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© Tourismus NRW
© Tourismus NRW

North Rhine Westphalia, NRW, is an unassuming leader in Germany. The fusion between parts of the Rhineland and Westphalia took place under the codeword Operation Marriage when, on 23 August 1946, the new state was established. Düsseldorf was declared the state capital. Considering the diversity of rural Westphalia and industrial Northern Rhineland, the fusion was more a marriage of convenience rather than of love.

However, following this enforced start, things steadily looked up in NRW. During the early years of the economic miracle, Wirtschaftswunder, the state boomed just like the rest of Germany with heavy industry in the Ruhr area becoming a major economic factor. But in recent decades, NRW has had to face enormous structural change and a more sustainable mix of industry and services has replaced heavy industry.

Today, NRW is home to some 18 Million people. It is the most populous and economically strongest state in Germany. Its central location and strong infrastructure paired with high education and qualification backgrounds make it the number one state in Germany. Economic size, investment and export are superior to every other German state. Many companies that operate in Germany are based in NRW, especially trading companies from the USA, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Japan and, more recently, China.

A Powerhouse

NRW scores not only with its good economy; it is also a well-known location for high-tech enterprises, education and research institutions. 58 universities, 63 technology and incorporation centres, 30 technology transfer centres, thirteen Fraunhofer Institutes and eleven Max-Planck-Institutes are just a part of this network.

Its cultural qualities are also convincing, with no other part of Germany presenting such diversity. Numerous museums, exhibitions, theatres, operas, festivals and events offer enjoyment and entertainment indoors and out. Furthermore, fourteen national parks, the Eiffel hill and mountain range and more than 200 marvellous lakes all wait to be discovered.

By Philipp Schiwek, Jul 18 2013

Staatskanzlei des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen

Horionplatz 1
40213 Düsseldorf

+49 211 837 01

Funfair ride against blue sky


Large events and activities happen in Düsseldorf throughout the year, some becoming nationally and internationally popular. Carnival is huge, as is the large funfair on the Rhine river bank opposite the old town. Others can have an influence on daily life such as the marathon and other races.

Crowd of people chatting and drinking


Individual larger events, activities or unique aspects of expat life in Düsseldorf are found here. Museums night, Düsseldorf Festival, Ferris Wheel, Christmas Tree Cutting or Midnight Communion, Book Fair, Jazz Rally and Shakespeare Festival are exemplary.

Welcome to Düsseldorf

Big city business and small town charm unite to create a vibrant and safe choice of relocation for expats. Modern and old architecture sit comfortably alongside wide river banks and charming urban districts. Enjoy the city!