Düsseldorf dazzles with boundary-pushing architecture, zinging nightlife and an art scene to rival many higher-profile cities. It’s a posh and modern city that seems all buttoned-up business at first glance: banking, advertising, fashion and telecommunications are among the fields that have made North Rhine–Westphalia's capital one of Germany’s wealthiest cities. Yet all it takes is a few hours of bar-hopping around the Altstadt, the historical quarter along the Rhine, to realise that locals have no problem letting their hair down once they shed those Armani jackets.
The Altstadt may claim to be the ‘longest bar in the world’ but some attention has strayed to Medienhafen, a redeveloped harbour area and a feast of international avant-garde architecture. Older neighbourhoods are also changing. Case in point: Flingern, which has gone from drab to fab in recent years and is has a multifaceted arty boho scene. Highbrow types, meanwhile, can get more than their fill at the city’s many world-class art museums and cultural institutions.