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Located in the historic center of the city in Altstadt, Zum Schlüssel established in 1850 is one of the first breweries in the region. As of today, this charming old brewery offers not only tours of its facility and informative talks on the art of brewing but also a wondrous dining venue which features a beautiful beer-garden overlooking Neanderkirche. With their list of freshly drafted beers brewed on-site, they offer delicious home-style food that couples wonderfully with the likes of the Original Schlüssel. Moreover, this venue can also be booked for private events and celebrations.
Sometimes known as 'the longest bar in the world' Dusseldorf's Altstadt - the Old Town - contains some 200 bars, cafés and restaurants. Despite its relatively small size, the crowds flock here at the weekend, filling most of the bars. But the Altstadt isn't just for night owls, row upon row of atmospheric old townhouses have been converted into shops and boutiques offering all a discerning shopper could wish for. Culture explorers are also spoilt for choice, with places like the Hetjens Museum, Film Museum, Stadtmuseum, Heinrich Heine Institute and Palais Wittgenstein attracting visitors from far and wide.
Built by Danish architects in 1986 to house the art collection of the state of North Rhine Westphalia, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is one of the city's most instantly recognizable landmarks. The collection itself was founded in 1960 when the state bought 88 paintings by Paul Klee. The main part of the collection deals with pre-war art: Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, the Blue Rider and Pittura Metafisica movements as well as Dadaism, Surrealism, Constructiveness, Bauhaus and de Stijl. The second section of the collection features post-1945 art, ranging from Abstract Expressionism to the work of Joseph Beuys.
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) is regarded as one of Germany's greatest writers. The centerpiece of this fascinating institute is an exhibition documenting his life, his work and the influence that he has had upon German literature over the centuries. The library, which includes the manuscript department of the regional and city library, is a starting point for literary research and the archives cover the fields of literature, music, art and science. This unique cultural institution not only allows scholars access to research material, but is also a forum for communication and critical discussion.
Founded in 1993, Dusseldorf's Film Museum is more of a fascinating elucidation of the technical side of film-making and it is a homage to the stars of the silver screen. Visitors can explore the film studio, equipped with cameras, microphones and wind machines and get the opportunity to learn about the effects of light, in a series of labyrinth-like dark rooms. The museum organizes tours, seminars and workshops and also houses a library containing some 2,600 films, 200,000 photos, 20,000 posters and 20,000 documents.
When it was built in 1804, the 'Kö', as it is affectionately known to locals, was situated in a slightly run-down area on the edge of the city. As Dusseldorf grew, Königsallee became more central and things really took off after a face-lift at the start of the 20th Century. An underground station was opened, the pavements were widened and the street lamps, kiosks and telephone boxes were restored. Nowadays the boulevard is Dusseldorf's number one shopping street and has enhanced the city's reputation as being one of Europe's major fashion centers.
A masterpiece of modern engineering, Rheinufer Promenade was newly designed in 1995 to help ease traffic congestion in the city center. With pedestrian and cycle paths stretching 0.9 miles (1.5 kilometers) along the bank of the Rhine from Oberkasseler Bridge to the State Parliament, the street is the perfect place for a relaxing stroll. Rheinufer Promenade has also turned into a popular meeting place, lending the area a holiday-like feel on warm summer evenings. Numerous bars have outdoor terraces—the perfect place to sample an altbier (black beer) and watch the sun slowly set over the Rhine.
A popular favorite in the old town, beer-lovers from all over the world congregate here to sample the local brew. The restaurant even has its own brewery, which produces tasty beer in strict accordance with the German beer purity law. Apart from the beer, Füchschen also offers hearty German food. The menu is filled with traditional dishes like Eisbein with sauerkraut.
The oldest museum in the city, the Stadtmuseum is home to a fascinating exhibition about the history of Dusseldorf from the Stone Age to the present day. The main focus is on the rise of the city as an industrial and financial center, but there are also good sections dealing with the Jülich-Kleve-Berg era (14-16th century), the art scene in the Weimar Republic, and the city today.
Considered to be the oldest garden in the city, the Hofgarten is a magnificent park in the city center. Spread over 27 hectares (67 acres), this greenfield has many significant monuments and sculptures that add character to the park. Designed in keeping with English landscape styles, it has centuries-old meadows, rare trees, ponds and fountains. Dating back to the 16th Century, the Hofgarten was destroyed in the early 1800s and was restored by architect Maximilian Weyhe on Napoleon's orders. One of the key features here are the memorials honoring fallen soldiers. A stroll through this historic place will not only make one appreciate history but also nature.
An important part of Düsseldorf's art scene, the Museum Kunstpalast hosts an extensive collection of art that ranges from ancient fine art and modern art, to an impressive graphic art collection. One of the main draws of the museum is the Hentrich Glass Museum, which comprises of one of the largest glass collections in Germany.
The Botanischer Garten belongs to The University of Düsseldorf and is primarily used for teaching and research purposes, although it is also open to the general public. The focal point is the 18 meter (59 feet) high green-house which accommodates plants from the Mediterranean and regions with a similar climate. Other parts of the garden are arranged according to ecological origins. The garden is well worth the trip out to the southern suburbs and is not just a place for die-hard botany fans.