For more than 100 years, Essen has been considered being the industral heart of Germany, because it was the headquarter of steel producer Krupp. Many furnaces have been shut since the 1980s, but administrative headquarters of major companies are still located in Essen. The southern suburbs, Kettwig and Werden, are located in the beautiful Ruhr valley. Villa Hügel, the private residence of Krupp family, is open to visitors. Zeche Zollverein, a former coal mine in the northern suburbs, has been designated as UNESCO World Heritage.
It may be a relatively small regional capital, but no one told Dusseldorf’s residents. With an architecture, arts and nightlife scenes that would do much larger cities proud, you’ll get a…