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Düsseldorf: Live close Feel free

Düsseldorf: Live close Feel free

Everything’s close together in Düsseldorf. We are the only major German city that still has the word „dorf“ (village) in ist name – although it has long since become a global village. And that’s entirely in tune with the tolerant and cosmopolitan way of life that is cultivated everywhere in the city. This is why you’ll feel completely at home in Düsseldorf. The Rhinelanders quickly give you a sense of belonging. Take a seat in one of our famous brewery inns or sit for a while on the steps of the Rheintreppe (Rhine Terrace Steps). You’ll quickly discover that people love to chat.

It's here that the industry decides what's going to be big next season. Düsseldorf is, after all, the fashion capital of Germany. More than 800 showrooms present the latest designer and couture creations, and not just during trade show times. Königsallee, meanwhile, is lined with exclusive boutiques, where it's all too easy to succumb to temptation in the name of fashion. The enticing names of Marco Polo, Hugo Boss, Strellson and Calvin Klein are in good company alongside Armani, Bulgari, Gucci, Jil Sander, Prada, Tiffany & Co. and Versace, forming a stronghold of refined taste.

Königsallee is one of only a handful of internationally regarded streets that can justifiably call themselves a boulevard. Known affectionately as 'Kö', this street is the beating heart of the fashion city, a veritable catwalk lined by beautiful old chestnut trees. Here it's about seeing and being seen, and putting your best foot forward. But the Kö is not the only place to get your fill of fashion and shopping; if you have a taste for the finer things in life, you'll love every bit of Düsseldorf. There's Schadowstrasse, for example, or Carlstadt, an idyllic quarter of antique shops, galleries and art dealers. And, of course, the old town, whose laid-back vibe has attracted unconventional fashion boutiques and numerous alternative stores. The old town also has an abundance of pubs, bars and clubs that gives it the nickname of 'the longest bar in the world' and offers ample opportunity to relax and unwind after hitting the shops. Or simply to model your latest purchases.

The city centre's many shopping arcades mean that wet weather needn't stand in the way of a shopping spree. Schadow Arkaden, Sevens, Kö Galerie and stilwerk offer a winning combination of quality and variety, as well as plenty of space. The Kö-Bogen mall is set to open soon and promises to be another jewel in the city's luxury shopping crown. Even if you're looking for something with a smaller price tag, you'll still be spoilt for choice in Düsseldorf. For example, there are the Düsseldorf arcades around Lorettostrasse, or the hip Flingern quarter with its trendy, offbeat offerings. But it would be doing a disservice to Düsseldorf to describe it only as a fashion and shopping mecca. The city has so much more to offer. Culturally minded travellers are particularly well catered for, with events such as the Old Town Autumn attracting tens of thousands of visitors. Düsseldorf also prides itself on its theatres, concert halls, art galleries and places of historical interest, as well as its magnificent parks and gardens. The museums and the acclaimed Düsseldorf Arts Academy add to the city's reputation as a hub of culture, and every four years the international art world turns its attention to Düsseldorf for the Quadriennale with its high-calibre exhibition programme.

Düsseldorf is home to Europe's third-largest Japanese community after London and Paris. The vibrant Japanese quarter is centred around Hotel Nikko on Immermannstrasse, where you can find Japanese supermarkets, bookshops, restaurants and much more besides. And if all that fashion, shopping and culture leaves you feeling worn out, you can head to Burgplatz to unwind in style. One of Germany's most beautiful squares, this is the ultimate weekend and evening hangout for the people of Düsseldorf. So sit back with a glass of altbier, look out to the Rhine and just enjoy the moment. And if you happen to notice that the passers-by are exceptionally well dressed, then you can probably guess where they've done their shopping.

City Highlights

Ehrenhof 4–5 | 40479 Düsseldorf

Kunstpalast is Düsseldorf’s treasure chamber – from Beuys to Richter and Rubens. Apart from the paintings and graphic art, there is also a design collection and one of the world’s biggest glass collections. An exhibition area of over 4,000 square metres offers plenty of space for the art – one would think. However, when some extravagant sports cars were recently exhibited, four tonnes of concrete had to be cut away first. For lovers of the fine line between art and design.

Opening hours: Tuesdays until Sundays and public holidays 11.00-18.00h | closed on Mondays

You won’t find the “longest bar in the world” in a bar. In fact, this term describes an entire microcosm that takes in over 260 hostelries, bars and restaurants in Düsseldorf’s Altstadt (Old Town). It has already been a melting pot of all social classes for 350 years. It’s the quarter in Düsseldorf where anybody can find what they’re looking for – be it a fashion boutique, an art museum or a brewery inn.

What makes Altbier different from other beers?

Altbier can be described as a traditional (top-fermented) craft beer. It has always been hand-made – long before the art of brewing was supposedly rediscovered. And it’s also “altbier” brown and tastes delicious!

Düsseldorf was already setting the fashion agenda back in the days of Elector Jan Wellem in the 18th century. Soon the pleasure of wearing beautiful clothes was no longer reserved exclusively for court society, but was also enjoyed by the middle classes. Regular events kicked off in 1949 with an outdoor fashion show on Königsallee and the IGEDO, the world's first fashion fair and still the largest of its kind in the world. Several times a year designers and buyers flock to this city on the Rhine from all over the world.

Well, deep pockets are definitely an advantage. Those who love luxury brands will find everything their hearts desire here. But there’s also a more affordable option. Simply take a seat in one of the pavement cafés, order a latte, and watch people strolling past. It’s almost like a fashion show.

Where does this famous street’s name come from?

At one time, the “Kö” was known as Kastanienallee because it was lined with magnificent chestnut trees. However, in 1848 the King of Prussia, Frederick William IV, announced a visit to Düsseldorf – then a quite sleepy town. Enraged by what they saw as unjust Prussian edicts, the populace gave the king an anarchic welcome – pelting him with horse dung. One such missile is even said to have actually hit his coat. To restore the city to the king’s good graces, Kastanienallee was swiftly renamed “Königsallee” (King’s Avenue).

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