Tips for visiting Baden-Wurttemberg by public transport
The federal state of Baden-Wurttemberg, which includes Stuttgart, the palaces of Hohenzollern and Ludwigsburg, impressive monasteries and stunning Bodensee, is a fascinating part of Germany worth visiting. I have made a list of tips for visiting Stuttgart and Baden-Wurttemberg that will help you to save both time and money, especially if you travel by public transport.
Tips for booking accommodation
Check the Messe calendar in Stuttgart
So you are not planning to attend Messes (trade fairs) in Stuttgart? I did not either. Still, like other big cities in Germany, Stuttgart is a city of Messes, so better check the Messe calendar in advance as hotel prices are skyrocketing during Messes. Since the price for the same hotel room can differ 2.5 times, I suggest trying to visit the city when they do not take place. But such days are few and far between. Additionally, as a regular tip for any country, Sunday to Monday nights at the hotels, in most cases, are the cheapest.
Not all hotels are on Booking com
Some hotel chains like Premier Inn and small local hotels are not on Booking com, so I recommend using Google maps instead. Type in the search bar, for example, “hotels in Stuttgart”, and find all the hotels, including those not on Booking com. It is wise to do so, especially on days when hotels are in high demand and many of them are not on Booking com. Google maps could give you more options in this situation.
Tips for using public transport
Buying public transport tickets for Stuttgart
If you are travelling with a friend or, even better, four friends, it is worth considering buying a small group ticket to get around Stuttgart. If you are travelling with a group, you might want to buy a day ticket for a group/Gruppentagesticket. It is valid from the moment you buy it until 7 a.m. the next day. You can take up to five people on this ticket (a bike or a dog counts as one person). Group day ticket price is twice the single day ticket price, but as I mentioned, it can be used by up to five people. Also, check the transport zones before buying your ticket. Most of Stuttgart city is in Zone 1, Ludwigsburg is in Zone 2, and Stuttgart Airport is in Zone 3. You can buy your ticket on the VVSMobil app and from the ticket machines at the stations and public transport stops. You can choose English on the machines to make your purchase easier.
Day tickets for travelling around Baden-Wurttemberg
Discounts are available for up to four people travelling with you. It works like this: the price of a day ticket for one person is 24 euros, and adding more people will cost 7 euros per person. So if two people travel with a Baden-Wurttemberg group day ticket, the price will be 31 euros. Your ticket gives you access to all other forms of transport, excluding fast trains like IC and ICE. Your ticket is valid for an unlimited number of journeys during its period of validity. Up to three children aged 6–14 can travel free of charge accompanied by adults.
Use the DB Navigator app or ticket machine to buy your ticket. Please be aware if you purchase a ticket over the counter, you have to pay a few extra euros for service.
Check if a train station has luggage lockers
If you travel around with your luggage, it is rather vital to be able to leave it somewhere while you go sightseeing. Luggage lockers at the train station are quite a good option where to leave your stuff. Still, not all train stations in Baden-Wurttemberg have them. The good news is that there is a great website where you can check whether a particular station has luggage lockers and other amenities. Use it to know your options in advance.
Tips about visiting attractions
Some tourist information centres have a lunch break
For me, it felt quite unusual that tourist information centres have lunch breaks. I thought I would get some information for my travel right in the tourist information office at Stuttgart Airport, but it was closed for lunch from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Since I arrived at 1.55 p.m., I was not ready to wait for about 20 minutes before it would open again. Also, it is closed on weekends. So be prepared to do things by yourself.
Save money on Wilhelma tickets
If you plan to go to Wilhelma in Stuttgart, the only zoological-botanical garden in Germany, I highly recommend visiting it from 4 p.m. From March to October, you can buy evening tickets at a reduced price after 4 p.m. It will save you 5 euros per person.
Entrance in palaces with guided tours only
You can see the interiors of some castles and palaces with a guided tour only. Even worse, in some places, they are provided only in German and just a few times during the day. So better check tour hours and language before your visit to avoid disappointment. From my experience, Ludwigsburg Palace, Bebenhausen Palace and Solitude Palace require you to be accompanied by a guide.
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What did you think? How you visited Baden-Wurttemberg? I’d love to hear from you so please add your comment below.
Author: Anita Sane