Welcome to Stuttgart!
The capital of the country’s second-largest state, Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, Germany, is a large and thriving city with a distinctly small-town feel. Home to both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, the city is the model of German economic success, but that doesn’t mean that the local residents don’t know how to have a good time.
While the headline sights are easily covered in a couple of days, it takes a true worldwide local to scratch beneath the surface of this vibrant city. With this insider’s guide, you’ll find spectacular hospitality, proud tradition, and modern ingenuity rolled together into a fascinating destination.
Where to Begin
After landing in Stuttgart Airport, you might be at a loss of where to go first. The beautiful Schlossplatz makes an excellent starting point and is surrounded by some of Stuttgart’s most famous sights, including the Opera House, National Gallery, and National Theater. A short stroll from here leads you to the historic Evangelical Stiftskirche and the start of the Königstraße, Stuttgart’s main pedestrianized shopping street. The Rathausplatz, Marktplatz, and Karlsplatz, are all found in the direct vicinity and make up the most famous squares within central Stuttgart.
Worldwide Local Tip: For amazing views across the city, head to the top of Fernsehturm Stuttgart, or TV Tower. Simply ride metro line U15 to Ruhbank, at a full 217 meters tall, the tower is impossible to miss. The entrance is a steal at just 9 Euros per person.
With the temperate Stuttgart weather, the heart of the old city is best explored on foot, with the central Königstrasse a useful point of reference. Running from the central station through the heart of the town, this street will make navigation a breeze, as you’ll often find yourself back on it. For further afield destinations, Stuttgart’s excellent public transport network is cost-effective and highly visitor-friendly. If you plan on traveling around a lot, a one-day Tageskarte makes a lot of sense, and is valid on local Stadtbahn trains, faster S-Bahn trains, as well as busses. Taxis are generally expensive, as well, and aren’t worth it unless you’ve missed the last train and need a reliable way to get back to your Stuttgart hotel.
Worldwide Local Tip: The historic rack-railway that links Stuttgart-Marienplatz and Stuttgart-Degerloch, as well as the old cable car running from Stuttgart-Heslach to the cemetery, are part of the regular public transport network. Any ticket valid within Zone 10 will get you access – a fun and affordable experience!
For the Car Fanatic
For automotive fans, Stuttgart is home to several must-see museums. Amongst the most popular is the Mercedes-Benz museum in nearby Bad Cannstatt or the Porsche Museum at Porscheplatz. Alternatively, on a sunny day, the band of parks that encircle much of the city, known affectionately as the Green U, are a favorite hangout for locals and visitors alike.
Worldwide Local Tip: The Wilhelma Zoological & Botanical Garden are amongst some of the finest gardens in Germany, and make a great day out for the whole family. Metro station Wilhelma drops you right at the main entrance.
As the capital of the southern region of Swabia, Stuttgart has a proud culinary identity and a strong beer culture. For an authentic and valuable experience, head to one of the large beer gardens to enjoy a liter-glass, called a “Mass,” but definitely not a “Stein”! The beer gardens generally serve a robust selection of German staples such as Currywurst and pommes or Rotisserie chicken. However, many will choose from the Swabian Specialties section on their menu, which is well worth trying. Pork medallions in cream sauce, cheesy egg-pasta known as Käsespätzle, or large meat filled ravioli called Maultaschen, are all staples of the region, and make an excellent foundation ahead of a few beers. Take a bite, drink a swig, and chat with the locals about the merits of the popular Stuttgart FC.
Worldwide Local Tip: Want to experience the fun of Oktoberfest, but can’t stand the thought of the tourist crowds in Munich? Good news – Stuttgart has its own “volksfest,” or festival, around the same time of Oktoberfest, but with far fewer tourists. Known as the Canstatter Wasen, this is where Germans go to party!
Have a Wonderful Time in Stuttgart!
So, while Stuttgart may not be globally renowned as other German cities, it is a wonderful place to really get to grips with German culture and history. By visiting as a worldwide local, you will get to experience the best of Germany both old and new, while connecting with one of the country’s most dynamic populations!