We’ve found the 22 most popular things to do in Stuttgart based on tourist reviews and ratings. Whether you’re passing through or visiting the city during a weekend, Stuttgart has attractions for everyone.
Unlike most major German cities, Stuttgart lies in the hilly terrain in the Swabian country in one of the most densely industrialized areas in Germany, and walking around the city will make you encounter many steps up and down. Tourists are often surprised by the beautiful landscape surrounding the city with endless forests and vineyards. Maybe that’s why it was ranked the world’s least stressful city om 2017.
Fun fact: Stuttgart is home to the world’s largest Pig Museum!
Being the biggest city in the state in Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart is located at the Neckar river and is home to more than half a million people. Due to its 1000-year old history, its location and large airport, the city has millions of visitors each year with hundreds of things to see.
Luckily, the TouristSpy has curated a list of the 22 best things to do in Stuttgart, so you won’t miss out on the best attractions!
22. Stuttgart Tram Museum (Straßenbahnmuseum)
When visiting Stuttgart, you’ll get around the city by bus. However, it was not always like that. During the last 150 years, the primary way to get around was by taking the local trams.
It’s only a decade since the last tram ceased to operate in 2007, and if you’re disappointed of having missed the opportunity, you still have the chance to enjoy the historical trams in the Stuttgart Tram Museum.
Located near the Mercedesstrasse metro station at the right side of the river Necker, you’ll experience more than 60 fully-restored trams from the last century.
Official website: www.tram-museum.de
Schillerplatz, originally known as “Alter Schloßplatz”, is a historic old town square named after the famous poet Friedrich Schiller. The place is the essence of the old town of Stuttgart, and if you’re interested in the city’s history, this is where you should spend a day.
Today it hosts the weekly marketplace where you’ll get the real Stuttgart vibe, and during December you’ll experience the famous Stuttgart Christmas Market.
Experience Space at the Carl-Zeiss Planetarium! Originally built in the early 20th century, tourists can watch different movies in the 360-degree dome which holds 220 seats.
The name originates from the huge Zeiss laser projector in the middle of the dome, and the original projector can be viewed at the ticket office, even though it was bombed during WW2. Today, the venue has a newer laser model, implemented in 1996, and you should definitely check it out. This place is for all ages, and you could easily spend a day here.
Official website: www.planetarium-stuttgart.de
19. Feuersee and Johanniskirche
Spend a couple of hours in a more quiet part of Stuttgart? Tourists recommend visiting the Johanniskirche which is located in picturesque surroundings at the Feuersee lake.
The church itself is quite new compared to other German churches, and it was built in the 19th century. And as with so many historical buildings, the tower was destroyed during WW2, and the missing spire stands as a memorial.
Tourist Tip: You can enjoy the lake and the church from the seats at the lakeshore, which has been redesigned for tourism.
18. Standseilbahn Stuttgart (Erbschleicher Express)
Go to the Heslach district, and you’ll be able to ride the almost 100-year old and 500-yard long funicular from Südheimer Square up to the Waldfriedhof in about four minutes.
What’s special is the fact that it reaches a 28-degree slope, and it was built for locals to visit the cemetery. The funicular is pure luxury, even by today’s standards, and the cars were built of expensive Mahogany and Teak.
Tourist Fact: It was the first funicular in Germany which could be operated automatically!
17. Königstrasse (King’s Road)
No big-city trip without shopping, and you’ll find the biggest shopping-street in Stuttgart at the King’s Road (Königstrasse). It’s half a mile long and was the third most visited shopping street in Germany in 2014. It was built by the first king of the state in the early 19th century and begins at the railway station.
The street is a must-visit for shopaholics, and there are several other attractions on our list that are within a short distance from the street. Whether you like shopping, dining, or just experiencing German cultural life, Königstrasse has something for everyone.
Fun Fact: Almost 13,000 visitors pass through each hour!
If you’re enjoying sports, Neckar Park is the place for you! The 55-hectare residential and sports area is the largest event area in the city and has concentrated multiple sports arenas in one place, so you don’t have to travel around the city to enjoy some action.
In Neckar Park, you’ll find the Olympic Training Centre, Mercedes Benz Arena soccer stadium, Porsche Arena, and many other venues, but you can also watch the annual marathon and several festivals throughout the year.
Tourist Tip: Visit the Cannstatter Volksfest, which is a three-week beer festival held in September, with lots of beer tents and an amusement park for the children
15. Linden Museum (Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde)
Learn something new about cultures at the Linden Museum in Stuttgart. The state museum is considered one of the most important ethnographic museums within the European region. Founded in 1882 with the aim of promoting foreign culture, the museum was run by its chairman Karl Heinrich von Linden.
During your visit to the museum, you’ll learn about the different cultures from around the world and their rich history altogether, and walk by the many ancient artifacts.
