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Düsseldorf is the capital of the Northrhine-Westfalia area with a population of about 500,000 people. Early 7th and 8th century fishing villages existed along the Rhine River where the city of Düsseldorf is today. The first written mention of the city can be dated back to the 12th century and it slowly grew into an important European city. In 1380 Düsseldorf was made into the regional capital of the Duchy of Berg. In the mid 19th century the city grew into a major industrial center because of the Industrial Revolution. Because of World War II the city was bombed into a pile of rubble because of 24 hour air raids. Düsseldorf quickly grew into a major economic power house and some of the cities trade fairs attract over 4 million visitors each year.
With 10 districts and 48 boroughs this German city is very large.
Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS) is a large airport with over 17.8 million passengers each year. The airport is located 9 kilometres from the city centre of Düsseldorf and is the major airport for the entire area. It is possible to reach the airport by the high speed Intercity Express train from any city in the area.
Airport Weeze is often refered to Düsseldorf as well and offers quite a few budget flights. Ryanair has many flights to European destinations. But note that this airport is not very near to Düsseldorf. Getting there, or getting to Düsseldorf from there, by shuttlebus takes 1.30 hours.
Being located on the Deutsche Bahn railway network the cities central train station handles over one thousand trains a day. The train station is located in the city centre at Konrad-Adenauer-Platz. Information about destinations and timetables can be found at the website of Deutsche Bahn
Düsseldorf is well connected, by the A44 autobahn that runs just north of the city, which also passes the International Airport. The A44, leads to the A3, and the A61 (via de A52). Both important north-south connections in Germany. The A52 runs through the center of town, which can cause some delays. It connects to Roermond in the Netherlands, and Essen to the northeast.
Eurolines connects to several German cities, including Düsseldorf. The stop is at the Central Station. You can't make reservations here, you need to make the reservations on internet.
It is easy to drive within Düsseldorf, and parking stations are prevalent. Most on-street parking in the inner city has ticket parking, at roughly the same rates as a parking station, but if you are out a bit further then it is likely to be free. Düsseldorf and the surrounding areas are well signposted and it is easy to follow directions. Although sometimes roadwork diversions are not so clear.
Stadtbahn is the local light rail network that opened in 1981. Tickets can be purchased at the larger stations. An EinzelTicket (Single Fare) lets you travel for up to 90 minutes, in one basic direction (eg point to point). A short trip ticket lets you travel 4 stops, and these are cheaper. You can also get a ticket with four trips on it, you need to be sure that you validate your ticket when you get on the U-Bahn.
Düsseldorf is a pedestrian friendly city. Through the Altstadt there are many streets closed to cars, however be aware that some permit U-Bahns or bicycles. Be aware that you should not cross against the red man, as pedestrians will typically wait patiently until the light changes, even if there is no traffic!
There are bike paths along most main roads, and cyclists are prevalent. There is also a path along the Rhine, from Kaiserswerth (north) to at least the Altstadt. All over Düsseldorf are facilities for chaining your bike up.
Bikes can also be taken on the U-Bahn.
