Things to Do in Stuttgart Germany
If you are looking for things to do in Stuttgart Germany, we have got you covered!
Stuttgart is like a second home for me. Having spent many wonderful summers there as a child, I made sure to bring my own kids as soon as they were old enough to appreciate the experience.
Located in southwestern Germany, Stuttgart is also a favourite place to visit for tourists.
This fabulous area has so many family-friendly attractions. From car museums to a world-class zoo, outdoor green spaces, palaces, and more, you are sure to find something to keep the kids entertained.
Here is our compilation of the best things to do in Stuttgart Germany with kids.
15 Things to Do in Stuttgart Germany with Kids
Depending on the age of your children, there are a ton of things to do in Stuttgart with kids. We have put together a list of the sights we have taken our kids to, and hope to grow the list on subsequent visits!
1. See the Monkeys at the Wilhelma Zoo
The Wilhelma Zoological and Botanical Garden is one of Germany’s largest and most popular zoos, with more than two million annual visitors.
This gorgeous zoo not only has a large variety of animal species, but it is also home to over 8,500 species of plants in the botanical gardens.
Located in the Bad Cannstatt district to the north of the city, the Wilhelma is one of the most popular things to do in Stuttgart with children. Both the park and zoo are appealing to all ages.
Part of the historical heritage of the state of Baden-Württemberg, the zoo was actually built on the grounds of a castle.
The historic buildings now serve as homes for the plants and animals and are set among the gardens in a large, green park.
What is the Wilhelma Known for?
The Wilhelma is known for its state-of-the-art complex for African apes, which was added in 2013. There you can find many great apes like chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.
It is also revered for its botanical garden, which has Europe’s largest magnolia grove. The grove contains thousands of orchid species and dozens of varieties of camellia and azalea plants.
Wilhelma can be reached both by public transportation and by car. If you are travelling by car, just follow the highway signs with a black elephant symbol indicating the Wilhelma.
Very Family Friendly
One of the cool things we loved about the Wilhelma, was all the play spaces scattered around the zoo.
Designed in conjunction with the Baden-Württemberg Children’s Gymnastics Foundation, the equipment is meant to help kids mimic the movements of animals.
Kids can jump like rabbits, run like cheetahs or swing like monkeys! Our kids loved it! The spaces were great for taking a break, having a snack, or just allowing the kids to burn off some energy!
And if you get hungry, make sure to visit the Marché International. Here, you will find fresh cuisine with regional and seasonal ingredients.
Other places to dine include “Amazonica” at the Wilhelma-Theater, the restaurant at the Schaubauernhof, or the Café Belvedere.
These restaurants offer a buffet with a variety of choices for Wilhelma guests of all ages.
2. Learn about Automotive History at the Mercedes-Benz Museum
The Mercedes Museum is a multi-story complex that winds its way up, taking you through over 125 years of automotive history.
With nine levels, 160 vehicles, and over 1,500 exhibits to see, you can follow the history of the brand from the very first patented car in the world to the hydrogen vehicles of this millennium.
The Mercedes Museum offers a variety of guided tours, including private tours, and tours for children. We chose the free audio tour, which worked out perfectly for our needs.
The double-helix design of the museum allows for two different audio-guided tours. One tour dives into the distinguished history of the brand, while the other highlights the diversity of vehicles manufactured by Mercedes-Benz.
You work your way from the top of the museum, and the beginning of the audio tour, down nine floors until you reach the current day on the ground level.
As you approach an exhibit, the audio tour gives the history of each vehicle. The museum is broken into different halls, each with a different theme.
We loved the fact that in between the exhibits, the walls were lined with history and world events in chronological order. So the entire museum experience isn’t just about cars!
3. People Watch at Schloßplatz
One of my favourite places to visit is Schlossplatz, or palace square. Located in the heart of Stuttgart, it sits along Königstrasse, and is just a few blocks from Hauptbahnhof, making it a perfect stop.
Surrounding the square, you can find some pretty great restaurants and shops, as well as many historical buildings like the Neues Schloss (New Palace).
Completed in 1807, the Baroque-style palace — once home to former kings — is now used by the state government.
In the center of the square, you will also find the Jubilee Column. Erected1841, it commemorates King William I’s 25 years of rule.
