Stuttgart International airport is the 6th busiest airport in Germany, welcoming almost 10 million passengers in 2013. There are four terminals in the airport, each serving different airlines and almost 400 take-offs occur daily.
How to get around
The airport is located 15km away from the city centre. One way to get there is to take the S-Bahn. Lines S2 and S3 bring you to Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof (Stuttgart Central Railway station). The journey takes around 30 minutes and Stuttcard is available for purchase at the tourist office in the airport. This is a three-day public transport ticket and the card is used to take public transport around the city or on the regional network.
The card also provides discounts and certain places of attraction. A taxi ride to the city will cost you from NZD40-80, depending on the traffic. Car rental is also an option but parking in the city is inconvenient.
There are a few ways to get around the city, with walking being one of them. Most places of interest are located near each other and within the city centre. Although taxis are available, it is not recommended as they are expensive. A cheaper alternative is to take public transport.
Public transport system in Stuttgart is called Verkehrs- und Tarifverbund Stuttgart (VVS). By purchasing a VVS ticket, you can take all streetcars, commuter trains, regional trains, and buses within metropolitan Stuttgart area. For those in transit and are only exploring the city for a few hours, the VVS day-ticket enables you to travel within one to two zones in Stuttgart unlimited.
What to see and do
Stuttgart is commonly known as the birthplace of Mercedes-Benz. Despite its urbanity, the city has many historical buildings and landmarks used as museums and ministerial departments today. Whether you are in transit or staying for a few days, Stuttgart has many places of interests to offer.
Nestled in the heart of the city is Schlossplatz, home to Neues Schloss. Neues Schloss is currently occupied by regional ministerial departments. Have a picnic at Schlossplatz and marvel at its baroque architecture. Just across Neues Schloss stands Altes Schloss, this old, renaissance palace is now the regional history museum. Admire the intricacy of the castle church paintings and carvings in this place of sanctuary.
One of the more iconic landmarks is the Stuttgart Fine Arts Museum, located north of Schillarplatz. The museum is shaped after a glass cube and boasts a collection of artwork from contemporary to classical.
For outdoor lovers, take a stroll in Höhenpark Killesberg. Formerly a quarry, today it is a picturesque park offering panoramic views of Stuttgart from Killesberg Turm, a 43m lookout tower. Miniature train rides are also available to tour the park.
If you wish to explore further, take a 30 minutes stroll over to Rosenstein Park. Along the way, pass by the Natural History Museum. Over 4000 orchids are located in the park. It also contains Europe’s largest magnolia grove.
The headquarters of the luxurious car Mercedes-Benz lies in Stuttgart. Drop by the museum, documenting the evolution of engineering Mercedes-Benz. The daily ticket to enter the museum costs around NZD13. Special exhibitions like classic Mercedes cars are also shown during different periods.