Top 10 Things To Do In Stuttgart

A visit to Stuttgart promises old world history combined with modern attractions as you wind your way through this beautiful city.

Stuttgart, Germany offers a wide variety of things to do. From cruising the Mercedes-Benz museum to viewing the city from atop the Fernsehturm (Television Tower), Stuttgart offers old world history combined with modern attractions ensuring a well-rounded look at this beautiful city.

Let's begin with a stroll through the (1) New Palace and Palace Square (Schlossplatz). The New Palace was begun in 1746, completed in 1807, and served as a residence to nobility. Today the 365-room palace is home to government representatives and ministries. Its architecture reflects the baroque, classical and rococo styles. The schlossplatz was originally part of the pleasure gardens and today stands as a central meeting place for both locals and visitors. Statuary and fountains adorn the square as well as benches situated among the lush green lawn providing a restful and reflective oasis.

At the (2) Wilhelma Zoological and Botanical Gardens you'll find a relaxing environment where gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, gibbons, penguins, sea lions, crocodiles, elephants and polar bears can be observed. Visit the historical greenhouses and take a stroll through the Moorish Gardens. The nursery is home to apes from all over Europe who have need of special care. Feeding times are always a treat and times when the animals are feed or groomed are posted. The newest building at the park houses the Amazon Rainforest offering you a chance to experience this sub-tropical climate. Finish your day at the Wilhelma restaurant where food and beverages are served until 6:00 pm. Guided tours are available.

If a magnificent view of the city and surrounding areas is of interest, then you might want to visit the (3) Television Tower (Fernsehtrum) to check out the sights from atop this 712-ft tower first begun in 1954. The first concrete tower of its kind to be built during that time and still used as a prototype, today it still serves as a working tower transmitting for both radio and television. There are two observation platforms where, on a clear day, you can see the Black Forest and the vineyards of the Neckar Valley. Enjoy food and drink at one of the tower restaurants. The tower opens at 9:00 am every day except December 24th. Guided tours are available. Reservations required.

Rev up your engines at the oldest car factory in the world. At the (4) Mercedes-Benz museum, you'll have the opportunity to view their collection of new luxury models and racing cars along with a permanent exhibition of their range of vehicles. Mercedes is known for its classic style and beauty and a visit to their museum will validate that description. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Monday and December 24th and 31st.

(5) The Wurttemberg State Museum is housed within the Old Palace, which was originally a moated castle, built in the 13th century and is one of Stuttgart's oldest standing structures. The museum has an extensive collection and exhibits such items as European glass, art pieces, and crown jewels along with Swabian sculptures, medieval paintings and sculptures, costumes, textiles, coins, and clocks. The museum is also home to the treasures and burial objects of Celtic prince Hochdorf. There is also a separate area dedicated to musical instruments. Open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The (6) State Gallery (Staatsgalerie) is a must if you have an interest in the arts. Impressive collections of European art from the 14th through the 20th century as well examples of American art dating after 1945. The museum is broken into three areas depicting modern art, graphics and old masters. Collections include sculptures by Rodin and German, French, Dutch and Italian paintings by such masters as Picasso, Rubens, Monet, Manet, Rembrandt, Gauguin and Cezanne. The museum is open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed on Monday. There is also a museum shop that is open during museum hours and a cafe/restaurant open 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Closed Monday.

Enjoy the performing arts that offered at two convenient locations. The first is the (7) Stuttgart State Theater, housed in the beautiful 1912 Great House building, where talented individuals provide singing entertainment by the Stuttgart State Opera, classical dance performances by the Stuttgart ballet company and stage performances and experimental works by the Stuttgart theater ensemble. For your musical enjoyment, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, when not touring, provide a variety of concert performances at Beethoven Hall, located at the Liederhalle. Tickets are available for all venues at the respective ticket offices.

Stuttgart is well-known for its mineral springs and to get the full effect of the rejuvenating waters, a visit to either (8) Mineralbad Cannstatt, which provides a classic spa atmosphere, or Mineralbad Leuze, which has a more recreational and family oriented atmosphere, will provide you with a variety of options including hot and cold mineral baths, multiple swimming pools, children's pool at Leuze, hot tubs, solarium, steam baths and saunas. Both have a restaurants on sight. Call ahead for hours of operation.

For exciting casino action, you'll find it at the (9) Spielbank Stuttgart. Open daily, the casino has 250 slot machines and 21 gaming tables for your gambling pleasure. Table games featured are blackjack, baccarat and roulette with varying hours for playing time. Baccarat is available daily from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m, slot machines are available daily from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., blackjack is played from 5:00 1:00 a.m. and roulette is available 3:00 p.m to 3:00 a.m. Please note your passport or other personal identification is required in order to participate.

One of the main events that takes place for two weeks in the fall and is scheduled this year for September 24th thru October 9th, 2005 is the (10) Cannstatter Volksfest (Stuttgart Beer Festival or People's Fair). This annual event is touted as second only to the Munich Oktoberfest in the number of people who attend. Besides numerous beer tents to quench any thirst, there are plenty of carnival rides, a parade, music, food and lots of fireworks. The festival runs daily and beer tents open at 11:00 a.m.

Two other festivals are also held during the fall months. The Weindorf (late August or early September) is a 10-day event featuring the wares of the local vintners so there's lots of wine tasting going on and beginning the last Thursday of November and running until December 23rd the city celebrates with the Christmas Market featuring crafts, singing and great holiday food.

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