Stuttgart City Travel Guide

Stuttgart is often known as Germany’s “Autohauptstadt”, the capital city of cars. And it’s easy to see why. Porsche and Mercedes Benz have long been established in the city of Stuttgart. The Porsche Museum and Mercedes Benz Museum should be on the top of the list for any tourist visiting Stuttgart.

Perhaps not as popular among tourists as Hamburg, Berlin or Munich, but places to visit in Stuttgart are not few and far between. And since Stuttgart was founded in 950AD, it has a rich history spanning millennia.

To start planning your trip and to read about the main things to do in Stuttgart, click on the tabs below.


Stuttgart is the capital city of the state of Baden-Württemberg. The state is found in the southwest of Germany bordering Switzerland and France. Baden-Württemberg is internationally famous for the Black Forest and Heidelberg as well as Porsche and Mercedes-Benz.

The city of Stuttgart is set on the Neckar River. A river that flows through much of Baden-Württemberg before feeding into the Rhine near Mannheim. Stuttgart became an important agricultural area thanks to the fertile valley created by the Neckar.

Stuttgart is spread over a series of hills and valleys. Many of the hills are lined with vines making a vibrant and unusual backdrop to the city in spring, summer, and autumn. The city center of Stuttgart is in the basin of a valley, something often referred to as “Stuttgart’s cauldron”.

Quick Facts about Stuttgart

  • The name Stuttgart comes from Stud Farm “Stuotgarten”. This is from when the Duke of Swabia had a stud farm close by to Bad Cannstatt. Over the years the orginal stud farm grew into a town and then into the city we see today.
  • The city was granted charter as a town in 1320.
  • Today the population of the city of Stuttgart is 635,911.
  • It is the 6th largest city in Germany.
  • World War I and II were hard on Stuttgart with much of the city destroyed. 
  • The city bounced back after rebuilding in the 1950s and became the economic and industrial powerhouse it is today.

Sightseeing in Stuttgart

Stuttgart is the cultural epicenter of Baden-Württemberg full of museums, galleries, and historic buildings.

Something to note is that the Mercedes-Benz Museum and Porsche Museum aren’t directly in the city center. Luckily for motorheads they are only a short ride away. And they are worth the visit.

We recommend sticking to the most central areas of Stuttgart for sightseeing, especially if you only have limited time.

To start planning your own sightseeing tour of Stuttgart, browse through the dropdowns to find out more.

There are two tourist information centers in Stuttgart. One is found at the airport and the other in the city center. 

The addresses and opening hours are:

Stuttgart Airport in Terminal 3, Level 2
Open Monday – Friday between 10:00 – 13:30 pm & 14:15 – 18:00.

Closed on weekends and public holidays.

Stuttgart Tourismus iPunkt
Close to the main train station in Stuttgart on Königstraße 1A

Open Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 18:00.

Sundays and public holidays between 10:00 – 15:00

Start your tour of Stuttgart on Schlossplatz. It is a good central point in Stuttgart. It is a hub of activity for much of the day. In the run up to Christmas, Schlossplatz is where Stuttgart’s Christmas Market is held.
A lot of museums and historical buildings are located close to Schlossplatz, or just a short walk away.

While on Schlossplatz you’ll see the Jubilee Column that commemorates King William I’s rule as well as the Neues Schloss. The New Palace was completed in 1807, it is now used by the government of Baden-Württemberg but was previously the home of Swabian kings.

Königstraße is opposite the New Palace. This is considered to the be the longest pedestrianized shopping street in Germany.

The greater metropolitan area of Stuttgart is a hilly place, which is perfect for those who enjoy a good view.


The ridge of Karlshöhe is a great spot to see the city from. It’s also a favorite among locals. The Biergarten auf der Karlshöhe takes advantage of the views. If you want to enjoy the view with a drink or two, bear in mind that it is a busy spot on a sunny day.

Fernsehturm Stuttgart

The TV Tower in Stuttgart was the world’s first structure of its kind when it opened in the 1950s. It stands at 217 meters tall. And is open to tourists. For €10.50 you can visit the top of the tower for a panoramic view of Stuttgart and the surrounding area. At the top there’s also a café and restaurant. It’s quite the location for a cup of tea.

The Porsche Museum is in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. It is a 15-minute S-Bahn journey from Stuttgart city center. The S6 stops directly outside the museum at Neuwirtshaus (Porscheplatz).

To visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum, you’ll find this to the east of the city center. It is a 20-minute journey of the S1. The stop to alight at is Stuttgart-Neckarpark. From the S-Bahn station, it is a 10 minute walk to the museum.

Tourist Attractions in Stuttgart

Stuttgart has things to do for every interest. To help you plan your visit to Stuttgart we’ve split the tourist attractions into five categories.

Click on a category below to read more about things to do in Stuttgart.

Things to do in Stuttgart include visiting the Porsche Museum by Gabriele Bendler

Schlossplatz and the Neues Schloss (New Palace)
A good place to start city sightseeing in Stuttgart. An elegant square with gardens and fountains, overlooked by the domineering New Palace. The New Palace was built in the Baroque style in the 18th century.

During World War II, much of the palace was destroyed. In 1957, the state agreed to rebuild the palace. The New Palace is used by Baden-Württemberg’s government, so tours are not often hosted but you are able to admire the building from Schlossplatz.

The German playwright Friedrich Schiller was born and grew up in the area around Stuttgart. He is celebrated by Swabians who insisted a memorial of Schiller be installed in the city center. Schillerplatz is home to some of Stuttgart’s oldest buildings.

You’ll find the Altes Schloss (Old Palace) and the Alte Kanzlei (Old Chancellery) from the 16th century in Schillerplatz. It is a beautiful square with historic architecture contrasting with much of Stuttgart’s Brutalist and modern buildings.

Altes Schloss (Old Palace) in Schillerplatz
Found on the historic Schillerplatz, its Renaissance courtyard is the venue for many concerts, the opening ceremony for Stuttgart’s Christmas Market and many other events. The Old Palace also houses the Württemberg State Museum which has displays from House of Württemberg.


Weissenhof-Siedlung is one of the first Bauhaus quarters. Signs dotted around this 1920s housing estate create an easy-to-follow self-guided tour. Non-architecture lovers will also enjoy the tour.

One of the houses has been turned into a museum. It is the only house in the area where you can experience the original Bauhaus interior architecture. For more information visit the Weissenhofmuseum im Haus Le Corbusier website

Staatsgallerie, Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 30-32
This art gallery is thought to be one of the most popular museums in Germany. It exhibits over 5000 pieces of art. The collection dates from the 14th century to 19th century and includes pieces by Rubens, Monet, Rembrandt, and Cezanne.
The newer part of the gallery displays modern art including pieces by Dali, Picasso, Warhol, and Kadinsky.

You can walk to the gallery from Stuttgart’s main train station in 5 minutes. The gallery is open from 10am – 5pm daily, it is open until 8pm on Thursdays and closed on Mondays.

The entrance fee is €7 but free on Wednesdays. Temporary exhibitions do cost extra, it’s a good idea to have a look at the special exhibitions to plan your trip. Visit the website for more information

Public Library Stuttgart
The library has become a cultural center in Stuttgart. It is a masterpiece in exterior and interior architecture. Some have said it is like an MC Escher drawing brought to life.

There is a free audio guide to help visitors learn about the architecture as well as the services on offer at the library.

At the top there is a roof terrace with views of the city center.

Entrance is free.

Staatstheater Stuttgart & Staatsoper Stuttgart (Stuttgart State Theatre and Opera House)
Built between 1909 and 1912 as the Royal Court Theatre. It was commissioned by the last king of Württemberg and is a grand feat of architecture. Chandeliers, coffered ceilings and marble busts match the grand classical exterior.

It has a full program with plays, concerts and pantomimes. For more information on events and booking tickets, visit the Staatsoper website

Wilhelma Zoologisch-Botanischer Garten
Originally the private gardens of King Wilhelm I, now it is one of the most bio-diverse zoos in the world. The zookeepers take care of 11,000 animals from 1200 different species.

Wilhelma Zoo is north of the city center. The U14 from the main train station will take you to Wilhelma in 8 minutes.

Opening times change depending on the season but it’s open from around 8am – 7pm. It closes earlier in winter.

The entrance fee changes with the seasons due to the shorter opening hours. An adult ticket will cost between €15 – €20 and a child’s ticket will cost between €5.50 – €8.

Porsche Museum
Experience the evolution of this super car at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. The museum is set in a futuristic building designed by Delugan Meissl, a Viennese firm. At times 95 cars are on display showing the rich heritage of Porsche.

Open from Tuesday – Sunday 9:00 – 18:00. An adult ticket costs €10.

The S6/S60 (S-Bahn) from Stuttgart stops at Neuwirtshaus/Porscheplatz outside the Porsche Museum.

