Day 1. Stuttgart – a short break

It was a wet and windy start to the day as we travelled by train to Manchester Airport for our lunch-time Ryanair flight to the German city of Stuttgart. There was ample time to pop into Costa for some pre-flight sandwiches and cups of coffee before boarding our Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Airside Terminal 3, Manchester Airport
Enjoying an air-side coffee before our flight

Luckily I had been allocated a seat in the emergency exit row so I had extra room to stretch out on the short 90 minute flight over to the Manfred Rommel International airport which lays claim to being the sixth busiest in Germany. Stuttgart lies in south west Germany and is approximately 200km from the cities of Frankfurt, Nuremberg and Munich.

Stuttgart International Airport
Stuttgart International Airport

With German efficiency, we sped through immigration and followed signs to the S Bahn for a train to take us into the city centre. The airport is located 13 km (8 miles) south of Stuttgart and to reach the centre we needed to purchase Zone 1-3 tickets from a machine at a cost of €4.20 (£3.60) each. Further details of the Stuttgart public transport network can be found here.

S Bahn Stuttgart Airport
Waiting for the S Bahn at Stuttgart Airport

We took Line S2 as far as Vaihingen (5 stops) and then changed to the U Bahn Line U1 to Marienplatz (11 stops) where our hotel was located. The journey from the airport took only 45 minutes including time waiting for the U Bahn at Vaihingen station. Except for the final stop, the entire journey had been overground enabling us to form our first impressions of the city which looked attractive with its low rise buildings.

Marienplatz, Stuttgart
View from our room window across Marienplatz

Our hotel reservation was at the IBIS Hotel Stuttgart Centrum and soon after arrival we were settling into our fourth floor room which had panoramic views of the square and the hills beyond.

Setting out again, we collected our Stuttcards which provide admission to all of the city’s attractions including use of the region’s public transport system if an optional Stuttcard Plus is purchased. There are no barriers on the transport system and the red cards just need to be validated in one of the yellow machines on board the train or bus the first time they are used. It was so convenient having a U Bahn station almost outside our hotel door and it only took around five minutes to reach the Rathaus (town hall) station in the heart of the city.

Stuttgart’s historic centre

The town hall, completed in 1956 is a bastion of post-war functional architecture with its clock tower standing 61m tall. Although the clock tower is impressive, I wasn’t exactly a fan of this architectural style but I needn’t have worried as just steps away I found some beautiful old buildings much more to my liking in Stuttgart’s historic centre, the Schlossplatz.

Schlossplatz, Stuttgart
Schlossplatz, with its Jubilee Column, Stuttgart

Dominating this square is the Jubilee Column and the New Palace (Neues Schloss). The palace was built as the residence for the kings of Württenburg in the 18th century and now houses several government offices.

Königstrasse Stuttgart
Königstrasse Stuttgart

From Schlossplatz we wandered along Königstrasse which is Europe’s longest pedestrianised shopping street, brimming with activity late on a Saturday afternoon filled with weekend shoppers and those just out for a stroll. A talented violinist was entertaining the crowds part way along this tree lined boulevard which continues as far as the central railway station (Hauptbahnhof) at its north eastern end.

Stuttgart Central Railway Station
Stuttgart Central Railway Station

This landmark building is recognisable for its 12 storey clock tower which has a large, rotating Mercedes Benz star insignia on its top. This is significant as Stuttgart is the home of the motor car, one of the reasons for our visit and an aspect we planned to look into in more detail during our short break in the city.  We then popped into one of the many cafes for a light snack before returning to our hotel for a short rest, taking the U Bahn from the Rotebühlplatz station.

Rotebühlplatz station. Stuttgart
Outside the Rotebühlplatz station. Stuttgart

It’s surprising how reviving a few cups of tea can be and after our drinks and a rest we set off out to find somewhere for dinner. We didn’t have to look very far as located just off Marienplatz, around the corner from our hotel we came across Onkel Otto, it’s board declaring that it was the XXL schnitzel paradise. This had us rushing up its steps and going inside. There were no available tables but after a 15 minute wait, we were shown to a cosy corner table inside the dark wood panelled traditional pub.

Onkel Otto's restaurant, Stuttgart
Onkel Otto’s restaurant, Stuttgart

We thought that XXL sized schnitzels sounded a bit excessive even for us, so we both ordered a traditional Weiner Schnitzel with chips and glasses of wheat beer. Even these schnitzels were so large that they overlapped our large plates, tasting delicious sprinkled with fresh lemon. The pub had a relaxed, convivial atmosphere with affordable prices, good service and best of all was close to our hotel. We hadn’t heard about Onkel Otto’s beforehand but had just chanced upon it as we walked along the street.

Our huge schnitzels at Onkle Otto's, Stuttgart
Our huge schnitzels at Onkle Otto’s, Stuttgart

Exhaustion then got the better of us as we unlocked our bedroom door and within minutes we were both sound asleep after such a pleasant introduction to our stay in Stuttgart.

If you have enjoyed reading this post you may also be interested in :

Stuttgart’s Rack Railway

Frankfurt – a weekend break

Berlin – a weekend break

Hamburg – a weekend break


56 thoughts on “Day 1. Stuttgart – a short break

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  10. Really good post. I used to fancy going to Stuttgart when I was younger for some reason, but my mum dismissed it as very ‘industrial’. However having read this post, I think I’ll definitely put Stuttgart back on my mental list of weekend breaks to do.
    Out of interest, which German city has been your favourite to visit so far?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your much appreciated thoughts. Stuttgart is a very attractive city and I’m sure you would enjoy a visit there. It’s difficult to compare German cities as they are all so different and I’d happily return to all of them for different reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I look forward to exploring it for myself one of these days!
        The only German city I’ve been to so far has been Berlin, which I absolutely loved and with a bit of luck will be able to return to at various points in my life.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. ThingsHelenLoves

    Lovely post, We never made it to Stuttgart during our time in Germany so it is on the to-visit list. I do miss the place! Hoping to pop back for a visit in the Summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many nice places to visit in Germany and lots more I’d like to see. I think you would enjoy a trip to Stuttgart as there’s lots to keep the family interested. Thank’s Helen for your much appreciated thoughts. Marion.


    1. I thought that too! It’s a good take on the name of the city. Have you been there? I’m replying to your comments in Wetherspoons over a bacon roll. It’s cold and damp outside so I’m going to stay here a bit!


      1. jasonlikestotravel

        Sadly I haven’t yet. It wasn’t really on my radar (football aside) until a friend recently visited and loved it so I might have to make a trip over there soon.

        Certainly a dreary day today. A quiet one at work though so I’ve taken it as an opportunity to catch up on some blog reading!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Marion I am even laughing typing this. I have absolutely no musical talent. Coming from Wales I should be able to sing but don’t do that very well either. My beautiful mum was tone deaf…dreadful singer. Ha ha. Of course she had many other talents.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I have been to Stuttgart for Christmas Market. I have not really explored the city much, just visited the Merc Museum. I love the Deutsche Bahn trains and the stations in Germany. Loved reading this post. I would probable go back and explore the city more.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Those Weiner Schnitzels look marvellous. I took my wife who is European to a Bavarian Restaurant last week so she could enjoy her heritage in memory. LOL. Love the way the Germans have managed to preserve the architectural heritage in the rebuild after the war.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love the Weiner Schnitzels in Germany! Our favorite place, a very popular pub in a small town near Dusseldorf, serves TWO schnitzels on a bed of fries!!!!! And it’s a regular meal there, very cheap too. A bit too much for my liking 😂 Goes very well with beer!

    Liked by 1 person

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