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Düsseldorf has a creative vibe thanks to its modern mix of architectural gems, cool galleries and fashionable locals. In western Germany, on the edge of the River Rhine, this university city has plenty to keep travellers busy. You can wander round the many arty museums, walk the waterside promenade and hang out at relaxed street-side cafés in the old town. The city has its own beers and a legendary nightlife, with bars, clubs and pubs teaming with revellers.
The range of hostels in Düsseldorf means you can choose between traditional dorm rooms or private spaces with en-suite bathrooms. Stay in a colourful, homely Düsseldorf hostel that has cold beers in the vending machine or pick a hostel with a large restaurant and sociable hang-out areas. At some, you’ll get a buffet-style breakfast of local meats and cheeses, while others have extras such as free toiletries or a TV. Most Düsseldorf hostels have free Wi-Fi and are in walking distance of all the sights.
The old town, or Altstadt, has been nicknamed "the longest bar in the world". It's packed with hundreds of breweries and bars. Head to Ratinger Strasse to start your crawl of the beer halls. For shopping and more nightlife, Stadtmitte and its upscale boulevard of Königsallee along the canal is the place to be. South of the city centre is the student area of Bilk where you’ll find underground parties and cafés. The dynamic Medienhafen is the regenerated area around the old harbour, and is an architectural feast for the eyes. The Landtag and Gehry buildings look even more impressive at sunset.
When it comes to seeing the sights of Düsseldorf, start by checking out the iconic Rheinturm Tower and the 14th-century St Lambertus church. The Nordpark is a pretty green space to spend an afternoon and is home to the tranquil Japanese Gardens. For a creative fix, visit the Kunstsammlung and Kunsthalle museums. At Kiefernstrasse in the Flingern-Süd district, you’ll see vibrant street art adorning the walls. To pick up a picnic lunch, head to the Carlsplatz market for German street food and piles of fresh fruit.
Düsseldorf International Airport is a 10-minute drive from the centre. You can catch the S-Bahn S11 train from the terminal straight to the city’s Hauptbahnhof station. From outside the arrivals hall, bus 721 will get you there too. Getting around the city and suburbs is easy due to its efficient bus, tram and light rail network. Düsseldorf's centre is also perfectly sized to explore by bicycle.