Cosmopolitan charm and Rhenish joie de vivre characterise the North Rhine-Westphalia state capital Düsseldorf with its almost 630,000 inhabitants. And yet Düsseldorf used to be just a small village which grew up alongside the Düssel stream (explaining the name, Düssel plus "Dorf" or village in English) and the settlement was granted town privileges in 1288. Today, this dynamic and likeable metropolis on the Rhine stands for business, shopping, culture, sports and hospitality.
The business location of Düsseldorf is the heart of the Rhine-Ruhr region with 11.6 million inhabitants and 500,000 companies and is one of the leading commercial, service and communication centres. It is not far from the shopping boulevard Königsallee, affectionately known as "Kö", to the historic Old Town with its 260 bars and restaurants where visitors can easily enter into conversation with the Düsseldorf locals. The neighbouring Rhine embankment promenade contributes to the city's Mediterranean lifestyle, inviting visitors for a stroll alongside the water. The "Kunstakademie" or Arts Academy as well as more than two dozen museums and exhibition halls, Schloss Benrath, the Düsseldorf theatre, the German opera house, "Deutsche Oper am Rhein", the concert hall "Tonhalle", over one hundred galleries, numerous stages and concert venues make Düsseldorf a recognised cultural metropolis. Sports are also popular here. In addition to recreational sports and the city's professional sports teams, major sporting events are also regularly staged here. In 2017 alone, not only the Grand Départ but also the Table Tennis World Championship and the Triathlon European Championship will be taking place in the sporting city of Düsseldorf.
No wonder that international research surveys rank Düsseldorf among the leading cities in the world when it comes to quality of life.