to enjoy the fast life of this city of trade and cultural goings-on.
A modern city in every way, Dusseldorf’s architecture is edgy and avant-garde, swooping at you from all angles. This is a place where sharp-suited workers zip between meetings and international jet setters attend some of the world’s largest trade fairs. If you’re after a pace that is both lively and exhilarating, day or night, then this could be the town for you.
Will Alsop's multi-coloured Colorium tower and Frank Gehry's shimmering, curving Der Neue Zollhof have helped make Düsseldorf's MedienHafen one of Europe's hottest urban quarters. See it up close on one of the tourist office's weekend guided tours. duesseldorf-tourismus.de
Königsallee is by no means the only place to go for designer fashion in Düsseldorf: the Altstadt and Carlstadt have some excellent small boutiques, while Jades in Heinrich-Heine-Allee is a temple to high glamour, with labels including Emilio Pucci, Just Cavalli and MCQ by Alexander McQueen.
Escape the bustling city with an hour-long river cruise to Kaiserwerth, Düsseldorf's historic northernmost district, home to a romantic ruined 10th-century castle, idyllic beer gardens and (briefly) to Florence Nightingale, who visited a Lutheran religious community here before rising to international prominence during the Crimean War. w-flotte.de