In July there’s an explosion of fun and levity at the Kirmes fair, a public celebration that is only exceeded by Oktoberfest for scale.

And there’s so much culture you may not know where to begin: The city has historic residences and parks built by Imperial Electors, art museums for all eras, cultural centres and medieval churches.

By the 1970s local industry was on the wane, especially after the closure of the local Mannesmann pipe factory.

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If Düsseldorf is a byword for luxury and high-end lifestyles it’s because of Königsallee, a plush shopping boulevard either side of a canal lined with plane trees.

The name is usually contracted to “Kö” by locals, and the street runs for a kilometre north to south, with every premium brand under the sun on the way.

The tower is open until in summer, and the view of Düsseldorf at sunset is as romantic as it gets.

Since the tower opened in 1981 its concrete shaft has been decorated with a light sculpture by Horst H.

Where possible the 100-year-old warehouses, dock walls and wharfs have been maintained.

But they’re accompanied by projects by David Chipperfield, Joe Coenen, Claude Vasconi, and most memorably Frank Gehry, whose Neuer Zollhof complex was completed in 1999 and dominates the waterfront.

As an international financial giant, Düsseldorf has a well-to-do reputation underpinned by its chic shopping street Königsallee and the revitalised harbour where the big names in architecture have contributed buildings.

The city has an earthier side too, and residents and tourists let their hair down and quaff the local Altbier in the historic Altstadt which has hundreds of bars.

This floods the interior with natural light, and you can work your way through five floors of art dating from the 1970s to today.