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Stuttgart is the capital of Baden-Württemberg, Germany with approx. 580,000 inhabitants.
Stuttgart has one airport (http://www.flughafen-stuttgart.de/en/index.php), located in Leinfelden-Echterdingen. Various airlines serve direct flight connections between Stuttgart and major German and European cities. Perhaps it will be difficult to book a direct flight to Stuttgart from outside Europe. Most airlines will fly to the major hub airports such as Frankfurt and Munich and offer connecting flights to Stuttgart.
You'll most likely want to get to center of Stuttgart but are now standing somewhat outside at the airport in Leinfelden-Echterdingen.
- Taxis will be waiting at the airport.
- To call airports taxi service: Phone 0711/ 9 48-44 09
- To call Stuttgarts Taxi Central: Phone: 0711/ 56 6061.
- Public Transport
- The S-Bahn line S2 or S3 will bring you to Stuttgart's center within 27 minutes (see Timetable (http://www2.vvs.de/vvs/navi_efa_en/index.html) from station 'Flughafen' to station 'Hauptbahnhof').
- Several bus lines head for other destinations.
The main station (Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof) is located in the very center of Stuttgart.
Timetables for trains and booking are available on the webpages of Deutsche Bahn AG (http://www.bahn.de).
For getting on from Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof and around in the city of Stuttgart itself, see Public Transportation below.
The state highways A8 and A81 form a cross near Stuttgart ('Stuttgarter Kreuz'). The City is located in the upper right quarter of that cross. West/east-Highway A8 passes Stuttgart slightly to the south, north/south-highway A81 passes slightly to the west. Generally, follow the sign "Stuttgart Zentrum" to get to the center of Stuttgart (and try to not loose yourself in a suburb district: there are smaller towns all over the place melted together to form Stuttgart.)
Smaller but important routes from the center of Stuttgart to the areas outside are the B10 (to the east: Esslingen, Goppingen), B14 (to the southwest: 'Stuttgarter Kreuz', Sindelfingen, Boblingen) and B27 (to the south: airport, Tübingen, Reutlingen, to the north: Ludwigsburg).
- During rush hours, all streets in the region will be a mess! Avoid 07:30 to 9:30 o'clock and 16:30 to 18:30 o'clock.
- Highway A8 between Stuttgart-Karlsruhe is always a potential traffic-jam during worktime.
- Never ever during rush hours drive near 'Pragsattel' (traffic node, connecting the northern suburbs). It kills your day.
Public transportation is provided by the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. For short distances, it is best to use the U-Bahn (or bus if necessary). For longer distances (to get to the suburbs) the S-Bahn is faster but has fewer stations than the U-Bahn.
Public transportation at late night (after 0:00am) is a problem! On the weekend there are night buses, but they are infrequent (1:11am, 2:22am and 3:33am) and on odd routes. Be careful if you have a very early airplane since there are no connections to the airport in the early morning between 1 and 5.
If you are staying for more than a day, for added mobility buy a special 3 days ticket available only in the hotels or at the airport. These tickets are valid for the entire VVS network. The city transport network is separated in zones. The city of Stuttgart is only Zone 1 and 2. Normal tickets are available at the many automats in the stations.
There are six S-Bahn lines (S1...S6) and ten U-Bahn lines (U1...U9 + old Nr15) and several bus lines. Most lines will lead via Hauptbahnhof, ending in a layout that is pretty centralistic: If you want to go somewhere, chances are, you have to ride via Hauptbahnhof. The following U-Bahn or S-Bahn stations are located in the heart of the city: Hauptbahnhof, Schlossplatz, Charlottenplatz, Stadtmitte (Rotebühlplatz), Feuersee, Rathaus, Staatsgalerie, and Berliner Platz (Liederhalle). For a complete description see the official map of rail network (http://www.vvs.de/download/71.pdf).
A speciality of public transportation is the rack-railway between Stuttgart-Marienplatz and Stuttgart-Degerloch. It is the only urban rack-railway in Germany!
There is an old cable-car running from Stuttgart-Heslach to the cementary. It is monument-protected.
The http://www.vvs.de is a useful tool that gives prices and detailed information on how to reach every location, including foot paths to buildings.
