It didn’t take long for the company museum of Mercedes Benz to become a major tourist attraction in town. Opened in 2006 and housed in a building with architecture reminiscent of a Wankel engine, it is the most visited museum in Greater Stuttgart. The exhibition is split in two interchangeable parts, the “myth rooms” and the “collection”. While the “myth” part is narrating the story of the brand, the collection contains vehicles made by Mercedes Benz in history, going back to the earliest ones built. Highlights of the exhibition include a specialized vehicle made for the Pope, a select number of Mercedes-made racing cars and a number of utility and commercial vehicles. The site often hosts concerts and other cultural events.
Mercedesstrasse 100, open Tuesday-Sunday 9 am - 6 pm
Further testament to the automobile history of Stuttgart is the museum operated by Porsche, which ranks second in visitor numbers behind the rival. The new structure housing the museum on the grounds of the Porsche headquarters was opened in 2009. The exhibition contains numerous vehicles to portrait Porsche’s history, including racing cars, and it provides insight into Porsche’s technology and manufacturing processes. The museum has three restaurants.
Rapid transit S6, stop Neuwirthshaus; Porscheplatz 1, open Tuesday-Sunday 9 am - 6 pm
One of the premier art museums in the country, the state gallery shows a comprehensive collection of paintings and sculptures of the 19th and 20th centuries and a wide selection of artworks from earlier periods. Grown from the collections of the Württemberg dukes, the Staatsgalerie is housed in three buildings. Next to the permanent collection, the museum dedicates itself to acclaimed special exhibitions to highlight individual artists.
Metro stop “Staatsgalerie”, Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse 30-32, open Tuesday-Sunday 10 am - 6 pm
State Museum of Natural History
Located in two buildings in the Rosenstein Park, the State Museum has exhibitions focusing on natural history, geology and biology. The latter exhibits can be found in Rosenstein Palace, a classical castle that once served as summer retreat for King Wilhelm I. Highlights of the collection include a wide range of marine and land fossils, most of which were discovered in the region. In the natural history section, parts of the exhibition are dedicated to habitats of the earth.
Metro stop “Mineralbäder”, in Rosensteinpark, parking in Ehrmanstrasse, open Tuesday-Friday 9 am - 5 pm, weekends 10 am - 6 pm
Wilhelma Zoo and Botanic Garden
Founded in 1848, Stuttgart’s zoo is one of the oldest and most-visited animal parks in the country. It is usually only referred to as “Wilhelma” and in fact, the institution cannot be limited to being just a zoo. It is at the same time a botanic garden as well as a historic park. The venue was set up in the mid-19th century, when King Wilhelm I. commissioned a “garden house with residential space”. Visitors will find a vast collection of living orchids, a pond with extensive water lily growth, a large aquarium and many other attractions. The Wilhelma zoo is dedicated to the preservation of species and takes part in animal repatriation projects. The zoo is home to some 1,000 species, living in enclosures resembling their natural homes. It is open year-round and there are plenty of parking options available near the entrances.
Metro stop “Bad Cannstatt” or buses 52,55,56 to stop “Rosensteinbrücke”