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City Profile: Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf is the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. An ancient city, founded in 1288, Düsseldorf is famous for its beautiful old town and traditional 'Altbier' beer. However, it is also a vibrant, modern place, bursting with fantastic places to go and things to experience.

Things to see and do

Karneval

Karneval procession in Düsseldorf
Karneval procession in Düsseldorf© dzt / Rainer Kiedrowski

The annual Karneval festival takes place every February, and turns the whole city upside-down for a few days. The action kicks off with 'Altweiberdonnerstag', or 'Old Women's Thursday', when the women of the city, dressed up in colourful costumes, storm and occupy the city town hall, before cutting off the mayor's tie! From this moment on, the city becomes one big party - huge parades make their way through town, and elaborate costumes, dancing and drinking are all pretty much obligatory. Find out more about visiting Karneval here:

http://www.karneval-in-duesseldorf.de/the_5th_season_en-the_stronghold_of_rhenish_carnival

Japan Day

Two girls dress up in Japanese fashions for Japan Day in Düsseldorf, 17 May 2014
Two girls dress up in Japanese fashions for Japan Day in Düsseldorf, 17 May 2014© picture alliance / dpa

Düsseldorf's Japan Day attracts more than a million visitors from all over the world, every year. Many of them even dress up as their favourite manga and anime characters.

There is also a riverside market selling Japanese food and clothes, and shows and stands promoting Japanese music and art, as well as a spectacular firework display. If you've ever wanted to try on a traditional kimono – this is the place to be! Learn more about Japan Day here:

http://www.japantag-duesseldorf-nrw.de/en/

The Quadrenniale Düsseldorf

The Film Museum in Düsseldorf, one of the many institutions which take part in the Quadrenniale
The Film Museum in Düsseldorf, one of the many institutions which take part in the Quadrenniale© picture alliance / Arco Images

The Quadrenniale Düsseldorf is a festival of fine arts, taking place every four years with the participation of Düsseldorf’s leading museums, exhibition venues, and the Art Academy, as well as numerous partner institutions. This year's theme is Beyond Tomorrow:

http://quadriennale-duesseldorf.de/?lg=en

Heinrich Heine's birthplace

The Heine Haus in Düsseldorf, which occupies the site of Heine's birthplace at 53 Bolkerstraße
The Heine Haus in Düsseldorf, which occupies the site of Heine's birthplace at 53 Bolkerstraße© picture-alliance/ dpa

Famous German poet and writer Heinrich Heine was born in Düsseldorf in 1797. Today, the site of his birthplace at 53 Bolkerstraße has been turned into a cultural space. The Heine Haus hosts heaps of interesting talks from international writers and thinkers, and a wide range of events. Find out more here (in German only):

http://www.heinehaus.de/

The Rhine Tower

The Rhine Tower in Düsseldorf
The Rhine Tower in Düsseldorf© Colourbox

Düsseldorf is also home to the world's largest digital clock! The Rhine Tower (or Rheinturm) uses a series of lights to tell you the time - as well as functioning as a TV and radio transmitter, and housing an observation deck, a restaurant and a bar.

Art scene

Jeannette Schnöttgen's installation phasma, 2009on display at KIT - Kunst im Tunnel, May 2009
Jeannette Schnöttgen's installation "phasma, 2009"on display at KIT - Kunst im Tunnel, May 2009© picture-alliance/ dpa

Düsseldorf has a vibrant fashion, art and media scene - Claudia Schiffer began her career here! The city hosts hundreds of designers, theatres, art and music academies and museums, as well as media agencies, newspapers and international trade fairs. One highlight is the Kunst Im Tunnel (KIT - Art in the Tunnel) project, an underground gallery space beside the river:

http://www.kunst-im-tunnel.de/e