After spending a quick weekend in Stuttgart, I thought I’d share a couple of cool things to do if you’re stuck for time during a lovely German winter!
On the Friday, only having from about two o’clock onwards to start exploring – we decided to wander through the city centre, grabbing some oversized pizzas and eating it by the wonderful Schlossplatz Stuttgart, in the main square.
After finding desert (a waffle drenched in nutella, although big, soft crêpes seemed to be very popular here – and have very good reason to be!!!) we were of course hungry again (it was really, really cold). We headed to Weinhaus Stetter, a local Swabian pub, for some grub.
Mettbrötchen – a raw minced pork spread with onions and garlic.. pretty questionable
Local Swabian wine, which was really nice (the one and only adjective I use as the expert wine connoisseur I am).
We then decided to head to the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) which was a short bus ride away from the centre. Although we jussssst missed sunset, the views were amazing! I would highly recommend visiting the tower, especially in time to catch the sunset.
We stayed for a while and had a few beers and a coffee in the Tower café, which was also a lovely spot to sit and watch the city lights from afar.
The most exciting part of the weekend – we headed to Burg Hohenzollern! A castle from the Middle Ages, it was actually destroyed and rebuilt twice to form the castle we went to visit. The cold and snowy weather really made it look magical. Because of the weather, and the fact that it wasn’t really tourist season, I’d recommend planning this day before you head out. We got one of two trains that go to Hechingen from the main station in Stuttgart.
If you get the earlier train (around 10 o’clock in the morning) there is a shuttle bus that can then take you up to the castle. We got the later train at around 12 and just got a taxi to the castle. We then walked up a beautiful path (which thankfully warmed us up) and paid around 14 euros for a self-guided tour.
We spent a couple of hours getting lost in the snowy, winding paths exploring the castle. I couldn’t stop taking pictures, it was like a beige Hogwarts (but not beige as in boring) but cool and… German.
Apparently, there is a White Lady that haunts the castle and has been linked to deaths after her sighting. Creepy right.
There are two cafés at the top, which serve delicious local Swabian food and soul warming coffees. I admit to losing blogger points here as I ate the food so fast I forgot to snap it (I do this too often, should I get a penny jar?)…Swabian food’s scrummy though!
Luckily, we had a dry and sunny day. The view from the top was ahhhhhhhhmazing!
All the snow had settled on top of the mountains and trees. If it was Christmas this would have been just about perfect eh.
We luckily caught a minibus (a 2 euro fee) that took us down to the bottom of the castle just in time to catch the last bus back to the station (it leaves at 4:15pm daily, but is known to leave early so try to get down for 4!).
On our way back to Stuttgart we stopped off at Tübingen, a bright and lively student town half an hour away from Stuttgart. The buildings here are so colourful, as is the town – loads of bars, restaurants and a nice buzz to it.
We stopped at Café Atrium for a crêpe or two, and this was a really cute place! The crépes were incredible and more importantly, larger than my head. The walk through the main town to get here was beautiful, lots of hilly, long cobbled streets and local architecture to admire, kind of like a hillier version of Edinburgh!
Then we went for another wander, and actually found a Mexican restaurant/bar – El Chico, by the river, where we got some nachos and drinks – just about catching happy hour!
After running back to catch the next train back to Stuttgart main station, we then had a nightmare trying to find VOIR Skybar!!! We must have circled the main station about 3 billion times, only to find there was a lift up to it in the main station. TAKE NOTE, READERS. There is a LIFT (with very poor sign posting).
We only had a couple of hours on Sunday before having to leave – and since we were staying in Esslingen Am Neckar, we thought we’d save the Burg here for last. It’s really beautiful here, a well-preserved medieval town, and you could keep walking everywhere for ages and not get bored of taking pictures. It’s a classic architecturally German city – and it’s actually home to the oldest inhabited house, as well as the oldest neighbourhood.
The design and colours of the buildings were to show off the wealth of the owners – no Bitcoins here people.
The walk up to the Burg, very well signposted and easy to find (literally just look up and walk towards it), but it was a toughie – lots and lots of steps. But the view from the courtyard once you’re there is worth it, and it also heated us up in the cold weather.
We polished off the trip by having some more food – some pretty delicious French Toast at Markt E1ns in Esslingen – which was a REALLY fab way to end a holiday. P.s ask for some Nutella on the side!
But there you have it, 48 hours in Stuttgart – a quick weekend trip that could be changed up a lot if you have an extra day or two, you could see the famous Automobile museums the city has to offer and explore more gobsmackingly beautiful castles! Staying in Esslingen was a bonus as we visited the Burg. So next time you’re bored and desperately browsing flights with Skyscanner or Kayak (we’ve all been there, it’s a dreary week, your deadlines are piling up and you’re considering dropping out of uni, changing your name and moving to Mexico) have a lookie at Stuttgart and give it a go, it’s cheap and cheerful!
Smell ya later, Devamsha xoxo