PopulationMetro: 1,545,483
With a vibrant economy and inflow of new immigrants, Düsseldorf belies its efficient exterior with all kinds of revelry.

Düsseldorf has all the integral parts that make an efficient, prosperous city perform to the benefit of residents and visitors.

Take the Messe Düsseldorf, the city’s convention center rated #3 in the world. Or Düsseldorf’s #24 ranking for Air Connectivity. Several Global 500 companies are headquartered in the city, driving the city’s #30 ranking (up 11 spots from last year) that, in turn, attracts a healthy inflow of new residents and immigrants, placing Düsseldorf an impressive #31 for foreign-born residents, including Germany’s largest Japanese community, which is concentrated in the Immermanstr area.

CITY PERFORMACE
Place
Place 29
Product
Product 45
Programming
Programming 3
People
People 59
Prosperity
Prosperity 21
Promotion
Promotion 5

But the capital of the North-Rhine Westphalia state also ranks #21 overall for Product, which includes entertainment and museums along with the airport, convention center and other measures of efficiency. Joseph Beuys, the sculptor and performance artist, is a local icon, and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen museum is home to immensely important classic and contemporary European art collections, as well as performances and screenings; there are more than 100 galleries in the city of 600,000, and there’s even art at Kunst im Tunnel, a walled-in underground exhibition space beneath Düsseldorf’s enormous Rheinufer Tunnel.

There’s artistry aplenty in the architecture at the city’s refurbished waterfront development, MedienHafen, which juxtaposes old and new in appealing ways: there are highly original contemporary buildings and hotels by Frank Gehry, David Chipperfield, Joe Coenen, Steven Holl and Claude Vasconi alongside refurbished historic warehouses that maintain the industrial port feel of the Rhine River shoreline. The “architectural mile” is home to broadcasting companies and some 700 other next-gen ventures. The other worthy stroll is to the Altstadt, or Old Town, known as the “the longest bar in the world”.

Neuer Zollhof designed by Frank Gehry

There are some 260 bars, restaurants, cafés, and breweries to explore, including the historic Zum Schlüssel, where waiters will give you a fresh Altbier—which reportedly tastes like bacon—whenever they see an empty glass. Düsseldorf may rank an unimpressive #112 for Nightlife, but they’re clearly enjoying themselves. Proof? There’s also Carnaval, a five-day Bacchanalia during which women slice off businessmen’s ties in exchange for kisses.