126km (78 miles) SE of Heidelberg

Stuttgart, a city of about 600,000, is ground zero for German engineering. The neon-lit logos of Mercedes, Porsche, and Zeiss optical equipment light up the sky. Yet, in that German way of never getting too far away from grass roots and nature, a lot of greenery takes the hard edges off all this industry and technology. Vineyards sweep down hillsides into the outskirts, and the forested banks of the Neckar River cut a swath right through town. Softening the Stuttgart image, too, are several much respected art collections and a lot of high-brow culture (the Stuttgart Ballet is world renowned). Stuttgart is not a vacation spot, but you can easily fill up a satisfying day here on an easy outing from Heidelberg, just 45 minutes away by train.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.