Hello everyone! What are the first things that you think of when you come to visit Stuttgart? Probably Porsche and Mercedes-Benz because both of their headquarters are here, and Porsche museum as well as Mercedes-Benz museum also attract countless car lovers.
Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. As the sixth largest city in Germany, it lies at the centre of a densely populated area, surrounded by a ring of smaller towns. This area called Stuttgart Region has a population of 2.7 million. Stuttgart is spread across a variety of hills (many of them vineyards), valleys and parks – unusual for a German city and often a source of surprise to visitors who primarily associate the city with its industrial reputation as the “cradle of the automobile”.
Fortunately when I was here, it was during the Museum Night (like in Zürich). I paid 18 Euros and could go to basically all the museums in Stuttgart, which open from 19:00 to 02:00. Also they had special activities such as costumes or games for children in most of the famous museums. However, the sad thing is, some parts of some of the museums are closed and you can’t explore one museum for too much time,otherwise you don’t even get a chance to have a look at other museums. As I said in my post in Zürich Museum Night, it’s a good opportunity to check which museums you might be interested in and if you find any, you should come back again and to explore it more closely.
Since Stuttgart is famous for being the headquarter of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, I spent quite some time in these two museums. If you are a car lover, you should definitely visit both of them. If you are not really a huge fan of cars, I suggest you visit at least one of them, and I recommend Mercedes-Benz Museum. In the next part, I’ll introduce to you the museums (with pictures), provide some info about the opening hours and ticket prices and rank them according to how much I personally recommend them. Hope these information helps you to plan your trip in the future.
Mercedes-Benz Museum (Recommend 5/5)
The current building, which stands directly outside the main gate of the Daimler factory in Stuttgart, was designed by UN Studio. It is based on a unique cloverleaf concept using three overlapping circles with the center removed to form a triangular atrium recalling the shape of a Wankel engine. The building was completed and opened on 19 May 2006. Architecture and exhibition concept are closely interwoven, as exhibition designer HG Merz was commissioned already before the architecture competition in 2001.
The building’s height and “double helix” interior were designed to maximise space, providing 16,500 square meters of exhibition space on a footprint of just 4,800 square meters. The double helix also corresponds to the exhibition concept, which divides the museum into the “myth rooms” and the “collections”, offering two alternative tours that can be merged at any given point of the museum. The museum contains more than 160 vehicles, some dating back to the very earliest days of the motor engine. The vehicles are maintained by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center of Fellbach. Previously, the museum was housed in a dedicated building within the factory complex and visitors had in recent decades been transported from the main gate by a secured shuttle.
- Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Box office closing time: 5.00 p.m.) (Closed on Mondays)
- In general the full price ticket is 8 Euros and 4 Euros for evening ticket. For more info about reduced prices and tours please click here.
This museum is quite well guided as you just need to take a lift to the top and then walk down and you will see everything on your way.
Porsche Museum (Recommend 4/5)
The original Porsche museum opened in 1976 in a side-road near the Porsche factory. It was a relatively small works museum with little parking space and it was only big enough to hold around 20 exhibits (in rotation).
Porsche built the museum as a kind of “rolling museum” with rotating exhibits from a stock of 300 restored cars, many in pristine condition and still in full driving order. Originally there was discussion that the new museum would be built alongside a new Mercedes-Benz museum on former trade fair grounds in the Killesberg area of Stuttgart. After the new Mercedes-Benz Museum opened in the east of Stuttgart in 2006, Porsche went ahead with plans to upgrade and extend its museum in the northern district of Zuffenhausen next to the company headquarters. Originally costs were set at 60 million euros but days before the official opening ceremony on 29 January 2009, it was confirmed that the actual costs hit 100 million euros.
The new Porsche museum stands on a conspicuous junction just outside Porsche Headquarters in Zuffenhausen. The display area covers 5600 square metres featuring around 80 exhibits, many rare cars and a variety of historical models. The museum was designed by the architects Delugan Meissl. The exhibition spaces were designed by HG Merz who was also involved in the building of the award winning Mercedes-Benz Museum. On October 17, 2005 the construction of the museum was officially kicked off. On 8th of December in 2008, the museum was handed over to the client and opened one month later, the 28th of January officially. Since 31st January 2009 it has opened its doors to visitors.
The result is an exhibition that focuses firmly on the vehicles showcased. All ancillary architectural, media and typographic elements are designed to be unobtrusive and complement the cars. The museum, which is as flexible as it is exclusive, functions as a home base for the vehicles.
- Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. (Last admission is at 5:30 p.m.) (The Museum is closed on Mondays.) For more info about special opening and closing hours please click here.
