At first glance, one can easily mistake Stuttgart for a plain old industrial town. But the riverside city located in South Germany is so much more than that.
Starting from a historic centre to a lively riverside to burgeoning Swabian gastronomy to global festivals, Stuttgart has all the makings of a cosmopolitan experience that few cities can quite matchup to.
And all of that without even mentioning the Porsche and Mercedes-Benz museums with vintage exhibits!
Stuttgart continues to be an easily navigable city as an efficient subway network, Stuttgart Stadtbahn and the unique Zahnradbahn, an electric rack railway network offers easy access to all part of the city.
And that allows you to choose any part of the city to base yourself at during your vacation. But to help narrow down the seemingly endless list of options, we have come up with a comprehensive guide.
Here, we have listed some of the best neighborhoods of Stuttgart and what they might have in store for you traveler!
The true beating heart of the cosmopolitan. Stuttgart-Mitte is the go-to choice for many first-time travelers flying into the city.
The neighbourhood is centered around Schlossplatz Square, a picturesque cobblestone-laden plaza surrounded by historic buildings with imposing facades that are worth marveling at.
Schlossplatz is a great starting point for your city tours; the Neues Schloss or New Palace - the erstwhile residence of the King of Wuttemberg - remains the central draw, but other landmarks including the Alte Kanzlei, the Mercury Pillar and the Altes Scholls are just as breathtaking.
Other major landmarks in Stuttgart-Mitte include the History Museum Württemberg, known for its exhibits dating back to the Stone Age; the Stuttgart pera, housed in a majestic old-world building by the lake; and the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, a modern arts museum housed in glass cube building.
And that’s not to say that the neighbourhood has no modern entertainment options. Malls and shopping avenues dot the neighbourhood streets; among the must-visits are Schillerplatz, a public square with both shopping options and eateries - serving some of the best Swabian specials including the pasta and minced-meat dish of Maultaschen - as well as malls traditional/pedestrian including Königsbau Passagen and King Street.
Stuttgart-Mitte is one of the best neighborhoods in terms of accessibility as well as hotels by virtue of being the city's central business district. Hotels are in plenty and among some of the finest that the city has to offer; many of the top accommodation options are concentrated around central thoroughfares.
Located a little northeast of Stuttgart-Mitte by the side of the Neckar river, the neighbourhood of Bad Cannstatt has a charming village-like vibe that sets it apart from some of the city’s other central districts.
Bad Cannstatt is made up of a few smaller neighbourhoods that make for some of the most pedestrian-friendly parts of the city; cobblestone streets lead you through the minimalist scenery comprising timber housing, small taverns and home-grown eateries and you are likely to find yourself transported to simpler times.
Outside of the villages, Bad Cannstatt is also known for housing some of the city’s best spas and wellness retreats. Further away from the city centres, you will come across a handful of vineyards dishing out fresh local produce in the serene rustic setting.
Also popular with families is the Wilhemla complex, a combination of a wildlife centre and botanical garden set up on an expansive property. A lush green space with remnants of a few Moorish-design buildings and historic landmarks (Damaszenerhalle and Maurisches Landhaus), this is the perfect getaway within the city. Within you can find walking trails, wildlife information centres, separate floral gardens and even a small aquarium!
Bad Cannsttat is fairly close to the other central subdistricts so accessibility is a non-issue; the eponymously named Bad Cannstatt of the Stuttgart S-Bahn and the Bad Cannstatt Wilhelmsplatz of the light rail are central stations. You should not have trouble finding a good accommodation in just about any budget range in the part of the city either.
While technically still a part of Bad Cannstatt, the compact festival area of Wasen warrants a separate mention of its own. The neighbourhood of Wasen brings together Stuttgart’s industrial as well as leisurely appeal together like no other.
Enveloping a big chunk of the meandering Neckar river, Wasen is one of the most popular parts of the city and that’s because it hosts some of the city’s biggest annual festivals and events. The Stuttgart Spring Festival and Cannstatter Wasen draw in crowds to their array of events ranging from music concerts to fairs to one-of-a-kind beer tents and much more!
And even if you’re unable to plan your trip around the festivities, Wasen still has plenty to offer. Riverside promenades with live music, the accompanying green spaces, as well as restaurants and casual-yet-trendy cafes with outdoor seating are all just the sort of spots that you would want to hit on a lazy afternoon.
