Hello, my husband and I are meeting a tour group (not a RS tour) in Stuttgart, and we have 2 full days, plus our arrival day (we get in at 8:30 a.m.) to ourselves. We plan to go to Strasbourg one day so I can get my french pastry fix. Does anyone else have any suggestions for the other day (and partial) day? Also, any words of wisdom for a day in Strasbourg, like how long should we plan to be there, what do we need to see, etc.? Thanks everyone!
Ludwigsburg palace and town is great and an easy train ride from downtown Stuttgart. The Mercedes factory is fascinating also. I'm so not a car person, but found the porsche and mercedes museums really interesting. The town of Esslingen is historical, cute and an easy train ride from downtown. Downtown Stuttgart is really interesting itself. There's great museums, markets (indoor Markthalle with a great Italian restaurant upstairs), and stores. Your best bet for Strasbourg is to take the train. Traffic can be horrific, making a 1.5 hrs drive easily 4 hours. In Strasbourg, see the cathedral, have lunch somewhere, take a river cruise, wander around the city. Stuttgart also always has a fest or something going on, check the city website for events.
See either the Porsche or Mercedes Museum.
Thanks for your response, Stephen. I'm happy to say both of those are on the itinerary when we meet up with the tour group. Thanks for the endorsement - my husband is much more excited about those than I am!
Going father afield, Tübingen. Also Burg Hohenzollern or Lichtenstein Castle or Sigmaringen
Thanks, Kathy and Stephen! We had definitely planned on taking the train to Strasbourg. I will definitely check out all your suggestions. Do you recommend making the train and river tour arrangements in advance, or can they be done when we get there? Thanks!
Sorry I missed this - been busy showing my sister-in-law around the Stuttgart area! Stuttgart itself can be easily seen for the most part on your first day. The Mitte (center of town) is pedestrianized and easy to see. Right now the Baden-Wurttemberg Landesmuseum (State museum) is free as they're reworking their Celtic exhibit, and it's in the altes schloss (old palace). See the crown jewels and tombs there for sure. If you're lucky and your arrival day is Saturday, see the flea market at Karlsplatz. Walk along Koeningstrasse, see Schillerplatz, and the Stiftkirche. Then I'd spend the afternoon at one of the car museums. Both are good, if a person in your party prefers one car brand over the other, go there. I think the Mercedes museum is a little more interesting. If you will be visiting during summer, visit the Biergarten in the Schlossgarten. A little less idyllic now due to construction on the Stuttgart 21 project, but still wonderful. Take the TGV from Stuttgart to Strasbourg for the day, buy the ticket in advance as early as you can. I'd leave on the 7am train and come back on the last one 7pm (just did this on Tuesday). Strasbourg is wonderful, if you're into pastry you'll be in heaven. If you're in decent shape, the hike up the cathedral is fantastic. Try to see the astrological clock show starting at noon. The Notre-dame cathedral museum gives great context to the magnificence and historical significance of the cathedral, I would see it before you tour the cathedral itself. It's really worthwhile if you're at all interested in Medieval art. For lunch, Chez Yvonne is a splurge but fantastic Alastian food in a great traditional setting. (cont)
We did both car museums. Really enjoyed both of them. However, I found the Mercedes Benz museum walls of history on each level, incorporating both the history of the Mercedes and world history fascinating. I spent most of my time walking around looking and reading the information on the walls, while my husband drooled over the cars.
Sorry, started writing late last night. Here's some more tips for Strasbourg: For a cheaper but equally atmospheric meal, the flammkuchen/tarte flambee at Academie Du Bier is delicious and cheap. There's other fantastic restaurants. If the weather is good, you can buy pastry or deli food and have a picnic at the park in the "Petite France" quarter. For the 2nd full day, I would go to the Palace at Ludwigsburg, or Esslingen, or both if you're feeling energetic. They're very close to Stuttgart. Tuebingen is great but it's a good hour train trip from the Hauptbahnhof, and after Strasbourg you might want a day with less travel. Both Ludwigsburg and Esslingen are less than 20 minutes from the Mitte. Ludwigsburg is the "Versailles" of the area, modeled after it, very beautiful, there is one English tour, 1:30 p.m. last time I checked but double check before you go. Definitely check out a weinstube (or weinstuble in Swabish) in the area for tasty, usually affordable, very local food. I'm partial to Heslacher Weinstube in Stuttgart and Einhorn in Esslingen. The maultauschen and kaesespaetzle are great at both and they serve local wines. Please let me know if you want any more specific recommendations!
Thanks everyone, for the great information - as well as the encouraging words about the car museums! They are part of the tour we are meeting up with, so we will definitely hit both of them. And thanks for the tip about the crown jewels - jewels are always a must-see for me. Sarah, I looked at train schedules, and I found one leaving at 6:54 a.m. and returning at 19:48. Is that the one you're thinking of? And, although it SEEMS obvious to me that "Stuttgart HBF" is the main train station, I just wanted to double check. If we shouldn't clog up the board with this discussion, please feel free to PM me. Thanks again!
Whoops, sorry I didn't see this! Yes, Stuttgart Hbf ("hauptbahnhof" or "main train station") is the main train station in Stuttgart and the one you'd be going to Strasbourg from. And yep, that 6:54 am train was the one I was thinking of! It feels awfully early (to me, anyway - not an early riser) but it was delightful to be in Strasbourg for Breakfast and before the tourist hordes got there. We had the Cathedral virtually to ourselves.
Thanks, Sarah. Do you have a recommendation for the river tour (I'm assuming there are different companies) in Strasbourg?
I've never actually done a river tour - still on my list, so far none of my traveling companions have been interested. I think there are a couple different companies, but I doubt that the tours are significantly different. I do recall seeing coupons at a brochure at the TI, if price is a factor for you.