stuttgart Travel Guide
Stuttgart, located at the intersection of a bunch of highways and railroads in southern Germany, is perennially listed as one of those "why don't more people go there" tourist destinations.
It comes up on our radar about once a year, sometimes in an unfortunate context but usually under the assumption that you'll be wanting information about the city. And yet, during certain parts of the tourist season, it's still functionally deserted.
That's weird because - even ignoring the city's sprawling attractions - Stuttgart is an absurdly affordable travel destination. A ticket on LCC Germanwings, which has its own terminal in Stuttgart's international airport and services most European capitals, costs significantly less than a routine Eurorail ticket. The airport lies about 30 minutes outside the city and is easily accessible via subway.
Knut / Animals / Zoos / Germany Travel / → All Tags
If you're a cute, black-and-white animal living in Stuttgart's beautiful Wilhelma Zoo, you've been in the headlines recently. That's the conclusion we've drawn from the series of stories emerging from southern Germany, with the most disturbing news being the abduction of Babe.
Babe, in this case, was not a pig, but a penguin. Poor Babe was bird-napped from her enclosure in broad daylight last Tuesday and hasn't been seen since. As the police astutely pointed out, "There is no black market for penguins in Germany," so everyone's stumped by the penguin theft.
But the zoo is trying to turn its image positive again, finally announcing that a baby polar bear was born there in December. They kept it a secret--trying to avoid a repeat of the Knut drama in the Berlin Zoo--but have now announced that baby Wilbär is happy, healthy and hasn't been abandoned by his mother, although he'll be staying out of the public eye until April. By which time, we hope, poor Babe the penguin has also returned.
We recommend postponing trips to Stuttgart until all the black-and-white cuties are on show again.
Cold, rainy fall days make for the best culture travel. So over the next few weeks we're mapping the upcoming shows to see.
The middle of Europe is always a good place to gaze at art, mostly because it's often raining outside. And because plenty of the world's best painters and sculptors are from around these regions, the galleries are pretty well stocked. In Stuttgart the Staatsgalerie (state gallery) is no exception, although many visitors come especially to see the outside of it with its pastel-painted modern architecture. As well as a stunning regular collection, rolling exhibitions feature greats like Monet, Gauguin and Matisse.
When you need food and drinks (and, according to their slogan, also rock'n'roll) then it must be time to head for Bonnie & Clyde near the Stöckach subway station. As well as being a hang-out for local students, it seems to attract a mixed crowd of Germans and foreigners, and the staff speak good English so you'll be able to get exactly the beer you're after--important when there are so many good German beers to choose from.
Animals / Zoos / → All Tags
Stuttgart's Wilhelma Zoo, the biggest combined zoo and garden in Europe, has a somber message at the top of its website these days:
Dear Wilhelma visitor,
the new crocodile hall is open.
There's no link to the crocodile hall, not even a grizzly picture, but our curiosity is definitely aroused. And in fact the homepage is pretty neat, customizing itself to fit the season--if you log on during winter, for example, it'll show you big tips for how to enjoy a trip to the Wilhelma that avoids the cold weather, following an as-much-as-possible indoors route.
If you make it to Stuttgart in real life (not just cyberlife), you'll have the chance to see a whole host of unusual creatures, including the rare Somali wild ass, species of antelope including bongos, and some babirusas from Sulawesi which even the zoo itself advertises as being strange-looking. Nothing beats that wombat Down Under yet, but at least the Wilhelma is in the northern hemisphere so you can get your weird animal fix without such a long flight.
· Cuddly Critters Down Under [Jaunted]
· The Gander of Cottbus [Jaunted]
What do real Australians eat? Kangaroo steaks, emu fillets and grilled crocodile? Hardly. The Aussies we know usually snack on pizza, curry and beer, but at Sydney's Australian Bar and Restaurant in Stuttgart, the deep-freeze holds a very extensive collection of native fauna.
No bad pun of a name has been spared on Sydney's menu. The Bush Fire is a piece of kangaroo with a super-spicy sauce; there's an ironic Shark Attack dish, (no relation to shark bites gummy cnady) since this time the human attacks the shark; and we presume the Crocodile Dundee croc fillet comes with a really big knife. Unfortunately, the "Bay Watch" main course seems to come with a big piece of barramundi fish but without Pamela Anderson.
A decent selection of Aussie beer rounds out a meal on the street in Stuttgart, under those bright blue Foster's umbrellas that seem to symbolize every Aussie pub outside the country itself. We're just waiting for the day when someone opens an Australian restaurant actually in Australia. Whadya reckon, mate?
Kangaroos Terrorist Target [Oxford Press]
French Kangaroos [Jaunted]
Germany / Automobiles / World Cup / Museums / → All Tags
While the FIFA World Cup countdown is getting most of the attention in Germany, those classy carmakers at Merc are hyping the opening of the new Mercedes-Benz Museum and Center in Stuttgart with their own day-by-day ticker. OK, it's actually an every other day ticker. The countdown website tells us the revamped museum will open on May 20:
In the meantime, we would like to present to you some amazing details. Every second day, a little more insight.Yep, after revealing life-altering facts like the amount of cement used in the new building (45,000 cubic meters, if it helps you sleep) and that the Mercedes bus that drove around the 1974 World Cup Champion German soccer team still exists, it seems the people of the silver star couldn't come up with enough mindless trivia to publish a new fact each day. Isn't the company over one hundred years old?
They have managed to throw up a mighty impressive-looking silver structure to house their collection of automotive memorabilia, which became a bit cramped in its old premises. Nine winding panoramic floors of cars lead down to a café and the new Mercedes-Benz Center is nearby, showing off current and upcoming models. Pay attention; they'll be quizzing you on how much cement was used on your way out.
[Image via MissPasta/Flickr]
Yesterday, we called Stuttgart, and Germany in general, "extremely clean", based on what we saw on the Amazing Race.
However, this morning, we received this report:
I am in the military in Stuttgart. The part about germany being clean.... well right after they left here the german states trash and road crews went on strike... making it look like eastern europe, but for the most part its clean.
Stuttgart "looking like Eastern Europe"? Well, we found this post from back on March 8:
So, since the strike began [sometime in February], the garbage piled up in Stuttgart, a city of 590,000 people. Last week, the municipal authorities lost patience and hired private sanitation firms to swoop in and clean up the place. According to a report I watched on German news channel N24, the private workers get paid about 25% less than their civil servant counterparts, and work longer hours. But they were happy to get the work, as was obvious from the good-natured interviews they gave to the N24 crew.
Of course, the garbage has to go somewhere once it's picked up. The striking workers physically blocked the private drivers from reaching the city's landfills and trash incinerators, which is dangerous, not to mention illegal. It amounts to thuggery, though I expected nothing less of union workers.
Yikes. What's up in Stuttgart now? Still dirty? Strike settled? Let us know.