Stuttgart is one of those underrated travel destinations that will surprise you the moment you arrive. There’s plenty to do here – from the incredible shopping to the delicious foods, to the Mercedes-Benz museum… let’s just say, you’ll never be bored! The city is best known for its cars, and is a top tourist destination for auto enthusiasts around the world. But, you’ll quickly see there is so much more to this historic city. We had a fantastic time in Stuttgart, and we can’t wait to go back! Here’s our Stuttgart Travel Guide, which will give you the low down on where to eat, stay, and see.
Hotel Schwanen Metzingen
We started our trip off by staying in Hotel Schwanen in Metzingen, Germany. This hotel is the type of place that makes you feel right at home, even when you are miles away. It has a sense of familiarity and coziness that make it a great place to relax and unwind. It’s a family-owned hotel, with warm, welcoming staff and beautifully outfitted rooms. What sets this place apart, is the breakfast menu! The food is incredible, and the dinner menu is great too.
Hotel EmiLu Stuttgart
After a wonderful stay at Hotel Schwanen, we moved onto Hotel EmiLu located in the centre of Stuttgart. Because of the great location, this is the perfect starting point to explore the city. This hotel is brand new, so you can expect fresh, ultra-modern décor. The rooms are beautifully designed to maximize space and comfort, with incredible attention to detail. Every piece from the artwork to the furnishings was perfectly curated with this hotel. The hotel restaurant, Fritz, serves all day breakfast, and the menu is great. Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, you can still check out the restaurant as it’s definitely worth a visit. Try the Avo toast and pancakes – so good!
Hotel V8 Stuttgart
This is one of the most unique hotels we’ve stayed at. The entire hotel is car-themed, which is perfectly fitting for a city like Stuttgart. Our favourite part of the room was the details – they had car shaped soaps, a Mercedes-Benz table, car shaped chocolate, and even car-bed! Staying at the hotel is an experience in and of itself, so if you’re a car fanatic or you enjoy unique stays, you must check out Hotel V8 in Stuttgart. We enjoyed a beautiful lunch at Ristorante da Signora which is directly next to the V8 hotel. It’s the perfect place to stop in for a glass of wine and a delicious meal – the food is good, and the décor is incredible! Like a museum, there is so much to see in this hotel.
OutletCity Metzingen Shopping
If you’re looking for the perfect outfit for every occasion, OutletCity Metzingen should definitely be on your itinerary. There are so many amazing brands here and it’s the largest outlet in Europe! Shoppers come from all over the world to do some serious shopping as there are over 130 premium and luxury brands here. Fun fact – Hugo Boss originated here. In 2021 alone, 20 new brands opened including Babor, Hunkemöller, Woolrich, Dorothee Schuhmacher, L’Occitane, Haribo, Bahlsen, Longchamp, and Skechersluxury. You could easily spend the entire day here, and still want to come back for more. Whether you’re shopping for bags, shoes, high-fashion or leisurewear… you will certainly find an amazing selection here. I think we spent the whole day in fitting rooms (check out our story highlights here if you missed it).
There are many ways to access OutletCity if you are travelling from out of town. You can buy a return ticket for €10.00 and travel in on a shuttle bus from Stuttgart. This service is available every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Another easy way is by train. From Stuttgart, there is a train directly to Metzingen every 40 minutes. From there, it’s just a short walk to OutletCity.
When you visit, use code “YourPassportOutletCity” for a VIP Shopping Pass via Outletcity app* (valid until December 31, 2021).
Metzingen is the perfect year-round destination if you’re visiting Stuttgart, as it’s only 30km away and makes the perfect day trip! In the summer, visit the chain carousel or take part in many of the different regional excursions. There is even a rollercoaster here if you’re up for a thrill or a little adventure! In the winter, there are adorable Christmas Markets and an ice rink – the perfect idea for a romantic date night! There is also a wine museum on Kelternplatz, where you can take part in a magnificent wine-tasting experience. We ate at L’Osteria Metzingen, a delicious restaurant known for large portions and the most amazing pizzas. After dinner, stop off at Amorino ice cream parlour for a sweet treat!
This guided tour in Stuttgart has over 1500 exhibits expanding over 9 floors! It’s massive, and there is so much to see! There is an exhibition called “Mobility of the Future”, that you can tour through. After wandering through the museum, head over to the museum shop. There is a beautiful Luxury and Lifestyle area featuring high-quality bags and watches. For lunch, there’s a self-service restaurant called “Bertha´s Restaurant” so you can refuel for the day!
Another great stop during your trip to Stuttgart, is the Porche Museum. This museum is truly a car-lovers dream, featuring over 100 cars and more than 200 small exhibits.
The E. Breuninger flagship store is located in Stuttgart and is a great way to spend an afternoon! With shopping for both men, women, and even children, it’s a great place to get your shopping fix. The store has two restaurants inside if you get hungry from all that shopping! E. Breunginer has bespoke tailoring, salon services, and even a shuttle.
