Stuttgart may be one of Germany’s industrial powerhouses, turning out electronics from Bosch and cars from Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, but you wouldn’t know it from the city’s greenery and laid-back feel. The city is surrounded by forests and dotted with vineyards and orchards, giving it the added benefit of home-grown wineries.
Stuttgart is a city that defies classification. It’s an industrial centre with the headquarters of household names like Daimler, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, yet it’s also one of Germany’s greenest cities, with urban areas giving way to vineyard-covered hills. A staggering array of sights await visitors to this Swabian city, including world-class art galleries like the Staatsgalerie and Kunstmuseum, as well as the palace grounds of the old Württemburg royalty. Not to be missed are the two automobile museums, one from Porsche and the other from Mercedes-Benz, which are worth a visit even for those who may not normally be car people.
In addition to the sights, Stuttgart has an outdoorsy, active spirit that enthralls visitors and locals alike. The surrounding region is one of Germany’s main wine-producing areas, famous for its Trollinger reds and Riesling whites. The region can be discovered on its trail network, encompassing 55 km of trails through the surrounding forests. In addition, the restorative waters of Bad Carhall, one of Europe’s largest mineral springs, offer relaxation and a fun outing.
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What is the best time of year to visit Stuttgart?
Stuttgart’s climate is relatively mild, though winters do dip below freezing. In general, the best time to visit is between May and October, as most of the city’s festivals occur during these months, and the warmer climate will make outdoor activities more pleasant. For a winter visit, December is ideal, as you will be able to visit the Christmas markets.
How do I get around the city?
Some of the sights in Stuttgart are well outside walking distance from the centre, especially the car museums and the sights of Ludwigsburg. Luckily, a network of subways, trams and buses is ready to take you throughout the city. Many hotels in the city will provide you with a complementary transit pass for the duration of your stay up to 8 days – otherwise, a StuttCard will give you access to the full transit network as well as including admission to all the city’s museums.
What should my budget be for a trip to Stuttgart?
While Stuttgart is not as expensive as some destinations, it is also not exactly a budget destination. Planning ahead will definitely help offset costs, as well as booking an affordable ticket there on SWISS! Average daily spends for travellers to the city tend to be around EUR 110-140 – though this can be reduced by eating out less and looking into deals like the StuttCard.
Attractions in Stuttgard: A little bit of everything
Stuttgart is a city that blends innovation and tradition. Visitors can enjoy manicured palaces and historic churches, or head to one of the city’s two major automobile museums – or simply head down to the mineral water springs for a spa day.
- Mercedes-Benz museum
- Porsche museum
- Stuttgart Zoo
- Mideralbad Canstatt
The rounded contours of the company’s museum hold a collection that extends from the company’s oldest models to futuristic fuel cells.
Not to be outdone, the Porsche Museum, located in the company’s Zuffenhausen suburb, is a feast for the eyes. The striking structure seems to be jumping out of its foundation and contains over 100 of the company’s finest models, including a number of racing champions.
The Wilhelmina Zoological and Botanical Garden is Germany’s second-largest, after the Berlin Zoo. With over 9,000 animals and 7,000 species of plants, it’s worth making a day of this place. Its Moorish revival architecture has given it the moniker “the Alhambra on the Neckar”
If Neoclassical architecture or period dramas get your heart racing, the picture-perfect Residential Palace in Ludwigsburg and its impeccable grounds are a great day-trip from Stuttgart.
Perfect for a wellness trip or a fun outing with the family. The mineral springs of Bad Canstatt, just outside of the city centre, have been used for over two millennia. The baths include indoor and outdoor mineral pools, along with a sauna, hot tubs and spa facilities.
Festivals in Stuttgart
The city’s active festival scene includes the Canstatter Volksfest, an autumn fair that boasts a colourful amusement park alongside a beer festival that is considered to be the world’s second-largest after the Munich Oktoberfest. The grounds around the old castle, or Altschloss, come alive every December for the Stuttgart Christmas market, one of Europe’s largest.
To learn more about what travellers can expect from a trip to Stuttgart, check out our Stuttgart guide.
A taste of Swabia
Stuttgart is one of Germany’s main Swabain cities, and the region’s cuisine is on full display in its eateries. From ravioli-like Maultaschen to fresh Spätzle pasta, the city offers its traditional specialities alongside international offerings.
Wine and dine in Stuttgart
The aforementioned Spätzle, the quintessential Swabian pasta, are the basis for the Stuttgart classic Kässpatzle, which is basically Spätzle with cheese and roasted onions. They also feature large in Spaätzle with lentils and sausage. A Swabian potato salad is a great experience all by itself. Don’t miss the excellent wines that are grwn here since a thousand years back. In the fall, there is a ten-day wine festival all around the city hall. Make a tour of the wineries around Stuttgart and find your favourite taste of the area.
Shopping in Stuttgart
From the city’s ample green space to its rich cuisine, you can tell that Stuttgart is a city that appreciates the finer things in life. Its shopping scene is no exception: the city is a shopper’s paradise with everything from luxury offerings to one-of-a-kind souvenirs. The daily markets held in the city’s Markthalle are a must-see, with handcrafted jewellery cheek-by-jowl with flowers and hand-crafted chocolates. The Breuninger department store offers designer boutiques spread throughout its several floors. For a more relaxed ambiance, the cafés of the Calwerstrasse or the unique Bohnenviertel are worth a visit.
Stuttgart has much more to experience, whether it’s shops, cuisine or nightlife you’re looking for. See our guide about eat and drink in Stuttgart.