History and architecture aside, Schlossplatz is a great place to hang out with friends and relax!
On a hot sunny day, people can be seen lounging on the grassy areas or cooling off in one of the large (chlorinated) fountains.
In fact, spending a day at Schlossplatz is one of the best things to do in Stuttgart with family. Families will bring full picnic baskets and blankets too!
We have spent many leisurely hours reading, playing, eating, or just splashing around in the fountains, with our kids.
And if you happen to be visiting Stuttgart around Christmas, you will find Schlossplatz surrounded by Christmas music, hot mulled wine, and a large Christmas tree.
4. Go Shopping on Königstraße
Königstrasse is the main street you see as you exit the Hauptbahnhof. Known as the shopping mile, it is the longest pedestrianized shopping street in Germany.
As the third most frequented shopping street in Germany, you can expect to find many of the popular chain stores (Zara, H&M, Pandora, Starbucks), as well as plenty of Biergarten, restaurants, and cafés to curb your hunger while you shop.
Not only have we found some unique souvenirs on Königstrasse (like our amazing Stuttgart Beer Stein), but we have also had some truly amazing food in the restaurants and smaller cafés. You definitely don’t want to skip this area!
5. Listen to the Engines Roar at the Porsche Museum
Located in Zuffenhausen, a little way up the road from Stuttgart, are the Porsche headquarters and museum.
This gorgeous museum is definitely something to see, even if you are not a huge automotive fan.
Opened on January 31, 2009, the 100 million euro Porsche Museum has more than 500 cars that are rotated from storage to museum and to events around the globe.
You can follow the development of Porsche from the early days of the brand, through their racing vehicles, to today’s vehicles and beyond, with the concept cars of tomorrow.
The museum typically has over 80 vehicles on display at any given time.
Free audio guides are provided with your museum admission. These contain audio material, further information on individual vehicles and much more.
The audio guides are available in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Russian. Best of all, the museum also offers a children’s version for younger visitors!
The most popular part of the museum, even for those with little interest in automobiles and racing, is the interactive Porsche in the Mix sound installation.
This unique exhibit allows you to sample the sounds of engines, horns, and brakes from a variety of Porsche models.
You can then mix the sounds into an original music track. After creating your own Porsche musical composition, you can send it to yourself via email as a truly unique souvenir of your visit.
6. See the City From Above at the Fernsehturm
Built in 1956, Stuttgart’s TV Tower was the first of its kind in the world. The tower, which can even be seen from downtown Stuttgart, stands 217 meters high. Growing up in Toronto, the Fernsehturm always reminded me of the CN Tower!
While the antenna is no longer active, the Fernsehturm Stuttgart has an impressive observation deck 150 meters above the ground.
The incredible 360-degree views, reach across the city and Neckar Valley, into the Swabian countryside. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Black Forest and the Odenwald.
An admission ticket is required to access the elevator that will whisk you up to the observation deck. There is also a café and a restaurant on the upper levels, both with amazing views.
The tower stays open until 11 pm in the summer. It is well worth the entry fee, and the absolute perfect spot to see the sunset and Stuttgart’s lights if you pick a clear day.
The Fernsehturm is easily reached by both car and public transportation.
7. Ride the Zahnradbahn into the City
Affectionately known as the “Zacke,” the Stuttgart Zahnradbahn is the only rack-and-pinion railway in Germany.
It mainly serves daily commuter traffic but is also a tourist draw. The panoramic views of Stuttgart along its route, make riding the Zacke a must!
The line was opened on 23 August 1884. It connects the district of Stuttgart South (Marienplatz) to Degerloch (Albplatz).
The 2.2 km long route runs along the Alte Weinsteige, climbing from a height of 853ft to 1,526ft, with a steep incline of 17.5%.
The Zacke’s current rolling stock consists of three four-axle ZT 4 rack-and-pinion railcars.
Two of these cars are always in service and follow a regular transit schedule (connecting with the city’s U-Bahn system).
During our visits to Germany, the kids and I really enjoyed riding the Zahnradbahn.
Aside from the fact that it holds a lot of nostalgia for me (I rode it as a young child as well), the Zacke is a quick and less busy route to get from Degerloch (where we were staying) to Marienplatz.
8. Visit a Secret Chinese Garden
The Chinese garden in Stuttgart is located near one of the oldest vineyards in the city. It is a very popular destination for locals, but not a lot of tourists know about it!