Stuttgart's public transportation on the web - Homepage: http://www.vvs.de - English version: http://www.vvs.de/en/index.php
In the inner city, walking is no problem. The distances are not far and a traversal of the inner city by foot can be easily done within 25 minutes.
Stuttgart is quite safe. Even at night one may walk alone through the city without fear. One rare exception is the central city park, which should be avoided during late night hours. Of course, always use common sense when walking in a foreign city at night. The biggest danger for a pedestrian in Stuttgart is probably the cars.
To get a sense for the inner city, you should get to know following streets and places:
- Konigsstrasse: Hauptbahnhof, Schlossplatz, McDonalds 1.
- Rotebühlplatz: Calwer Passage, McDonalds 2
- Marienstrasse: McDonalds 3.
- Rathaus: Marktplatz (Rathausplatz), Schulstrasse
- Stadtpark: Staatstheater, Staatsgalerie, Charlottenplatz
- Bolzstrasse, Friedrichsbau, Liederhalle
Biking in Stuttgart is not recommended for the city lies in a basin of a hilly region. There is a lot of car traffic, and routes for bikes are not well developed. Biking in the outlying areas of Stuttgart is very nice. Stuttgart is one of the greenest urban areas in Europe. There are many paths through the surrounding forests which are in very good shape.
If you intend to drive by car inside Stuttgart, the only possibility to park are parking blocks at about 1,50 EUR per hour. Some parking blocks are closed during late night, providing no way of getting your car out. The street layout and numerous tunnels in Stuttgart can be confusing for tourists. Driving by car is not recommended.
Car drivers should know following ring and how to get there and off again, if trying to master an inner city ride.
--- Theodor-Heuss-Str. --- Friedrichsstr ---
Paulinenstr Schillerstr (Hauptbahnhof)
--- Holzstr------ Konrad-Adenauer-Str ------
Taxis are expensive. For 10 EUR you will get about 4 minutes of a taxi drive. With two or more people, getting a taxi together at night (when public transportation has stopped) can make sense.
Call a taxi in Stuttgart: Phone Nr. 0711/566061 - Taxi-Auto-Zentrale Stuttgart
The first thing you want to have when arriving: a city maps featuring a picture that shows an abstract layout of the routes in public transportation (rail network). This inventory will give you independence. (You'll get such a map for example in small stores at the train main station near the platforms and probably at most fueling stations, too.)
- Online Street Map available here (http://stuttgart.de/sde/menu/frame/ns_mainframe_11127.htm) (only in german)
- Other City Map here (http://www.hot-maps.de/europe/germany/baden_wuerttemberg/stuttgart/homeen.html) (in english)
- Technical museum: Mercedes-Benz Museum, Mercedesstraße 137/1, Bad Cannstatt (S-Bahn: Gottlieb Daimler Stadion, see timetable etc. (http://vvs.de/en/index.php)). Frequently visited and really very cool. Perfect place for every guy and fathers and sons. Even most girls should like some stuff there! (Hint: At the museums address, look for the shuttle bus that will take you directly to the public exhibition being located on a non-public production plants area.)
- Technical museum: Porsche Museum, Porscheplatz 1, Zuffenhausen (S-Bahn: S6 to Neuwirtshaus, see timetable etc. (http://vvs.de/en/index.php))
- State gallery: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 30-32, Staatsgalerie (http://www.staatsgalerie-stuttgart.de)
- Modern art museum: Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Kleiner Schlossplatz 1, Kunstmuseum (http://www.kunstmuseum-stuttgart.de)
- Historical art museum: Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Altes Schloss, Schillerplatz 6, Landesmuseum (http://www.landesmuseum-stuttgart.de)
- Wilhelma, zoological and botanical gardens, Neckartalstrasse, Bad Cannstatt (More information and arrival see Wilhelma (http://www.wilhelma.de))
Definitely a go for families. But watching monkeys and weird flowers in this old place can be fun for young adults, too. (Unless you feel pity for the locked up creatures.)
- A fascinating astronomical journey, projected by optical hightech equipment: Carl Zeiss Planetarium (http://www.planetarium-stuttgart.de/index.php?id=81)
Stuttgart used to be an impressive town but was hugely destroyed during World War II and only few buildings were rebuilt to classical glance. The 50's still were post-war, in the 60's and 70's architectural things didn't care at all and in the 80's and 90's with major insurance companies and banks building monuments of bad taste in the inner city, the aesthetic situation wasn't really improving.
Here are some of the exceptions:
- Altes Schloss, Old Palace (1300-1500)
- Neues Schloss, New Palace (1700-1800)
- Schloss Solitude, Solitude Palace (1700-1800)
- Königsbau, King's Building (1850)
- Staatstheater (Grosses Haus), State Theater (1907)
- Markthalle, Market Hall (1910)
- Hauptbahnhof, Main Railway Station (1920)
- Weissenhofsiedlung, (1927), 1 (http://www.weissenhof.de/english/weissenhof.html)
- Fernsehturm Stuttgart (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernsehturm_Stuttgart), TV Tower (1954-1956), with a beautiful view over Stuttgart (closed after May 2, 2005 due to maintenance).
- Staatsgalerie, State Gallery (1977)
Arts and culture
Theater & Concert
- Ticket services (this list is by no means complete):
- Kartenhausle (Kartenboutique), Geißstraße 4, 70173 Stuttgart, Phone: 0711/2104012
- Airport Ticket Tower, Airport Stuttgart, Terminal 1, Phone: 0711/9484567
- ClubHouse, (SWR3 Club-Veranstaltungen) Hauptbahnhof, Kleine Schalterhalle, 70173 Stuttgart, Phone: 0711/260077
- Watch and listen to the ballet company (http://www.stuttgart-ballet.de/) of the state theater Stuttgart Staatstheater (http://www.staatstheater-stuttgart.de). (Stuttgart is quite fond of its ballet company dancing at very high skill. Definitely a top place to goto with a girl at evening. You'll need to reserve tickets in advance.)
- Classical concerts and serious music are covered by the Liederhalle (http://www.liederhalle-stuttgart.de/)
The entry fee will be about 7,- EUR per person.
- Most cinemas will run movies with synchronized German voice without text captions and you will fail listening to the movie unless you understand German.
- But there are at least one or two movie theaters, showing movies with original audio track (and possibly German text captions), which are:
- Communal movie theater Kommunales Kino (http://www.koki-stuttgart.de/) (Original with captions = OmU)
- Corso Stuttgart Stuttgart-Vaihingen 2 (http://www.corso-kino.de/) (All movies in original language)
- Huge Winevillage ("Weindorf") 10 days in early September.
- Huge Christmas Market ("Weinachtsmarkt") during December.
- Huge fun fair ("Canstatter Wasen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannstatter_Wasen)"), beertends and rollercoaster, early September. (Families should go there during daytime: after 20:00 o'clock beware of tough public and drunken people.) Canstatter Wasen is the second largest fun fair in the world. Visiting it is more pleasant than the Oktoberfest in Munich, because tents are not so overcrowded than on the Oktoberfest.
- Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuttgarter_Fr%C3%BChlingsfest), a fun fair like Cannstatter Wasen in April/May, but smaller.
- Trick Film Festival (every second year)
- Long Night of the Museums ("Lange Nacht der Museen"), Long Night of Sciences ("Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften")
- Stuttgart Summer Festival ("Sommerfest") early August, city centre - music, food and drinks. free entrance
Scenes & Underground
1. Nightclubbing & Bands
- You can listen to good house, drum'n'base, hiphop and other kinds of electronic music in Stuttgart. However it is not always easy to get into most discotheques. The discotheque N-Pir, which is in a very ugly building in Stuttgart-Feuerbach, has a very restritictive door policy!
- Bands, Nightclubs and Events are covered by local magazines (generally not in English).
2. Small Art Galleries
- Handouts with a list of ongoing exhibitions should be delivered in local art galleries.
- The web can deliver more info.
- Take a day visit to the town Tübingen by train. (From Hauptbahnhof, main station, either take a train to Tübingen or take the S1 to Herrenberg, then change to the Ammertalbahn which goes directly to Tübingen main station. It's mediaeval center is very charming and worth the travel from Stuttgart. Apart from that, there's also a jazz cellar and various bars and cafés in Tübingen which are quite worth a visit. Special recommendations: Wurstküche ("sausage kitchen", kind of a restaurant), the Arsenal (a most lovely cinema) and after perhaps 10pm the Tangente Night.
