Stuttgart has a treasure trove of attractions to keep visitors of all ages
happy for days. As an added bonus, it lies delightfully close to a number of must-see attractions that are perfect for day trips. Whether you like romantic castles, lush nature, relaxing spas or romantic towns, you will find something exciting near Stuttgart. Here is our pick of the best day trips in the area.
Hohenzollern Castle, crowning the lush green Mount Hohenzollern, is the kind of sight that makes you forget that fairy tales are make believe. Even to the most practical eye, the castle resembles something conjured with a magic wand rather than human hands. Every year, more than 350,000 visitors live out their childhood dreams as they wander among its palatial interiors, military fortifications, gardens, and chapels.
Distance from Stuttgart: Approximately 68 kilometers (42.2 miles)
Hohenzollern Castle, 72379 Burg Hohenzollern, Germany, +49 7471 2428
Lichtenstein Castle is yet another stunning Gothic Revival-style structure that never fails to drop jaws. The castle, towering over the beautiful Echaz Valley, appears to have risen out of the rugged cliffs. It is open to guided tours, which walks visitors through its grand interior and several centuries of history.
Distance from Stuttgart: Approximately 60 km (37.2 mi)
Lichtenstein Castle, Schloß Lichtenstein 1, 72805 Lichtenstein, Germany, +49 7129 4102
Tübingen is a quintessential German university town, perched between River Neckar and River Ammer. This beautiful hilly locale, with its narrow cobbled alleys, gabled houses, lively pubs and a medieval center steeped in history, is a delightful place to explore. The most popular landmarks in town are Hohentübingen Castle, the Hölderlin Tower, and the Bebenhausen Monastery. Also, don’t miss taking a leisurely ride in the special Tübingen boat known as the Stocherkahn. In November, the town hosts a spectacular chocolate festival.
Distance from Stuttgart: Approximately 45 km (27.9 mi)
It’s a great idea to start off your exploration of Triberg by hiking to the top of the gushing Triberg Waterfall, Germany’s highest waterfall and one of the must-dos in the Black Forest. With the appetite you will work up in the process, the iconic Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest gâteau) is going to taste even better. When in town, don’t miss the House of 1000 Clocks for its vast assortment of cuckoo clocks, and the Schwarzwaldmuseum to learn the fascinating history of the Black Forest.
Distance from Stuttgart: Approximately 128 km (79.5 mi)
Bad Wildbad is a bewitchingly beautiful town in the Black Forest best known for its medicinal spas. Its most popular attraction is the treetop walk, Baumwipfelpfad, which promises a close interaction with nature and great views. Another fun thing to do while in Bad Wildbad is to take the funicular rail to Sommerberg Mountain, which towers over the town.
Distance from Stuttgart: Approximately 57 km (35.4 mi)
Bad Wildbad, Germany
Ulm is best known as the hometown of Albert Einstein and for the Ulm Minster, the highest church steeple in the world (161.53 meters or 530 feet). But this little town perched on the bank of the Danube River has a lot more to offer. For example, there is the picturesque Fischerviertel (fishermen’s quarter), a series of historic architecture and ancient city walls, Ulm Federal Fortifications (the largest preserved fortifications in the world), and one of the most off-beat museums in Germany, Museum der Brotkultur (museum of bread making).
Distance from Stuttgart: Approximately 93 km (57.7 mi)
Just outside Stuttgart lies the 18th-century city of Ludwigsburg. The most popular landmark in this town is the sprawling, ornate Ludwigsburg Palace, set amid the stunningly gorgeous Blühendes Barock Gardens. Additionally, Favorite Castle and Monrepos are both picturesque sights that are definitely worth a stop. If you happen to be in town in autumn, don’t miss the chance to catch the largest pumpkin festival in the world! In November and December, the town hosts one of the most charming Christmas markets in all of Germany.
Distance from Stuttgart: Approximately 16 km (9.9 mi)
For a rejuvenating, relaxing day, head straight to Bad Urach, nestled in the foothills of the Swabian Alps. A dip in its mineral thermal waters is not only a luxurious experience but also proven to be therapeutic. Moreover, Bad Urach is set in unbelievably rich nature and offers endless hiking opportunities, as well as the incredible Urach Waterfall and castle ruins.
Distance from Stuttgart: Approximately 57 km (35.4 mi)
Bad Urach, Germany
The romantic college town of Heidelberg enjoys an idyllic setting by the River Neckar and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The magnificent ruins of the Heidelberg Castle are the most important sight of this town. And a visit is not complete without a stop at Heidelberg University—the oldest university in Germany and one of the most sought-after in Europe. This UNESCO City of Literature has an astounding number of bookshops, publishing houses, libraries, and literary events.
Distance from Stuttgart: Approximately 120 km (74.5 mi)
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg ob der Tauber may be tiny, but it is no doubt a gem of Germany’s iconic Romantic Road. This quintessential Bavarian town enjoys a quiet existence on a plateau by the River Tauber and attracts tourists with its unbeatable romantic charm. With its cobblestoned streets, flower-box windows, impeccably preserved medieval architecture, quaint cafés, and handicrafts stores, the town exudes a palpable fairytale aura.
Distance from Stuttgart: Approximately 148 km (91.9 mi)
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Franconia, Bavaria | © Canadastock / Shutterstock