In 1993, the city of Stuttgart was the site of Weltgartenschau, an international Garden exhibition event.
The event is held annually in different cities worldwide and is meant to showcase how different countries design their traditional gardens.
For the 1993 event, the Chinese garden was built in Hohenpark Killesberg park. It was an immediate success, drawing attention to its unique architectural features and the cultural contrast it reflected.
Finding a Permanent Home
At the end of the event, the city showed great interest in maintaining this garden, stating that dismantling such a beautiful work of art would be a shame and a great waste.
The garden was then donated to the City of Stuttgart by the Chinese delegation and moved to its current location.
The Chinese garden is composed of a beautiful entrance, the main hall, a gazebo, a waterfall, a bridge over its small artificial lagoon and finally, an amazing panoramic view of the city.
The garden is filled with beautiful details and decorated with wood carvings.
Entering the small Chinese garden, you immediately feel the peace and tranquillity not usually found in a large city!
9. Try Some Local Delicacies in a Biergarten
Germany is definitely known for its beer. And what better way to enjoy a brew, than in a Biergarten (beer garden)?
Biergartens are wonderful places to enjoy the fresh air, have a cold drink on a hot day, and spend time socializing with friends.
Biergartens can be found hillside and among the vineyards, riverside, or in quaint city courtyards. Many even have playgrounds for children.
One thing is for sure, if you visit Stuttgart, you have to stop by at least one Biergarten!
During our last visit to Germany, we visited several Biergarten with our kids. And while Hubby and I both enjoy German beer, there are many other options like wine, soda, or Apfelschorle (a local favourite) for you to enjoy.
And I would definitely be remiss if I didn’t mention all the delicious local foods to be had at a Biergarten! In most places, you will find schnitzel, bratwurst, pretzels, potato salad, and sauerkraut! Yummy!
10. Go to the Christmas Markets
Stuttgart has one of the largest and oldest Christmas Markets in Germany.
So in November, the entire downtown area is transformed, complete with a miniature village, holiday rides, a huge tree, a building-sized Advent Calendar, and a skating rink.
This is the only thing on our list of the best things to do in Stuttgart with kids, that we have not done yet! And it’s at the top of my bucket list!
Visiting a German Christmas market is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime!
With over 250 stalls in total, you can expect the scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, mulled wine, Lebkuchen, and fresh bread to fill the air. Have fun sampling your way through the market!
You will also find a ton of handcrafted items like Christmas ornaments, housewares, and clothing. In fact, I am looking forward to adding to my authentic German ornaments!
As if the markets were not awesome enough already, Stuttgart kicks it up another notch! Each year, the Stuttgart Christmas market holds a competition to see who has the most decorated rooftop.
So while you are strolling through the Market, don’t forget to admire all the intricately designed rooftops!
11. Take a Segway Tour
Have you ever tried out a Segway? On our list of the best things to do in Stuttgart Germany, this is definitely the most unique!
Rather than taking a walking tour of Stuttgart, we decided this would be an awesome and fun way for us to see all the sights. And it really was pretty cool!
There are different companies around the city that offer guided Segway tours. Depending on your budget, and timeframe, it won’t be hard to find one that suits your needs.
Unfortunately, if you have younger kids with you, they will not be able to take part. Most companies have a minimum age of 14 to participate, making it great for families with teens.
The company we went with offered a “Classic” tour, with a choice of either an English or German-speaking guide.
At the start of the tour, you are given time to learn how to ride the Segways in the safety of a private courtyard. Once everyone is comfortable, you head out to discover the city!
Our tour took us all over the city. We stopped often, giving the guide a chance to tell us about the history of the area, as well as time to take pictures.
Total time of the tour was 3 hours, with a cost of 85 Euros per person. Our guide was fantastic, and the experience was unforgettable!
You should definitely add this to your list of things to do in Stuttgart Germany!
Awesome Places to Visit Near Stuttgart
These attractions are located outside of Stuttgart. Some are accessible by train, but a couple require a car to get to.
12. Visit a Gorgeous Palace in Ludwigsburg
Located just north of Stuttgart, is the Ludwigsburg Residential Palace. This massive four-winged palace is the largest Baroque palace in Germany.
