From TripAdvisor to Lonely Planet, the online world is replete with suggestions of clichéd activities to do if you want to explore Stuttgart. While there’s no denying that spending a sunny afternoon at Schlossplatz and marvelling at the evolution of automobile at Mercedes-Benz Museum are a must-do, there’s much more to enjoy if you are up for trying out non-touristy options. Here are nine things you can do in Stuttgart to explore the city in a different way.
If you are a fan of Jazz or just want to spend some time with your friends listening to music in a cosy setting, head to the Traditional Jazz Hall for a night of impressive performances, traditional food and good drinks. Supported by the Cultural Office of the City of Stuttgart and the State Jazz Association Baden-Württemberg, the Jazz Hall has been entertaining visitors for good three decades now. With concerts by national and international bands, the Hall has kept the Jazz music alive in this corner of the city.
Location: Marienstraße 3B, 70178
Do you enjoy playing a round of bluff, guessing random words and conquering the world? Then you will have a fun time at the Welt Cafe. On the first Monday of every month (with a few exceptions), the Welcome Centre Stuttgart organises a game night with either a quiz or board game competition. With people from all age groups, cultural backgrounds and language skills, the game nights give you a perfect opportunity to flex your brain and meet new people. The cherry on top is that winners get prizes.
Location: Charlottenstraße 17, 70173
Every place has a history and beneath that, there’s always a mystery. And the city of Stuttgart is no different. If sitting around a campfire and listening to ghost stories is your guilty pleasure, then you should take the once-in-a-month ghost walk around the city.The tour is conducted in English and takes you to the Old Palace, the Market Hall and the Collegiate Church. Tales of spooky monks, headless horseman and shadowy figures will send chills down your spine while you will also learn about the practises of a former monastery, bloody decapitations and old cemetery traditions.
Location: Hirschstraße 2-4, 70173
Is perfectly lip-syncing to famous songs your superpower? And you get better at it if you have a nice, cold beer in your hand? Then Biddy Early’s Irish Pub is your place to be on Wednesdays. A warm and welcoming pub located in a cellar, Biddy Early’s organises Karaoke Party every week for a night filled with beautiful melodies, heartfelt laughters and flavoursome beers. Established in 1993, the pub is known for its drinks, atmosphere and staff.
Location: Marienstraße 28, 70178
An absolute gem from the past, the funicular in Stuttgart takes you back in time during its four-minute ride because the vehicle is preserved almost exactly as it was in its early days back in 1929. It was the first funicular in Germany with automatic control and the fastest; and was used to facilitate visitors to the forest cemetery which is located 90 metres above Stuttgart Heslach. Today, it draws hikers, study groups and tourists with its vintage charm and practical operation.
Location: Südheimer Platz, 70199
Envisioned to be the ‘Acropolis’ of Stuttgart at one point in time, the serene hill of Karlshöhe today sit quietly between the western and the southern districts of the city. Known as Reinsburghügel until 1889, the hill was renamed as Karlshöhe in the honour of King Charles I after a beautification association acquired the land and converted the space into a public park. With its gardens and public park, the hill offers panoramic views of the Neckar valley. A beer garden for young and adults and a playground for children makes Karlshöhe a place for everyone and anyone who is looking for a break from city life.
Location: Karlshöhe, 70178
The vineyards of Stuttgart are hard to miss as some of them are located smack in the middle of the busy city. The plantations are believed to date as far back as 2,000 years ago when Romans planted grapevines along the Neckar River. Another legend says the holy monks cultivated wine in the region. In total, the city has 400-hectare of area dedicated for growing grapevines, 17 hectares of which is owned by the local government. A walk through them, coupled with a wine-tasting session can provide the much needed respite from the hectic urban chaos.
Location: Grunbacher Str. 5, 70327 (and many others)
Open air cinema
What’s better than watching latest movies on a big screen? Watching them in an open-air cinema! With the magnificent Mercedes-Benz Museum building in the backdrop, viewers are treated to latest blockbusters in pleasant weather and comfortable seats. It is a temporary setup, showing movies during late summer/early autumn nights only; so grab your popcorns and some friends and head to the car museum.
Location: Mercedes-Benz Museum, Mercedesstraße 100, 70372
If antique showpieces, vintage furniture and used books pique your interest, then the flea market at Karlsplatz is your thing. Organised every Saturday between 8am to 4pm, the flohmarkt has around 120 dealers selling items fit for rarity hunters and urban bohemians. The market has been taking place since 1983 and attracts local and tourists alike come rain or shine.
Location: Karlsplatz, 70173