Mercedes-Benz Museum
Nine levels of car history are on show in this museum. Plan to spend at least 2 hours here if you want to see every exhibition.

The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9:00 – 18:00. A day ticket costs €12.

For more information about the Mercedes-Benz Museum and its exhibits, visit the website

Stuttgart isn’t a typical tourist destination and there aren’t a lot of guided tours available. One tour the tourist information recommend is the Stuttgart Citytour. It is a hop on, hop off open top bus.

There are three tours available which take you around different areas of Stuttgart. One tour highly recommended is the Stuttgart wine tour. The tour takes you around the unique city vineyards. There are possibilities to sample the Stuttgart wine, hike through the vineyards and visit the Royal Burial Chapel.

Tour tickets start from €10. For more information, visit the Stuttgart Citytour page

Stuttgart Christmas Market
Open from the last weekend of November until 23rd December. The Christmas market in Stuttgart is on Schlossplatz. Bus-loads of tourists from Switzerland visit this Christmas market every year. Stuttgart’s Christmas market has a history spanning 300 years.

There are over 300 stands to browse. Set on the Schlossplatz, the New Palace is beautifully illuminated and creates a magical backdrop to the festive market.

Cannstatter Volksfest at the Canstatter Wasen
A Stuttgart beer festival to rival Oktoberfest. People travel from Switzerland and Italy each year for the two festivals held at the Canstatter Wasen – a showground similar to Oktoberfest Wies’n in Munich. It is thought to be the second biggest beer festival after Oktoberfest.

Historically it was an agricultural event, similar to a harvest festival, hosted by King Wilhelm and his wife in 1818. It started as a one day event on the king’s birthday but is now celebrated over three weekends.

The Cannstatter Volksfest has food stands, beer tents, fairground rides, music and games. It starts at the end of September and ends on the second Sunday of October.

Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest at the Canstatter Wasen
A second Volksfest happens in spring. Hosted at the Canstatter Wasen, it is a smaller event called the Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest, or Stuttgart Spring Festival. It takes place from the middle of April to the beginning of May. It is opened by the Mayor by the traditional opening of the beer barrel.

Stuttgarter Weindorf on Schillerplatz
A wine festival hosted on the market square, Schillerplatz and Kirchstrasse. The event celebrates the wine of the region. Over 30 producers come to the event to exhibit regional delicacies to guests from far and wide.

It is a relatively new festival compared to the Volksfests, the Weindorf has been hosted in Stuttgart for almost 50 years. The event is held from the end of August to the middle of September. For more information, visit the Stuttgarter Weindorf website

Architecture lovers will enjoy a visit to Stuttgart Public Library by leethedeer for Pixabay

Where to Eat in CITY

Baden-Württemberg has a rich culinary history. No other area in Germany has been awarded quite as many Michelin stars. And the state capital doesn’t disappoint.

When you visit Stuttgart, expect cuts of beautifully cooked meat as well as some traditional Swabian fare including Spaetzle and Maultaschen. We recommend sticking to traditional restaurants when choosing restaurants in Stuttgart.

Here’s our recommended choice of restaurants serving traditional Swabian food that close to Stuttgart’s city center:

Weinstube am Stadtgraben, Canstatt-Mitte

Not in the city center but close to the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

They serve Swabian cuisine freshly prepared from local and sometimes organic. Expect Maultaschen, the vinegar and stock-based potato salad and Swabian-style roast beef.

If you’d like to try wines from the local area, this is a good place to try them.

All dishes are reasonably priced. It is possible to book a reservation by email or phone but walk ins are also possible.

Alte Kanzlei, in Schillerplatz

This is a great place if you’re looking for something hearty for lunch while sightseeing. It is set in the old chambers built in the 16th century. The modern restaurant interior contrasts with the old exterior.

This is another place serving good traditional Swabian food. They have a good seasonal menu and you’ll find a focus on specialties from the region such as pumpkin dishes in autumn and asparagus in spring.

Despite the grand setting, the prices are in line with many other Swabian restaurants – they won’t break the bank.

Unless there is an event close by, it is unlikely you’ll need a reservation. You may need to wait to be seated but there’s plenty of history in Schillerplatz to admire at while you wait.

Carls Brauhaus, Oberer Schlossgarten by Schlossplatz

The central location of this restaurant is unbeatable. This restaurant is bigger than your average restaurant. There’s a lot of choice on the menu. It has plenty of seating available. It’s not the place for a romantic meal for two but it’s a good place if you’re looking for traditional food, in the heart of Stuttgart, at good prices.

