Stuttgart is not only the birthplace of the automobile and still host of many of the most famous car brands in the world, as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Maybach, but with two universities also an important research centre in Germany. Besides its industrial strength Stuttgart allows all visitors with its ancient castles and parks a fascinating insight into German history. With more than 600,000 inhabitants Stuttgart is the largest city and capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Things to see and do
A royal view: the TV Tower
The Fernsehturm (TV Tower) is a landmark of the city of Stuttgart. This TV Tower was in the world to be built with reinforced concrete. Its construction was controversial and very costly due to the unusual building method, but construction finally began in 1954 and went on for 20 months. In 1956 the tower reached its final height of 216.6 meters. Since its opening the Fernsehturm has been a tourist attraction, as it offers the several thousand visitors who climb it each year a magnificent panorama over the region of Stuttgart from its viewing platform and its gourmet restaurant. One of the most famous guests was Queen Elizabeth II who visited the tower in 1965.
City of Jazz
With its own university for music studies, Stuttgart is regarded as a hotspot for jazz music. The well-known Stuttgarter Jazz-Open attracts many famous musicians who value the inspiring atmosphere of the festival and the city. As Jazz combines avant-garde and modernity it produces a broad variety of different and stylistic musical improvisations. The inhabitants of Stuttgart can enjoy the many live performances from jazz musicians in the bars and venues across the town.
The ‘Wilhelma’ is one of the most famous and most visited zoos in Germany. Founded in 1812 by Friedrich I for his own private amusement, it became one of the first German zoological gardens with free access for the public in 1880. As the King wanted his park to feature exotic buildings, some Moorish-style buildings have left their mark on the zoo and botanical garden. They now house a variety of tropic flora and fauna. The extensive park alone makes for an unforgettable experience.
Art Nouveau Markthalle
The Stuttgarter Markthalle is a light-flooded Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) building with a modern glass roof right in the centre of Stuttgart. It is the home of a large consumer market, where nearly forty retailers offer special and exotic delicacies. The variety of products on sale ranges from regional food to Mediterranean and Asian specialties. So tourists do not only get a chance to try traditional Swabian food but also to become familiar with an eclectic mix of traditional cuisines from all over the globe.
The famous stairways in the hills around Stuttgart are unique. The more than 400 stairways were once used by the wine-growers for their grapes, but with the growth of the city, they are now used to access buildings located on higher ground. Some stairways remain quite hidden and others lead to beautiful paths in the vineyards offering a fantastic view over the city. You can participate in the so-called ‘Stäffelestour’ to get more information about the history of individual stairways and to taste the Württemberger wine of course.
The Stuttgarter Weindorf is an annual festival in August visited by several hundred thousand visitors. Wine-growers get a chance to sell their wine, very often combined with traditional Swabian food like Maultaschen(think German ravioli filled with spinach and meat) or Rostbraten mit Spätzle(meat roast with German noodles). Locals enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the traditionally decorated stalls next to the 10th century Old Castle, which also houses a museum.
Mercedes Benz Museum
If you love cars, you will love the Mercedes Benz Museum. Explore its sleek, space-age displays, learn about the history of the automobile, and find out what the car of the future might look like!
British-German Town Twinnings
Town twinnings between British and German cities play an important role in promoting cultural exchange. Stuttgart has been twinned with St Helens in Merseyside since 1948.