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Düsseldorf is the capital of Rhineland-Westphalia. Although the city was bombed heavily during the Second World War, it has managed to maintain an elegant atmosphere with a mixture of old and new buildings. The old 'Altstadt' with its 13th century Saint Lambertus church and the old Jägerhof castle are well worth a visit. Furthermore, there are exclusive shops and galleries on the Königsallee, which the locals often simply refer to as 'Kö'.
Düsseldorf has nearly 600,000 inhabitants. It is sometimes called 'Nippon on the Rhine', due to the large number of Japanese inhabitants (8,000). Never write 'Dusseldorf' instead of 'Düsseldorf'. The meaning of 'Dussel' is klutz, and the people of Düsseldorf will not be amused.
The city is located primarily on the east bank of the Rhine, where the river Düssel flows into the Rhine. Some parts of the city (Overkassel, Niederkassel, Heerdt and Lörick) are situated on the west bank. Düsseldorf is located to the south-west of the Ruhr area, but it is still a part of this large urban agglomeration with over 11 million inhabitants. Duisburg is located a little to the north-west of Düsseldorf, Cologne is located to the south-east of the city.
While the Ruhr area leans on heavy industry, Düsseldorf is above all an administrative centre. It is sometimes called the 'writing desk' of the Ruhr area. The main offices of heavy industries are located here, like Thyssen-Krupp, Rheinmetall and Henkel. In addition, the European Patent Office is located in the city, as well as many advertising agencies, telecommunication companies and banks. Few people know that the city plays an important role in the German fashion industry. The 'Collections Premieren Düsseldorf' is one of the world's largest fashion shows.
The media are also represented, with the studio networks of Westdeutschen Rundfunks (WDR) and Zweiten Deutschen Fernsehens (ZDF).
Düsseldorf Airport is located to the north of the city. It is the third largest airport of Germany. From the city centre the airport can be reached with the so-called Stadtbahn (line 7). There is also a rail connection with the Hochbahn.
Twenty kilometres to the west of the city lies a smaller airport, Düsseldorf-Mönchengladbach.
Budget airlines use Weeze airport, which is located at 100 kilometres to the north-west of the city, although it is often referred to simply as 'Düsseldorf' by the airlines.
The city has an extensive public transport network with Stadtbahnen (city trains, metro), Strassenbahnen (trams) and buses, all of which are operated by Rheinbahn. At the centre of the city's public transport system is the Haubtbahnhof Düsseldorf, from which high-speed (ICE) trains leave for, among other places, Berlin, Munich and Amsterdam. The ICE trains also make a stop at Düsseldorf Flughafen. There are also regional trains to Duisburg, Essen, Wuppertal, Mönchengladbach, Krefeld and Cologne.
A single ticket is valid for all forms of public transport in the city.
The city is surrounded by motorways. In the north the A44 Mönchengladbach-Bochum and the A52 to Essen, in the south the A46 Heinsberg- Hagen and the A59 to Leverkusen, in the west the A57 Cologne-Krefeld, and finally in the east the A3 from Cologne to Oberhausen.
It is a modern city with clear traffic signs, which means you will have no trouble finding your way around.
Along the Königsallee there is a so-called 'Blue Zone', where you are only allowed to park in the blue spaces, and anywhere else it is not allowed. In the Blue Zone, parking is paid from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 6 pm, and on Saturday between 9 am and 4 pm. NB: at other times parking is free, but it is still only allowed in the blue spaces.
Düsseldorf is a business centre where there are conferences and exhibitions all year round, so there is no lack of hotels in the mid-price and higher regions. If you are looking for a hotel in this category, we strongly recommend booking in advance. Cheaper accommodations are found around the train station, especially in the Graf-Adolf-Strasse, and in the south of the city around the Jahnstrasse.
For more information about Düsseldorf, we recommend Google, and the following sources: