This week we’ve got a guest post from Marcia Bauer of Pocket Village. She’s a native of Stuttgart and knows all about what to check out and where to eat and drink in this friendly southern German city – JM
Stuttgart is well known for Mercedes and Porsche but it’s also the small but wonderful capital of Swabia. Lying in a beautiful southern region of Germany, it’s the home of pretzels, good wine, festivals and fast cars. For some people, it’s everything they need. 🙂
Things to See and Do
It’s wonderful to walk through Stuttgart’s streets and to enjoy the beautiful landscape. Because of its location, you can do most within walking distance and in a short time you can visit expansive squares, gorgeous castles and buildings of different architecture styles.
Above you can see the wonderful Castle Place (Schlossplatz) in the heart of Stuttgart. In the back of the castle you find the Castle Garden, the Opera, and the world famous ballet. If you are interested in culture, make sure you check out inside in these awesome buildings. Otherwise, it’s a great space during a sunny day to eat an ice cream or just hang out and people watch.
There are a lot beautiful zoos worldwide, but I love the Wilhelma because it’s also known as the “Alhambra of the Neckar” (a river of Stuttgart). The atmosphere of the animals and plants in front of such fantastic architecture in the Moorish style in the center of Stuttgart is extraordinary.
You can gaze upon more than 10,000 animals, exotic plants, and garden art exhibits as well as many beautiful hiding places to relax. It is not just a zoo but a botanical garden and a historical park of the 19th century. The park is the size of 40 football pitches and while you’re there, you can relax and view the beautiful landscaping.
Mercedes-Benz and Porsche Museums
I can’t really tell you which museum is better, as they’re both fantastic highlights of architecture. If you have enough time I would recommend to visit both, otherwise you have to choose which kind of cars you prefer. I promise you though, both museums are very interesting just for the engineering value, even if you aren’t a huge car lover.
If you are looking for other museums also, Stuttgart has you covered. For example the House of History, “Staatsgalerie”, and the Dinosaur museum are very interesting and popular.
One of the most beautiful places in Stuttgart is the Karlshöhe. It’s a 343 metre high mountain in Stuttgart’s South West. For the most rewarding route, you can climb up through the vineyards, and you’ll get a beautiful view over Stuttgart. If you visit this beautiful place during the day you can enjoy a beer and a “red” sausage in the beer garden (only open in summer). If you visit by night you can also enjoy a beautiful sunset overlooking Stuttgart.
To reach the top of Karlshöhe’s you can start at Tübinger Street by climbing some of the various stairs, called “Stäffeles” that are used to connect the town and the upper housings besides the vineyards. The “Stäffele” called Willy-Reichert-Staffel is the best one to climb to reach the Karlshöhe.
Shop off the beaten path
Stuttgart offers a lot of opportunities to spend your money! But if you want to have a look for something a bit more extraordinary, I would advise you to buy something from the Stuttgart based fashion label “Blutsgeschwister” (Breitestr 4) or to have a look into the fashion store with the name “Kauf dich Glücklich”, what means more or less “Shop till you are happy”! (Lange Straße 6).
Celebrations & Events
There are many fascinating events in the city. In the summer for example you can enjoy the Summer Celebration with music, food, and drinks. The Wine Village is also very popular, with the wine of the surrounded regions on offer to sample.
But my highlight is the Christmas Market in December with its small cabanas with hot wine, a lot of food, crafts, Christmas accessories and jewelry. It is world famous and not to be missed during the winter months.
Food and Drink
Stuttgart offers food for everyone. You can get typical German food but also find cuisine from kitchens all over the world.
The Stäffele in Stuttgart offers real German Food served in a traditional atmosphere. In my opinion they have the best German Kitchen with good German Beer in Stuttgart. You know, there are many traditional restaurants, but the Stäffele is the best.
The atmosphere is awesome, the service is great and the food is fantastic. Everything here is freshly made. In my opinion it is really difficult to find a perfect restaurant, but this is pretty close and you can get a main dish for less than €10.
Pane e Vino
If you would like to eat traditional Italian food, I recommend Pane e Vino. Two old Italian gentlemen greet you with a lot of spirit and their handmade pasta and pizza with a well matched wine. If you’d prefer just a drink, it’s also possible to just have a glass of wine at the bar.
If you are interested, one of the gentlemen will regale you with stories about their life and consumption and let you test their fancy food. A main dish will cost from €10.
It’s not only a café, as you can have breakfast until 4pm, there’s handmade cake and a daily choice of freshly prepared food. It’s a very nice cafe to sit outside and enjoy the good weather. Often we went there to have breakfast and then we saw the menu of daily food and switched to lunch! 🙂 You can have breakfast here from €4 and main dishes from €7.
How to get to Stuttgart
It is easy to get to Stuttgart from everywhere in Europe, with most major airlines flying there. All major air carriers and some low cost airlines like TuiFly and Air Berlin fly to Stuttgart. Additionally, the city is also well connected by rail, with Deutsche Bahn (DB) connections to all over Germany, France and the Netherlands . There is also an S-Bahn train connection from the airport to the city that only costs 3,40 euros.
Getting around in Stuttgart
You can reach most of the beautiful highlights of Stuttgart by foot, but if you don’t feel like walking, the public transportation in Stuttgart is awesome. A day ticket for one person costs €6.30 and a single ticket is €1.90 for two hours in the city. If you would like to leave the center you can also take a day ticket and use the trains or S-Bahn. To take a taxi is a bit more expensive and you’ll pay €10-12 for a 10 min ride.
Where to stay
Stuttgart has a really good selection of accommodation on offer. You can stay in every kind of hotel or hostel, but Ibis hotels are perfect for city trips. It’s not high class, but it is ok and one night for two person costs €59 normally. You’ll find them in the city centre, making them a good choice for location.
Otherwise you can take a Motel One, but you have to take the metro to get to the centre (10 min) and it costs about €45. Check out the hotel booking sites for ideas on prices and features.
Accommodation is the main expense in Stuttgart. But you can get a room for low in a lot of hostels. Food and alcohol are ok, and usually a main dish doesn’t cost more than €10. Fortunately most attractions, beside the museums, are free to visit.
Stuttgart is a wonderful city that’s not too large to take on in a weekend. It’s a city with many highlights in nature, architecture, culture, food, wine and beer. For a different side of Germany, it’s definitely worth a quick jaunt to explore.