Things to Do in Stuttgart, Germany

For the past three and a half years, I have made Stuttgart my home.  Because there is so much I could write about Stuttgart, I’ve decided to make an ever-growing list of things to do/see/eat/drink/shop in the capital of Baden-Württemberg.

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TO DO/SEE:

Schlossgarten: A 600-year-old park in the city center. Divided into three parts: Obere Schlossgarten, which has the Staatstheater, the Staatsgalerie and the Haus des Landtags; Mittleren Schlossgarten, with the Carl-Zeiss-Planetarium, the beer garden, and the main train station; and Untere Schlossgarte, with mineral baths and the river. At the end of the park is the Wilhelma Zoo and Rosensteinpark.

Neues Schloss: Used to serve as a residence to the kings of Baden-Württemberg. Located in the central square of Stuttgart, popular with tourists and as a hangout for locals.

Hauptbahnhof: The main train station of Stuttgart. Connects to cities throughout Germany and Europe.

Wilhelma Zoo (Wilhelmaplatz 13): Has a zoo and a nice botanical garden. Come during the spring to see all the flowers in bloom.

Fernsehturm (Jahnstraße 120): The TV tower with an observation deck. However, it is closed at the moment until further notice.

Feuersee: The Lake of Fire has the Johannes Church and a fountain.

Frühlingsfest: Popular festival which marks the beginning of spring, with carnival rides and beer tents.

Hamburger Fischmarkt: An annual fish market with fried herring, eel, shrimp, and other Nordic delicacies. Takes place in July.

Sommerfest: Held in the Schlossplatz, the summer festival brings crowds with its wide range of cuisines, wines, and cocktails.

Weindorf: The Wine Village consists of 125 wine stalls and over 500 kinds in the Marktplatz in mid-July.

Cannstatter Volksfest: The second biggest beer festival in Germany (second to Oktoberfest in Munich), Takes place in the fall at the end of September.

Weihnachtsmarkt: A lovely Christmas with Christmas crafts, mulled wine, and other winter goods.

Mercedes Benz Museum (Mercedesstraße 100): Starting at the top of the museum, you can work your way down the nine levels of Mercedes history, from classic cars to modern-day cars.

Porsche Museum (Porschestraße 1):  The Porsche Museum holds about 80 cars and small exhibits.

Das Leuze Mineralbad: Mineral water is used for the swimming pools and saunas. Also has tanning booths, playgrounds, a sports field, and a restaurant.

Schloss Ludwigsburg (Schlossstraße 30, Ludwigsburg): North of the city center is the palace of Ludwigsburg, one of the largest baroque buildings in Europe. Check out the tour to view the royal apartments, museums, and the palace theater. The surrounding garden is also one of the oldest, which hold events year round, such as the Kürbisausstellung, which takes place in the fall.

TO EAT/DRINK:

Udo Snack (Calwer Straße 23): Hamburgers and specialty burgers.

Biergarten im Schlossgarten (Am Schloßgarten 18): A beer garden in the middle of the Schlossgarten.

QQ Sushi Lounge (Kanalstraße 10): Quick service and delicious nigiri, maki, and fried sushi rolls.

Vegi Voodoo King (Steinstraße 13): The eggplant falafel eggplant is famous here. Vegan and vegetarian options on the menu.

Zum Paulaner (Calwer Straße 45): Bavarian and Swabian food, with Paulaner beer on tap.

Reiskorn (Torstraße 27): Asian cuisine in a hip atmosphere. Sit in the Buddha’s garden in the back.

Eat Drink Man Woman (Schloßstraße 77):  The only authentic Korean restaurant in the city.

Ilysia am Wallgraben (Möhringer Landstraße 100): The closest to Greece you will get. The terrace is a great place to be, especially in the summer season.

Namaste India (Osterbronnstraße 60): Tasty Indian food. Come for the lunch buffet (6,90 € per person).

TO SHOP:

Flohmarkt Karlsplatz: Find your flea market needs.

Königsbau Passagen (Königstraße 26): Shops and cafes, and a newly built food court that offers sushi, kebab, burgers, and cupcakes.

Königstraße: The main shopping street in Stuttgart, with shops such as H&M, C&A, Hollister, Esprit, Hugo Boss, and the GALERIA Kaufhof.