- Tickets: Adult: 8 Euros. For more info about reduced prices or family tickets please click here.
In size I feel this museum is smaller than the Benz museum but it’s modern and fashionable.
By the way, I’m nor really a car lover so I don’t really know about cars. You can make your own (probably better) decision by looking at the pictures or checking their website. Probably you know better than I do. 🙂
Neues Schloss (Recommend 4/5)
Das Neues Schloss (New Castle), one of the last large city palaces to be built in Southern Germany, is the magnificent 17th Century Baroque residence of the Kings of Württemberg from 1746 to 1797 and from 1805 to 1807 (often exchanging this honor with the nearby Ludwigsburg Palace). It was commissioned by the young Duke Carl Eugen. New Palace stands on the south edge of the Schlossplatz in Stuttgart. In front of the New Palace stands the colossal Jubiläumssäule. Adjacent to the palace stands the Old Castle. The Schlossplatz is adjacent to two other popular squares in Stuttgart: Karlsplatz to the south and Schillerplatz to the south west.
Unfortunately you can only visit the inside of the palace when there are special tours. For more info about the tours please click here. I’m afraid the info is only available in german, but if you are interested, look for the tours under the title “Sonderführungen”.
Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (Art Museum Stuttgart) (Recommend 3/5)
The Kunstmuseum Stuttgart is a contemporary and modern art museum in Stuttgart, Germany, built and opened in 2005. The cubic museum building with 5000 m² of display space was designed by Berlin architects Hascher and Jehle. During the day it looks like a glass cube, and at nights the interior lighted limestone walls become visible.
The Kunstmuseum’s collection comes from the previous “Galerie der Stadt Stuttgart”. The city’s collection goes back to a gift from the Marchese Silvio della Valle di Casanova in 1924. It contains one of the most important collections of the work of Otto Dix and also works from Willi Baumeister, Adolf Hölzel, Dieter Roth, and others.
- Opening hours: Tue to Son: 10 – 18 Uhr. Fri: 10 – 21 Uhr. Mon: Closed. For more info about special opening and closing hours please click here.
- Tickets: Adult: 11 Euros. For more info about reduced prices or family tickets please click here.
First of all, when I got in, some parts of the museum were closed and I’m in general not really a fan of contemporary and modern art so maybe the museum should be worth at least a 4/5 rating, but during the museum I didn’t see much of it.
Naturkundemuseum (Natural History Museum) (Recommend 2/5)
This is a natural history museum and if you are with kids and you are walking on or passing the Rosenstein Park, maybe you can go and check it out and let your kids have some fun. Otherwise, I don’t really recommend it……
- Tue 9 am – 5 pm Wed 9 am – 5 pm Thu 9 am – 5 pm Fri 9 am – 5 pm
- Sat, Sun, and holidays 10 am – 6 pm
- Mon closed
- For info about special opening hours please click here.
- Full price: 5 Euros
- For more info about reduced prices, group tickets or combined tickets please click here.
Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station) (Recommend 3/5)
The station is well known for its 12-storey tower with a large, rotating and illuminated Mercedes-Benz star insignia on top. Both the tower and station building are city landmarks. In the train station’s tower, you will currently find the exhibition Stuttgart 21, which is a project of the City of Stuttgart that consists of a complex reconstruction of the train station into an underground through station.
If you take a train to Stuttgart, you can visit the tower in the main train station. The view on the top is not bad.
- Opening hours: 11:00-21:00.
- Tickets: Free
Stadtbibliothek (City Library) (Recommend 3/5)
From 1965 to 2011, the Central Library of Stuttgart was located in the Wilhelmspalais in Stuttgart. This building was built 1834 – 1840 by Giovanni Salucci. It was the place of residence of King Wilhelm II of the Kingdom of Württemberg. In 2011 the Central library moved to the newly built Stadtbibliothek am Mailänder Platz. To me, this modern city library is so clean and tidy and if you have time, I suggest you go and have a look. The roof also gives a panoramic view of the whole city.
- Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 09:00 – 21:00. Closed on Sundays
- Ticket: Free
These are the museums that I visited during my previous visit to Stuttgart. However, I heard that there are another two state galleries that are worth visiting. The Old State Gallery (opened in 1843, extended in 1984) which holds art dating from the 14th to 19th century including works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Monet, Renoir, Cézanne and Beuys. Next door to the Old State Gallery is the New State Gallery (1980) with its controversial modern architecture. Among others, this gallery houses works from Max Beckmann, Dalí, Matisse, Miró, Picasso, Klee, Chagall and Kandinsky. Maybe I’ll go and visit them next time.