Traveling to Stuttgart? This city guide will help you figure out where to stay and what to do, see, and experience in and around this vibrant German city.
I lived in Stuttgart and have returned several times since then, including twice in the past year. I’m excited to now help you plan your dream trip to the capital of Baden-Württemberg. Let’s get started!
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- 1 1. Introduction to Stuttgart
- 2 2. Where is Stuttgart?
- 3 3. Stuttgart Basics
- 4 4. What to Do and See in Stuttgart
- 5 5. Stuttgart Accommodation Guide
- 6 Recommended: Motel One (Stuttgart Mitte)
- 7 Recommended: Hotel Unger (in Stuttgart Mitte)
- 8 Recommended: Stuttgart Apartments
- 9 More Stuttgart Hotels
- 10 6. Stuttgart Tours & Tickets
- 11 7. Stuttgart Day Trips
- 12 8. Best Germany Travel Guides
1. Introduction to Stuttgart
With the Black Forest to the south, the Schwäbish Alb (Swabian Alps) to the northeast, and France to the west, Stuttgart has a lot to offer. Home of the legendary Cannstatter Volksfest (better than Oktoberfest!), huge Christmas market, and vineyards right in the city, you’ll find plenty to do, see, and experience in and around this off-the-beaten-path city.
Stuttgart is easy to reach via train, bus, car or plane. If arriving from the US, consider flying directly into Stuttgart International Airport. I often fly in and out of Stuttgart because it’s so easy and stress free (Delta has a direct flight from Atlanta and it’s a quick hop from other European hubs). You can then take S-bahn 2 or 3 into downtown Stuttgart (or a bus to Tübingen if you’re heading in that direction) or a taxi right to your destination (it takes about 30 minutes to drive into the city center).
2. Where is Stuttgart?
3. Stuttgart Basics
Stuttgart International Airport
Train Travel Times to Stuttgart
Berlin to Stuttgart: 5 hrs 40 min
Frankfurt to Stuttgart: 1.5 hrs
Munich to Stuttgart: 2 hrs 15 min
Strasbourg to Stuttgart: 2 hrs
Paris to Stuttgart: 3.5 hrs
Zurich to Stuttgart: 3 hrs
Prague to Stuttgart: 6.5 – 8 hrs
Brussels to Stuttgart: 4 – 6.5 hrs
Stuttgart’s name comes from its horse breeding past. The area around which the city was developed was originally a site for breeding cavalry horses. This all makes sense when you see the Porsche logo!
Getting around Stuttgart. If you stay in the city center, you should be able to walk to most sites. For the sites that are further away (e.g., TV tower, vineyards, BMW museum) you can hop on a tram, bus, U-bahn or S-bahn or use the Hop On Hop Off bus.
4. What to Do and See in Stuttgart
Whether you’re into food and drink, history, architecture, nature, art, or spontaneous adventures, you’ll find plenty to see and experience in and around Stuttgart! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- BMW Museum
- Porsche Museum
- Schloss Solitude
- Die Seilbahn & die Zacke
- Wilhelma Zoo
- TV tower (great view!)
- Killesberg Tower
- Neues Schloss
- Vineyard walk
5. Stuttgart Accommodation Guide
Recommended: Motel One (Stuttgart Mitte)
Motel One is a modern hotel close to the main train station, the pedestrian zone, all of the downtown sights, the Christmas market, and the downtown university campus. The rooms were clean and comfortable, and I loved that the hotel was quiet, even though it was right downtown. Breakfast was good for a hotel. I’d stay here again without a doubt. Actually, I planned to stay here again on my last visit to Stuttgart but they were full, so I stayed at Hotel Unger down the street!
Recommended: Hotel Unger (in Stuttgart Mitte)
Hotel Unger is so close to everything! It has a little different vibe from the hipper Motel One but I loved my stay at Hotel Unger. Service was friendly and helpful (they let me into my room when I showed up at about 7am!), the rooms were clean, quiet, and comfortable, and the breakfast buffet was outstanding! I highly recommend them.
TIP: Book your room in advance! They tend to fill quickly during peak travel times so I recommend seeing what’s open for your travel dates now!
Recommended: Stuttgart Apartments
Most recently I stayed in a lovely AirBnB apartment in a quiet neighborhood in the city center a quick 5 minute walk to the Stuttgart Christmas market. I loved having a little more space, being close to grocery stores, and having the option to make some meals at home. My apartment was quiet (my windows and balcony overlooked a courtyard) and super convenient.
Last summer we stayed an AirBnB closer to the airport because we wanted easy access the city and the rest of Baden-Württemberg (we had a rental car). I often opt for staying in AirBnbs because it reminds me of living in Germany.
More Stuttgart Hotels
Or hover over the prices displayed below to find the perfect place to stay in Stuttgart:
6. Stuttgart Tours & Tickets
Stuttgart has so many tours and special tickets to make your visit extra special. Here are some fun things to do!
7. Stuttgart Day Trips
One of the best things about making Stuttgart your home base while visiting Baden-Württemberg is that you have countless day trip options!
Beuren Open Air Museum
Swabian Forest Railway
8. Best Germany Travel Guides
These are our two favorite travel guides. We typically buy a Rick Steves guide whenever there’s one available. His Germany guide doesn’t include Stuttgart but if you’re traveling to the Black Forest or elsewhere in Germany, you’ll find it useful.
We also highly recommend the Culture Smart books. I always read one before visiting a new country because they have so much useful cultural information (I usually read it on the plane) that gives me much-appreciated insight into what I’m doing, seeing, eating, and experiencing.
You can get a hard copy or Kindle version for each book.
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