Stuttgart is one of the largest and oldest cities in Germany, with origins dating back to the Roman conquest of the region. There’s a lot to discover in this charming southern German city, and there’s even more to discover in the surrounding area. Stuttgart’s perfect location in the southwest gives visitors the opportunity to explore the beautiful nature of the Black Forest, the fairy-tale castles of the German aristocracy, and the colourful towns and villages set in beautiful landscapes.
Stuttgart is only a short drive from France. It’s also not too far from Switzerland, and there are plenty of great cross-border excursions to enjoy from the city. Visit Strasbourg, the magnificent surroundings of Lake Constance, the big city of Frankfurt and the many beautiful sights waiting to be discovered nearby.
Here are our favorite day trips from Stuttgart.
1. Black Forest
The Black Forest is a vast area of natural beauty easily accessible from Stuttgart.
There are so many small towns to explore, and an array of wonderful scenery and hiking trails that will leave you speechless.
A great place to start your Black Forest tour and experience nature here, explore the recently created Black Forest National Park in the northern part of the region.
It is a wilderness reserve that includes large tracts of forest and is home to a series of wilderness.
Hike to the highest peaks and enjoy the rolling vistas where you can only see mile after mile of green ocean.
2. Hohenzollern Castle
Hohenzollern Castle is one of the most iconic castles in Germany.
The dreamy spire, just south of Stuttgart, reaches into the sky and is just as awe-inspiring as its cliff-top location, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Neo-Gothic architecture dates back to the early 19th century, when the Prussian kings started building the high walls and grand turrets you see today.
Historically, however, there have been castles and fortifications on the same site for centuries – dating back to the Middle Ages.
This is not only a good place to take pictures, but also a good place to learn about the local nobles and houses in Germany.
Located just outside of Stuttgart, Tübingen is a great place to visit German town life, and the area is mostly university-related.
Like much of the region, Tübingen’s origins go back thousands of years – but most of the elegant houses and ramshackle streets you’ll find here are from a more modern era, but still have an impressive reputation. Incredible historical significance.
There is a beautiful, vibrant and colourful waterfront that is populated by students and locals all year round, while in summer the beer gardens are loud and busy and the waterways are full of small rowboats.
Another iconic university town that may be better known is Heidelberg.
This is one of the most beautiful towns in Germany, just a day trip from Stuttgart.
Here you’ll find an elegant bridge spanning the Neckar River and the tree-covered rolling hills that surround the historic city.
Heidelberg has one of the oldest universities in the world – a university that is still very active, dating back to the Middle Ages.
Walk the old streets, admire the marvelous architecture, and discover the unique walls of Heidelberg Castle.
Triberg is a quaint German town tucked away in a corner of the Black Forest.
Triberg itself is great for wandering around, however, the real attraction is not in the town but in the surrounding forest, where you can easily hike to some of Germany’s highest waterfalls.
Triberg Falls is a spectacular sight. The town is located at the bottom of the river that flows through the waterfall.
Reaching a maximum height of over 150 meters, it is a beautiful sight; there are many cascading waterfalls cascading over the rocks.
Freiburg is a small city on the German border with easy access to France and Switzerland.
It is set in a beautiful setting, and despite its proximity to neighbouring countries, it has a distinctly German character.
The Black Forest surrounds Freiburg, and there are many opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.
The city itself is quite secluded and doesn’t receive the same number of tourists as other areas within the Black Forest, making it an ideal place to explore off the beaten track.
Ulm has some quirky sights to see.
This is the hometown of the world-famous German physicist Albert Einstein.
Although he moved out early, you can see him today in museums and universities.
Old streets line the Danube and this is a beautiful city.
You can visit the tallest church in the world, marvel at the rickety, unbalanced beer house built centuries ago, and wonder how the city’s own leaning tower is still alive.
Just a few miles on the road east of Stuttgart, Schorndorf is an easy day trip from the city.
It is known for its charming old wooden houses and its quiet and relaxing atmosphere.
Enjoy the local castle, museum and museum dedicated to Gottlieb Daimler – a pioneer in automotive technology born in the town.
9. Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle literally looks like something from a fairy tale brought to the real world.
The day trip from Stuttgart is a bit long – the castle is to the south, bordering Austria – but it’s worth the trip to see this iconic landmark in all its glory.
Neuschwanstein Castle sits high on top of a cliff, and its spires and turrets are the stuff of legend.
The castle dates back to the 19th century, when a German king built this magnificent structure as his home, far away from the world, in the most romantic setting he could imagine.
The castle gets very busy, but it’s worth the queues and crowds just to marvel at this stunning building.
10. Liechtenstein Castle
Liechtenstein Castle is another beautiful and romantic castle in the region.
It was found closer to Stuttgart.
Compared to more famous castles such as Neuschwanstein, it is much quieter and not nearly as famous.
It’s definitely not understated, though, because it’s just as luxurious as a fairytale.
An ornate bridge crosses the sheer void to the castle gate, where the turrets and ramparts are perched as if enchanted on high rocky cliffs overlooking the scenic valley.
The huge German city of Frankfurt, just a few hours’ drive from Stuttgart, offers day trips for tourists.
It may be one of the busiest cities in the country, but that means there’s a lot to do.
Admire the skyline, visit numerous museums, and taste some of the best German food in the region.
Nuremberg is one of the most famous cities on the Danube.
Although much of it was destroyed in World War II, and the city’s name became synonymous with the trials held here after the conflict, today the city has recovered and regained its place as a historic tourist destination status of the land.
The capital of Bavaria, located just south of Stuttgart, is a must-see city.
Experience beer halls, beer gardens and local cuisine throughout the city.
This is an exciting place to explore.
Living so close to Stuttgart, it would be a shame to miss out on one of the best urban destinations in Germany.
14. Lake Constance
Lake Constance lies where Germany meets Switzerland and Austria.
It’s a great tourist destination, where you can explore the long lakeside walks, waterside towns, or even take a boat trip across the lake to explore the surrounding countries.
Strasbourg is on the French border, and if you want to experience a less German place, a great day trip from Stuttgart is possible.
However, Strasbourg remains decidedly multicultural. It has always been the center of the German-French crossroads and today is the seat of the European Parliament.
Located on the banks of the Rhine, the influence can be seen from both sides of the river, and there are plenty of historic buildings and sights to entertain.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Stuttgart, Germany
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