Breuninger (Marktstraße 1-3): This flagship store has brands such as Burberry, Gucci, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Markthalle (Dorotheenstraße 4): An Art Nouveau building that is now a shopping place with 37 stalls of exotic fruits, teas, spices, and chocolates.

Konstanz, Germany

When I first came to Germany in 2009, the first place I visited was Konstanz, a little city on the western end of the Bodensee (Lake Constance). Of course, I don’t count landing in Frankfurt, but I will have a travel post about Frankfurt, so check back later. 😉

It was because of an ex-boyfriend that I had arrived in Konstanz. Before him, I had never thought about moving to Germany. I have lived in England and Korea before, but I am a true Californinan, by birth and soul, and I had always thought about staying in California. Konstanz is bordered by Kreuzlingen, a Swiss town, which is where he lived, while he attended the hochschule on the German side.

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Konstanz is a university city, housing about 80,000 people. It is located in the south west of Germany, bordering Switzerland. The Rhine River separates two parts of the city, The north part, the larger part, consists of residential areas, industrial areas, and the University of Konstanz. The south part consists of the old town, the administrative center, the shopping district, and the Hochschule Konstanz Technik, Wirtschaft und Gestaltung (University of Applied Sciences).

So while my ex lived in Kreuzlingen, we spent most of the time in Konstanz. I was there for three months, and more in between when I later moved to Stuttgart (for another post, as well). Although I had arrived in Germany during the beginning of winter, I learned to fall in love with Konstanz and the lake. It is easily one of my favorite cities in Germany.

TO DO/SEE:

Bodensee Therme (Zur Therme 2): A spa facility that includes multiple saunas and pools.

Fastnacht/Carnival (Old Town): A week-long event with costumes, parades, and parties. Takes place after Ash Wednesday.

Weihnachtsmarkt am See/Christmas Market (Marktstätte): Stalls selling wine, food, and Christmas gifts at the main marketplace and harbour.

The harbour: Great place to sit and relax, and to watch the boats and drink a beer.

Insel Mainau/Mainau Flower Island: Beautiful island with flowers, a butterfly house, and a greenhouse.

Imperia Statue (at the harbour entrance): A statue of a women holding two men, Pope Martin V and Emperor Sigismundin.

TO EAT/DRINK:

Zeitlos (St. Stephans Platz 25): My favorite restaurant in Konstanz. Has the best brunch, and the vegetarian maultaschen with salad is delicious.

Sushi-Bar Tatsumi (Wollmatinger Str. 70): Got to have my sushi! Located outside of the old town, but worth the drive/bus. Small and intimate sushi bar. Reservations are recommended.

Don Alfredo (Hofhalde 7): One of the best places in Konstanz for Italian food. Go during mussel season, for their amazing mussel and spaghetti dish. Reservations are also recommended.

Pizzeria La Piazza (Marktstätte 2): A typical Italian restaurant. Located at the Marktstätte, so sit at the patio outside for people watching.

Die-Cocktailbar (St. Johann-Gasse 4): Name is pretty self-explanatory, has cocktails of all varieties. Nice and dim abience. Popular with students.

Aran (Marktstätte 6): A great cafe with drinks and snacks. Even has custom-made ice cream.

Shamrock Irish Pub (Bahnhofstr, 4): Good place to meet other English-speaking people. Has a full calendar of events and parties.

TO SHOP:

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1. Old Town: Full of shoe and clothing stores. Pedestrian-only area for strolling and building-looking.

2. LAGO Shopping Center (Bodanstr. 1): A shopping center with 70 stores and restaurants, such as H&M, Esprit, Zara, and Tommy Hilfiger.

3. Flohmarkt Konstanz/Kreuzlingen/Konstanz/Kreuzlingen Flea Market: One of the biggest flea markets in Europe, runs about 14 kilometers from Kreuzlingen and into Konstanz. Takes place in the beginning of July.

QQ Sushi Lounge

QQ Sushi Lounge
Kanalstraße 10, Stuttgart, Germany

Been on a bit of a sushi trend lately. 🙂 Decided to check out a place called QQ Sushi Lounge, after hearing about it from a co-worker. Compared to Sushi-Ya, I think I like this place better because 1) the prices are considerably reasonable, and you still have decent sushi, and 2) this place is reminiscent of the sushi restaurants in California. They have my favorite roll, the Dragon Roll, so I was pretty excited.