Palace Park & Square Stuttgart
After all that shopping and museum hopping, it’s nice to spend some time outdoors. Palace Park & Square in Stuttgart is a great place to take a picnic, enjoy an outdoor concert, or just wander the grounds. It’s located right in the centre of Stuttgart, making it easy to access from any part of the city. Grab a coffee and do some walking, taking in the many beautiful sights. In the middle of Palace Square, you will find the Jubilee Column (1841), surmounted by Condordia (a.k.a goddess of harmony). Behind her is the New Palace, which has the most magnificent architecture. Since it took over 61 years to construct, the architecture is a mix of Baroque, Classicism, Rococo and Empire design.
Yes, it’s a library, but it’s so much more than that. If you are into design and architecture, you should pay a visit to the city library in Stuttgart. It’s one of the most modern libraries in all of Europe, and the design is simply incredible. It was designed by Korean architect Eun Young Yi, and is over 18,000 m² in size, so it’s definitely not your average library! There is even a roof top terrace where you can enjoy a refreshment or cappuccino with beautiful views of the city.
TV Tower – Fernsehturm
For some of the most beautiful views of the city, visit the Fernsehturm TV Tower. At over 150 meters high, you’ll have a 360 degree-birds-eye view of the city that will take your breath away. It’s the first TV Tower in the world, so you’ll also enjoy a piece of history while you’re there!
Killesberg Tower and Gardens
The Killesberg Tower is an incredible 40-meter-high observation tower located in the Killesberg Park in Stuttgart, Germany. It’s often described as an “engineering masterpiece” and provides incredible city views.
Enjoy Sunset Views
Who doesn’t love a good sunset? The best spots to catch sundown is Teehaus in Weissenburgpark, Santiago de Chile Square or Schloss Solitude. Teehaus is beautiful restaurant and outdoor café, surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes of the city. Relaxing on the terrace at sunset is one of the best ways to spend an evening in Stuttgart!
Landesmuseum Special Exhibition Fashion
If you are a fashion lover, this exhibit should definitely be on your itinerary! Regardless, this exhibition is entertaining and informative, even if you’re not the most fashionable! The exhibition walks you through fashion history from the 1950s to the present day. You can see the beautiful, unique designs of well-known designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood or classics by the fashion houses Chanel, Dior and Saint Laurent.
Take in some beautiful art at the Stuttgart Art Museum. You can book a guided tour, which will highlight the amazing exhibitions currently featured within the museum. This is the perfect way to spend an afternoon, especially as the days get chillier throughout the autumn and winter season.
Wine-lovers, you’re in luck – Stuttgart is home to the winegrowing museum, and it’s a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. The museum is an entertaining and informative exhibition that will teach you the winemaking practices of the professionals. You’ll get to view an old wine-press building and even try local wines in a wine tasting experience. You may even want to take a few bottles home with you to enjoy later!
Vintage Market in Tübingerstrasse
The vintage market in Tübingerstrasse is easily located from the centre of Stuttgart and is home to tons of one-of-a-kind pieces. You’ll come home with unique items you can’t find anywhere else, and have a great time roaming the market stalls.
This historic castle is a breath-taking site and walking around the grounds feels like a living fairy-tale. Lichtenstein Castle is a Gothic Revival castle, and we highly recommend visiting if you plan to travel to the Stuttgart area. The castle was designed by Carl Alexander Heideloff and overlooks the Echaz valley near Honau, Reutlingen in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Guided tours take place every 20 minutes, or you can wander the grounds at your own pace.
There is no shortage of delicious foods in Stuttgart. We had so many amazing meals, we lost count! But, there are certainly some favourites that we recommend trying while you’re there.
Taste local Swabian cuisine at Weinstube Fröhlich or Weinstube Kachelofen. They are best known for their Maultaschen, Meatballs, and local Lemberger wine. Their homecooked food is hearty and delicious. The menus do change seasonally, as they use fresh locally sourced ingredients!
For a romantic dinner, we recommend Restaurant Cube, which overlooks Schlossplatz. The setting is perfect for date-night and the food is amazing! You’ll enjoy phenomenal views of Stuttgart, as the restaurant walls are made entirely of glass! Another great date-night options is Speisenmeisterei, a beautiful restaurant that combines history, culture and tradition in a modern setting. You’ll love the fresh-cooked seafood and can choose from 3 course, 4 course or 5 course meals. Last but certainly night least, Restaurant Finch at the Waldhotel Degerloch, is a foodies dream! Expect a seasonally fresh, dynamic menu set in a cozy restored summer house (built in 1910!).
Grab and Go
For quick food options, Stuttgart Market Hall is a great place to start! Wander around the stalls and pick up some fresh local fruits. You’ll find local and international retailers, with a wide variety of organic foods to choose from. The sites and smells are an unforgettable experience, so arrive hungry!
