A holiday or city break in Stuttgart, the capital of Germany’s Swabian southwest, opens up a city renowned for its motoring heritage, high culture and impressive architecture. With a range of green parks and plazas, historic buildings and important museums in its city centre, and an array of sightseeing options in the surrounding countryside, Stuttgart promises an unforgettable holiday for the walker and the wine lover, the gastronaut and the garden fan, the history buff and the high-street bargain hunter.
A city break in central Stuttgart gives you the freedom to wander the spacious parks and plazas, all fringed with historic buildings that range from the late Medieval through the Renaissance period to the Baroque. The Old Castle stands at the junction of the Schlossplatz, Schillerplatz and Karlsplatz, a proud Renaissance fortress that now houses the Landesmuseum Württemberg with its fascinating array of ancient and medieval artefacts. The Neues Schloss, a magnificent Baroque palace built by the Dukes of Baden-Württemberg at the eastern end of Schlossplatz, is now open to the public for guided tours through rooms filled with beautiful art and furniture.
The New Palace is one of the grandest Baroque palaces in the whole of Germany, but it finds its equal just to the north of Stuttgart in the model town of Ludwigsburg. Ludwigsburg Palace, also built in a flurry of ducal one-upmanship, is an exquisite example of Baroque design – its grand chambers and spectacular frescoed ceilings, its unique theatre and its sweeping estates, punctuated by peaceful lakes and former hunting lodges that are palaces in themselves are a must see for any visitor to the city.
Stuttgart is the birthplace of the modern motor car and the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. It was in Stuttgart that Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler took the new-fangled internal combustion engine and placed it into a chassis, before Mrs Benz took off on the first ever roadtrip, a 66-mile journey from Mannheim to Pforzheim, which is a thirty-minute railway journey from Stuttgart. It was also in Stuttgart that Ferdinand Porsche designed the Volkswagen Beetle before the Porsche marque went on to design the 911 and many other iconic models. On your holiday in Stuttgart, be sure to visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum in NeckarPark and the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen for a walk though automotive history.
A city break to Stuttgart should also take in the rolling hills and river valleys within easy reach of the city. Ideal for walkers of every level, and punctuated by inviting vineyards and hostelries to rest your weary feet, the villages surrounding Stuttgart are great for trying some local specialities and enjoying a glass of the award-winning local wines. It’s a short journey from Stuttgart’s central Hauptbahnhof station to the fairytale-inspiring Black Forest and the delights of the Swabian Alps – plan on taking in Lichtenstein Castle, a perfect romantic vision in miniature, perched above a beautiful valley.