The attraction of wealth, and the wealth of attraction can be shown in a local tale of a visiting student-turned supermodel who got "discovered" in a Dusseldorf nightclub, her name: Claudia Schiffer.On August 23, Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and their two children will visit the city to celebrate 70 years of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.And I have a feeling I know where the Royal family may be staying.In the heart of Dusseldorf's posh shopping area is our hotel; the splendidly named Breidenbacher Hof, which has hosted George Clooney, Winston Churchill and the Rolling Stones, and even has an interesting New Zealand connection.Together they sound like an upmarket skin care product, but the truth is Dusseldorf and Cologne (or Cologne and Dusseldorf) each argue they smell better than the other. Cologne (population: 1.04 million) is the state's largest city and the country's fourth behind Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. Cologne is a working class city that can trace its proud history to Roman times, whereas Dusseldorf rose to prominence during the Industrial Revolution. Both cities maybe based on the Rhine, but are divided by sport, politics, money, a carnival, and of course beer.In a country where lagers dominate, both cities produce top-fermented ales, but only Cologne's Kolsch, a refreshing lightly hopped ale, is protected by the European Union.Altbier is available in Dusseldorf's 250 bars and restaurants packed into the tiny area of Altstadt (old city), affectionately known as the "longest bar in the world".Beer in both cities is served in tiny 200ml glasses with coasters marked for each poured glass.
In contrast Dusseldorf's beer of choice is Altbier, a copper-coloured bitter ale.And if the autobahn is a German word you recognise, you may just have a Dusseldorf band to thank.Pioneering electronic band Kraftwerk, released a 1974 album called Autobahn, with the catchy vocal refrain, "Wir fahr'n fahr'n fahr'n auf der Autobahn"."Ich bin eine Dusseldorfer" goes down a treat in a Dusseldorf bar, but maybe not so in Cologne.