Incredible cars, magical markets and a very big appetite for beer.
A visit to Stuttgart is really a tale of two cities. On the one hand, you have beautiful squares, soaring classical architecture and a vibrant arts scene. But Stuttgart is also home to a playful undercurrent; with its bustling red light districts, hidden drinking dens and sultry late lounges, the capital of the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg has some edge.
The German attitude to partying is relaxed, cool and mischievous, with just a dash of that something extra, that can’t-put-your-finger-on-it sense of immaturity and fun. Reputations like that have been hauling wayward pleasure-seekers to cities like Amsterdam, Hamburg and Prague in their millions for years, and Stuttgart is no different. The nightlife has something for everyone and, whilst it isn’t as ‘in your face’ as some other German cities, it’s all a question of knowing where to look. Whether you want to kick back in a jazz club or party all night long in the company of Stuttgart’s bright young things, look a little closer and the city comes to life.
We went during Oktoberfest and it was class. Steins for breakfast, lunch and dinner; those Germans have got their priorities right.
Nestled in the beautiful Black Forest region, the city is right in the heart of Germany’s wine country and produces fantastic Trollinger and Reisling. Wine culture is much more of a thing in Stuttgart than many other German cities and sits comfortably alongside another irrepressible German passion: beer. The great Bavarian traditions of beer halls and brauhäuser are alive and well in Stuttgart and you’re never too far away from the nearest good pint (well, half-litre, very European).
Throughout the year, the city also plays host to a whole range festivals and celebrations. Stuttgart's Christmas market is one of the country’s most famous; it takes place in the four weeks leading up to Christmas and is the largest and oldest traditional Christmas market in Europe. There is also the Cannstatter Volksfest – a three-week festival that usually falls on the same dates as Munich’s famous Oktoberfest. Although, like Oktoberfest, this is technically an Autumn festival, it is sometimes also referred to by foreign visitors as the ‘Stuttgart Beer Festival’, and is second only to Oktoberfest in size. The exorbitant accommodation costs in Munich during Oktoberfest has led to an influx of visitors to the Cannstatter every year, to sample the same heady combination of fairground rides, food vendors and, of course, immense beer tents.
With a surprise around every corner, this German gem is unashamedly cool and scandalously sexy. Be seduced by the city with many sides and discover stunning Stuttgart for yourself.