Travel: Stuttgart Reopens with Christmas Market

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The City of Stuttgart, Germany, is looking forward to a busy and bright 2022 starting off with the Christmas markets this month. Safely and with social distancing, the three Christmas markets in and around Stuttgart, will open.

Opening with extended hours and special highlights will be the main market on Stuttgart's Schlossplatz, the baroque market at the castle of Ludwigsburg and the medieval market in the half-timbered town of Esslingen.

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Extending its opening day to December 30, Stuttgart's Christmas Market will stretch from the New Palace to Schiller Square. (Visitors must be fully vaccinated or show immunity and, in addition, must take a quick test for eating and drinking).

Especially romantic is the Stuttgart Christmas Garden in the Wilhelma Zoological and Botanical Gardens while the enormous sculptures comprising the Stuttgart Highlights showcase some of the city's tourism highlights, including the Stuttgart horse, the Mercedes-Benz Museum, the Porsche Museum, the Television Tower and the Jubilee Column decorated with thousands of lights.

Car City!

As the sculptures represent, the tourism highlights in Stuttgart start with the city's two world class auto museums: Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. Even if you are not a gear head, you will love the design and luxury of the state-of-the-art racers and celebrity cars all presented in the context of social and industrial history. It is design, luxury, technology and history all wrapped in two fun, interactive and sophisticated experiences.

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The car experience continues with factory tours; the Gottlieb Daimler Memorial house where Daimler and Maybach made the first engine; viewing the vintage cars for sale at MOTORWORLD; and overnighting in one of two V-8 hotels where you can sleep in a car wash, or on Route 66, or in another an automobile themed room. A special SL exhibit at the Mercedes-Benz museum will be a highlight until May 15.

Award Winning Wines: Toast of the Town!

Wine is a joyous theme that runs throughout Stuttgart's city life. Throughout the year, the wine hills of the Württemberg wine region that surround Stuttgart offer endless opportunities for hiking, biking, tastings and tours and beautiful views of the city. Many of the seasonal pubs offer their local wines along with traditional fare in their courtyards. Festivals, talks and the wine museums round out a fun and interesting wine experience in and around Stuttgart. The annual wine festival at the end of August and early September on the main castle square (Schlossplatz) is a chance to mingle with locals and enjoy tasting 500 different types of wines from the region along with traditional local fare.

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Beer Hier!

To the delight of visitors and locals, the annual beer festival on the Canstatter Volksfest is second only to Oktoberfest in terms of size and popularity. At the end of September, the beer festival offers fabulous food, tents of beer halls, rides and entertainment and an agricultural fair. Each year the festival opens with a grand procession with magnificently decorated brewery drays drawn by four or six horses, and with groups from all over the region dressed in traditional costumes.

Hip and Happening! #stuttgartkultur!

Whether world-famous ballet or multiple award-winning opera, top-class exhibitions or temporary off-spaces - Stuttgart's culture is multifacted from the State Art and Modern Art Museum to cool galleries and popup art places. Le Corbusier's houses in the Weissenhofsiedlung are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in 2018 Stuttgart was named Germany's No. 1 cultural capital for the fourth time in the HWWI/Berenberg cultural city ranking.

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Shop til You Drop

At the risk of sounding a bit superficial, Stuttgart's shopping is actually rewarding for its insight into local business and artistry. Small shops offer a variety of clothing, jewelry, hand-crafted goods, delicious foods and wines that you cannot find in chain stores or at home. High quality items, one-offs and beautifully designed items from the region can easily fill your suitcase for loved ones at home. The Bean Quarter and Calwer Strasse with its restaurants, cafés and wine bars and the Art Nouveau Market Hall are delightful for browsing. Last but not least, Königstrasse, the main walking street, offers a huge selection of brand names from all over Europe.

Locals' Top Tips!

One of the surest ways to figure out how popular and fun a city can be is dig into the local favorites. Great travel is nothing if not discovering the local experience. Stuttgart's Television Tower (which is a landmark for its pioneering construction), Stuttgart's "Zacke" (cogwheel railway) and Stuttgart's "Stäffele" (big number of stairways in the wine hills) are three favorites for the locals where they enjoy being outdoors, views of their city and participating in city life. 

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You can easily fill up one week but a long weekend for Christmas markets or anytime throughout the year can be the perfect present for this holiday season. Stuttgart is easily reachable by plane or train from anywhere in Europe. Hotel accommodations are plentiful in the city center and are only a short walk to great shopping and the city's main sights. There are also several spa hotels on the outskirts of the city that offer relaxation after a long day of sightseeing. We recommend the StuttCARD which allows you free access to many museums and facilities, free transportation and bus tours throughout the region. And you can even make your reservations online before you come. Come and enjoy the cultural, car-rich, wine-filled, shopping city of Stuttgart.

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