Stuttgart is a city of automobiles and a place for car buffs. The headquarters of three German brands sit here: Mercedes-Benz, Bosch and Porsche.
You can have breakfast in Stuttgart and lunch in France. You can enjoy Strausberg and see the Parliament. In the evening you can go south and have dinner in Switzerland and come back.
A good place to stay is the Hotel am Schlossgarten, near the train station. It has great spicy pizzas served with dunkel beer: Home-brewed fresh German beer. Nearby Koenig Street has a good number of stores, if you would like to get some shopping done.
Another good hotel is the Maritim, very close to the city, but without the hurried feel of Schlossgarten.
Eat a lot of the bread and cheese; lots of varieties with great quality. You must eat a butter pretzel, which looks like a steering wheel. It also has excellent wines.
If you happen to visit Stuttgart in September, you should make sure you attend the Volksfest, an event similar to the Oktoberfest in Munich. It has all the fun, more Schwaebish in style than Bavarian, but an equally delightful experience.
It has one of the best Weinacht (or Christmas) markets along Koenig Street. Fortified by a glass of Glühwein, a mulled beverage — spicy, served hot — you can enjoy your Christmas shopping.
There are beautiful churches all around Stuttgart. Most popular is Ulm Church, about 120 km from Stuttgart, one of the tallest churches in Germany, with excellent stained-glass paintings.
Visit the Mercedes-Benz museum. You could easily spend three to four hours there, learning about their slice of automobile history, from the earliest development of the diesel engine to how they designed what later became known as the Popemobile, to Formula 1 cars. Another must-see is the Porsche museum.
Enjoy a stroll and mix with the crowd. The summer season is a pleasant time to visit as it has a lot of open areas that play live music. If you like to go walking or hiking, there are innumerable places within Stuttgart city itself to go for long walks.
If you are a skier, you can go to the Schwaebian Alps, not the Swiss Alps.
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(This story appears in the 03 December, 2010 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)