Nestled in the southwest of Germany, Stuttgart is a city that’s well worth a visit. You see, there are heaps of the best things to do in Stuttgart dotted all across the city – and just outside. This all makes it a great place to base yourself for a long weekend trip to visit the wider Baden-Württemberg region.
This all being said, it can be tough to nail down the best places in the city, especially if you haven’t visited this area of Germany before.
Over the years, we’ve visited Stuttgart many times and in different seasons. So, hopefully, we can show you some of the best things to do in Stuttgart whatever time of year you visit.
Have the best time visiting Stuttgart.
1.) Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
Started in 1843 within a Neoclassical building, Staatsgalerie is still alive to this day. Visiting is one of the best things to do in Stuttgart if you’re into your art as it houses thousands of pieces inside.
Now, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart was made even bigger with a newer annexe (in the 1980s). Inside, it holds art from the 20th century, such as pieces by Picasso, Dali, Matisse, Salvador, Joan Miro and Franz Marc. It’s so impressive to see, even if you don’t consider yourself an art buff.
Once here, you will be able to find Annibale Carracci’s Corpse of Christ and the 16th-century Herrenberger Altar by Jerg Ratgeb in Staatsgalerie. Just keep an eye out for the pieces inside the original building, too. It mostly shows Baroque and Renaissance interests, with paintings and sculptures by Rembrandt, Rubens and Hans Memling.
Oh yeah, and if you’re a student (under 21) you can also blag free entry, too.
We loved it.
2.) Mercedes Benz Museum
Now, if you’re into your cars, you’ll love the Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Not only does it detail the long history of the brand but it also talks about future cars and technology, too.
You see, part of the Mercedes Benz Museum focuses on the brand’s history while the other shows the amazing diversity of vehicles which Mercedes-Benz manufactured.
Inside, there are over 160 vehicles and thousands of exhibits.
Take a peek at the birth of the automobile with a visit to the Mercedes Benz Museum for a few hours and totally immerse yourself in everything Mercedes Benz.
Also, if you want to make your trip around Stuttgart that bit easier (or you’re short on time), book this hop-on-and-off bus tour of the city. It’s a great way to get dropped off at the best places in Stuttgart – all without the hassle of organising your travel.
3.) Porsche Museum
Not done with cars? Well, then head to the Porsche museum. It’s one of the best things to do in Stuttgart if you’re into your autos. That being said, two car museums might be too much if you’re not really into cars and their history.
If you do decide to visit, one of the iconic things to do is see the Porsche Touchwall. It’s an interactive part of the Porsche museum and well worth exploring with the rest of the family.
Here, you can use touch frames to see over 3,000 photos, advertisements and drawings from Porsche’s archive.
In addition, Porsche in the Mix is another interactive area of the museum where you can play the sounds of horns, engines and brakes of the different models Porsche has developed through the years.
With these sounds, you can become your own DJ and create an original music track and send it to yourself via email.
4.) Wilhelma Zoological and Botanic Garden
Wilhelma Zoological and Botanic Garden are one of the most popular spots in Stuttgart to visit, especially on a warm sunny day.
Now, the Neo-Moorish-styled buildings were initially made for King Wilhelm I, who is a Swabian King, for it to serve as a private royal retreat.
Though nowadays, the buildings were then repurposed into a place for plants and animals. They specifically look after juvenile gorillas that were rejected by their mother. This way, the experts and zoologists can help rear the gorillas so they don’t starve.
Oh, also, as you wander the Botanical Gardens, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the magnolia grove. It’s said to be the largest in Europe.
Afterwards, Book this Stuttgart river cruise across the city to Marbach. It’s a great way to chill out and give your feet a rest after a long day strolling the city.
5.) Solitude Palace
Also known as Stuttgart Palace, visiting Solitude Palace is one of the best things to do in Stuttgart for its incredible history.
Way back when Solitude Palace was originally built as a private hunting lodge by a former duke of Wurttemberg. It’s both beautiful inside and out.
Perched on the outskirts of Stuttgart, you can find beautiful gardens you can stroll around before entering the palace itself.
