Dusseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is the 7th most populous city in Germany and is an international business and finance centre. It is well known for its fashion and trade fairs, as well as its academy of fine arts. Lying at the centre of the Lower Rhine basin, Dusseldorf usually experiences moderate winters with little snowfall and mild to warm summers. The average annual temperature is 10.6 °C (51 °F). With a population of almost 600,000, the city is home to the largest Japanese community in Europe and the third-largest in Europe.
Dusseldorf Airport is the international airport of Dusseldorf. Located about 20 km from downtown Dusseldorf, the airport is the 3rd largest in Germany after Frankfurt and Munich. It is the hub for Air Berlin, Germanwings and Eurowings, and also features Lufthansa’s only long-haul route to Newark outside of Frankfurt and Munich. Most major airlines fly to Dusseldorf Airport. These include Air China, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, KLM, Singapore Airlines and British Airways. There are four flights per week from Hong Kong to Dusseldorf on Cathay Pacific Airlines. Dusseldorf Airport has 3 terminals connected by a central spine. Dusseldorf Airport is served by two railway stations, one for the suburban railway and one for regional and long-distance trains, and the train services run into downtown Dusseldorf. Dusseldorf has a very good public transportation system consisting of buses, trams and subways. Tickets can be bought from vending machines on the tram or subway stops. There are many different ticket types and the vending machine's instructions are only in German. There are generally 3 types of tickets. The short trip ticket is valid for 30 minutes and costs €1.50 (HKD 12.60). The A-class tickets are valid for 90 minutes and costs €2.50 (HKD 21) while the Day Ticket costs €5.90 (HKD 50) and lasts until 2am the next day. There are also 1320 licensed taxis in Dusseldorf. The ivory-coloured taxis are usually available in abundance and taxi drivers are not allowed to refuse a short ride. There are 2 taxi companies, “Taxi-Dusseldorf” and ‘Rhein-Taxi”.
Even though most of the old city was destroyed during World War II, the city is renowned for its modern architecture, carnivals and festivals. Visitors should visit Alstadt, where they will be able to find many old traditional German pubs, with many of them serving their own brews. The most common drink is the “Altbier” or simply known as “Alt”. This dark beer, served in small glasses, is available at practically any restaurant in the city. Altbier is only brewed in breweries around Düsseldorf. In the Altstadt you can enjoy Schlüssel, Uerige, Schumacher, and Füchschen beers, at traditional brewery restaurants. Visitors should also make a visit to Konigsallee, which is a famous shopping district. Known more commonly as “Ko”, it is well-known for its extensive range of high-fashion stores. Travellers can also avail themselves of the numerous events held in the city. On 11 November every year, a massive carnival kicks off at 11.11 am. The carnival includes a street carnival, street performances, a barrel race, and a giant procession of decorated floats. The carnival lasts until Ash Wednesday in mid-February. There is also an annual Christmas market in Alstadt and visitors should try the Gluehwein (mulled wine) and Bratwurst (grilled sausage in bread roll). In the summer, there is also a big fun fair called Kirmes which takes place between the 2nd and 3rd weekend of July on the banks of the river Rhine. Dusseldorf also has excellent food options. Visitors should head on down to the “Schneider-Wibbel-Gasse” (Tailor-Wibbel-Lane). The entire lane is packed with restaurants and bars, most of them offering Spanish-American and Latino-American food. Other notable attractions include Media Harbour, which is an area along the harbour comprising restaurants, bars, coffee shops, discotheques and hotels, the Rhine Tower, and EKO House, which is an oasis of Japanese culture and has Europe’s first Buddhist temple. There are also many museums and art galleries for visitors to immerse into the art scene. These include the Film-Museum, Theatermuseum and the Kumstsammlung NRW.
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