Last updated: 01:40 PM ET, Wed July 27 2016

Full Speed Ahead

Stuttgart, the world’s only city with two automobile museums, continues to grow in popularity.

Agent@Home | Destination & Tourism | Robin Amster

Full Speed Ahead

PHOTO: The Museum of Art is one of 55 museums located in Stuttgart.

The Gateway to the Black Forest, the German city of Stuttgart is experiencing a boom in tourism along with a host of new hotels. And while the U.S. is currently its leading foreign market, the city is hoping to further boost visits from Americans. U.S. travelers should be interested in the city “because there are attractions which can be found nowhere else except in Stuttgart,” says Armin Dellnitz, managing director of Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH.

“Stuttgart, for example, is the cradle of the automobile [industry], and the only city in the world with two automobile museums.” The museums of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche showcase the histories of the two luxury car brands. “The Mercedes-Benz Museum is the only one in the world to document the 130-year old history of the automobile, from the beginning in 1886 to the present day,” says Dellnitz. “The Porsche Museum lets visitors dip into the history of Stuttgart’s sports car factory. Both are architectural highlights too and absolute destination must-sees.”

The Mercedes-Benz Museum is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. There are 160 vehicles exhibited in the nine-level museum. Not far from the museum is the birthplace and workshop of Gottlieb Daimler, where he and Wilhelm Maybach developed a fast-running engine that they later fitted to a motor carriage in 1885. The Porsche Museum features exhibits of upward of 80 vehicles and documents the history of the company’s development.    

Two hours from Frankfurt in southwest Germany, Stuttgart is also the country’s largest wine-growing community and the only metropolis with its own municipal wine estate. “The vineyards reach down into the city center,” says Dellnitz. “The local wines can be tried at the annual Stuttgart Wine Village. It’s the biggest and one of the best wine festivals in Germany and it will be held for the 40th time this year.”

The annual Stuttgart Beer Festival is also a draw. It’s one of the world’s largest public festivals with traditional beer tents, carnival rides and live bands. In 2018 the festival celebrates its 200th anniversary with historical costumes and attractions.

Dellnitz says Stuttgart’s hotel market “is in motion.” The Jaz in the City, a new luxury hotel, is slated to open this summer. The 175-room property occupies the first seven floors of the 18-story skyscraper Cloud No. 7.

Other hotels in the pipeline include the Motel One No. 3, a 145-room, two-star hotel in Bad Cannstatt, a Stuttgart suburb; and Nordic Pure, a Nordic Hotels property in Fellbach, Stuttgart.

Between the end of the year and the beginning of 2017, a V8 Hotel will open at the Motorworld in Böblingen in the Stuttgart region. Everything at the four-star property will center on the automobile with 16 of its 153 rooms designed as themed guestrooms.

In addition, the Maritime Hotel’s 555 guestrooms, restaurants and conference rooms are undergoing renovation and slated for completion in August.

Dellnitz noted that the city’s famous television tower reopened at the end of January. “Visitors can admire the magnificent views from its two-story observation deck,” he says, adding that the tower offers sweeping views over the Neckar Valley.

READ MORE: The Stuttgart Beer Festival: Look Out, Oktoberfest! 

Tourism to Stuttgart has been on the rise. From 2009 to 2015, overnight stays from foreign markets rose by more than 50 percent to more than 1.2 million visitors. “Certainly Germany is the most important source market for overnight tourism in Stuttgart, but the proportion of foreign visitors rose by no less than 10 percent to 1,115,582 overnight stays in 2015,” Dellnitz says. “This proves once more the importance of foreign markets as a growth motor.” The U.S. accounted for nearly 155,000 overnight stays in 2015.

River cruise lines have discovered Stuttgart and the surrounding region, and off er passengers excursion packages, says Dellnitz. For example, Tauck River Cruises includes Stuttgart as an excursion in one of its Rhine River cruise itineraries. Guests can visit the Stuttgart Museum of Viniculture, the Porsche Museum or join a guided city tour. FIT travel to the city and region is also growing.

Dellnitz says Stuttgart tourism officials keep U.S. travel agents up to date on new developments through newsletters and webinars. In addition, each year Stuttgart takes part in Round-Table-Meetings, organized by the German National Tourist Board, in North American cities. This year Stuttgart will be represented by the State Tourist Board of Baden-Württemberg.


The Stuttgart region is home to more than 55 diverse museums, which range from six wine museums, a pig museum, a schnapps and chocolate museum, to world-class museums dedicated to literature, architecture, church bells, and the automotive histories of Porsche and Mercedes, as well as internationally known art museums and galleries.

The StuttCard provides free entry to all museums for a 48-hour period. It also offers a discount on the Stuttgart city tour, savings at selected theaters and stores, and welcome drinks or desserts at selected restaurants.

The card is available for 20 euros. The StuttCard PLUS, at 30 euros, provides free travel on buses and trains in the entire Stuttgart region.


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Agent@Home Magazine

A version of this article appears in print in the July 2016 issue of Agent@Home Magazine.