The dizzy heights of Dusseldorf

I also got to experience the German city of Dusseldorf on a familiarisation trip kindly organised by Rob Knoedl of nalago! tourism & leisure with the help of Dusseldorf Marketing & Tourism, Deutsche Bahn, the Hilton Dusseldorf and the Belgian Tourist Office – Brussels and Wallonia.

After riding the Konga!

After riding the Konga!

Our select group of six was a mix of tour operators and travel trade professionals and included Stefan Heulle from Deutsche Bahn, who arranged train travel via Brussels including a trip on the impressive ICE trains. Two guided tours of Dusseldorf meant that we got to explore the media hub situated at the harbour and the art and music heritage of the destination where the godfathers of electronica, Kraftwerk, hail from. The Rhine Tower gives great views of the city from a platform nearly 170 metres up (!) whilst we were lucky enough to visit during Kirmes, the huge annual funfair that arrives for nearly two weeks each summer and pitches up on the banks of the Rhine. A word of advice – some of the rides are faster than they might look as I discovered on the Konga (see above!). Another highlight was a backstage visit to the Opera House where there are over 45,000 costumes – a great option for a group tour. We stayed at the luxurious Hilton, which provided a lovely base for our two-night stay in this eclectic German city. And the good news is it will be accessible from London in just over four hours once direct ICE services begin to nearby Cologne in 2013. Look out for our fuller feature on Dusseldorf in January 2012.