As the capital of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf is a cosmopolitan city shaped by a strong Rhineland zest for life. Düsseldorf is a leading business center at the heart of Europe, a lively and modern city with a population of more than 600,000. The Messe Düsseldorf stages 50 international trade fairs annually - 24 of these are global leaders in their respective sectors. In addition, the Düsseldorf International is one of the most modern airports in the world.
Düsseldorf has been traditionally known as an administrative and financial center of the region and as a headquarters for not only heavy machinery companies, but also for coal- and steel-producing firms. Because of its strategic significance, Düsseldorf was heavily bombed in World War II, and 85% of the city was destroyed. But the city rose from the ashes and during the post-war period and rebuilt itself into a modern and prosperous city center. Today, Düsseldorf is not only a leading industrial base in Germany, it's also headquarters for numerous advertising, fashion and financial companies as well as IT and telecommunications.
Düsseldorf is an attractive cosmopolitan city, as evidenced by its population growth over the past few years to more than 600,000 residents. It is no wonder that the Mercer Quality of Life Survey - which compares over 200 cities based on political, economic, environmental, health, education, transportation and personal safety factors - ranked Düsseldorf number six worldwide in 2015.
The city boasts Germany's third largest and most modern airport, Düsseldorf International, which links the region and its companies to more than 180 destinations worldwide. It is also an important hub for German domestic and European air traffic, handling more than 100,000 tons of air freight annually. With its own ICE high-speed rail station, the airport can be reached in just ten minutes from downtown Düsseldorf. The Messe Düsseldorf stages 50 international trade fairs annually, attracting about 1.5 million visitors. With 24 of these trade fairs being considered the number one event for their industry sectors, Düsseldorf is home to nearly one fifth of the world's 120 premier trade fairs.
In Düsseldorf, the mix of a popular "old town," (Altstadt) and an elegant shopping district, the Königsallee, combined with the presence of large corporations and small, innovative start-ups is just right. All of these together create the charm of the city on the Rhine. Cultural offerings and events in Düsseldorf can compete with those in any other metropolis, but with the added advantage that one does not get lost in the urban jungle. Düsseldorf remains a relaxed, nice-sized city.
The Rhine River winds through Düsseldorf for many kilometers and defines the city. It links the stylish community of Kaiserswerth in the north with the old world charm of Benrath in the far south. It divides the city's lively old town, which is affectionately known as "Germany's longest bar," from the historic Oberkassel. To see for yourself, plan a visit to the top of the Rhine Tower (Rheinturm) where you can peer out of its large glass windows to enjoy a 360-degree view of the entire city and river below.
Düsseldorf is a study in contrasts. Just minutes away from the fashionable boutiques of the tree-lined Königsallee, you'll find smoke-filled beer houses and tapas bars in the narrow streets of the Altstadt. And in the lush meadows along the Rhine River, sheep graze within sight of the ultra-modern office buildings of the "Hafen," the city's recently redeveloped river harbor. Düsseldorf is an international city, with foreigners accounting for about 17% of its residents. Thanks to the Japanese International School of Düsseldorf, built in the mid-1960s, the city is home to the largest Japanese community in continental Europe. In addition, there are sizable communities of Dutch, British, American and French nationals.
While business in Düsseldorf is still mainly associated with heavy industry, the city has also developed into a center for the German advertising industry. Indeed, there are 400 advertising agencies in Düsseldorf, among them three of the largest in Germany: BBDO, Publicis and Grey. A number of affiliates of foreign agencies deserve mention as well, including Ogilvy & Mather, Dentsu, Hakuhodo, Digital District and DDB. Many of these companies are headquartered in the recently redeveloped Media Harbor (Medienhafen), which is characterized by an ultra-modern landmark building designed by the American architect Frank Gehry.
Over the past two decades, Düsseldorf has also developed into one of Europe's most important centers for the telecommunications industry. Two of the country's four major mobile phone providers, Vodafone and E-Plus (Telefónica), are headquartered in Düsseldorf. Numerous foreign providers also have a presence here, such as NTT, Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei, ZTE and GTS. Düsseldorf is now not only a center for mobile phone providers, but also a hub for the entire spectrum of applications and suppliers. The design and fashion industry is also an important sector in Düsseldorf, ranging from trade fairs, showrooms, retailers, designers and much more. Twice a year, Düsseldorf becomes a hot spot for the fashion industry during the CPD fair operated by the Igedo Company.
