Stuttgart: Vineyards above the city at sunrise © (Jana Zieseniß)

Inspiring Germany

The motor city between vineyards

In Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Württemberg, enjoyment is key: both cuisine and culture are savoured here. A traditional club and the history of the automobile both play an important role.

But the VfB wasn't always as snappy as its mascot, Fritzle the alligator. The club, formed in 1893, has played more than once in the second division. Yet they're one of the most successful football clubs in the country, with five German championship titles and three DFB cup victories. With over 50,000 home game spectators in the stadium, their average attendance is amoung the top five in their division. People often forget that Stuttgart has another traditional club, but the Stuttgart Kickers play in the regional league.

Step up for the city tour

If you want to explore Stuttgart on foot, you'll need stamina: the city is located in a natural basin. About 400 steps, called the Stäffele, span a total distance of 20 kilometres and guide visitors up and out. But don't worry: the Schlossplatz in the centre is flat. This green space is bordered by the New and Old Castles, as well as by the futuristic glass cube of the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. Take in a play or opera just a stone's throw away. Nearby, Friedrich Schiller watches over the cobblestone Schillerplatz and the Stiftskirche, with its two different towers.

Museums of automobile history

Stuttgart and Mercedes-Benz simply go together. In the dramatic Mercedes-Benz Museum the manufacturer details the history of the automobile with around 160 vehicles from 1886 to the present day. Among those displayed are the first car with a combustion engine, potential new designs, the legendary Silver Arrow and the Popemobile. The future-forward Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen has more cars on display.

Vines around the city

Unlimited shopping spots await in the Königstrasse and Calwer Strasse. For high-end shops, look no further than the area around the Hans-im-Glück Fountain. Smaller boutiques, antique shops and galleries are a highlight of the Bohnenviertel ("Bean Quarter"), named after the staple food once eaten by the poorer classes.

Try a Schwabian speciality in one of the wine bars and restaurants – Maultaschen and Spätzle are bound to delight. Pair it with a wine from Baden or a glass from a winemaker in Stuttgart: after all, winemakers grow vines all the way into the city. All these simple pleasures can be enjoyed in one place during large fairs, like the Stuttgart Spring Festival or the Cannstatter Wasen in autumn.

A castle for kids

Take a peek from the TV Tower across the Schwabian city. The TV Tower is one of the highest in Germany and a cultural monument and popular landmark today. Consider a trip outside of the city. Just 15 kilometres north of Stuttgart is Ludwigsburg, with its Baroque-style Residential Palace, a highlight especially for kids. Let them roam through the spacious park and fairytale garden, where they can dress up as royal princesses and princes.