Inside, you will find a large courtyard and gardens, two churches, over 450 rooms, and the oldest preserved palace theatre in Europe.
The Theatre Museum still has its original stage machinery, including a collection of rare 18th- and 19th-century stage sets.
See the ingenious mechanisms for moving stage sets and for creating the illusions of thunder, rain, and wind.
Of course, you will not want to miss the grand Marble Hall! Between the exquisite chandeliers and the ceiling fresco of a blue sky dotted with puffy white clouds, you won’t know where to look first!
The Ludwigsburg Palace also has one of the longest guided tours! It runs for 90 minutes and is available in German and English. See their website for dates and times you can catch the tour.
Ludwigsburg also offers a number of things to see and do near the Palace. In December, the Baroque Marktplatz is where you can find a Christmas Market. And if you are visiting in the autumn, the palace grounds host a popular Pumpkin Festival.
13. Make Your Own Chocolate at the Ritter Sport Museum
Have you ever tried Ritter Sport chocolate? These square chocolate bars come in a variety of flavours and can be found in most supermarkets these days.
When I was growing up, however, you couldn’t get them in Canada.
Located in Waldenbuch, the Ritter Sport Museum is approximately a 30-minute drive south of Stuttgart. Here, you will find an amazing little chocolate museum!
Although quite small and unassuming, it is pretty awesome!
The exhibit takes you through the history of Ritter, the chocolate-making process, as well as why they decided on their uniquely square shape.
Make Your Own Chocolate Bars!
But aside from the exhibit, this wonderful little museum also offers chocolate-making classes for kids!
The classes themselves are pre-booked online at a cost of 7 Euros per child, for a 75-minute class.
But there’s a catch – no adults allowed! Only kids between the ages of 7-18 are allowed in the classroom.
The classes are run in German, however, during our visit, a few of the instructors spoke fluent English.
They were more than happy to assist Mr. Bump and Miss Somersault, as they only have a limited understanding of the German language.
The kids were taken into the classroom where they were taught about the chocolate-making process.
They were then allowed to choose the type of chocolate they wanted to make (milk, dark, or white) as well as the mix-ins needed to create their custom Ritter Sport Bars.
The chocolate is then poured into moulds by the kids, and placed into the refrigerator. While the bars are cooling, the kids are given the opportunity to custom-design their packaging.
At this point, parents are invited back into the classroom for photo ops and to see the finished product.
The kids absolutely loved the experience! They also loved devouring their creations on the ride home!
14. Explore a Cave at the Bärenhöhle
The Bärenhöhle is located 60 km south of Stuttgart, near Sonnenbühl, in Germany’s Swabian Alps. At a total length of 292 meters, most of the cave system is accessible to the public via guided tour only.
And don’t forget your sweater! The temperature is only 8-10 °C throughout the year.
Discovered in 1949, Bärenhöhle gets its name from the remains of a cave bear that was found inside. Pretty incredible considering this cave bear has been extinct for over 15,000 years!
And as an added interest, the skeleton, which is now attached by wires and positioned into a life-like stance, can still be found inside the cave!
In 2013, the bear cave was included as part of the UNESCO Geopark Swabian Alps site.
In 2015, the lighting system inside the cave was upgraded to LED’s, allowing for multi-colour lighting throughout the caves, as well as helping to prevent the growth of mosses on some rocks.
The pathway in the cave is paved but does have a few sets of stairs. Something to consider if you have a stroller with you.
The guided tour only takes about 20-25 minutes but is only available in German.
Even though the kids couldn’t understand much, there was enough to see inside the cave, so they were not bored in the slightest.
Our kids enjoyed looking at the skeletons and rock formations and didn’t find anything to be too scary.
Aside from wearing a good pair of sneakers and a sweater, there isn’t much preparation involved either.
The cost was approximately 10 Euro for a family ticket, or 4.50 for adults and 3.50 for kids individually.
15. Have a Topsy-Turvey Experience at the Toppels Café
This attraction is about 2 hours outside of Stuttgart, but we felt it was worth a mention!
Located in Wertheim, Germany, Toppels Café is a roadside attraction built to resemble a family home turned on its head.
The café is reportedly owned by a fictitious family called the Toppels. And boy do they have an interesting view of life!
Outside, you will find the entire house is built upside down, including a floating car in an attached carport.
