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Stuttgart - Germany

Germany’s Baden-Württemberg state capital offers visitors an ebullient mix of the historic and the cutting edge, with warming food stops aplenty. Julie Alpine hits the autobahn

Travel Time 1hrs 40min

Why go?

Lying on the Neckar River between the Black Forest to the west and the Swabian Alps to the south, Stuttgart originated as a stud farm, or Stuotgarten, in 950AD. Quickly establishing itself as an important wine-growing region, it went on to become, in 1482, the capital of the Württemberg state. Today, it is home to the world headquarters of a slew of multinational companies, including Porsche and Daimler AG, and a hub for the robotics industry. Now is a great time to visit, with one of Germany’s oldest and biggest Christmas markets, Weihnachtsmarkt, bringing festive sparkle to Marktplatz, Schillerplatz and Schlossplatz (27 November – 23 December). Find gift-buying opportunities galore, plus paper bags of roasted chestnuts and mugs of glühwein to stave off the chill – December temperatures typically hover around a crisp 3C

What to do

Stuttgart’s centre was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War and the rebuilt city displays a defiant mix of modern and traditional architecture. Schlossplatz, home to the ornate, Versailles-inspired Neues Schloss (New Castle), is a good jumping-off point for a self-guided walking tour or, if you’re feeling energetic, the place to enjoy an I, Tonya moment on the square’s glittering seasonal ice rink. The impressive 10th-century Altes Schloss (Old Castle), adjacent, which suffered a major fire in 1931, plus subsequent bomb strikes, was restored in 1969 to its former glory. Culture vultures will want to browse the Kunstmuseum – a cube-shaped art gallery containing 5,000sq m of space – and the Staatsgalerie designed by British architect James Stirling, home to 14th-21st century European art by the likes of Dalí and Rembrandt. The Mercedes-Benz Museum is a must-visit for petrolheads. Housed in an unmissable curved metallic building featuring a double helix, it celebrates the famed automobile invented by Carl Benz in 1886. A permanent exhibition showcases 160 vehicles, from some of the first four-wheelers ever built to legendary racing cars and futuristic research models.

Where to stay

Smack-bang in the heart of the city, the five-star Hotel Am Schlossgarten 00 49 711 20260, boasts 106 beautifully appointed rooms and suites bedecked in warm, natural tones, with many offering panoramic downtown views. Close to the main train station, the 168 rooms of Arcotel Camino 00 49 711 258 580, are all soundproofed to silence the buzz of passing Porsches. Just outside of town, the Waldhotel Stuttgart 00 49 711 185 720, offers 96 elegant and tranquil rooms.

Where to eat and drink

For a fragrant overview of the region’s best-loved delicacies, wander around the clean, bright and warm 1914-built Markthalle (Market Hall) where 43 artfully arranged stalls display everything from Swabian potato salad to spätzle (pasta layered with cheese and fried onions). Hungry for more? Carl’s Brauhaus brewery and restaurant offers hearty local dishes, such as medallions of turkey breast with creamy mushroom sauce, broccoli and potato croquettes, alongside a stellar range of beers. For a pit stop, try Tarte & Törtchen – famed locally for its almost-too-pretty-to-eat patisserie and excellent coffee. Informal dinner favourites include Martha’s which serves up sustainable, regional ‘fast food’ such as currywurst, and Triple B – Beef Burger Brothers whose burgers are, justifiably, billed as the best in town. Worth the short taxi journey to the vineyard-surrounded suburb of Möhringen, Gasthaus Zur Linde is a charming family-run restaurant offering creative Swabian cuisine and (very) local bins.

Time running out?

Take the lift up the city’s 217m-tall Fernsehturm, or ‘TV Tower’, to enjoy a bracing, bird’s eye view of the city and forests from the alfresco viewing platform.


Travel Information

Travel Information

Currency is the euro (EUR). Time is one hour ahead of GMT. Flight time from the UK is around 1 hour 40 minutes. The S-Bahn train service connects the airport to the main station, Hauptbahnhof, in 27 minutes. A single ticket costs £3.50pp.

Getting There

British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Stuttgart.

easyJet flies from London Gatwick to Stuttgart.


Stuttgart Tourist is the official tourist board and its website is a fantastic resource for trip planning.

Average daily temperatures and rainfall

Min Temp-2-2027101212950-1
Max Temp2491217202222191374

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