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Stuttgart is the capital of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, with a population of approximately 600,000 in the immediate city and more than 2,5 million people in the metropolitan area.
Presently it is the 6th largest city in Germany. It is most famous for its automotive industry - both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have their headquarters in Stuttgart and both have car museums.
Stuttgarters are amazingly friendly people who will forgive you if German isn't your first or second language. If you do speak German well: beware that many people speak the local Schwäbisch dialect natively which may somewhat affect their standard German - which however everyone can speak. They love to practice other languages (especially English) and will try to help you. Stuttgart is a big city with a small-town atmosphere.
Stuttgart has one airport, located in Leinfelden-Echterdingen. You'll most likely want to go to the center of Stuttgart but are now standing somewhat outside at the airport in Leinfelden-Echterdingen. The best way is the Public Transport which is clean, cheap and safe.
The S-Bahn will bring you to Stuttgart's center within 27 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at vending machines at the level below the airport and above the platform. Tickets should be validated at orange boxes on the platform before boarding the train.
Several bus lines head for other destinations.
The main stationis in the very center of Stuttgart. Timetables for trains and booking are available on the webpages of Deutsche Bahn AG. For getting on from Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof and around in the city of Stuttgart itself, see Public Transportation below.
Public transportation is provided by the Stadtbahn and S-Bahn. For short distances, it is best to use the Stadtbahn. For longer distances the S-Bahn is faster but has fewer stations than the Stadtbahn.
Stuttgart's public transport is fully integrated and a travel ticket can be used on any mixture of buses and trains/trams that may be required to complete the journey.
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.
Some foreign visitors should prepare themselves for small cultural differences:
The Germans will patiently wait at a pedestrian crossing, even when no traffic is coming, until the "green man" comes on.
To get a sense for the inner city, you should get to know following streets and places:
Königstraße: Hauptbahnhof, Schlossplatz.
Rotebühlplatz: Calwer Passage
Rathaus: Marktplatz (Rathausplatz), Schulstraße
Stadtpark: Staatstheater, Staatsgalerie, Charlottenplatz
Bolzstraße, Friedrichsbau, Liederhalle
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.
What to see
Mercedes-Benz factory, Sindelfingen (S-bahn to Boblingen, then catch the courtesy bus). The heart of Mercedes-Benz manufacture, and well worth the visit. There are some 40,000 employees on site, including 9,000 in research & development alone!
Technical museum: Mercedes-Benz Museum, Mercedesstraße 137/1, Bad Cannstatt. Newly built in 2006 in an astonishing architecture. Frequently visited and really very cool.
Technical museum: Porsche Museum, Porscheplatz 1, Zuffenhausen.
State gallery: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 30-32. There are two exhibitions in different buildings. "Alte Staatsgalerie" and "Neue Staatsgalerie"
Contemporary arts museum: Kunstgebäude, "Art Building"
Modern art museum: Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Kleiner Schlossplatz 1,
Historical art museum: Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Altes Schloss, Schillerplatz 6,
Ethnological museum: Lindenmuseum, Hegelplatz 1, features a small but impressing collection of masks from the pacific
Musical instruments museum: Musikinstrumentenmuseum located near the Stiftskirche in the "Fruchtkasten" in the center of the city. See a unique selection of historical keyboards. Free entry!
Natural History museum: Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Rosenstein 1, 70191 Stuttgart, Two exhibitions, one features biology and evolution and the other features paleontology and archeology.
Wilhelma, zoological and botanical gardens, Neckartalstraße, Bad Cannstatt (More information and arrival see Wilhelma)
A fascinating astronomical journey, projected by optical hightech equipment: Carl Zeiss Planetarium . Note that almost all the shows conducted here are in German. You may have to check with the office for English show timings.
Schlossplatz (Palace Square)
Karlsplatz (Charles Square)
Schillerplatz (Schiller Square)
What to do
A good place to go where everyone speaks English is Biddy Earlys, an Irish pub just west of the city centre/Königstraße, a five minutes walk from the major public transport station "Stadtmitte" (S-Bahn, Stadtbahn).
The most popular street for clubbing is the Theodor-Heuss-Straße. Over the past years several bars, clubs and lounges have opened here. It has become the most popular place for people to go out on the weekend. During the summer, there are also many opportunities to have a drink outside.
If you want to go to a place where you can meet locals, you can visit the Bonnie and Clyde. It`s near the Stadtbahn station Stöckach. The owners speak English well, so do most of the guests. Many students, so music is from rock to punk. No cover charge.