The 'Altstadt' or old town, located between the Rhine and Heinrich-Heine-Allee, is the heart of Dusseldorf. This pedestrian zone is said to be the 'longest bar in the world' and most of the city's out- and indoor-events take place here, i.e. the Dusseldorfer Altstadtherbst, an end-of-summer festival.
The Altstadt attracts both tourists and locals thanks to its beautiful location on the banks of the Rhine. You can find food from all over the world, local and international drinks, trendy and traditional pubs, bars and 'Ballermann' (referring to the German pubs in Mallorca).
Pubs, haute cuisine, snack bars and shops are all packed into this part of the city. Take the U-Bahn or a taxi to Heinrich-Heine-Allee (finding a parking place costs nerves and plenty of money - and cars don't just get clamped, they get toed away!) and dive into the crowd. If the weather is nice, go for a stroll along the Rhine promenade, where you'll have a beautiful view of the houses of Oberkassel, across the river. You can join the sporty crowd by renting a pair of inline skates from the G@rden Internet café, or simply sit down on one of the benches and relax.
A few sights you shouldn't miss in the 'Altstadt' are the 'Schlossturm' tower at Burgplatz and the Stadterhebungsdenkmal, which documents the history of the city, and the statue of Jan-Wellem-Reiterdenkmal on horseback at the Rathausplatz. Touring and sightseeing boats leave for Kaiserswerth, Köln, Bonn and other places from the river promenade.
It's worth exploring around the Stadtmuseum up to the Bilker- and Hohe Straße, with beautiful cobbled streets lined with 18th-century patrician houses, exquisite antique shops, galleries, restaurants and pubs. At the end of the Bilker Straße you will find Bert Gerresheim's Heinrich Heine monument. Heine was a poet, best known for his lyrics to the famous Loreley song.
Follow the promenade past the 234 metre-high Rheinturm telecom tower, and you'll find yourself at the harbour. This area has changed in appearance a few times over the last century. Many parts of the once active harbour were closed in 1976. Others were simply abandoned.
The Landtag brought new prestige to this area in 1988. About ten years of construction have made the harbour the most modern and trendy area of the city. In the early 1990s a tunnel was built to keep the traffic out of the city centre. The regional broadcaster WDR finished its light-blue building in 1991. In 1998 the Stadttor, a glass-column gate to the city, opened its doors. The unusual buildings directly at the shore, one white, one red, one silvery, were finished last year. The architect: is Frank O. Gehry, who also built the Guggenheim museum in Barcelona. The area is becoming a central location for media firms, broadcasters and production companies.
Many new bars and stylish restaurants have joined the so-called 'media-mile' and the first club, the mk-2, opened recently. In a few years time the opposite stretch of land will have been modernised.
Bilk is the students' part of town. This is mainly due to its location directly between the town and the university campus, as well as the public transportation hub at Bilk S-Bahnhof. There are many little shops in this area, including a few second-hand bookshops.
You can't leave Dusseldorf without having done some window-shopping along the Königsallee. It's one of the things people will ask you back at home: Did you see the 'Kö'? Every reputable designer label can be found here somewhere.
If you're interested in architecture you should have a look at the listed Thyssen-Haus, the slender, three-layered house next to the white, piano-shaped Theatermuseum. It's best viewed when strolling through the Hofgarten (just walk to the end of the Kö - direction of the Rhine - and then through the tunnel). If you walk on, you will see the Theatermuseum and the Jägerhof, which houses the Goethe-collection.
Watching the sun go down behind the beautiful facade of Oberkassel is a favourite pass-time for many Dusseldorfers.
After sunset you can walk to the Oberkasseler Bridge, get into the tram, get out at the other side of the Rhine and walk along the banks - you may even come across a flock of sheep - or go window-shopping along the Luegallee.
Kaiserswerth is a beautiful historic site, and wasn't actually part of Dusseldorf until 1929. It is reachable by tram or car, and functions as a recreation area for the city folk. Go for a walk by the ruins of the castle along the Rhine, have a break at one of the beer gardens or market cafés, or treat yourself to a three-star meal by Jean-Claude Bourgueil.
Benrath - about 10 kilometres from the city centre - is home to a beautiful 18th century palace, complete with pond and gardens. Once the residence of Theodor zu Pfalz, it was designed by Nicolas de Pigage.
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Fahrenheit temperature scale is used.