Hop on, hop off buses are everywhere in Europe and Stuttgart has finally joined the club. I’ve never actually tried out the buses in other cities, only because I don’t like to be too restricted and I like to try out other means of transportation, the non-tourist ones. It’s hard to miss the bus and I think the bright red bus does attract people throughout the trip. And it goes so well with the green! In fact, the overall color theme is red: the bus, the tickets, the handbooks, the staff. Since it’s fairly a new thing, even the Stuttgarters seem surprised to see it. 80 percent of the kids start squealing and waving to the bus as soon as they see it. The bottom line: super easy and convenient to use, informative and a great way to really learn about the city without having to memorize the map.
It’s best to sit on top, obviously, but if you snooze, you lose. I would whisper “go, go, go” to G whenever we were getting on again. So it’s quite important to be on time and it takes a bit of luck. During summer days, the heat may be a bit too much for some, but still. The top deck is the place to be. The audio guide comes in 8 different languages and two special version (for kids and Schwaebisch, the local dialect) and is a conversation sequence between a grandfather and granddaughter. Something like, “Hey, did you know this?” “Wow, that’s amazing!” Very cute.
The audio guide is informative and offers interesting facts here and there, some even Germans living here have no idea about. Like why Bohnenviertel is actually called Bohnenviertel or which service Breuninger introduced that changed the concept of shopping or how the pretzel actually got its famous shape. I wouldn’t say standing up would mean getting your head cut off like the picture, but there were times and locations when tree branches did hang quite low and you had to duck. The tour also comes with a handy guidebook which is straight to the point with all the necessary information, a bit of advertisement but usable and very helpful, plus special offers at such restaurants, cafes and bars.
We’ve been to the first couple of “TopSpots,” so we stopped directly at the vineyard. Stuttgart is surrounded by numerous vineyards, quite an interesting trait for a small German city. There are numerous wine festivals here and there as soon as the weather begins to chill. I’m not a big fan of the red wine, but the whites are superb.
And what a view!
There are two places that offer food and drinks near the vineyard. One is a proper restaurant called Aussichtsreich and another is small family place which is not really a legit restaurant but rather a two-grill stop. But they offer the wine from the vineyards so all’s good.
Our next stop was Killesberg Hill Park, but this was because I just wanted gelato. Schloz Eis is the gelato shop under the Scholz brand, which includes a cafe, bar, restaurant and flower shop. City tour passengers get a coupon of 3 scoops for the price of two. Don’t mind if I do.
Red. Plus the horse you see on the Porsche symbol. It’s originally the symbol of Stuttgart.
(+) For those who are interested in a fancier, more private tour, there’s also a limousine service called driveLINE. It started in 2013 so fairly younger than other similar services, but driveLINE keeps it a bit more personal. One of the most popular services is their wedding service, where you can pick up family or friends and take them and back wherever you need them to be. The sightseeing service caters to people who are in need of a private tour around the city, complete with a personal tour guide. All services are provided in English and German.
- Stuttgart City tour (€ 15 for 24 hours, but € 12 with StuttCard)
- Mercedes-Benz Museum
- Killesberg Hill Park
- Schloz Eis
- driveLINE (rates start from € 200)
All photos by rachelsanghee. Originally posted August, 2014.