The hills and houses of Stuttgart by Andreas for Pixabay

Getting around Stuttgart

Airports close to Stuttgart

The best airport to fly into is Stuttgart Airport (STR) also known as Flughafen Stuttgart. Stuttgart Airport is located less than 10 miles south of Stuttgart city center. There are four terminals.

There is a train station at the airport along with options to hire a car or take a taxi to your hotel in Stuttgart.

Travel from Stuttgart Airport to Stuttgart City Center by Taxi

Taxis from Stuttgart Airport to the city center can be picked up without a booking from the taxi rank outside the airport terminal.

It is best to have cash ready for the taxi fare but some taxis are able to take card payments. Check with the driver. The journey will take about 30 minutes depending on traffic.

Take the train from Stuttgart Airport to Stuttgart City Center

Use the S2 to travel direct from Stuttgart Airport to Stuttgart Central Train Station (Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof or Stuttgart Hbf). It is a 35-minute journey. Follow signs in the airport terminal for the airport train station.

You can buy tickets for Stuttgart city center at the ticket machine located before the platforms as well as on the platform. You must purchase your ticket before boarding your train as you’re not able to buy a ticket once on board the trains.

From Stuttgart Hbf you can reach your accommodation by foot or take the U-Bahn or S-Bahn. The best website to find the right connections with is [LINK]. It is possible to book tickets in advance using the Deutsche Bahn website.

Using the U-Bahn and S-Bahn in Stuttgart

The most convenient way to travel around Stuttgart is by foot, bike or public transport. There are U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations all over the city center. All tickets can be bought at U-Bahn stations in Stuttgart.

There are a few options available to tourists who will be using the public transport network. A day ticket for zone 1 costs €5.20 and a three-day ticket costs €14. It is worth planning your trip to check which zones the tourists attractions you want to see are in.

The Porsche Museum in Stuttgart is in zone 2.

For Stuttgart Airport  you would need a 3 zone ticket.


How to get the S1 from Munich Airport to the City Center

Shopping in Stuttgart

Stuttgart is thought to have the longest pedestrianized shopping street in Germany. Königstrasse is almost a mile long. Shops range from busy department stores to pharmacy chains. The street is also dotted with cafes and restaurants. It’s a real destination for retail lovers.

According to the Stuttgarter Zeitung, the stores and cafes on Königstrasse are made up of 93% chains. If you prefer independent shops for their more unusual and harder to find wares, then the streets coming off Königstrasse have specialist shops and elegant boutiques.

It’s good to note that shops don’t tend to open on a Sunday in most parts of Germany unless it’s a special occasion.

Things to do in Stuttgart, visit the vineyards around Stuttgart by Monika for Pixabay

Music, Theatre & Nightlife in Stuttgart

Stuttgart has a vibrant nightlife due in part to the large population of the greater metropolitan area. Depending on your interests, there is entertainment for everyone to enjoy, including jazz clubs, nightclubs, comedy, and live music. Here’s our recommendations of the top entertainment attractions in Stuttgart.

Bix Jazzclub on Leonhardspl. 28

Live music and a well-stocked whiskey and cigar bar that people rave about. Entrance tickets cost around €25 but live music is played for hours. There is limited seating so if there’s a performance you want to watch, it’s good to make a reservation.

Strotmanns Magic Lounge, Naststrasse

A magician and some stand-up comedy. Even if you don’t understand German, you will be entertained by this true showman. It is a small theatre and serves great drinks in the theatre lounge.

Tickets prices range from €59 – €89. Like all hidden gems, this is a little tricky to find – use Google maps!

Where to stay in Stuttgart

If you’re only travelling to Stuttgart for a short break you’ll want to find a hotel in Stuttgart that is as central as possible. 

The best place to stay in Stuttgart is within walking distance of the Schlossplatz. If you would prefer a quieter location in Stuttgart, consider hotels in Bad Cannstatt.

Should you choose a hotel in Stuttgart that is a little further out of the city center, make sure your hotel is within walking distance of an S-Bahn or U-Bahn station.

Hotels in Stuttgart are reasonably priced and there is a good selection, make sure you shop around for the best deal and check the location on a map before booking.

Prices of hotels in Stuttgart fluctuate depending on events and tradeshows hosted in the city. Booking online in advance of your trip is recommended. If you’re looking for a hotel, hostel or aparthotel, the best place to book is on It has the best choice, plenty of reviews and clear pricing. It is a trusted booking service.