The bustling, modern city of Düsseldorf has around 600,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the German federal state of Northrhine-Westphalia. There are, however, many serene green spaces in the city and in particular parks that run alongside the river Rhine where it is easy to find little spots of quietness and relaxation away from the hub of the central districts. Due to its proximity to one of the most populous
regions in Germany, the Ruhr area, not far from the border to the Netherlands and Belgium and in immediate proximity to Cologne, Düsseldorf can justifiedly be said to be located in a very strategic location within Europe. This makes the city also an ideal place both to work and to live.
Düsseldorf is also one of the wealthiest cities in Germany, and this will catch visitors' eye immediately. It abounds with elegant shops, exclusive hotels and fine restaurants, especially in areas around the
media harbour and on the famous boulevard “Königsallee“(Kö for short). Famous football players, actors and models all make their home here. However, this exclusive appeal is by far not only a matter of superficial self-expression, but has a substantial economic basis: A number of global and international companies are based in Düsseldorf and contribute to the city’s wealth. Furthermore, the city has a well-balanced mix of companies from different branches in contrast to other cities. In addition, Düsseldorf is a major trade fair city and holds some of the world’s largest trade fairs, among them for fashion, water sports, yachting, the print and paper trades. The exhibition halls area (Düsseldorf Messe) is located in the north of the city, not far
from the FH-campus in Golzheim and close to the airport. The city also boasts a variety of architectural styles from different eras. The media harbour is one of the modernised areas which have been recently enlarged with interesting and striking architecture. It is also a great place to spend a nice summer day as there are many trendy bars, restaurants and clubs. Visitors who would like to enjoy a spectacular view of the city may want to visit the television tower which is the city’s highest building whose observation platform offers views of the whole city.
Another attractive part of the city is the Old town (German: Altstadt) which is also known as “the world’s longest bar”. Accordingly, this district can also boast many restaurants and some very old breweries
which serve freshly brewed beer. People in Düsseldorf drink a special beer called Altbier which is often just called “Alt” = “old”. The name has nothing to do with its age though. It is a fresh dark beer that is slightly bitter and very different to Pils. Visitors to Düsseldorf should certainly try it – the citizens of Düsseldorf love it. Although it is a modern and vibrant city, Düsseldorf has a number of old traditions. Carnival is celebrated annually and there are many parties and processions around the city during this time. As part of the celebrations, women storm the town hall and take control of the city – symbolically, of course. Christmas is celebrated with a traditional Christmas market in the Altstadt. There are many little stalls serving warm drinks, "Glühwein" (mulled wine), winter snacks, souvenirs or Christmas gifts.