As for getting an insight into the city’s industrial past, you might want to drop by such institutions as the Mercedes-Benz Museum - known for its vintage and contemporary exhibits outlining the eventful history of the brands.
Wasen is sandwiched between Stuttgart-Ost and the bigger quarters of Bad Cannsttat and remains easily accessible from both ends. NeckarPark (Stadion) station of the light rail network is the major transportation hub, but the neighborhood is also connected to the city's efficient road network.
If you're looking to explore the historic side of the city, the neighborhood of Stuttgart-Ost is just the right place to be at. Enveloping the eastern end of Stuttgart-Mitte, this is the neighborhood where the old-world cityscape shines best.
Some of the major historic landmarks around Stuttgart-Ost include Stuttgart observatory, housed in a dome-covered brick building open for public tours; the Villa Berg, an 1845-built villa known for its standout architecture and accompanying gardens; and the Villa Reitzenstein, which also serves as the seat of power for the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg among others.
Stuttgart-Ost is the oldest of the city's eight central districts and its association with the past goes beyond just the cityscape and buildings. The neighborhood is also known to be the go-to choice for people looking to try out one of Stuttgart oldest gourmet favourites - the Gaisburger Marsch, a traditional beef stew named after the small neighborhood of Gaisburger. So think of it as another reminder to not miss out on a bowl!
Outer sub districts including Gansheide and Uhlandshohe are much quieter and offer a few viewing points and observation towers, the most frequented of which has to be the Fernsehturm Stuttgart - a TV tower that offers unparalleled 360° views of Downtown Stuttgart.
Stuttgart-Ost is an expansive neighborhood but travel remains largely hassle free given that it has multiple stations on the light rail network. While in the neighborhood, you might want to look for a nice homestay a or bed and breakfast for your accommodation.
Next up on the list of neighborhoods is the eclectic Stuttgart West. Home to a handful of 18th century Rococo-style buildings, artsy venues including indie boutiques and galleries as well as a slew of restaurants and cafes in the city, this is the place that accommodates all tastes with its varied mix of attractions.
Homegrown businesses, especially stores with clothing merchandise and handicraft are a manor draw around Stuttgart-West; rummage through until you arrive at something to take home with you. Also, while you're at it, be on the lookout as an eclectic mix of eateries - serving both international cuisine as well as Swabian favourites - also dot the neighborhood streets.
Keep moving further westward and you'll find yourself moving away from the old-world quarters to a quieter setting, characterised by forested lands, expansive parks and walking trails. The expansive Rotwildpark offers the perfect getaway that had to come be associated with a quintessential urban park!
End a long of shopping or restaurant hopping with a trip to the Schloss Solitude, a majestic look 1770s-built castle that sits atop a small hillock in the northwestern end of the neighborhood. The castle complex also comprises a small park and a restaurant, while also serving as a starting point for a few popular hikes.
Stuttgart West is serviceable through the Schloss-/Johannesstraße and Herderplatz stations among others. For travel within the smaller neighborhood, you might want to prefer walking as it'll give you a chance to stumble upon some of the hidden gems in terms of both shopping and dining options. Accommodation wise, you are likely to find some of the more affordable hotels.
And for the last neighbourhood on the list, we bring to you the outdoorsy Stuttgart North. Located slightly northwest of the central quarters, this neighbourhood is best suited for families and travellers looking to avoid city crowds.
Home to some of the best green spaces in the city, Stuttgart North offers a quick change of scenery. You can spend time taking walks along picturesque trails and quite leafy streets, a welcome form the largely urbane cityscape of some of the other parts of Stuttgart.
Among the top draws are Killesbergpark, home to an eponymous observation tower as well as the venue of a popular lantern festival; the Rosenstein Park, popular for its floral gardens and majestic-looking Lion’s gate; and historic monuments including the Bismarck Tower, the the Le Corbusier-designed Weissenhof Estate and the museum running out of Theodor Heuss house.
As mentioned above, Stuttgart North is located just outside of the city centre and access is fairly straightforward. The neighborhood has Stuttgart Stadtbahn stations at Pragfriedhof, Löwentorbrücke and Stadtbibliothek among others.
The neighborhood is the gateway of sorts to the suburban parts of the city, so if you're looking to explore that side of Stuttgart, this might be the right place for you after all.
And that's our complete list from Stuttgart. Take a look and have a great time planning your next vacation; the Swabian metropolis awaits!