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Things to do in Stuttgart
Best Things to do in Germany



Stuttgart
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Stuttgart lies about an hour from the Black Forest and a similar distance from the Swabian Jura. The city center lies in a lush valley, nestling between vineyards and thick woodland close by, but not on the River Neckar. Thus, the city is often described as lying "zwischen Wald und Reben", between forest and vines. In the hot summer months, local residents refer to this area as the Stuttgarter Kessel, or Stuttgart cauldron, for its hot and humid climate which is frequently warmer than the surrounding countryside of Württemberg.

Stuttgart covers an area of 207 km² (80 sq mi). The elevation ranges from 207 m (679 ft) above sea level by the Neckar river to 549 m (1,801 ft) on Bernhartshöhe hill. As a result there are more than 400 flights of stairs around the city (called "Stäffele" in local dialect), equivalent to approximately 20 km (12 mi) of steps. Many originate from the time when vineyards lined the entire valley. Even today there are vineyards less than 500 m (1,640 ft) from the Main Station.

Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 613,392 (December 2011) while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million (2008).

With over 5 million inhabitants, the greater Stuttgart Metropolitan Region is the fourth-biggest in Germany after the Rhine-Ruhr area, Berlin/Brandenburg and Frankfurt/Rhine-Main. The city lies at the centre of a densely populated area, surrounded by a ring of smaller towns. This area called Stuttgart Region has a population of 2.7 million. Stuttgart's urban area has a population of roughly 1.8 million, making it Germany's seventh largest.

Stuttgart is spread across a variety of hills (many of them vineyards), valleys and parks - unusual for a German city and often a source of surprise to visitors who primarily associate the city with its industrial reputation as the 'cradle of the automobile'. Stuttgart has the status of Stadtkreis, a type of self-administrating urban county. It is also the seat of the state legislature, the regional parliament, the local council and the Protestant State Church in Württemberg as well as one of the two co-seats of the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart.

The city of Stuttgart ranked 30th globally in Mercer's 2010 liveability rankings, and 7th in Germany behind top-ranked cities such as Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Munich. For economic and social innovation, the city was ranked 11th globally, second in Germany after Hamburg and 7th in Europe in 2009 out of 256 cities.

The city's tourism slogan is "Stuttgart offers more". Under current plans to improve transport links to the international infrastructure (as part of the Stuttgart 21 project), in March 2008 the city unveiled a new logo and slogan, describing itself as "Das neue Herz Europas" ("The new heart of Europe"). For business, it describes itself as "Standort Zukunft", "Where business meets the future"). In 2007, the Bürgermeister marketed Stuttgart to foreign investors as "The creative power of Germany". In July 2010, Stuttgart unveiled a new city logo, designed to entice more business people to stay in the city and enjoy breaks in the area.

Stuttgart is nicknamed the Schwabenmetropole (Swabian metropolis), because of the city's location in the centre of Swabia, and as a reference to the Swabian dialect spoken by its native inhabitants. In that dialect, the city's name is pronounced Schtugert or Schtuagerd. However, many non-Swabian Germans have emigrated to Stuttgart for economic reasons and 40% of Stuttgart's residents, and 64% of the population below the age of five, are of foreign immigrant background.
Leon Edgar Books