Outside Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf
Mettmann is a small town in the "Bergisches Land". It's the town I work in and I normally just see the same spots here ("our" villa and the local supermarket) but there's also a lovely Market Square with a big church surrounded by cute slate buildings here. The name Mettmann is a bit funny actually as the translation would be "Mince Meat Man".
The christmas market on Mettmann's market square is one of the nicest ones I know because it is not commercialised as many others.
Near Mettmann there's the Neanderthal .... the valley where the Neanderthalers came from. There's a Neanderthal Museum here which I still have only seen from the outside.
Düsseldorf is part of an enormous urban conglomeration. Within minutes you can be in any number of great cities, including Cologne, Bonn and Dortmund. You can get to these places via the excellent public transport system, or in good weather you can take a river boat up the Rhine. If you come for a week or two in Düsseldorf, there's little chance of getting bored, because if you run out of things to do in Düsseldorf, there are a thousand and one more things to do a short train ride away.
It's a very nice castle built in XVI cent. surrounded by lakes and woods. It's situated in Naturpark Maas-Schwalm-Nette near Hinsbeck in Nettetal close to Dutch border. It was ruined by time and during WWII, looked really awful but it was totally renovated in the mid of 80s and now it looks splendid.
Renovation was done mainly due to the fact that WestLB bought the building in order to turn it into its training center, which it is now.
More info on the castle you may get from http://www.westlb.de/krickenbeck
About 20 km. east of Dusseldorf is the town of Neandertal, where the Neandertal Man was found a century ago. At first, people didn't recognize the bones as human. Neandertal has a truly excellent museum on the Neandertal people and their lives. The museum has a small cafe on the roof, with nice views. The whole area is very pretty and worth a visit. You definitely need a car to get there.
A visit to Neuss! What amazing and warm town. Walk by the Krefelder/Nieder/Buchel Strasse (it's the main street, and the name changes along by)and feel the city, the fruits market and the many Backerei.