Watch the four permanent exhibitions, or join other guests for one of the several shows in the museum.
Visit website: www.lindenmuseum.de
Getting too many impressions from the vibrant city? We’ve got the solution!. According to tourists, Stuttgart’s largest lake (artificial), Max-Eyth, makes a perfect recreational option for tired feet. The lake was originally a gravel pit, used in the 1920s, but as with several lakes in Germany, it ceased operations and is now used for its citizens.
As a former extension of the river Neckar, the lake area serves as a park and playground for kids and grown-ups. Relax at the sandy beach (swimming is not allowed due to a local landscape protection act), jump right in one of the pedalboats and have a laugh, or simply visit one of the restaurants while enjoying the views.
Tourist Tip: At the northern part of the lake, you’ll find a bird sanctuary with lots of different birds. It’s a hit for smaller kids.
13. Messe Stuttgart (Trade Fair)
Some of the biggest trade fairs in Europe are held in the major German cities in the Ruhr Area and counts the Cologne Trade Fair, Leipzigermesse, Frankfurt Messe, and last but not least, the Messe Stuttgart.
Originally located in Killesberg Park, the Trade Fair venue was moved to its current location at the Stuttgart Airport in 1998.
Being the 8th largest trade fair in Germany with more than one million visitors a year, you’ll want to grab a water bottle and some good shoes when visiting the area. Whether you’re here for business or as a tourist, you’ll visit ten exhibition halls covering 120,000 square meters in total.
Tourist Tip: Visitors recommend taking the train to the trade fair, and leave your car at your hotel.
12. Grabkapelle auf dem Württemberg
At the top of the Württemberg hill in the district of Rotenberg, you’ll find the Grabkapelle, also known as the Württemberg Mausoleum, overlooking the Rhine valley
The chapel was built for King Wilhelm I’s second wife after her death in 1819 together with himself and their daughter. The chapel stands in perfect shape to this day and is considered the most romantic place to visit in Stuttgart. To get a sense of the King’s love, look no further than above the entrance where you’ll be greeted with the words: “Love Never Stops” (in German).
Tourists recommend this attraction due to the breathtaking views over Stuttgart and the valley, and not so much for the chapel itself. If you want to learn more, however, there are guided tours during the summer months.
Visit website: www.grabkapelle-rotenberg.de
11. Landesmuseum Württemberg
The Württemberg State Museum is no ordinary museum. In the heart of Stuttgart you’ll find a very old German castle, known funnily enough as “The Old Castle”, and serves as the State Museum today. If you want a serious history lesson, tourists suggest you go visit this museum mainly for two reasons:
- You’ll learn about the major time periods in Germany, ranging from the Stone Age up till the 19th century.
- The buildings themselves are historical due to the fact that the castle has survived wars and fires and served multiple dukes, kings and counts.
Besides being in perfect shape, the castle served as a local powerhouse in the state for four hundred years, and you’ll get the chance to learn about the local (and at violent) history as well.
Visit website: www.landesmuseum-stuttgart.de
10. Weissenhof Estate
The Weissenhof Estate is something truly spectacular. Not because of the buildings themselves, but due to the period of time they were built.
Weissenhof Estate (Weißenhofsiedlung in German) is a group of 21 houses built in 1927 by leading architects for the German Association of Craftsmen to showcase how modern houses could be sustainably built at that time.
Fun fact: The project was led by the world-famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Almost 100 years later, the remaining eleven buildings – some were destroyed during WW2 – stand as timeless pieces of art, and some of them are even listed by UNESCO.
Visit website: https://weissenhofmuseum.de
9. Neues Schloss
Built in 1807, the Neues Schloss (New Palace), which you’ll find in the center of Stuttgart, took more than fifty years to complete. It has housed kings and dukes through centuries and was almost completely destroyed during WW2 by the Allies.
Luckily, the castle was rebuilt after the war and presently serves as a residence for two state ministries. If you’re curious to have a look inside the impressive building with its +350 rooms, guided tours are available throughout the year.
Visit website: www.neues-schloss-stuttgart.de
8. Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart
Stadtbibliothek in Stuttgart is an award-winning library located in the modern urban area of Mailänder Platz with the scope of gathering all libraries in the city into one and serves as the cultural center of the city.
It was designed by Yi Architects as a futuristic cube with each corner representing one of the four root languages on Earth. It’s very different from the original library. Originally, it was housed in the Wilhelmspalais, built in the 19th century.
Inside the library, you’ll find books – no, just kidding. You’ll enjoy galleries, exhibitions, and a rooftop terrace on the eighth floor where you can get a 360-degree view of Stuttgart.