The House Really is a Site to See!
Inside, the Toppel family really committed to the theme as well. All six rooms of the home are fully furnished and upside down!
The bathroom has upside-down fixtures (including the toilet), and so does the kitchen.
You can also find a lot of clever details hidden around the rooms. Kids’ toys are scattered across the ‘floor’ in one room, while cans of paint and a latter are set up in another.
We definitely had a lot of fun exploring the Toppels house! We also managed to get some really cool (and Instagramable) photos!
Small snacks and drinks can be purchased in the attached café and consumed on the premises. There is plenty of seating on the outside terrace, as well as at the playground.
This attraction was definitely unique, but we wouldn’t recommend it for someone who suffers from vertigo! The effect is pretty dizzying.
Where is Stuttgart Germany?
As the capital city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart has a population of over 600,000 people. Presently, it is the 6th largest city in Germany.
The city is nestled in a valley between the Neckar River and the Black Forest, in what is referred to as the ‘cauldron’ or ‘bowl’.
Stuttgart is located approximately 2 hours south of Frankfurt (202 km), and 2.5 hours northwest of Munich (232 km).
How Do You Get to Stuttgart Germany?
As the 6th largest city in Germany, Stuttgart does have its own airport. You can fly into Stuttgart-Echterdingen Airport from virtually anywhere in Europe.
However, if you are coming from overseas, you will need to fly into either Frankfurt International Airport or Munich International Airport.
From either airport, you can then take a connecting flight, or rent a car and drive to Stuttgart.
What is Stuttgart Germany Known For?
Stuttgart was founded in the 10th century. Its name is a modern version of the original Stutengarten (“mare’s garden”), which is represented by the city’s coat of arms, or crest.
Stuttgart is most famous for its automotive industry, with both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz having their headquarters in the city.
🐴 Fun Fact: Porsche uses the Stuttgart crest in its own emblem. The mare is featured prominently in the center!
Getting Around Stuttgart Germany
Germany has awesome public transportation, and Stuttgart is no exception. The city is easy for tourists to reach and to explore, with its Hauptbahnhof (main railway station) right in the center, within a short walk of the main attractions.
The S-Bahn system is easy to use and connects the city center to the airport and other attractions.
The S-Bahn will take you from town to town, with the main stops being Feuersee, Stadmitte, and Hauptbahnhof.
The U-Bahn is the train system used for travelling within the city. Not only are there many stops around the city, but they connect to a large bus network as well.
We have travelled to Stuttgart many times as a family, and have not needed to rent a car. Between the S-Bahn and U-Bahn systems, you can easily get anywhere in the city quickly.
We purchased weekly passes right inside the Stuttgart Airport, and hopped on the train from there! We definitely found the trains/busses extremely easy to navigate, as well as being very clean!
Things to Do in Stuttgart for Kids – FAQs
Just a few additional facts about Stuttgart that we did not cover in our post.
YES! Stuttgart is definitely worth visiting. As the capital of Baden-Württemberg, with tons to see and do, Stuttgart makes a wonderful stop in any German itinerary.
As we have mentioned, there really is plenty to see and do in Stuttgart. You could easily spend your entire vacation there! But, if you only have limited time, 3-5 days will allow you to see many of the sights of Stuttgart, and maybe even venture just outside of the city.
Swabian is the German dialect spoken in Stuttgart and much of Baden-Württemberg. You will also find that most people will also be able to speak some English if you happen to get stuck.
YES! Stuttgart has a beach! The beach is located in Bad Cannstatt along the Neckar River and actually belongs to a restaurant.
Although it is not really a conventional beach right on the water (it’s actually manmade), it is NEAR the water has sand, and is made for relaxing and enjoying the views.
Yes. Tap water is not only safe to drink, but is one of the most controlled beverage/food products in Germany.
In fact, many larger German cities like Berlin and Munich, brag about the quality of their tap water, as well as the fact that it often comes from the same source as mineral water.
Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Stuttgart with Kids
Our list of 15 things to do in Stuttgart Germany, should at least get you started for planning an awesome and kid-friendly itinerary.
The city has so many wonderful things to offer for families, without the stress of being overcrowded.
If you have been to Stuttgart, we would love to hear about your experiences and favourite places! Drop us a line in the comments below!