Travel and wander
Schedule at least a daytime for such action (plus prepare some equipment like maps, drinkwater, solid shoes, food, rain-countermeasures, warm clothing during cold seasons, etc.! And no, sport shoes may not be appropriate.) You may want to contact a local tourist office for guidance.
- the Black Forest (Schwarzwald)
- the Schwabische Alb (hilly mattock landscape) covering natures highlights like the mystical colored "Blautopf" and stalactite caves like "Barenhohle". Could be a nice trip for families with children.
- Swim: Leuze Mineralbad (http://www.stuttgart.de/baeder) (mineral water), Neckarbad
- Several commercial Tennis- and Squash-Centers available
- You can windsurf on areas of the Max-Eyth-See when there is enough wind. (But honestly, surfers should better head for either Atlantic, North Sea or Lago di Garda!)
- See the soccer club VFB-Stuttgart in action - if you call such encounter recreation ;-)
Shopping around the Konigsstrasse
The main shopping street in Stuttgart is the Konigsstrasse which starts at the main railway station. Left and right of Kongigsstrasse are interesting shops, too, but Konigstrasse is a good startpoint for navigation in the inner city.
Big shopping malls
- Kaufhof (range of goods: all products you can think of / price and quality: mass market)
- Breuninger (range of goods: clothing and household / price and quality: high)
- Karstadt(range of goods: household / price and quality: average)
- H&M (Hennis & Mauritz, cheap trendy bodyware)
- Breuninger Subway (cheap trendy bodyware and shoes)
- Breuninger (nice clothes and shoes for the business man and woman)
- Sport Scheck (sport shoes, clothing and equipment), near to the train station
- Fruit of the Loom, Uli Knecht, ... and the like (if you have enough money, spend it in Stuttgart :-)
- (I know there are some more big shoe stores on Konigsstr. and some funny trendshoe stores, next to Marienstr; have to look them up.)
- Conrad Elektronik (huge electro-technical assortment)
- Arlt (computer equipment store)
- Media Markt (Hauptbahnhof, consumer electronics store, small and crowded place *urgh*)
- Makro Markt (big consumer electronics store)
- WOM = World of music (Hauptbahnhof)
- market square: "Marktplatz am Rathaus", public market on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings;
- "Wilhelmsplatz", somewhat smaller public food market on Friday
- market hall: "Markthalle" (exotic stuff, exotic prices), opens?
Messe Stuttgart (trade fairs)
Still located few kilometers away from the main train station on a hill called 'Killesberg' on the top of Stuttgart.
(At the time of writing, a new and bigger trade fair is build near the airport outside of Stuttgart and will in some time be used instead.)
Some of the consumer exhibitions of the Messe Stuttgart can be entertaining and educative.
I would name:
- (October) Süddeutsche Spielmesse - South Germany's largest exhibition for games
- (October) Modelbau Süd - Exhibition for model cars, aircraft, ships
- (October) Future World - The consumer exhibition for multimedia
- Stuttgart is known for the Brezel. (Get them but order with butter! You'll find them at the small wooden cabins on the Konigsstrasse and at any baker's shop.)
- At the many Döner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%F6ner_kebab) (Turkish food, very healthy, very cheap -- eat often!) stands. Take care to order "mit Scharf" (Pul Biber - dried chili, hot) or "ohne Scharf" (not hot...). If you order hot, you'll mostly be given an asking look. Say again and you'll get what you asked for.
- Some small snack shops sell potato chips with ketchup and roasted sausage. They are sometimes located in white trailers.
- Of course McDonalds, Burger King and Subway are in town, too. If you want to try their locally renowned single shop competitor, go to Udo Snack in Calwer Strasse.
- Only two or three fast food shops are opened during night. (Somebody knows those?)
- For opened during night: The "Gül Kebap" which is a Döner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%F6ner_kebab) and has opened 24/7. You can find it near the "Rathaus" (City Hall) and even closer to the "Conrad".
