It’s home to the Mercedes Benz Museum. But, if Porsche is more your style, that museum is in town too. And if looking at cars all day isn’t enough, the V8 Hotel surrounds you with cars and car-themed rooms while you sleep. For car lovers, Stuttgart is a bucket list destination.
In 1886, Karl Benz introduced the first German car, Motorwagen. And that first car produced more than a century ago continues to be a trendsetter for the country’s auto industry. Innovation drives Germany’s car manufacturing industry with every car model offering something new to showcase. The Mercedes-Benz Museum chronicles the 130-year history of the auto industry in a single continuous timeline. The sleek contemporary building has nine levels and covers a floor space of over 177,600 square feet. The building’s interior is inspired by the double helix structure of the DNA spiral that carries the human genome—an illustration of the Mercedes-Benz brand philosophy to continuously create products to advance the cause of human mobility. Following the principle, “The future is rooted in the past,” the museum is truly a place of innovation.
Elevators reminiscent of Star Trek beam you up to the top level of the museum and back to the year 1886. From there, you gradually spiral your way down through the extensive collection of over 1,500 exhibits and 160 vehicles. The museum intricately weaves the story of the automobile with the historical events of each decade. Even the music playing in each section matches the time-period—so you know you’ll be hearing some disco in the 1970s section of the museum.
Gullwing cars, Formula 1 racers, and driving simulators that deliver high-speed trips will keep the kids entertained. Other everyday heroes are also on display: fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances. Toddlers can play grown-up by clambering into a genuine refuse truck and a replica of the 1974 World Cup coach.
Next to the headquarters of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, the spectacular Porsche Museum displays over 80 vehicles and numerous exhibits in its more than 60,000 square feet of exhibition space. In addition to world-famous, iconic vehicles such as the 356, 550, 911, and 917, the exhibits include some of the outstanding technical achievements of Professor Ferdinand Porsche from the early 20th century.
From the lobby, you’ll ascend a spectacular ramp to the entrance of the spacious exhibition area for an initial overview of the impressive collection. From there you’ll choose whether to start with the company history before 1948 or head directly into the main area of the exhibition which represents Porsche`s product and motorsport history in chronological order. Both areas are interlinked by the "Porsche Idea" section, which speaks to the spirit and passion that motivate the work at Porsche paying tribute to the company as well as the people behind the product.
As a living automobile museum, the Porsche Museum presents numerous special exhibitions on specific topics or meaningful anniversaries. As a result, exhibits are changed on a regular basis and visitors always find something new to discover. A highlight is the new interactive Porsche “Touchwall “at the end of the museum’s tour. Spanning nearly 40 feet, the installation covers nine decades of exciting automobile history based on 3.000 pictures, drawings and technical data allowing you to explore almost all Porsche street- and racecars using multimedia technology.
The car experiences don’t end when the museums close. Keep the automotive theme going by spending the night surrounded by cars at the V8 Hotel at MOTORWORLD Region Stuttgart. Housed in the former Württemberg airport in Böblingen just outside of Stuttgart, the V8 Hotel is all about cars. From the elevator with wallpaper depicting the inside of a garage to coffee tables made from tires, automobile details are everywhere. Every room has a connection to the automobile, but the most obvious connections are found in the hotel’s 10 car themed rooms.
Spend the night in a converted Cadillac Coupe de Ville under the stars in the Drive-in Cinema Suite The ticket booth serves as a wardrobe and when the lights go out, a starry night sky appears. This room has enough beds to sleep five, so you can take the whole family to the movies. Bring along some popcorn and enjoy classic movies playing on the suite’s DVD. Sleep in a converted Mercedes-Benz surrounded by giant car wash brushes in the Car Wash room. A desk in front of the bed is designed from the back-end of the car going through the wash ahead of you. In the shower, massaging brushes scrub off any body dirt you’ve picked up along the road and a full body dryer eliminates the need for towels.
When you’re not sleeping with the cars, you can check more autos out next door. Connected to the hotel in the former halls of the airport, MOTORWORLD Region Stuttgart displays classic cars, sporty young timers, and rare vehicles. The hotel also offers packages with admission to the Porsche and the Mercedes-Benz Museums.
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Terri Marshall is a New York City based freelance writer whose work includes travel, spirits, and all things chocolate. Terri's work appears in several publications. She has been a featured guest on Peter Greenberg's Worldwide Travel radio program and Denver's KZKO Radio Morning Express show. Terri will not hesitate to go to the source for great chocolate - even if that means hiking through the jungle and picking cacao pods herself.
Happiest when she's globetrotting, Terri has covered destinations all over the United States, Europe, and into Central and South America. Favorite adventures include reindeer driving in Norway and fishing for piranhas in the Amazon jungle of Peru. You can keep up with Terri's adventures on her website www.TrippingwithTerri.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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