|A&O Dusseldorf Hauptbahnhof||Corneliusstra'e 9||HOSTEL||80|
|Backpackers-Duesseldorf||Fuerstenwall 180 40215||Hostel||82|
|City Apart. Hotel Düsseldorf||Kloster Str. 53 Kloster Str. 53||HOTEL||81|
|City Youth Hostel Dusseldorf||Düsseldorfer Strasse 1||Hostel||79|
|Hansa Hotel||Nordstrasse 7||Hotel||-|
|HOTEL ACON||Mintropstrasse 23||Hotel||74|
|Hotel AltDüsseldorf||Hunsrückenstr. 11 Düsseldorf -Altstadt||Hotel||78|
|Hotel Diana||Jahnstraße 31||Hotel||75|
|Hotel Flora Dusseldorf||Auf 'm Hennekamp 37 40225 Dusseldorf||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Haus Hillesheim seit 1894||Jahnstraße 19||Hotel||85|
|Hotel Nizza||Ackerstrasse 8||Hotel||71|
|Motel One Düsseldorf-City||Kruppstraße 32||hotel||-|
|Motel One Düsseldorf-Ratingen||Lintorfer Weg 79 Ratingen-Breitscheid||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Residenz||Worringer Str. 88 Dusseldorf||Hotel||-|
|V.I.P. HOTEL||93 herzog street City Center||Hotel||80|
|Hotel Villa Oberkassel||D�sseldorfer Str. 93||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Batavia||Bahnstrasse 61||Hotel||-|
|EU Centralhotel im Tönnchen||Wetterstr. 4||Hotel||79|
|KEMPE Komfort Hotel Dusseldorf||Birkenstr. 14||HOTEL||-|
|Altstadt Hotel Rheinblick||Mühlenstrasse 15||Hotel||79|
|Europa Hotel Düsseldorf||Kirchfeldstrasse 169||Hotel||-|
|Berliner Hof-City||Ellerstr. 110||Hotel||79|
|Hütte 91||Hüttenstrasse 91||Hostel||-|
Internet cafes (rates €1.50 to €5 per hour) are starting to become less common due to widespread offers of free wifi by shops, restaurants or cafes. Sometimes it requires minimum consumption but usually it's free within the premises. Phone shops will often offer internet access, too. In general hotels offer internet access. In several cities, projects exist to provide free "community" hotspots for wireless networking. Passenger lounges at some airports and central railway stations also provide internet access to their customers.
Several pre-paid SIMs allow Internet access for a monthly flat fee, for example those available at Tchibo coffee stores (o2 network, €10/month limited to 500 MB, €20/month for 5 GB) or Aldi (E-Plus network). A regular O2 sim card, which can be used for calls and text messages, is €15 and another €15 buys 1GB of data valid for 1 month. Vodafone offers a prepaid sim card for €25 which includes €22.5 of credit, out of which you can get 300 MB of data for 2 days for €15 and be left with €7.5 of credit.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The international call prefix in Germany is 00. To dial out of Germany, dial 00, followed by country code, area code, and the telephone number (for example 00 44 1234 567890). If you're using a mobile phone, simply add the plus sign "+" before the country code to call out of Germany (for example +44 1234 567890). The general emergency number is 112 and the additional number for less emergent issues for police is 110.
Mobile phone coverage on the four networks (T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and o2) is excellent across the whole country. UMTS (3G data and HSDPA) and EDGE is also available. UMTS is still somewhat limited to urban areas. All mobile providers use GSM technology on the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency ranges. If you stay for a longer period of time, consider buying a prepaid phone card from one of the mobile phone companies; you won't have trouble finding a T-Mobile (in a "T-Punkt"), Vodafone, E-Plus or O2 store in any major shopping area. In most supermarket chains (for example ALDI), there are prepaid SIM cards from their own virtual providers available. These are normally quite cheap to buy, but expensive for international calls (around €1–2/min), but incoming calls are always free and SMS cost around €0.09–0.19. They are available at: Aldi, Lidl, Penny, Netto, Tchibo, Rewe, toom. A registration via Internet or (expensive) phone call is necessary after buying to activate the SIM card.
The cheapest way to call abroad from Germany is to use the internet cafés run by immigrants. They sell special calling cards that give the best rate to certain countries as well as offer cheap international calls from phone booths. It is also the cheapest way to call landlines in Germany.
Germany's postal system is very efficient, their logistics branch DHL is one of the best companies in this field world-wide, with domestic post or within a radius of 400 kilometres, send within a day. The website of Deutsche Post has an online calculator for postage fees as well as a post office finder. Stamps are available at post offices and sometimes at newsagents or shops selling postcards. Also stamp vending machines can be found at a lot of places around the cities. You can purchase every stamp you need from this machines. They are unique as they accept every coin from 1 cent to 2 euro but change is only given in stamps. It costs about €40 to send a small package to Australia and €1.70 to send an old-fashioned letter to any place in the world outside of Europe. Within Germany, sending postcards costs €0.45 and standard letters €0.55, within Europe it is €0.65 for a postcard, standard letters to places in Europe cost €0.75. Outside Europe, the prices for sending a postcard or standard letter are €1 and €1.70 respectively. Although you will find the old post offices (mainly in the city centre), most of the smaller neighbourhood post offices are part of a small tobacco shop or grocery store. For larger package, you might consider competitive private companies like UPS, DHL or TNT.
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