Top things to do in Stuttgart

Must-see Stuttgart sight

Stuttgart was the capital of the kingdom of Wurttemberg up until 1918. It is now the capital of the Baden-Wurttemberg, a state in the southwest of Germany. There’s plenty on offer here for the curious traveller. From modern museums to impressive art collections and cute nearby towns, you won’t be stuck with what to do in Stuttgart.

  1. Learn all about fancy cars in the Mercedes and Porsche Museums
  2. Discover the fantastic State Museum
  3. Explore the impressive art museums of Stuttgart
  4. Discover nearby Karlsruhe
  5. Indulge in Stuttgart's hearty cuisine
  6. Enjoy the great outdoors in Stuttgart

Today’s city shows only a few signs of its regal past, being a resolutely modern city with an identity based on its scientific and technological achievements. Car enthusiasts will love it here, with not one but two museums dedicated to everything about Mercedes Benz and Porsche.

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1. Learn all about fancy cars in the Mercedes and Porsche Museums

If you’re a car fanatic, Stuttgart is the place for you. The Mercedes Museum is well worth a visit, as is the smaller establishment devoted to the products of the Porsche works. The Mercedes Museum is on a whopping nine floors where you can find over 1,5000 exhibits with plenty of eye-catching vehicles to gawp at. The Porsche Museum is home to frequently changing exhibitions and takes you through the history of this incredible car brand.

Best for: Car enthusiasts

While you’re there: The Porsche Museum offers ‘Porsche Drive’ where you can take one of the cars for a spin. A dream come true for car fans!

2. Discover the fantastic State Museum

The old royal schloss (palace) is now the State Museum , whose star exhibit is the Wurttemberg crown jewels. It was founded in 1862 by King William I, and the building itself is packed with history. The museum covers archaeology, cultural history and the art history of Wurttemberg, and is one of the best things to do in Stuttgart.

Best for: Museums

While you’re there: The Linden Museum is well worth a visit. It’s home to a range of global cultural artefacts

3. Explore the impressive art museums of Stuttgart

Stuttgart’s most high-profile museums are the modern Kunstmuseum and the Staatsgalerie. The former’s founding stock consists of Swabian Impressionist works and the latter focuses on European and American post-war art. You can take a guided tour of the museum and enjoy a pitstop in the café on site.

Best for: Art museums

While you’re there: After finishing in the museum, head to Schloosplatz (Palace Square) for a stroll, found in the heart of the city.

4. Discover nearby Karlsruhe

A relatively new town, Karlsruhe was laid out in the early 18th century by Karl-Wilhelm, the Margrave of Baden, in the form of a fan, with a pattern of streets radiating out from an imposing baroque schloss (palace). The schloss is now the Baden Regional Museum (Badisches landesmuseum). Its fine collections include wonderful trophies from the Turkish wars. The geometrical layout of the city can be appreciated from the top of the tower. Most of Karlsruhe’s 18th-century buildings have gone, but there are some fine neoclassical structures around the central Marktplatz; at its centre is a sandstone pyramid marking Karl-Wilhelm’s tomb. Looking for Stuttgart holiday packages? We’ve got your sorted!

Best for: A day trip from Stuttgart

While you’re there: The ZKM Center for Art and Media is also worth a visit. It’s a cultural centre which organises exhibitions.

5. Indulge in Stuttgart's hearty cuisine

Swabian (region in southwestern Germany) cuisine is popular in Stuttgart. This is simple, hearty and rustic cooking at its very best. Maultaschen is a top dish to try - the German equivalent of ravioli but much bigger. The Swabian speciality consists of little parcels of pasta stuffed with a mixture of minced pork and veal. Weinstube Kachelofen is a great place to dine in Stuttgart. It’s a city-centre institution, serving traditional Swabian specialities, like strips of ham with cheese spaetzle, pork roast from the oven with bread dumplings, or tripe with farmhouse bread.

Best for: Food

While you’re there: For drinking, enjoy schnaps, a term used to describe the country’s popular colourless, grain spirits.

6. Enjoy the great outdoors in Stuttgart

If you’re a green-fingered traveller or just looking for a peaceful stroll, the Wilhelmas is the place to be. A zoological-botanical garden, it’s found on the grounds of a castle. Kids will love spotting their favourite plants here. You can find everything from towering cacti to pretty orchids. There’s so much to see, you could spend a whole afternoon here.

Best for: A walk and family fun

While you’re there: Note that the botanical garden is home to around 6000 plants!

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