Mention shopping in Düsseldorf, and the "Kö" (short for Königsallee) is inevitably in the next breath. This tree-lined boulevard, dotted with ornamental canals and fountains, hosts many of the world's top designer shops, including Armani, Cartier, Lacoste, Gucci, Chanel, Escada, Hugo Boss, Joop, Prada and many more. Off the Kö, the Stilwerk mall is a temple of modern interior design, while the nearby Schadow Arkaden mall is home to yet more designer outlets. Meanwhile, the Schadowstraße is known as "Germany's shopping mile" and is said to have the highest turnover in the entire country. Düsseldorf is divided into 10 administrative districts, with each district electing its own district council and its own district mayor. Each district is further subdivided into boroughs, of which there are 50.
The lure of Düsseldorf's Altstadt is hard to resist. The "old town" has more than 260 bars and restaurants and is well known for its copper-colored Altbier lager served in stubby 0.25 liter glasses. No visit to Düsseldorf is really complete without a stop at one of the five city pubs that brew on the premises (Füchschen, Uerige, Schlüssel, Schumacher and Kürzer) The Altstadt may have a reputation as Germany's biggest party zone, but this is unfair to the young professionals who live in the Altstadt and appreciate the close proximity to museums, restaurants and cafes. The Altstadt, together with Carlstadt, form the nucleus of Düsseldorf's creative scene. The Art Academy (Kunstakademie) is a hotbed of contemporary German art, and its alumni include, among others, Paul Klee, Joseph Beuys, Jörg Immendorf, Gerhard Richter, Günther Uecker and members of the influential electro-pop band Kraftwerk. Just up the street is the K20, which houses North Rhine-Westphalia's most important art collection. Not to be missed is the weekly food market at Carlsplatz, open year round.
The grand boulevard of Düsseldorf is the Königsallee, an upscale shopping street that runs for about one kilometer along a historic canal. Known as simply the "Kö" to locals, it is well known for fashion showrooms and luxury retail stores. The city center (Stadtmitte) is also home to Düsseldorf's banking quarter, which runs along the Kasernenstraße, Breite Straße and Königsallee. Most of Germany's major banks are located within a six-block radius, as is Germany's leading business newspaper, Handelsblatt. The Immermannstrasse, which runs from the main train station, is the heart of Düsseldorf's Japanese community. Clustered around the German-Japanese Center and the Nikko Hotel are many Japanese trading companies, businesses, restaurants and shops.
Pempelfort and Derendorf
Pempelfort and Derendorf are located just north of the city center. These two districts are popular with young professionals who favor its Bohemian mix of stores, restaurants and cafes. The Rheinpark Golzheim stretches several hundred meters along the Rhine River and is one of the most popular parks in the city for sun bathing, jogging and barbecuing on warm summer evenings. Nearby is also the Ehrenhoff complex of historic buildings from the 1920s which now houses the NRW-Forum exhibition space, Museum Kunstpalast, Tonhalle concert hall and the Rheinterrasse conference center.
One of the most spectacularly successful redevelopment projects in Germany and Europe is the Düsseldorf Harbor (Düsseldorf Hafen). For decades, the harbor had been used for industrial manufacturing, but in the 1990s the city began the conversion process from a manufacturing center to a Media Harbor. Internationally famous architects were commissioned to create an urban mix of office space, restaurants, bars, hotels and clubs. The most well-known landmark is Frank Gehry's "Neuer Zollhof," with its unique facade of shimmering stainless steel. The NRW Parliament (Landtag) building and the Rhine Tower (Rheinturm) can also be found here.
Oberkassel, Niederkassel, Lörick
Located on the "left" side of the Rhine and just over the bridge from the old town, Oberkassel is considered one of the best residential addresses in Düsseldorf. Thanks to the spectacular views of the Düsseldorf skyline and numerous historic apartment buildings, Oberkassel is in high demand and is considered one of the most expensive districts in the city. Many Japanese families choose to live in the neighboring districts of Niederkassel and Lörick, because not only is the Japanese International School of Düsseldorf located in Oberkassel, but also a Japanese kindergarten, cultural center and a Buddhist temple.
Kaiserswerth is just north of the city center and is one of the oldest parts of Düsseldorf. The ruins of the Kaiserpfalz, Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa's Royal Palace, are located on the banks of the Rhine River. Surrounding the ruins are baroque houses from the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as the St. Suitbertus Bascilica on Stiftsplatz. The International School of Düsseldorf is also located in Kaiserwerth, and many international families choose to live in the surrounding neighborhoods.
For more information, please visit the official website at: www.duesseldorf.de