What Travel Writers Say

A celebration of wine, festivals and automobiles

© By Adam Southwood
  Mercedes Benz Museum The big draw for visitors to Stuttgart is the exciting Mercedes-Benz World boasting 160 vehicles on permanent display, including not only the early models but also the latest in production. The city is well situated in the heart of one of Germany's largest wine-growing regions, a vibrant metropolis and state capital of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart offers impressive gardens and parks, fine squares, splendid palaces and buildings in a wide range of architectural styles.
     The Stuttgart Spring Festival and Summer Festival attracts thousands of tourists, and at the end of September, the Stuttgart Beer Festival with numerous fairground attractions and the vast beer tents holding up to 5.000 visitors, make it one of the world's biggest beer festivals. During the weeks of Advent, the Stuttgart Christmas Market opens its doors to visitors.
     On top of that, the wonderful castles and palaces, historic towns and splendid vineyards in the Stuttgart region entice visitors to enjoy wonderful strolls, cycle tours and boat trips on the River Neckar as well as many relaxing lakes.

State Theatre Opera House  Stuttgart TV Tower  Stuttgart TV Tower at Night  Wilhelma 

     With a population of 590,000, Stuttgart was founded in the 10th century and it is the 6th largest city in Germany. Most famous for its automotive industry, both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have their headquarters here and both have car museums.
     From the airport, public transit (the S-Bahn line S2 or S3) will take you to Stuttgart's center within 30 minutes. Tickets are purchased at vending machines at the level below the airport and above the platform. Tickets should be validated at orange boxes on the platform before boarding the train. If staying more than a day, buy a special 3-day ticket (3-Tage-Ticket) available from hotels, the airport and the tourist information office at the end of Königstraße nearest Hauptbahnhof, but make sure you have proof that you're a tourist (eg. hotel booking confirmation). There are two types of 3-day tickets available; one covers Stuttgart and the other is valid for the entire VVS network The main station (Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof) is in the very center of Stuttgart.

Beer Festival  Burial Chapel  Christmas Market  City Church  Gottlieb Dainler Stadium  Main Station 

     In the inner city, distances are short and one can easily cross it in 25 minutes. Be prepared for some amusement at pedestrian crossings, as patient Germans will wait, even when no traffic is coming, until the "green man" comes on and they tend to yell at offenders when children are watching. Stuttgart is safe, and at night, one may walk alone through the city without fear; however, avoid the central park during late night hours.
     The city lies in a basin of a hilly region Stuttgarters call "Kessel," literally "cauldron." It's is one of the greenest urban areas in Europe, and there are many paths through the surrounding forests which are in good shape. Taxis are expensive (10 Euros = 4 minutes).
     After World War II, only few buildings were rebuilt to their classical elegance.

New Palace  Old Palace  Palace Square  Palace Square  State Gallery  State Gallery 

     From Stuttgart, you can take several day trips. Just an hour south is the Swiss border and Zurich. On the way, you can see the largest falls in Europe. Triberg is a beautiful old village in the heart of the Black Forest, specializing in grandfather and cuckoo clocks. An hour west is Strasbourg, France, a small and beautiful city. Old university towns are nearby such as Tübingen, Heidelberg, and Freiburg.
     When hungry, canteens fill the gap between fast food and restaurants, serving a richer meal at medium prices. In the morning, locals prefer fresh bread (brezels and broetchen) from the baker's shop and serve them up with butter, cheese, ham, honey, jam and eggs. There's an abundance of restaurants to suit any price range.

Adam Southwood writes for Canadian, U.S. and European magazines and newspapers. He is a graduate of both McMaster University in Hamilton and UWO in London with an interest in culture and history. He has produced several educational programs for TV.

Photo Credits
Baden-Wurttemberg Tourism

If you go
Stuttgart, Germany
as seen on
Baden-Wurttemberg Tourism: http://www.baden-baden.de/en/tourism/
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuttgart,_Germany
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Stuttgart

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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