It’s quite typical for the Germany tourists to be drawn to the beer gardens in Munich, the history-filled Berlin, or the charming towns dotted along the Rhine River. But, hidden among those popular locations is Stuttgart, known more for its contributions to the automotive industry than being a draw for visitors. For the locals and the ex-pats that call it home, however, Stuttgart is a hidden gem with its own endearing qualities.
Explore: Any Saturday morning would be best started at the Stuttgart Wochenmarkt (weekly Farmer’s Market). Spread among two of the largest squares in the downtown area, the Marktplatz (market square) and Schillerplatz (the square named for a German poet), using the market as a base enables the visitor to pick up local goodies as well as be perfectly positioned to explore the nearby Königstrasse, the nearly 1-mile long shopping street with stores and cafes, as well as the Schlossplatz (Palace Square), and the Schlossgarten (Palace Garden). Just staying in that one area could take almost an entire morning. Conveniently, it is also the starting location for Stuttgart’s version of a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus that will take you to the main sites through the downtown and surrounding areas.
Fresh fruits, veggies, homemade jams and other goodies are easily found at this weekly market.
Eat: There are numerous cafes and restaurants to choose from in the vicinity of the market, which could make it difficult to decide where to grab brunch after expending all of that energy shopping. An extremely convenient place to stop is Alte Kanzlei (Old Chancellery), a restaurant that sits directly on the Schillerplatz, one of the two squares where the weekly market is held. There are two outdoor eating areas, both in prime locations. In the front, you are directly on the Schlossplatz, and in the back, you are treated to prime people-watching, as well as views of the Stiftskirche (Collegiate Church) and Altes Schloss (the Old Castle). If you go, do not skip the Kasekuchen (cheesecake), it is delicious.
Looking out from the inside of the Alte Kanzlei to the Schillerplatz. On Saturdays, the market is filled with fruit, vegetable and flower vendors.
Relax: After all of the shopping, exploring, and eating, the next step to make it the perfect day would be to follow the lead of the locals and head to one of the many mineral baths in the area. The MineralBad Cannstatt is a top choice, and easily accessible by public transportation from downtown Stuttgart. After a 15-minute ride on the U-Bahn, you will be dropped off directly in front of this relaxation haven, with swimming and bathing pools, steam rooms, and a sauna.
The Bad Cannstatt Mineralbad, a lovely place to round out a relaxing Saturday in Stuttgart.
There’s a good chance, following the market, the food and the mineral bath, that you’ll want more time in Stuttgart. But if you only have a Saturday, this is the way to spend it!
By: Sarah Meinecke Barber
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