The days are getting shorter and the nights longer, which means it’s official: Christmas is coming. Lots of people are longing for summer, but let’s be honest, winter does have its advantages and I’m going to show you what you can do in Stuttgart at this time of year.
The days are getting colder and finding the motivation to spend time outside is becoming much harder. But it’s better to get out and do something before you sink into a winter depression, and just because it’s cold that doesn’t mean you have to stay at home.
My top 10 tips for spending the winter in Stuttgart
- Ice skating: Wintertraum, a small ice rink on Schlossplatz, opens in November. Whether you are young or old, this is the perfect place to slide across the ice to a backdrop of Christmas songs and with stunning views of the new and old palace buildings. The entry price for students is 5 euros and renting ice skates costs the same. You can also buy hot drinks, bratwurst and sweets here. And for anyone who wants to get started earlier in the year, or who likes to skate on a bigger ice rink, the Eiswelt in Degerloch is well worth a visit. It has two ice rinks and the entrance fee for students is 3.30 euros. It is also well known for its ice discos, which are held three times a week and offer disco fun for just 6 euros.
- Thermal baths: Splashing about in warm water – now that sounds like a great idea. There are a number of saunas and thermal baths in and around Stuttgart, such as the Schwabenquellen or the Mineralthermein Böblingen, but for those looking for something a bit more central, Leuze is a good choice. Offering saunas, spas and a whirlpool, this is known as Stuttgart’s ‘mini thermal baths’. The mineral pool is 30 °C and good for your health. You can also book a massage or just simply relax and enjoy. 2 hours of splashing and soaking in the warm water can be had for just 8 euros, with discounts for students aged 25 and under.
- Theater/musicals:Stuttgart boasts a number of theaters and musicals, so why not let yourself be enchanted by some light entertainment? Whether you choose the Theaterhaus Stuttgart, Apollo or SI-Zentrum – there are loads of plays and musicals to choose from, especially at Christmas. There are also discounts for students, click here to find some good offers.
- Skiing and cross-country skiing:As long as there’s snow on the ground, it’s always the perfect time to jump on your snowboard. And you don’t even have to go to the Alps; the Stuttgart region has a number of really good places to go cross-country skiing and there are also a few great ski slopes. The Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper has put together a compilation. This is where you can find the best ski slopes around Stuttgart. And here are the best cross-country skiing trails.
- Museums:Stuttgart has lots of cultural offerings and excellent museums. The Mercedes Benz Museumand the Porsche Museum are two of the most famous, offering a wealth of information about the history of the automotive industry. But if you don’t like cars, I can also recommend the city’s art museums, such as the Staatsgalerie. There is not enough space here to list them all, but here is a helpful overview of museums in Stuttgart.
- Planetarium: If you like stars and planets, the Carl Zeiss Planetariumin the Schlossgarten is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the universe. There is always an interesting show on at the weekends to teach you about the intricacies of the night sky. Student tickets cost 5 euros.
- Wilhelma: Yes, the zoo is also open during the winter, and the great advantage of this is that it is not as full as in summer and a short trip to the tropical house can at least remind you what summer is like. Anyone who wants to enjoy winter to the full can go and visit the polar bears. But watch out, the opening times are different in winter and from October the zoo closes at 6:30pm. Student tickets cost 10 euros. There is also an evening price of 7 euros from 4pm. For more information click here.
- Christmas markets: The list wouldn’t be complete without this top tip! Everyone who lives in Stuttgart knows about the Christmas market on and around Schlossplatz and Marktplatz. But how about going a little further afield? The Christmas markets in Esslingen and Ludwigsburg are even more special with their Baroque and medieval themes. TheEsslingen medieval market and Christmas market open on the Tuesday before the first day of advent. Jugglers and fire eaters provide entertainment and visitors are even encouraged to try their hand at archery or throwing axes. The Christmas market in Ludwigsburg enchants visitors with its Baroque flair from 23.11, offering 175 lovingly decorated stalls that beguile with their artistic offerings, lebkuchen, punch and a wealth of other treats.
- Hop-on/hop-off bus tour: You might have lived in Stuttgart for a while, but how well do you really know the city? Want to be a tourist for a day? How about trying a hop-on/hop-off bus tour? This will help you really get to know the city. And one thing’s for sure, this tour will definitely teach you things you didn’t know before. There are various routes on offer and tickets start at 15 euros. For more information click here.
- Live escape games: If you like mysteries and adventure, the Escape Games will be perfect for you. In the Live Escape Games you work together as a team to try to solve a series of tasks in the shortest possible time: these can be anything from catching a murderer to solving a mystery. The aim is to complete the mission by working as a team. These games are on offer from Teamescapeor ExitGames in Stuttgart.
The winter months can be fun. And while we are waiting for Christmas to arrive there’s plenty of time to try out a few winter activities. And for anyone who hasn’t bought their Christmas presents yet, you can get some inspiration here.
Even if you do choose to spend the odd evening at home with a cup of hot cocoa, there’s nothing wrong with that, because that can be the perfect way to enjoy a winter evening.