Dinner with a View
An open air café with spectacular city views, Teahouse in Weißenburgpark is a fantastic spot for lunch or dinner! The terrace is relaxing and spending a sunny day with a cocktail looking out at the city views is an unforgettable experience.
Why not enjoy a picnic outside? It’s the perfect way to enjoy the weather and spend time outdoors. Grab a picnic basket at 1819 Bistro am Wirtemberg and pick a spot to sit down and enjoy! It’s conveniently located beside Grabkapelle, which is beautiful location to enjoy your picnic basket. We, however, took our picnic to Schloss Solitude which is also very tranquil with beautiful views. Click here to see the other popular picnic spots.
It’s important to find the best coffee shops when travelling – after all, who wants mediocre coffee? There were two coffee spots that really stood out to us in Stuttgart – Das Café Tatti (close to hotel EmiLu), or Misch Misch coffee. Both café options have a wide selection of coffees and teas and will provide a delicious cup of coffee or sweet treat!
Speaking of sweet treats, Bon Bon is a super cute candy shop located in Stuttgart city centre. If you have a sweet tooth this is the place to go! The candy selection is huge, and they have cute gift options too.
Marienplatz is a local district full of trendy cafés and restaurants. Take a walk through the beautiful city streets and see what catches your eye. There are so many incredible restaurants here it’s impossible to name them all. Whether you’re in the mood for a cocktail, glass of wine or a 4-course meal, you’ll find something you fancy in Marienplatz.
For more cafés and restaurants options, click here.
If you saw our Instagram stories, you probably already know that we rented a beautiful Mercedes C123 and convertible Mercedes R129 at the Mercedes Benz Museum. This was such an incredible experience and we had so much fun driving around the city! There’s something so special about a vintage Mercedes, and if you’re a car-lover, we highly recommend the experience.
Getting around Stuttgart by car is one of the best ways, as it gives you flexibility to travel around and see all that the city has to offer. It also makes day excursions a lot easier. Plus, the city is home to the Mercedes Benz Museum so, it only makes sense to take one for a spin!
If you’re tempted to experience one of these beautiful classic cars, we recommend booking a unique tour here.
HOW TO GET THERE
Stuttgart Airport is only 10km away from the city centre, making it easy to fly in for a quick getaway! From there, you can take a train, shuttle, or taxi directly into Stuttgart or to your hotel. If you’re traveling from outside of Europe, you may need to fly into Frankfurt (FRA) which is 147km away from Stuttgart. You can take a train in from Frankfurt, or rent a car from the airport and drive.
WHEN TO GO
Stuttgart is truly a year-round destination, and that’s what we love about it! Whether you go in summer, winter, or sometime in between, there’s plenty to do! We are looking forward to coming back and enjoying the Christmas Markets one day, as they are known around the world. There are cultural events, festivities, and tons of activities to entertain throughout the year. If that’s not your thing, you can always head over for a quick shopping trip at OutletCity!
HOW MANY DAYS
With the many museums, parks, art exhibits, historic buildings and endless restaurants and cafés, there’s plenty to do in Stuttgart. We would recommend spending anywhere from 4 days to a week in Stuttgart, to give you ample time to experience all the city has to offer.
Stuttgart is reasonably priced, with varying accommodations and activities for every price point. There’s a range of hotels (and hostels) that can suit budget travelers, and more luxury accommodations if you’re looking to splurge! We found the restaurants to be well-priced and the overall quality of food was fantastic!
WHAT TO BRING
- Proper clothing: Stuttgart experiences all four seasons, from warm summer nights to cold winter mornings. You’ll want to dress appropriately for the weather.
- Comfortable shoes: We did so much walking while we were there. Make sure to bring a good pair of shoes!
- Camera: The sites and views are incredible, and you’ll want to capture as much as you can.
- Extra room in your luggage: The city is full of incredible shopping (such as OutletCity), so leave a bit of spare room in your suitcase!
For more recommendations from Stuttgart, click here. If you’re looking to discover more about Germany’s epic locations and experiences, check out this page. For the latest corona virus updates and restrictions, click here.
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There are so many things you can do and enjoy in Stuttgart. What is the first thing on your bucket-list?
Wonderful article about my hometown and amazing pictures. Well done and thank you for this lovely shout-out for Stuttgart. It always fills my heart with so much joy when someone sees Stuttgart in the same way I see it: A hidden gem with so much to explore. If you‘re interested in some insider tips and places where the locals go, check out my blog living-in-stuttgart.com
And here comes my first insider tip: When you come back for the Christmas market make sure to visit at least one of our thermal baths! Stuttgart is the city in Europe with the second largest amount of natural mineral springs (19) after Budapest! Definitely worth a visit – especially in the cold winter months.