Stuttgart, the capital of SouthWest Germany, has everything from culture and sport to art, restaurants and leisure activities in and around this truly international city.
Great museums, great collections
When it comes to museums, Stuttgart has some of the world’s best. As the region celebrated the 125th birthday of the car here in SouthWest Germany, where better to start than the contemporary buildings that house the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche museums. Then there are the rich collections of art in the National Gallery and the glass cube-like modern art museum overlooking the Schlossplatz (Palace Square). Iconic are the Stuttgart TV tower and the world-class Stuttgart Ballet company. Nearby are more cultural musts: the magnificent Royal Palace in Ludwigsburg, the medieval town of Esslingen and Castle Solitude.
Variety is the spice of life
With hills, vineyards, forests, and meadows, the Stuttgart region is great for lovers of outdoor activities. Cycle around Stuttgart on the 50-mile/83-km Radel-Thon-Strecke (cycle trail), or pedal along rivers like the Neckar and the Rems. Go mountain biking in the heart of the city, hike through the vineyards along one of Stuttgart’s four Weinwanderwege (wine trails) or paddle along the Esslingen Neckar Canal.
Water, water everywhere…
Only Budapest has a larger source of natural mineral water than Stuttgart, which boasts 19 springs! No wonder Stuttgart is the place to ease away the stress and strain of modern life. Three of Stuttgart’s best mineral-water springs are in the oldest part of the city: Bad Cannstatt, Leuze and Bad Berg. Other spa centers include the Merkel'sche Baths in Esslingen, the Panorama Therme in Beuren and the Quadrium in Wernau.
Wine and dine
What other major city has acres of vineyards inside the city limits? Stuttgart is known for its red wines, and for its “Besen” (wine taverns) in the vineyards, where you can drink what grows outside the door and eat home-made, traditional Swabian dishes. But there are also old inns, as well as restaurants with Michelin stars. An annual highlight is the Stuttgart Wine Village, a festival in the center of town where you can taste the best local wines, from Trollingers to Rieslings. And don’t miss the art nouveau market hall, with 37 stalls selling gourmet delights from around the world.