A city known for innovation and invention, Stuttgart hosts two of the most renowned car museums in the world, the workshop where Gottlieb Daimler invented the high-speed petrol engine, a car-themed hotel, factory tours and excellent eats in troves. The airport even plays host to Top Air, the only airport restaurant holding a Michelin star 25 years in a row.
And with the automobile celebrating its 130th birthday this year and the Mercedes-Benz museum celebrating its 10th anniversary, there has never been a better time to go.
Here’s the plan.
The V8 Hotel boasts quirky, car-themed rooms, such as the Car Wash Room, the Route 66 and the Drive-in Cinema. Visitors will have a chance not just to admire the cars they love, but also sleep in them. With plans to expand to a second location this year, the new locale will also include a showroom for on-sale classic and high-end sports cars.
Image via Cube
For lunch, try Christophorus atop the Porsche museum. Offering contemporary Mediterranean fare, a robust wine list and panoramic views of the Porsche empire and charming Stuttgart. Pro tip: head next door to the cigar lounge for a Laura Chavin, an expertly crafted stogie bore from Stuttgart native Helmut Buehrle, who left his life as a designer to pursue his passion for cigars.
For dinner, try the traditional Maultaschen (like German ravioli) at a Swabian restaurant like Brauhaus Calwer-Eck. And for fine dining, you’ll never need to go far: Stuttgart is home to 16 Michelin-star restaurants. Our top picks: Olivo, Cube and Délice.
For adventure, seek out a Besenwirtschaften, simple taverns located on one of the valley’s 500 vineyards serving their own crafted wine and food. A Basen (broom) hung over the door shows that these family spots are open.
Image via Mercedes-Benz
The Mercedes-Benz Museum
The museum’s anniversary festivities will culminate in a big soirée this June. The motto: "Zukunft braucht Herkunft," or "No future without a past." The museum will take friends and fans on a historical tour through 130 years of automotive history with audio guides in eight languages. There are seven "Legend Rooms" that depict the history of the automobile from its invention to present day. Five "Collection Rooms" display the diversity of the brand profile. And the experiential "Silver Rooms: Races and Records" not only display famous race cars, but also allow visitors to race them via simulators.
Gottlieb Daimler's Birthplace and Workshop
In Stuttgart, visitors can immerse themselves in the entire history of Mercedes, starting with founder Gottlieb Daimler. Daimler's birthplace in Schorndorf as well as his greenhouse/workshop in Bad Cannstatt both offer extensive insights into the man and his many inventions in the field of internal combustion engines.
Porsche's Rolling Museum
There are a few specialty exhibits throughout the year, but the Porsche Museum is essentially a "rolling museum," meaning the models are still functioning and drivable. Many of the cars are taken to different vintage auto races and shows, such as Goodwood Festival, ensuring an ever changing experience for passers-through. You’ll ascend a high escalator before jumping into the chronological presentation of over 80 vehicles. The museum also has its own working auto garage for viewing experts at their craft. And on top of the workshop: the largest image archive in the automobile sector, comprising more than five million pictures, a media archive with more than 1,700 hours of film material and a library with more than 3,000 volumes.
Image via Motorworld Stuttgart
For those craving more than a view, Motorworld Region Stuttgart is a collector’s dream, with 27,000 square feet of workshops, retail stores, service providers, restaurants and exhibitions. Like a swanky car dealer, a classic car museum, a sports car rally, a workshop and fine dining all in one.
Main image via Porsche