Official website: www1.stuttgart.de/stadtbibliothek/
In the middle of the Höhenpark Killesberg, part of the inter-connected parks forming the “Green U”, stands an impressive observation tower from where you can see most of Stuttgart city and the surrounding parks.
The original tower was built in 1950, but the city of Stuttgart won an award for a “horticultural exibition” in 1993, and a new modern tower was needed. Thus the current Killesberg Tower was built with the aim of blending in the surroundings in a natural way, unlike its predecessor.
The tower is 40 meters high and consists of steel, ropes, and stairs on which you’ll be able to walk to the top. On top of the tower sits the iconic green weather flag, representing the Green U. Also, during nights, the tower is enlightened, making it worthwhile to visit just for the experience.
Official website: www.killesbergturm.de
6. Kunstmuseum Stuttgart
One of the best things to do in Stuttgart is visiting the historic museums. Tourists agree that Kunstmuseum Stuttgart is a must-visit attraction.
As the new library, the museum of fine arts is a modern 5000 m2 cubic building of limestone covered with a glass facade. The facade is illuminated at night, making the limestones visible. And like the previous museum in our article, the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart was built in the mid-20th century, replacing the old museum which was placed in the crown prince’s palace.
The hundreds of thousands of annual visitors attend the museum for the fine art and the many exhibitions by established and new artists as well.
Official website: www.kunstmuseum-stuttgart.de
5. Wilhelma Zoo
Here’s one for the whole family. The 150-year-old Wilhelma Zoo is a favored attraction among families and couples as well. It’s located in the northern part of Stuttgart, and more than 2 million visitors stop by this cozy and fun place.
The zoo has been expanded regularly since it was built and has held its current size since the 90s. Inside the zoo, there is something for everyone. Visit the Monkey Hall and see if you can keep your things from the monkeys. Or visit the Elephant House to marvel at the giant and calm wonders. Need more than mammals? Then head over to the aquarium or sea lion basin for water fun.
However, unlike most zoos, this one has a botanical garden as well, making it a perfect place to relax if you get too many impressions in the zoo.
Official website: www.wilhelma.de
4. Fernsehturm Stuttgart
Get ready for the best view in Stuttgart!
The landmark tower is typical for its time. During the 50’s several radio towers were built, and you’ll find equally impressive ones in Berlin, Frankfurt, and the Fernmelderturm in Nürnberg.
Also common for the majestic concrete towers is the fact that most of them offer restaurants and viewing points at the top. The Fernsehturm in Stuttgart is no different, and the +200 meter high tower offers a panoramic restaurant and café, and when open, you’ll be able to get a guided tour where you will access the viewing platform from 150 meters altitude – if you dare!
Spectacular events have taken place, and during the last 20 years, you’ve been able to experience base jumpers as well as driving cars on the tower.
Official website: www.fernsehturm-stuttgart.de
3. Porsche Museum
Did you know that the famous sportscar brand, Porsche, originates from the city of Stuttgart?
Well, not only is the headquarters in Stuttgart, but YOU are also able to join the party with a visit to the official Porsche Museum. The museum had a 100 million dollar renovation in 2007, and today you’ll be greeted by the massive entrance like a real museum.
Tourists just love this attraction in Stuttgart which is why it’s ranked in our top3 of things to see, and for an entrance fee, you’ll access all the historic sportscars built throughout the decades, and probably dream about getting one yourself. If that’s not enough, there are also various exhibitions around the year.
Official website: www.porsche.com/international/aboutporsche/porschemuseum/
2. Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
The Staatsgalerie is the highest-ranked gallery in Stuttgart according to tourists and past visitors.
There is the old gallery and the new gallery, where the latter was built in the 80’s and designed by the architect James Stirling.
Tourist Tip: There are special guided tours for children and families!
The old gallery is more than 150 years old and is one of the oldest galleries in Germany. Here the Royal Art Scholl was housed, and you’ll enjoy more than 5,000 historic paintings dating back to the 14th century.
The New Gallery was initially met by controversy but presently stands as a piece of art itself. You should visit this part of the gallery for its architecture alone.
Official website: www.staatsgalerie.de
1. Mercedes-Benz Museum
As if the Porsche Museum wasn’t enough, Stuttgart is also the home of the Daimler AG car conglomerate, and thus Mercedes-Benz.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum is the most popular thing to do in Stuttgart according to tourists around the world.
Similar to the other car museum in the article, this one is an architectural wonder, and is located just opposite the sales office of Mercedes.
Tourist Tip: Hardcore car fans should visit the factory in Untertürkheim, where diesel engines are produced.
Go wild in the 50,000 square meter car museum of pure gasoline history. Visit the “Legends Room” with old classic cars, or enjoy the newest supercars like the McLaren SLR.
Official website: www.mercedes-benz.com/en/classic/museum