Day 3. Stuttgart’s Rack Railway

We allowed ourselves an extra hour in bed and then enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant. The IBIS had a good selection of hot and cold dishes and in one corner a waffle station where guests could make their own fresh waffles.

IBIS Hotel Stuttgart City Centre
Breakfast at the IBIS Hotel Stuttgart City Centre

As we had arranged a late check out we left our belongings in our room and set off out to take a ride on the Stuttgart Rack Railway. Conveniently this starts from Marienplatz outside the hotel and we had watched it setting off from our room window and been intrigued to have a ride on it ourselves.

Stuttgart rack railway
The Stuttgart rack railway viewed from our bedroom window

The rack railway known locally as Zacke (spike) has been operational since 1884 and is part of the Stuttgart transport network listed as Line 10 enabling us to make good use of our StuttCards. The train connects Marienplatz in the south of the city with Degerloch climbing 205 m on its 2.2 km route. Trains run every 15 minutes and have an open cart at one end for transporting bicycles up and down the steep hills.

Stuttgart rack railway
The steep track of the Stuttgart rack railway

As the railway slowly made its way uphill we enjoyed some good views over the city below. On reaching the terminus at Degerloch we were surprised to find it much bigger than we had anticipated. It’s a pleasant residential neighbourhood with an attractive high street lined with a wide range of shops.

Stuttgart rack railway
Bicycle trailer on the rack railway

Just as we were on our way back to the terminus the skies darkened and there was a torrential hail shower lasting about a quarter of an hour. I’d planned to take some photos from the train window but this proved impossible and I should have been more organised and taken them on the upward journey when it was clear.

Degerloch , Stuttgart
The residential district of Degerloch , Stuttgart

The weather had started to clear as we arrived back in Marienplatz so we took the U Bahn over to Rathaus (the town hall) stop and glanced again at the post-war functionalist building we had come across on our first day in the city.

Stuttgart Town Hall
Stuttgart Town Hall

Just a short walk from the town hall stands the market hall housed in an attractive art-nouveau building. Local residents were busy stocking up on their fresh produce and it was also a good opportunity for us to pick up some edible delicatessen souvenirs to take back home.

Stuttgart Market Hall
Stuttgart Market Hall

On the upper balcony are a range of high class shops and a smart restaurant. This was unusual to find in a market hall but a definite bonus and I’m glad we ventured upstairs to take a look around.

Stuttgart Market Hall
Interior of Stuttgart Market Hall

A little more shopping followed in the Königsbau Passage shopping arcade which had more than 70 stores to tempt us with a feature glass lift in its centre. Shops in Germany close each Sunday so, being a Monday, it was a good opportunity for some last minute purchases before heading back to the hotel to collect our luggage.

Königsbau Passage, Stuttgart
Königsbau Passage, Stuttgart

It only took about 45 minutes to return to the airport by taking the U Bahn to Stadtmitte and then connecting with the S Bahn directly to the airport. Our Ryanair flight was scheduled to depart from Terminal 4 and we were disappointed to find that it did not have any airside catering facilities. Fortunately, in the far corner of the terminal we spotted a cup and saucer sign pointing upwards and this took us through to the main airside terminal where there were several cafes to choose from. We then enjoyed slices of cheesecake and cups of coffee before boarding our flight back to Manchester which departed on time.

Ryanair Stuttgart Airport
Waiting to board our flight back to Manchester 

Our two night stay in Stuttgart had come to an end but we’d managed to fit in lots of interesting things to see and do. It had been our first visit to the city but Stuttgart is somewhere I’d like to return to as it is a very attractive, liveable city with a relaxed feel.

I would like to thank Visit Stuttgart for helping to make our visit possible.  As always all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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

Stuttgart and its motor museums

Frankfurt– a weekend break

Berlin – a weekend break

Hamburg – a weekend break


21 thoughts on “Day 3. Stuttgart’s Rack Railway

  1. Pingback: Day 1. Stuttgart – a short break – Love Travelling Blog

  2. Very interesting. I have seen them only in Rio de Janeiro when visiting the statue of Cristo Redentor, but was about “hundreds” of years ago. Then we also visited Penedo which is known as “Little Finland”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always enjoy visiting market halls in new destinations. Lovely that they also had restaurants there. Did you visit the new market hall in Tallinn? I love it. Upstairs they have some really unique stores. The Old Market Hall in Helsinki has the best pancakes at the Story restaurant (its located in the middle), yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your much appreciated comments Suvi. Yes, I’ve been in the new market hall in Tallinn and also think it’s very good. Despite having been in Helsinki’s old market hall dozens of times, I’ve never eaten pancakes at Story but I do know where it is. Will hopefully sample some next time I’m over.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. travelrat

    Interesting! This is the first rack railway I heard of in a city; most I’ve ridden on climbed a mountain or something. (although I suppose it could be claimed that the rack railway up to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio is within the city limits??)

    Liked by 1 person

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