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Fried tuna roll, salmon nigiri, salmon maki, imitation crab and cucumber maki, seaweed salad, miso soup, and Dragon roll (fried shrimp tempura with avocado and eel).

chocolART

A couple weeks back, I had the pleasure of visiting chocolART in Tuebingen, considered the biggest chocolate festival in Germany. There were many diverse chocolate specialties, coming from countries such as Africa, Switzerland, France, and Belgium. Here are some images from the festival.

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Sushi-Ya

Sushi-Ya
Kronprinzstraße 6, Stuttgart, Germany

Good sushi is hard to come by in Germany, especially when you come from California and the sushi options are endless. Sushi-Ya comes pretty close, if not one of the best that I’ve had in Germany. Getting a seat here is about timing, as they don’t take reservations. The staff is organized and quick. The sushi is clean and exact, and while it’s a bit pricey compared to other sushi restaurants, you pay for the quality. This is all run by the master chef Somchai and his small group of sushi chefs.

The restaurant is next to Feinkost Boehm.


Negitoro-maki (chopped tuna belly with spring onions), Californian roll (prawn, avocado, and cucumber with flying fish roe and mayonnaise), Unakyu roll (eel and cucumber with sesame seeds), and Alaska roll (salmon and cucumber with sesame seeds).

Berlin in the Spring

This past Memorial weekend, I took a trip up to the biggest city in Deutschland…Berlin! The last time I had been to Berlin was about four years ago, when I did my first EuroTrip with my friend Deborah. It was a Sunday, so nothing was open, and it was cold, which made it even more depressing. This time, I got to see Berlin in full spring bloom, and it was wonderful. I got to revisit the Berliner Dom, the Brandenburger Tor, and the Reichstag, and got to see more of the local areas, such as Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. The food is dead cheap, to German standards. Many of the bars were selling drinks for 4 euros at happy hour. Compare this to 8 euros drinks in Stuttgart.

And of course, there was so much to eat. Food is very varied and more authentic in Berlin. If you want Vietnamese, you get real Vietnamese, and not a fusion of Vietnamese and Chinese, for example. It was a very good weekend to be in Berlin, mostly because of the good weather, but also because the Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures) was being held in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. There were stands selling jewelry, clothes, and food from many different cultures.

Jamaican jerk chicken.

Chick pea, couscous, and falafel.

My friend Insa holding a coconut drink.

Serving soft serve American ice cream. Give me gelato instead, any day. :p

As well as the carnival, we visited a few other food establishments.

Curry 36
Mehringdamm 36, Berlin, Germany

Apparently this is a very famous curry wurst place a few steps from the U-Bahn stop Mehringdamm, which was close to the carnival. I didn’t try their curry wurst, however my friends did. They say it wasn’t anything special. I had the pommes mit ketchup (french fries with ketchup).

Fassbender & Rausch Chocolatiers am Gendarmenmarkt
Charlottenstraße 60, Berlin, Germany

This place reminded me a bit of Sprüngli in Switzerland (of course, no one can beat Swiss chocolates). I was contemplated to buy something, but because of the warm weather, I didn’t want to risk melting chocolate in my bag, so I passed.

A chocolate volcano, need I say more?

Cô cô bành mí deli
Rosenthaler Straße 2, Berlin, Germany

The last time I remember having bành mí was before I became a vegetarian (sometimes you come to accept that the vegetarian versions of the things you loved the most are the worst). So it’s been about 7 years. 7 years. I was excited when I heard about this place. I thought, maybe I would have a go at a vegetarian bành mí with tofu. It wasn’t too bad, although I do miss pâté slathered on my baguette.

Cafe & Bar Celona

When I was a child, breakfast was the less important meal of the day. During the week when I went to school, my mom didn’t bother making breakfast. Instead, my brother and I were often fed chocolate cake or cookies with milk. Of course, I didn’t complain, but now the thought of it makes me weak. As an adult now, if I don’t have a proper breakfast in the morning, I get the shakes and a bad headache.

Cafe & Bar Celona
Holzgraben 31, Frankfurt, Germany

Fabian took me to Cafe & Bar Celona, a restaurant in Frankfurt that serves Spanish-esque food, including pastas and tapas. We went in the morning and had three different breakfast dishes that included scrambled eggs, supposedly-bac0n-like bacon, a variety of cheeses, breads, and fruit. It was probably the first time in awhile that I ate so much breakfast that I was still full until dinner.


This is what awesome looks like in the morning.