Düsseldorf, Germany

Düsseldorf impresses with boundary-pushing architecture, nightlife and an art scene to rival many higher-profile cities. It’s a modern city that seems all buttoned-up business at first glance. Westphalia’s capital one of Germany’s wealthiest cities. Yet all it takes is a few hours of bar-hopping around the Altstadt, the historical quarter along the Rhine, to realize that locals have no problem letting their hair down once they shed those Armani jackets. The Altstadt may claim to be the ‘longest bar in the world’ but some attention has strayed to Medienhafen, a redeveloped harbour area and a festival of international avant-garde architecture. Older neighbourhoods are also evolving. Case in point: Flingern, which has gone from drab to fab in recent years and has a multifaceted arty soho scene.

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