Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Württemberg, situated in the lap of West Germany, is one of the biggest commercial hubs in Europe. They are home to two of the biggest and most prestigious car manufacturers. But that’s not the only identity of the city. There’s more to Stuttgart than being heaven for automobile enthusiasts.
Placed in a terrain that seems like a bowl, hills, forests, and vines protect the whole city. The city, too, has a lot of greenery in huge parks and gardens that make for an astonishing contrast: the wonders of modern technology meeting eternal natural beauty.
So, if you have plans to make a trip to Germany, don’t forget to include Stuttgart. And to make its case even more irresistible, here are 5 things you can explore in the streets of Stuttgart:
- The Mercedes-Benz Museum
Stuttgart’s love affair with cars dates back to 1887, and it has withstood the test of time. It started with Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach making history by creating the world’s first oil-powered gas engine.
So, you have a chance to touch 130 years of history when you step into the Mercedes-Benz museum. It has more than 1500 exhibits spanning nine floors, describing their inventions and the progress of the automobile industry. It’s like a time capsule that not only shows the advancements of technology but also puts perspective by showing the life and society of those eras.
160 vehicles are the crux of this museum, including some of the first ever built coaches and cars, legends of F1 racing, and prototypes to let you peek into the future.
If you’re crazy about cars, then this is something dreams are made of for you. But even if you are not, you’ll have a good time, especially looking at the world’s first motorcycle. It’s a Daimler of olden times, rocking on till 1885.
- The Porsche Museum
When you’re done drooling over Mercedes, come and get some more in the Porsche Museum. It’s a state-of-the-art facility that houses some of the unique cars ever built, like the 911, 356, and the 550 series.
And the best thing is that 90% of the exhibits are actually operational. So they are much more than just being on display. These cars regularly hit the roads, so they should be called mobile museums.
A tour of this museum is not just boring history that will induce sleep. Rather they make it exciting with audio-visual guides and even make the kids part of the game with many attractions planned only for the younger ones.
And for car nerds or connoisseurs, you get to go deep inside the manufacturing process with the factory tours embedded inside the museum.
- Nature’s treasures at Wilhelma
You can also go to one of the biggest zoos in Europe for a fun day out when in Stuttgart. With over 2 million visitors every year, Wilhelma’s zoological and botanical garden is a must-see.
Built as a private retreat of Wilhelm I, the Swabian king, it has many buildings of beautiful Neo-Moorish architecture set amidst a plethora of gardens that are parts of an enormous park. But what makes it truly subliminal is that these historical constructs are now redesigned as habitats for animals and plants, and how these two have assimilated naturally.
There are nearly 1200 species of animals inside this park and as many as 8500 varieties of plants. They are kept within particular houses representing their native atmosphere and geographical locations. Some of these houses are the ‘House for Animals of Prey,’ the ‘House for Tree Ferns,’ the ‘Tropics House,’ the ‘South America House,’ etc. In 2013, another complex was added for the African Apes.
- The old-world charms of Esslingen
If you have the time, you must visit the small town of Esslingen, situated only 17 km or 11 miles from Stuttgart. Here time has stopped ticking along, and you’ll feel like you have reached this place in a time-machine ride.
This old town has preserved all its medieval glory, from the ancient trade routes across the Neckar river to the hilltop castle, which provides a breathtaking view of the whole town along with the Neckar.
In this old town, you’ll have a chance to catch some ghosts of time in the half-timbered houses. There are over 200 of these rare pieces of architecture, and all of them date back to the 13th-16th centuries. You can also visit the Church of St. Dionys, which has a unique bridge to connect its towers and the ever-welcoming Town Hall with its glockenspiel.
- Christmas Markets
Germany is famous for huge Christmas markets, and Stuttgart has some of the biggest ones. ‘Schlossplatz’ remains filled with people and joy from late November till the 23rd of December. This is a magical place for children. There’s a carousel, a Ferris Wheel, a miniature train, ice skating, and colorful band marches complete with a concert.
You can find everything in these marketplaces- wonderful handmade gift items, wooden toys, crockery, embroidery works, knitted mittens, puppets, and all kinds of holiday decorations.
Visit ‘Schillerplatz,’ where over 250 vendors have set up shop in the idyllic log cabins. These cabins are decorated with boughs and Christmas lights, along with intricate scenes and motifs above them. They also compete for a prize every year for the best decorations.
After all this fun, you may want to go on in the same vein. However, you can have a different kind of fun that’s more about undressing rather than decorating. If you want to fill your nights with as much pleasure as you had in the daytime, just contact an agency in Stuttgart and let your jingle-balls chime and moan through the night.
Stuttgart is a perfect place for vacation. Whether you love machines or nature, shopping or enjoying artforms, you have it all in abundance in this perfectly European city.