Conor Power grabs 24 hours in Germany's fashion capital, from a 240m tower to a local firewater with a difference...
Düsseldorf is 250km from the sea, but virtually surrounded by water thanks to the meandering Rhine. Get your bearings with a lift to the top of the 240m Rheinturm tower (above). From the revolving observational platform here, you can look down on the rejuvenated Media Harbour, with its funky Frank Gehry architecture. On a clear day, you can just about make out the rival city of Cologne, 40km to the south.
How: StromStraße 20; take Tram 706 to Stadttor
The Königsallee (locally referred to as the 'Kö') is a kilometre-long, tree-lined avenue with a canal running down the middle. Düsseldorf has been Germany's fashion capital since the 1950s, and the Kö is where to see the chic face of town in the form of dapper locals and elegant shop-fronts like Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton. La Terrazza Café (restaurantlaterrazza.de) at the northern end is the optimum spot to sit with cake and coffee and watch the parade go by.
How: Start at the southern end in Graf Adolf Platz
Brewery-pubs in the Old Town are worth a visit for their genuine atmosphere and the superb altbier that emerges freshly-brewed from underneath the pub floor, served up by aproned bar tenders known as köbes. Start with Uerige on Berger Straße.
Across the street is Killepitsch, the only pub in Düsseldorf that doesn't sell beer, but a local firewater known as Killepitsch - served inside or discreetly through a hatch on the street.
How: uerige.de; killepitsch.de; duesseldorf-tourismus.de
For many Düsseldorfers, a night at the opera is as popular as a night in the pub. Even on weekdays, you'll find both forms of venue well attended. The local opera company (Oper Am Rhein) shares its packed programme with that of Duisburg down the road, and shows include classic works, concerts and modern ballet: an experience worth getting cleaned up for. As the locals say, Cologne may have the football and the fancy cathedral, but Düsseldorf has the culture!
How: Heinrich-Heine-Allee 24; operamrhein.de
Fly to Düsseldorf with Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) daily from Dublin and twice-weekly from Cork.