Stuttgart is an industrial city, headquarters of the top names in the German automobile industry--Mercedes Benz and Porsche--and home to their technical museums. But there's much more to Stuttgart. There are impressive modern buildings, regal old churches, towers, squares, parks and a vibrant cultural scene. And here's the icing on the cake: this is considered one of the safest cities in Germany. Its residents are known for being helpful with tourists, too, which is understandable. If you lived in a city as beautiful, gracious and prosperous as Stuttgart, you'd be proud to show visitors around as well.
Since this is the hub for Mercedes cars, be sure to schedule an appointment ahead of time to tour the Mercedes factory. The glass-cube architecture and contemporary art exhibits of the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart are also well worth a visit. Fans of Cezanne, Monet and Rembrandt can admire the many examples of their work on display in the Staatsgalerie. If you fancy a walk through lush vineyards, take any of the two walking trails on the Stuttgarter Weinwanderweg. If you're bringing kids with you, the animals at Wilhelma Zoologisch-Botanischer Garten should keep them distracted for at least a few hours. From April to late October, jump on the good ship Wilhelma, run by Neckar Kapt'n, and take an excursion on the scenic Neckar River. The Mittlerer Schlossgarten has fascinating walkways, fountains and a lively beer garden, while the Fernsehturm Stuttgart TV tower gives you a fantastic view of the city from the top.
Most of the restaurants, cafeterias and eateries are found in the city center, around the Schlossplatz, Marktplatz and Schillerplatz. The Markthalle features many Swabian and Italian restaurants. Stuttgart residents enjoy their brezel and you'll find many varieties of the local pretzel--sweet and salty--in plentiful supply at the bakeries along Konigstrasse. More varied eating and drinking choices can be found in the restaurants and pubs in the lively Mohringen district. Wine taverns are plentiful in historic Bohnenviertel.
Konigstrasse is the main shopping district but be sure to get everything you want from Monday to Saturday, as most stores are not open on Sundays. Some of the shopping malls and department stores to splurge in are the Galeria Kaufhof, Karstadt, Breuninger and Konigsbaupassagen, where you can experience the sort of retail extravagance Germany's prosperous economy supports. For upscale designer clothing, head to Abseits. Markthalle also features shops selling exotic goods.
In Den Anlagen 1
Wiener Strasse 86