Our second trip to Germany was a week spent in Stuttgart and Munich. We drove, so we had a lot of flexibility to make a few side trips into the surrounding areas.
When I told people where we were going on this trip, I was often asked, “Why Stuttgart?” Well, to be honest, we simply chose Stuttgart because it was a good halfway point to stop on the way to Munich. I didn’t know much about the city and was more excited about Munich.
After the trip, I do think Munich was a more exciting destination. Stuttgart felt more modern. Well, mid-century modern anyway. It had less of the old-town European charm I enjoy, at least in the parts we saw. But, in keeping with my dedication to the “every place is someplace” spirit of travel, I remain positive about the interesting things we found to do in and around Stuttgart, the warm hospitality we received, and some great meals we had.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the Zur Weinsteige Hotel, a nice family run hotel in a fairly central location in the city. We were able to walk to shopping, meals, and other central attractions. The hotel was clean, the staff was friendly and provided great service, and our son loved their koi pond! It was impressive, and they clearly take great pride in it.
What We Did
We walked around the center of the city and what I assumed was the older parts of town. We enjoyed seeing lovely squares, green parks, old churches, and impressive large buildings that housed museums, offices, and arts halls.
I enjoyed visiting the Stuttgart Markthalle, a huge food and market hall with beautiful stalls full of all kinds of food from all over Europe. We also shopped in stores near the Markthalle, as well as an antique shop near our hotel.
With 29 rooms of this “art, culture, and kitsch” related to pigs, this is the world’s biggest museum dedicated to the subject of swine. It also has a biergarten and restaurant.
I thought this would be a fun visit for our son because it was silly and different, and for my husband because he enjoys pigs, specifically for slow-roasts on his giant smoker. It lived up to my expectations in terms of quirkiness!
Day Trips From Stuttgart
We took two day trips from Stuttgart to destinations perfect for families.
First, we went to the Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum. This was not planned in advance. We passed it on the highway on our way to Stuttgart and once we realized what it was, decided to go. It is a huge museum of automobiles and airplanes of every shape, size, and variety you can imagine.
In terms of things to see, you can easily spend a whole day there looking at this collection of transportation machines. It also has an IMAX theater where we watched a movie about the International Space Station. Unfortunately for us, the movie was in German without subtitles, but the visual elements were great!
We had lunch in their cafeteria-style restaurant. My son enjoyed the Concorde jet on display, mounted high in the sky at an incline simulating takeoff. I tried to go inside, really, I did, but the height and angle was too much for me.
Nope. Couldn’t do it. My son also enjoyed a few giant slides they had, and of course, the gift shop and candy bins.
The second day trip we took was to the Riesen-Rutschbahn Enzklosterle Poppeltal amusement park. The main attraction at this park is a giant mountain slide. They have other rides like bumper boats and trampolines, but the mountain slide is the biggest hit.
They have a small café where we had lunch. We spent the rest of the time enjoying the mountain views and riding the slide. Here’s a video of the slide with further explanation below.
My first trip down, I had a defunct sled that wouldn’t go at full speed, so you will see a slow ride in the video. Thrill seekers should not be alarmed by this, though. Properly functioning sleds will take you down much faster! It was a lot of fun, and definitely a unique experience we will always remember.
Where We Ate
Breakfast was included with our hotel stay, so we took advantage of that. Because it was a small, family run hotel, it was served by the family and was a home-prepared, fresh breakfast including made-to-order eggs. On the morning we checked out, we got a to-go breakfast from a nearby café. I am sorry to say I didn’t make note of where because my husband went and got it while I got ready for the day.
We had three nice dinners in Stuttgart. On the first night, we ate on the terrace at Amadeus, a restaurant and bar that served traditional German dishes. It looks like they also serve a nice brunch, or would be a nice place to go just for drinks.
Our second dinner was at the Weinstube at Weinhaus Stetter, the bar and restaurant of a wine seller. They also served traditional German dishes in a lovely old German setting.
Our final dinner in Stuttgart was at a place we spotted just down the street from our hotel. Every time we walked somewhere, we passed this small, bare bones bakery store front that seemed to have a constant flow of people buying freshly made flatbread to go. The only thing in the “store” was the oven and a carry-out window.
We figured out that it was connected to the adjacent restaurant, Raman. We decided to trust the crowds and give it a try and it did not disappoint! Raman serves what they call “Oriental” food, essentially traditional Kurdish (Iraqi and Turkish) dishes. The service was excellent. They encouraged us to try their Ayran, a salty, yogurt-based drink. We sipped on that and soup that came with every meal while we waited for the rest of our order. Our son had the pizza and we had mixed grill kabobs. It was all delicious!
What We Missed
I suspect we missed a lot in Stuttgart. If you agree, please feel free to let me know!
I must confess, this trip took place back in April 2017. I think it was around that time that I stopped trying to blog about our trips chronologically and started posting immediately about more recent trips with the plan to write about older trips when I could. That’s why I am finally getting around to writing this over a year later!
It is clear to me that I wasn’t fully into blogging mode when we took this trip. Looking back, I don’t think I took enough pictures to share with you here, and I am not happy with the quality of the ones I did take. Sorry about that!
I don’t think I put a lot of time into planning “things to do” in Stuttgart. Maybe that was because we were only there a few days and I knew our agenda was already full. Maybe I was more excited about Munich and neglected planning for Stuttgart. Regardless, our days were full, and we enjoyed some nice activities and great meals there.
On The Road
From Stuttgart, we drove to our next destination, Munich. I will share one final story from that part of the trip. Along the highway at some point, we were passed by a truck with a giant sign flashing a message in German. Behind it was a police car. I quickly grabbed my phone and the trusty Google Translate App to figure out what we were supposed to do as the police car pulled ahead of us and slowed down tremendously.
The police officer finally stopped completely and removed some debris from the roadway while we stopped and waited behind him. This is not the first or the last time Google Translate helped us figure out life quickly! After that, it was smooth sailing to Munich.