There is no finer zoological-botanical garden than the Wilhelma in Stuttgart. Its picturesque blend of flora and fauna makes it one of the most beautiful zoos in the world. A trip to Stuttgart's zoo feels like a day's holiday in the heart of the city.
With nearly 10,000 animals from over 1,000 different species, the Wilhelma is also among the world's most bio-diverse zoos. What's more, the historical park and its tropical glasshouses are home to some 7,000 species and varieties of plant from every climate zone on Earth. In the northern section of the Wilhelma you can see zebras, okapi, giraffes, rare Somali wild asses and a variety of antelope, all living in large outdoor enclosures. Maned wolves and spectacled bears roam around the bear and mountain animals enclosure, which resembles a rocky landscape. The individual enclosures are not separated by fences, but by ditches that are hidden from view. Polar bears, otters and other semi-aquatic animals are at home here too, and when they dive below the surface, you can watch them through the underwater window. See fruit bats, Red Sea lanternfish, Chinese giant salamanders and mouse lemurs on the move in the nocturnal house and watch a bee colony and leafcutter ants at work inside the insectarium. The huge walk-in aviaries offer ample room for budgerigars and aquatic birds to fly around while the pied avocets, European oystercatchers and ruffs splash about in the waves.
The great ape enclosure at Wilhelma Gardens in Stuttgart is internationally acclaimed. All four great ape species live in family groups here with their adorable offspring. The compound also has an enclosure for rearing the young – Europe's only nursery for young great apes. A further highlight is the aquarium, where you can see marine life from all over the world, ranging from indigenous trout to brightly coloured tropical reef fish. An absolute must-see is the reptile house with its colourful venomous snakes and giant pythons, not to mention the tiny poison dart frogs, crocodiles and alligators that you can watch feeding. You get to meet the animals kept by our ancestors over on the demonstration farm, where kids can stroke and cuddle ponies, sheep and goats. In addition to the zoological and botanical marvels, there is a wonder from the world of physics concealed within the covered walkway of the Moorish garden: the whispering gallery enables you to hold a conversation across an incredible 40 metres – all in a hushed whisper. Wilhelma Gardens in Stuttgart also has excellent places for visitors to eat.
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Hop on the S1 from Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof and 2 stops later thou arrive at the superb museum of automotive giants: Mercedes Benz. Even if you are not a automobile junkie, the Mercedes Museum is a fascinating drive through 125 years of automotive history intertwined with all the key historical events that have marked the evolution of the world’s great car. The museum has curated a great gallery of pictures of key events that have shaped the history of the world that mark the evolution of the car that includes poignant memories like people having a picnic by the autobahn in the 60’s or the empty autobahns of the winter of 1973 when due to oil shortages , a car free Sunday ( 5 of them) was imposed- the images haunt you for hours after you have left the museum. Then there are the stars of the show to say hello to- from Gottlieb Daimler’s motorized carriage, the world’s first 4 wheeled auto mobile to the ‘Gullwing’, the dream car of the 1950’s- the 300 SL Coupe to the machine that set the standard for racing cars: the Mercedes Benz W196 2.5 litre that then world champion, Juan Manuel Fangio powered to victory in the 1954 Formula One race in Reims Combined with the stunning architecture, the Mercedes Benz Museum is a great afternoon for people of all ages and definitely a must-see when visiting Germany.read on »
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