Located on the Rhine, this German center of commerce and culture is both green and modern, mixing beautiful parks with stunning contemporary architecture.
Drink an Altbier (or two) at Uerige brewery, the town's oldest pub. Locals of all ages gather amid the polished wood and copper to sip the traditional pale ale and conduct animated conversations (uerige.de).
Stroll along the K?nigsallee, known as "die Ko," one of Germany's major shopping destinations, featuring showrooms by labels such as Burberry, Chanel and Ralph Lauren.
Visit the city's modern Medienhafen on the Rhine, a wharf converted into a stylish complex of boutiques, bars and restaurants. Frank Gehry left his mark with some playful leaning houses, the Alter Zollhof (medienhafen.de).
Eat haute regional cuisine at M?nstermann's Kontor, which features game dishes like pheasant with sp?tzle, red sauerkraut and cranberries (muenster mann-delikatessen.de).
See impressive contemporary art at K21, a museum featuring works from 1980 onward, including photographs by Andreas Gursky, Jeff Wall and Imi Knoebel. The building itself, with its glass dome and surrounding parkland, has become a landmark (www.kunstsammlung.de).