Getting around Stuttgart
Stuttgart has a good, integrated public transport network of light trains and buses. The Verkehrs- und Tarifverbund Stuttgart (VVS), (tel: +49 711 66060; www.vvs.de) operates local transport services within the city and surrounding area.
The urban rail network takes two main forms, the U-Bahn, which serves the city and its suburbs, and the S-Bahn, which also runs out to the airport and surrounding towns. The ticketing system is straightforward. You can buy single-journey tickets, which are valid for three hours, but if you're planning sightseeing at a number of locations a one-day-ticket (valid until 7 am on the following day) or a nice-weekend-ticket are better value, giving unlimited travel for 24 or 48 hours. These are valid either for individuals or groups of up to five people.
An unusual form of transport is the rack and pinion railway, locally known as the ‘Zacke', which plies a steep 2.2km (1.4-mile) route between Marienplatz in the city centre and Degerloch, on a hill overlooking Stuttgart.
Taxi Auto Zentrale (tel: +49 711 551 0000; www.taxi-auto-zentrale.de) is Stuttgart’s main taxi operator. If the driver has been courteous, it's common to round up the fare by around 10% or to the nearest round figure.
Signposting is decent. On-street parking and numerous multi-storey garages are available, though the hourly rates can prove expensive.
Hire cars are available from Avis (tel: +49 711 223 7258; www.avis.de), Budget (tel: +49 69 7104 45596; www.budget.de), Hertz (tel: +49 711 226 2921; www.hertz.de) and Sixt (tel: +49 1806 666 666; www.sixt.de).
Bike hire is available from Rentabike (tel: +49 711 4207 0833; www.rentabike-stuttgart.de). You can find bikes belonging to Deutsche Bahn’s Call a Bike (tel: +49 69 4272 7722; www.callabike-interaktiv.de/de/rad-finden) service at spots around the city and rent them after registering with the scheme.
German drivers tend to be conscious of cyclists, meaning cycling is safer than in many other European cities. Stuttgart is hilly but the greenery and cycle lanes mean it is a good place to cycle. The 83km (52-mile) marked Radel-Thon route offers numerous sightseeing opportunities.