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The one and only ‘Motor City’ and for decades the heartland of American industry, modern Detroit is undergoing a remarkable regeneration and is now becoming one of the US’ popular destinations for visitors who want something other than the usual tourist experience you get in New York or nearby Chicago.
You can fly to Detroit for a chance to explore this evolving city for yourself. Flights to Detroit are available from many international departure points, and as artists, musicians and urban explorers make the city their home, Detroit is fast catching up with the rest of the US as a vibrant and energetic destination.
While many of the factories may have closed, art installations have blossomed, and your trip to Detroit should include at least some of the latest in modern art. The best can be seen at the Museum of Contemporary Art, formerly a car dealership and now a space where young artists can express themselves through painting, sculpture and installations. Expect to be surprised and challenged! The Detroit Institute of Arts is also a very popular destination, and is home to over 65,000 works of art.
Entire neighbourhoods have been turned over to the artists of Detroit, and one of the most iconic is the Heidelberg Project, where you’ll find polka-dot covered streets, technicoloured houses and sculptures right in people’s front yards. This is living art, and is a symbol of Detroit’s regeneration.
A trip on the city’s ‘People Mover’ monorail is just three miles long, but it will give you an interesting perspective on the city. To discover Detroit’s roots, head to the Model T Automotive Heritage complex, or for a journey through the musical influence of Berry Gordy’s legendary record label, check out the Motown Historical Museum, where you can learn about the history of the Motown Sound during the 1960s. Several artists recorded their hit albums here, and it is still open today for tours.
While much of Detroit is undergoing extensive regeneration, there are some historical buildings that are worth seeing. The easiest way is to join one of the Preservation Detroit tours, which provide you with a guided excursion through some of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods.
For an aerial view of the city head to the rooftop restaurant of the Renaissance Center (also known as the Ren Cen). For those with a head for heights, the glass elevator ride to the top of the central tower is an exhilarating experience. A trip to Detroit also opens up the possibility of exploring a little further afield, including cruises of the Great Lakes.
Detroit is known as “Hockeytown” and is home to the Red Wings, one of the most successful teams in North America. The city is also home to the Pistons of the NBA, the Lions of the NFL, and the Tigers of Major League Baseball.
Detroit is home to many of America’s iconic foods, including potato ‘chips’, Coney Island hot dogs (a particular combination of chilli, mustard and chopped onions) and America’s oldest soft drink, a particular brand of ginger beer that is still popular today.
The city has a large Greek community, especially in Greektown, so you may find that many menus are interspersed with traditional Greek cuisine in amongst the hamburgers and fries. There is also a wide selection of other international cuisine, including Mexican food and some very good pizzas.
For real high-end shopping the place to be is Somerset Collection. This mall has over 180 stores and restaurants specialising in more exclusive items. For an authentic American Mall experience, head for the Lakeside Mall, home to a wide range of US shops and outlets.
If you’re travelling to Detroit for some retail therapy then the majority of outlets are centred around the Downtown and Oakland districts of the city.
Flights to Detroit arrive at Detroit Metro Airport, approximately 20 minutes from the city centre.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Detroit please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: United States Dollar (USD)
Voltage: 120 V 60 Hz
Plugs: Type A / B
International dialing code: +1