Visiting Stuttgart - What to See and Do
(Stuttgart Airport (STR), Germany)
is one of those great German cities that manages to seamlessly blend its technology and industry with its sense of Teutonic style and natural beauty. Few cities can boast vineyards within their limits, but Stuttgart is better known as the home of Porsche and Mercedes Benz.
Automotive fans will have a field day in this German city thanks to its two comprehensive motor museum attractions. There are also excellent art museums here, and the Stuttgart Ballet is renowned worldwide. In fact, this small city's performing arts scene is remarkably deep and talented. A night at the opera, philharmonic or ballet is a must for many visitors.
Stuttgart is also one of Europe's greenest cities. Nearly three-quarters of the land within the city limits is set aside as public parks, wild woodlands and gardens. The rolling countryside and its vineyards can be seen from most vistas, giving this city a unique edge over other travel destinations. For those who love culture as much as nature, it doesn't get much better than this.
Ten things you must do in Stuttgart
- Though most of Stuttgart was levelled in WWII, it was painstakingly rebuilt. A walk around the central Schillerplatz Square hints at the beauty this city once contained. The old Marktplatz still sells fresh goodies every day and the Neues Schloss was restored to its former 18th-century glory.
- Stuttgart is a very scenic city, and the best views can be found atop the Birkenkopf. This 510-metre / 1,673-foot hill is actually a massive pile of rubble cleaned up from the devastation of WWII. Today, it is a pleasant grassy hillock with 360-degree views of the city, the countryside and its rolling vineyards.
- The real architectural gems in Stuttgart are post-war modern. One of the most remarkable is the Liederhalle on the Schlossstrasse. Its fusion of glazed brick, concrete and glass create a shocking structure - in a good way. Inside are three auditoriums that host regular events, with interiors that are just as intriguing as the exterior.
- The Porsche Museum is a highlight for visitors with an interest in sports cars. Around 80 of the company's classic models are on display in all their aesthetic glory. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the factory and watch as robotic arms assemble the cars most of us only dream about.
- The Mercedes Benz Museum is also a popular stop on the itineraries of car buffs. Its showroom features some 75 of its most famous models, from the very beginnings to the latest innovations.
- Be sure to set aside one evening for a trip to the Staatstheater, the city's premier performing arts venue. The Grosses Haus hosts opera and ballet, the Kleines Haus holds the theatre, and the Kammertheater focuses on experimental plays all under one roof. The world-renowned Stuttgart Ballet and State Opera also hold their performances here.
- The Altes Schloss is a Renaissance palace that is one of the city's oldest remaining buildings. While the palace itself is an impressive piece of architecture, it is the Württembergisches Landesmuseum inside that is the star attraction. This excellent museum focuses on the local Swabian culture, tracing its heritage from the Stone Age right through contemporary times. Some amazing artefacts, artwork and treasures are on display here.
- To catch up on your art history, Stuttgart's best art museum is the Staatsgalerie in the heart of town. Its collection spans nearly six centuries of European artwork, but the highlight is its works from the 19th and 20th centuries. German artists representing the Blue Rider group and the Bauhaus movement are well-represented.
- The Green U refers to the chain of city parks that link together in a wonderful string running right through central Stuttgart. With roughly 70 percent of the city protected as public parks and forests, the Green U provides a way to walk without interruption through a dozen or so city parks and woodlands right around the city.
- Stuttgart is Germany's largest wine-growing city, and a great day outing is to drive the winery route. This promoted wine trail incorporates the Obertürkheim, Uhlbach, Rotenberg and Untertürkheim areas. There are many stops along the way to taste wine at wineries and learn about the rich history of the area's winemaking at the viniculture museum.