Stuttgart Travel Guide

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Thinking about visiting Stuttgart? This guide will help you start your planning to this vibrant city north of the Black Forest.

Many of our itinerary planning clients visit Stuttgart’s famous Christmas markets or the car museums, but as Cate discovered when she lived in Stuttgart, there’s so much more to do and see. Stuttgart has a good-sized airport with international flights to the US so it can be a great starting or ending point for your trip.

Keep reading for the best sights, hotels, day trips, and more in the Stuttgart area!

Stuttgart on map

What to Do and See in Stuttgart

With the Black Forest to the south, the Schwäbish Alb (Swabian Alps) to the northeast, and France to the west, the Stuttgart area has a lot to offer.

Home of the legendary Cannstatter Volksfest (better than Oktoberfest!), a huge historic Christmas market, and vineyards right in the city, you’ll find plenty to do, see, and experience in and around this off-the-tourist-path city.

TIP: if you’re only in Stuttgart in for a day or two, maximize your time by starting with the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour. In just a couple hours you can see a lot of the city (including vineyards), which then leaves you time to zero in on the sights you want to explore in more depth.

Best Things to See and Do in Stuttgart

View our 31+ top recommendations!

Best Stuttgart Accommodations

You’ll find a wide variety of accommodation options in Stuttgart, including hotels, B&Bs, and apartments. We recommend staying in the downtown Stuttgart area near Schlossplatz, the train station or Königstrasse pedestrian area (that’s where we like to stay). Nearly everything you’ll want to see will be within walking distance. You can also easily catch public transportation to other parts of the city from this area.


If you have our Germany Travel Planner you’ll find recommended hotels on our interactive planning map. Seeing where these hotels are in relation to the top sights makes it a lot easier to find the perfect place to stay. If you don’t yet have it, click here to get access.

Stuttgart hotel
Best Hotels in Stuttgart

See our top recommendation here!

The Stuttgart Christmas Market

Evergreens covered in twinkling lights. Wooden stalls filled with crafts, toys, and festive holiday decor. Bratwurst, Gebrannte Mandeln (cinnamon roasted almonds), and Glühwein in souvenir mugs…yes, it’s Christmas market season in Germany!

Stuttgart Christmas Market
The Stuttgart Christmas Market

In this epic article we share everything you need to know to make your visit to the Stuttgart Christmas market a great one!

Stuttgart Tours and Tickets

Stuttgart has several guided tours and special tickets to make your visit extra fun. Book in advance so you don’t have to scramble once you’re in town and potentially miss out on an activity or tour you’re looking forward to!


If you want to see a lot of Stuttgart in a short about of time, hop on the HOHO bus and ride it all the way around. Even though I lived in Stuttgart, I enjoyed this easy city tour!

Know Before You Go

Airport: Stuttgart International Airport (STR)
Currency: Euro
Language:  The official language of Germany is German (Deutsch)
Time zone: Central European Time (CET / GMT+ 2 / 6 hours ahead of US EST)
Germany Visa: tourists from the US, Canada, and several other countries do not need a visa to visit Germany for under 90 days.
Germany Electricity Socket: Germany uses different voltage and sockets than in North America, the UK, and other parts of the world. Read our guide to adapters and converters so you can safely use your tech in Germany.
Germany SIM card: Read our guide here to SIM cards and other ways to use your phone in Germany.
Germany Car Rentals: We find great deals on rental cars here. You can also check out our scenic Germany road trips article here.

Recommended Day Trips from Stuttgart

One of the best things about making Stuttgart your home base while visiting Baden-Württemberg is that you have countless day trip options. You can plan your own day trips for maximum flexibility or book a guided tour for maximum relaxation and convenience. Here are some ideas to get your planning started.



Beuren Open Air Museum

Explore this period village with historical buildings and rural culture. Discounted entrance with StuttCard!

Steam train
Swabian Forest Railway

Experience historic steam and diesel train rides through Swabian Forests. Sundays, May-October. Discount with StuttCard!

Stuttgart Travel FAQ

Where is Stuttgart Located?

Stuttgart is located in southwest Germany in the German Bundesland (state) of Baden-Württenberg. It’s south of Frankfurt, north of the Black Forest, and just a few hours away from France to the west and Switzerland to the south.

Stuttgart on a map

Where do I Get That Map?

If you have our Germany Travel Planner, you’ll find recommended hotels on our interactive planning map. Seeing where these hotels are in relation to the top sights makes it a lot easier to find the perfect place to stay. If you don’t have it yet, click here to get access.

Is Stuttgart, Germany in Bavaria?

Nope! Stuttgart is in Baden-Württemberg, which is the state west of Bavaria. Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria are the 2 German states that comprise the southern part of Germany.

What is Stuttgart, Germany Famous For?

Stuttgart is known for having vineyards within the city limits, beautiful hills surrounding the city center (so lovely at night!), BMW and Mercedes, a huge Christmas market, and lots of delicious regional food and drinks.

How to Get To Stuttgart, Germany

Stuttgart is easy to reach via train, bus, car or plane. Consider flying directly into Stuttgart International Airport as an alternative to Frankfurt. 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 the S-bahn into downtown Stuttgart in 40-ish minutes, a bus to Tübingen if you’re heading in that direction, or you can hop in a taxi or use the FreeNow app to go right to your hotel or apartment (generally about 30-40 minutes).

If you’re arriving via train or bus, you’ll arrive at the central train station downtown (Hauptbahnhof). From there you can walk to many downtown hotels (check out our Stuttgart hotel guide here) and tourist sights, take public transportation or grab a taxi.

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.



Stuttgart is capital of and the largest city in the German state of Baden-Württenberg.

Stuttgart International Airport


Train Travel Times to Stuttgart
Berlin ➔ Stuttgart = 5.5 hrs
Frankfurt ➔ Stuttgart = 1.5 hrs
Munich ➔ Stuttgart = 2 hrs
Strasbourg ➔ Stuttgart = 2 hrs
Paris ➔ Stuttgart = 3.5 hrs
Zurich ➔ Stuttgart = 3 hrs
Prague ➔ Stuttgart = 7.5 hrs
Brussels ➔ Stuttgart = 5 hrs

Fun Facts
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!

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