- If you enter restaurants of small hotels or guesthouses you'll most likely get the local Swabian food (and often bad support for vegetarians). Order some 'Spatzle' or 'Knodel' as a rich side dish there.
- There are good and bad restaurants of any color in town: German, Italian, French, Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, African, American among others.
- Common restaurant prices:
- Pizza prices start at about 8,- EUR.
- Nice meat or fish will start at about 16,- EUR.
- Non-alcoholic drinks start at 2,50 EUR
- Glass of beer start at 2,60 EUR
- Glass of wine with ok quality start at 5,- EUR
- Longdrinks start at 6,- EUR
Canteens fit the gap between fast food and a common restaurant. Canteens serve somewhat richer meal at medium prices. Most canteens have a busy ambience.
In the morning, locals definitely want to get some fresh bread (and brezels and buns) from the baker's shop and serve them with butter, cheese, ham, honey, jam and eggs from the fridge.
Orange juice together with coffee or tea or hot chocolate will fit nicely.
The breakfast in hotels will also look more or less that way.
You can also order this breakfast setup in some or the other cafe or pub, but you'd have to know the good places at first, if you don't wanna end up with a poor dish.
- Many shops offer inside free water from a fountain.
- Be prepared for solid prices in bars, cafes, pubs, clubs and the like. You'll find plenty of them (including, for example Irish Pubs and Community).
Nice places to hang loose
- Youth hostel at Haussmannstrasse 27, Tel:+49.711.24 15 83. About five minutes walk from main station 3 (http://www.jugendherberge.de/jh/Stuttgart_english)
- There's a relatively new service that provides comparably cheap accommodation for shorter or longer stays 4 (http://www.night-and-day.de/)
- Call Shops are frequented by a lot of foreigners to call home.
- The mobile GSM networks are fully developed. I suppose UMTS will work.
- Public phone cells will often not accept coins, but only telephone-cards. Since almost everybody owns his own mobile, public phone cells become less and harder to spot, but they are still available.
- Local phone lines are either usable for analog-modems or for ISDN. An up-to-date list of call-by-call providers can be found at heise.de (http://www.heise.de/itarif/view.shtml?function=ohneanmeldung).
- Commercial WLAN-Hotspots are available at the airport and few other places.
- Some hotels provide WLAN-Hotspots. Ask in advance.
- If you find a private WLAN with an email-address as its network name, it's most likely an invitation to contact its friendly operator via email.
- Usenet, see group: stgt.general
- IRCnet: join channel #stuttgart
For connections and timetables see webpages of Deutsche Bahn AG (http://www.bahn.de/p/view/international/englisch/international_guests.shtml).
For connections to nearer cities in the area which may be worth a visit (e.g. Esslingen, Ludwigsburg with their historic centres), you may also try the "S-Bahn" commuter trains which will take you there and back at least every half an hour. See Public transportation above for more information and timetable links.
Fast inner-German connections
From main station Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof:
- to Cologne (Koln) 2:15 hours: (ICE via Mannheim, Frankfurt - traveling at up to 305 km/h)
- to Berlin 5:26 hours: (ICE via Gottingen - doesn't reach high speed on this track)
- to Hamburg 5:08 hours: (ICE via Hannover)
- to Munich (München) 2:11 hours: (ICE via Ulm, Augsburg - not top speed)
- to Freiburg/Br. 2:16 hours (ICE via Karlsruhe).
Fast European connections
From main station Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof:
- to France, Strasbourg 1:50 hours (EuroCity via Karlsruhe)
- to France, Paris 6:09 hours (EuroCity via Strasbourg, Nancy)
- to France, Paris 6:12 hours (ICE, EuroCity via Saarbrücken, Metz)
- to Swiss, Zürich 2:48 hours (ICE via Schaffenhausen)
- to Holland, Amsterdam 5:01 hours (ICE via Koln, Arnhem)
- to Czech Republic, Prague 8:32 hours (ICE, EC)
- to Belgium, Brussels 4:49 hours (ICE, IC)
- Stuttgart (http://www.stuttgart.de/sde/menu/frame/top_11021.htm) - Official Website
- Stuttgart (http://www.stuttgart-tourist.de/english/index.html) - English version of the Official Website