Cover Photo: For a mishmash of styles, be sure to squeeze in a trip to Neue Staatsgalerie. Credit: Getty.
Nestled in the rolling hills of Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart is a large city with small-town charm. It’s famous for its automobile industry, but there’s so much more than just manufacturing here. Wine taverns line the winding lanes, bustling street markets take over historic Schillerplatz square twice a week, and friendly locals chattering in the Schwäbisch dialect are quick to make recommendations to tourists. Come and discover all that Stuttgart has to offer.
Eat like royalty at Speisemeisterei
Head to the sprawling Schloss Hohenheim estate to visit its on-site restaurant, the elegant Speisemeisterei. Meticulous execution is everything here, and this attention to detail is paired with a regal atmosphere that makes every dish feel like part of a grand feast. The chic interior offers a pleasing contrast to baroque surroundings, but it’s the food, which gives regional cuisine a global twist, that’s the star here.
Try the Japanese-inspired Bavarian shrimp gyoza – plump little dumplings made with locally sourced shrimp, kimchi, soybeans and watermelon – as an appetiser. Move on to Icelandic cod with caviar and vichyssoise, or succulent French chicken flavoured with eggplant, orange and miso. Vegans need not despair either – people with dietary requirements can call ahead two days in advance to request world-class food made especially to their needs.
Cruise around the Mercedes-Benz museum
Mercedes-Benz is renowned for mixing automotive excellence with suave style, and it’s been a big part of Stuttgart’s economy since it’s inception. This museum celebrates the role of Mercedes-Benz in automobile history. Take in the building’s futuristic exterior and head inside to experience a romp through the company’s past, complete with a bevy of shiny rides you can pretend are your own private collection.
The innovative ‘double helix’ structure of the building features one half filled with ‘legend rooms’ chronicling the brand’s backstory, while the other side has ‘collection rooms’ of iconic cars – offering two distinct tours that can be merged at any time. Check out the Daimler Riding Car, the first petrol-powered car in the world when it debuted in 1885, or the Lightning Benz which broke land speed records in 1910 when it hit 131mph.
Style and substance come together at Neue Staatsgalerie
Is the architecture neoclassical or contemporary? Modern or post-modern? The curved main façade of this gallery, built from industrial green steel, gives way to angular sandstone and an open-top rotunda. While nobody can agree on how to categorise Staatsgalerie’s creative architecture, the building reflects the gallery exhibits inside: it’s a mish-mash of old and new that still manages to work in harmony.
The collection spans works from the 14th century to the present day. Make sure to explore the second floor thoroughly to see pieces by Edvard Munch, Paul Klee and prominent German expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – artists who produced some of the 20th century’s most important works despite their troubled medical histories. There’s also a treasure trove of art from Picasso’s ‘blue period’, as well as special exhibitions that change every couple of months.
Sip American drinks with a German twist Pier 51
After an afternoon of culture at one of Stuttgart’s museums, sit back and relax at this stunning waterside venue. Pier 51 mix up some of the best cocktails in the city, accompanied by a smooth jazz soundtrack and relaxed atmosphere that’ll make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Brooklyn bar. Try the Pier 51 Rose for a fruity hit – it’s made with Hendrick’s gin, St Germain elderflower liqueur, apple juice, raspberry and lemon.
If you prefer a stiffer drink, this bar also has an expansive whisky collection. Get tipples from Tennessee, Kentucky or Scotland, as well as malts organised by region. The Springbank Campbeltown, aged for 15 years, is sure to warm you up on even the coldest of rainy days. Drop by between 5 and 6 pm for the best deal, when happy hour makes all drinks only €5.50.