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SouthWest Germany by train
The jewels of SouthWest Germany are the Black Forest, Lake Constance and cities like Heidelberg, Baden-Baden and Stuttgart. Bordered by Bavaria, the French Alsace region, Switzerland and Austria, this sunny state in the very heart of Europe is called Baden-Württemberg in German.
This region really is “Germany for connoisseurs”, whether they are looking for great music or art, fine dining or relaxing spas, unspoilt nature, vibrant cities or historic towns and romantic castles. SouthWest Germany is also the home to global brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and the cuddly Steiff Teddy Bears!
It is a perfect all-year-round destination and offers an abundance of magnificent landscapes: dense forests, lush valleys and sparkling glacial lakes in the Black Forest, exquisite vineyards along the Rhine and Neckar rivers, the spectacular plateaus of the Swabian Mountains and the Mediterranean-like shorelines of Lake Constance.
SouthWest Germany does offer something for everyone. Not only it is famous for its stunning vineyards but it is also one of Europe’s leading dining destinations. Furthermore, as Germany’s premier spa destination it offers high quality health resorts, thermal mineral baths and the latest treatments.
Favourite festivals include the Stuttgart Beer Festival during late September/early October, the Heidelberg Castle Illuminations in June, July and September, the Wine Villages in Freiburg and Stuttgart which take place in July and in August respectively, as well as the romantic Christmas markets in November and December all over the region.
Stuttgart, the capital city of the region, can be reached in less than 90 minutes by the ICE train from Frankfurt, 2h40 from Basel and 2h18 from Munich.
Explore Stuttgart through the historic city centre with its New and Old Palaces and the spectacular Museum of Art which is set in a glass cube. Make sure you don’t miss the architecturally-stunning Mercedes-Benz Museum and the Porsche Museum. For first-time visitors, the biggest surprise about Stuttgart is wine: not only do vineyards surround the city but they extend into the centre itself. After a visit to the Viniculture Museum, relax by tasting a glass of white wine.
Our tip: Take one of the two Stuttgart Hop-On Hop-Off sightseeing tours to enjoy all major attractions.
Stuttgart > Heidelberg
From Stuttgart, travel by IC train to Heidelberg (39 min trip) which is one of Europe’s most romantic cities. It is known for its world-famous castle, picturesque old town and for Germany’s oldest university which was built in 1386. Visit the castle to see the world’s biggest wine barrel and for the fabulous view over the old town and the Rhine Valley beyond. The pedestrian Hauptstrasse is great for shopping.
Our tip: The HeidelbergBeWelcomeCARD offers free use of public transport as well as free admission to many attractions in Heidelberg.
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