That being said, once inside, you can find several rooms to explore and art to see. We loved our visit and spent around 3 hours wandering the corridors and grounds of Solitude Palace.
6.) St John’s Church
The 19th-century St John’s Church is a Gothic church which holds heaps of history and is well worth visiting as you stroll Stuttgart.
This structure was carefully rebuilt after experiencing bombing attacks during World War II. However, the Tower of Johanneskirche was intentionally left unfinished to serve as a memorial.
Not only that, the details of the church inside have been carefully restored, and you’ll get to wander around and see the stunning architecture that makes up the church.
One of the notable parts of the church is the stained glass windows.
Afterwards, head through the Schillerplatz Square (which is the historic centre of Stuttgart).
Here, you’ll be able to pop into the Old Castle and see a structure that dates back over 1,000 years.
Plus, you’ll get to check out the Museum Württemberg (Landesmuseum Württemberg), too.
Inside, you can check out the seasonal exhibits and the permanent collections that show off everything from Roman exhibits to ancient history.
7.) Sepulchral Chapel (Württemberg Hill)
Experience a different kind of trip and adventure as you visit Sepulchral Chapel on Württemberg Hill. Commonly known as Grabkapelle Rotenberg whilst in Stuttgart, it’s a spot that’s well worth visiting whilst in the city.
Originally built in 1820 in memory of King Wilhelm I’s beloved wife, you can stretch your legs and explore the stunning neoclassical chapel and vineyards in the area.
Getting peckish? Head to the nearby Rotenberger Weingärtle restaurant. It’s a Swabian eatery that serves up some of the best Käsespätzle in the region.
We loved it.
8.) Stuttgarter Staffele
Stuttgart’s slopes around the city are mostly covered by several vineyards, which are known all across Germany for their delicious wines.
While Stuttgart has expanded over the decades, the stairways that winegrowers have utilized since the 19th century remain.
This is the hidden Staffel. There are more than 400 hidden stairways in the city which are pretty epic to find.
These stairways will bring you several incredible views of Stuttgart and are well worth seeing.
One of the more popular stairways is the Willy Reichert Staffel. This will bring you to Karlshohe Park where you can also have a well-earned tipple in the summer garden.
9.) Public Library Stuttgart
One haven for book lovers in Stuttgart is the Public Library Stuttgart. It’s one of the best things to do in Stuttgart, especially if you consider yourself a bookworm.
That being said, anyone can appreciate the beauty of this modern library and it’s well worth seeing as you pass.
With several books and floors found inside, you will never run out of reading nooks. This is also a nice chill, but of course, you should be mindful of other reading guests.
Now, whilst the library is pretty cool if you’re not intending to stay and read, it will likely just be a photo spot for 10-minutes. If that sounds like you, don’t make a special trip – just pop in if you’re passing.
Oh, and if you’re hungry, there’s a little rooftop café located on the 8th floor of the building, too.
10.) Ludwigsburg Residential Palace
Said to be one of Europe’s largest Baroque buildings, Ludwigsburg Residential Palace is a must-see and one of the best things to do in Stuttgart.
Once here, make sure to check out the lavish interiors and enjoy the many rooms that are so beautiful to see.
Around a 20-minute drive from the centre of Stuttgart, it’s the kind of place you can visit for a lazy afternoon away from the bustling streets.
We ended up spending about 4 hours here (by which point we were so hungry) and totally loved it.
11.) Esslingen and Hohenzollern Castle
Fancy a day trip from Stuttgart? Well, hop in the car and head over to the medieval city of Esslingen.
Now, if you’re visiting in Winter, be sure to head across and explore the Christmas Market that uses fire to light the streets and feels like heading back to the 1600s.
It’s such a special experience – we spent about 5 hours here and loved it.
If that’s not your thing, head to Hohenzollern Castle which is just like a fairytale. I know that sounds totally cheesy but it really does feel like that.
You’ll pay a small entrance fee to get inside the castle, but it’s well worth it. Just be sure to give yourself around 2-3 hours to go around the rooms and the grounds.
It’s such a great experience and well worth making the effort to see when visiting Stuttgart.
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