Düsseldorf is a hotspot for European visitors. The German city is a center of international business and finance, it’s far more than suits and briefcases. In Düsseldorf, a vibrant culture, bustling nightlife scene and if you are in town in November, the biggest cultural event of the year, Carnival, awaits leisure travelers. A few other lesser-known things to look out for:

The Boy Who Does Cartwheels: Walk through the streets of Düsseldorf and you will certainly see a curious sight. The Düsseldorfer Radschläge, a.k.a. “the boy who does cartwheels” can be seen memorialized in many statues, on stamps and on souvenirs. There are few stories of the origin of the cartwheeler, from the win of a war causing children to cartwheel in the street, to a boy who became a living wheel on a broken wedding carriage. No one knows the true history but many sculptures, fountains and even world cartwheel competitions pay homage to the acrobatic hero.

Friendly Foes: If you head to Düsseldorf, don’t let the word “Cologne” leave your lips. Düsseldorf and fellow German city Cologne have had a regional rivalry for years. The love-hate relationship has spurned a rivalry of parades, football and, of course, beer.

The Must-Eats: Sampling the traditional cuisine of Düsseldorf is simply a must. Pair the Altbier, a hoppy “old style beer,” with customary meals like Rheinischer Sauerbraten, a beef roast served with gravy and raisins; Heaven and Earth, a black pudding made with stewed apples and mashed potatoes; and Muscheln Rheinischer Art, a type of mussels. The city is most famously known for its Dijon-like mustard. Vincent Van Gogh even painted a still life of the condiment in 1884.

For those attending TravelQuest’s sold-out 2015 Flight to Totality, consider celebrating the remarkable adventure with a few nights experiencing all Düsseldorf has to offer. An optional pre-flight add-on package is available. Click here for full details.

Photo credit: U Kersting / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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