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The capital and largest city of the state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart is Germany’s 6th largest city. There are around 600,000 people living within the city proper, with 2.7 million people in the city’s administrative region and another 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area.
The fertile lands of the Stuttgart Cauldron have been farmed from prehistoric times with the Romans conquering the land in 83 AD. From the 15th Century to 1918, the House of Württemberg ruled the land and turned it into a prosperous region. This was set back by intensive allied air raids in World War II.
Today, Stuttgart is an industrial hub and is famous for being the home of Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. It is a very multicultural city and a hub of education and culture. Tourists are enticed by its green cityscape, excellent opportunities for luxury shopping and friendly gay scene.
For information on gay rights in Germany, please visit our Gay Berlin City Guide page.
While it would be very difficult for any city to rival Berlin or Cologne’s gay scene, for a city of its size, Stuttgart certainly holds its own. Gay life is an essential part of the city. A good selection of Gay Bars, Gay Dance Clubs & Parties, Cruise Clubs and Gay Saunas can be found in the Mitte area.
In July, Stuttgart hosts its Christopher Street Day (Pride) celebration, and it is an incredibly popular week-long programme of events. QueerFilmNacht hosts at least one gay film screening in Stuttgart. The Spring Festival also hosts a specific gay day which is carnivalesque in atmosphere.
Stuttgart Airport is 13km south of the city centre and is Germany’s sixth largest airport. It is well connected to destinations in Europe, North Africa and and the Middle East by budget, charter and flag carriers. Delta offers the only direct long-haul connection to Atlanta.
S-Bahn lines 2 and 3 will take you into the city centre in around half an hour. Tickets can be purchased at vending machines at the station and must be validated. A single journey costs €4. The service runs from around 5am to just after midnight every 10, 20 or 30 minutes depending on the time of day.
Taxis can be hailed from outside of Terminal 1 however you can request in advance cabs, limousines and mini-van pick-ups. Journeys cost around €40 into the city centre. Most major car hire companies can be found in Terminal 3. The drive takes in the region of 25 minutes depending on the traffic conditions.
Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof is perfectly located in the centre of the city for those arriving by rail. It offers many connections to destinations throughout Germany with direct international routes to destinations in France, Switzerland and Austria.
Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof is also notable as Lufthansa uses it in place of short-haul flights from Frankfurt Airport. You can check in at the train station and take an ICE train to and from Frankfurt airport.
To explore the city centre, walking is the best way to get to know the city. The city is well-signposted and pedestrians are well-catered for. Due to Stuttgart’s spread out nature, it is likely you will have to take public transport to attractions outside of the city centre.
By public transport
Stuttgart has an integrated system of buses, urban trains and trams (Stadtbahn) and S-bahn. Ticket prices start at € 1.40 for a short journey and day tickets start at €7. A special 3-day tourist ticket is available, starting at €14 but you must provide proof that you are a visitor to the city. Tickets can be bought at the station and must be validated.
From Sunday to Wednesday, the public transport network stops at 1am and doesn’t start again until 5am. Night-buses run from Thursday to Sunday morning. The S-bahn runs an hourly night service on the weekends to get you home cheap after a night partying.
There are taxi ranks throughout Stuttgart, and they can be hailed relatively easily. If you call a taxi, it is likely that the operators won’t speak English, so if ordering a taxi it may be easier to use a taxi app. Taxi fares are quite expensive and be prepared to pay €10 for a 4 minute journey.
For a list of recommended hotels in Stuttgart, please check out our recommended hotels in Stuttgart page.
Mercedes-Benz Museum – while car lovers may get more entertainment out of this museum, others will be dazzled by the stunning architecture and fascinating history lesson.
Fernsehturm Stuttgart – the world’s first TV tower and one of the best places to take in the cityscape. Journeys to the top cost €5 and there is a cafe serving drinks and refreshments.
Königstraße – Stuttgart’s main shopping thoroughfare. Here you will find high-end shops mingling with more modest brands.
Hot Springs – take advantage of the many hots springs that run through Stuttgart at one of the spas (The Leuze or Mineral Bad Cannstatt). There are nudist swimming days but these are relatively innocent affairs. Visit a sauna if you have more carnal needs.
Porsche Arena – take in a concert at this massive venue from some of the world’s best international acts.
Wine Tours – Stuttgart is famous for its wine and there are still vineyards in the city centre. There are a variety of tours of different budgets that, of course, involve sampling the finished product!
Stuttgart Art Museum – while away an afternoon taking in the museum’s excellent collection of modern art. You will find the largest collection of work by the artist Otto Dix here.
The Old Castle – dating back to the 10th Century, this former castle now hosts the state museum. Here you can find out more about the state’s varied and fascinating history.
Stuttgart has a mild oceanic climate but due to the positioning of the Swabian alps there can be extremes. The summer months (May-September) regularly see the temperatures stay above 20°C while in winter it is rare for temperatures to hit zero. There is moderate rainfall throughout the year but thunderstorms are common in summer.
Summer is active but not unbearable. Many visitors come to Stuttgart in the summer for August’s Sommerfest, the Jazz Open in July and late July and early August’s Science Fiction, Horror and Thriller festival. In September there is a very popular wine festival and there is a massive Christmas market.
Germany is within the European Schengen visa area. If travelling from outside Europe, check to see if you require a Schengen visa.
Germany is a member of the Eurozone. Cash dispensers are widely available. You may be asked for photo ID if paying with a credit or debit card in a shop.
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