July 2022. As a teacher, Steve has the possibility to do a bigger trip in the school summer break. I don’t, or rarely do. After The Hague in 2020 and Utrecht in 2021, we decided to go to Germany for a now more or less traditional three-day weekend in July. Our eye fell on Stuttgart, in the state of Baden-Württemberg.
We travelled by train to Stuttgart. I’m not allowed to drive a regular car due to my handicap and Steve really doesn’t like driving (far). We’ve reviewed travelling with Deutsche Bahn a few times now. It’s okay. Nowadays, with its many delays and staff shortages – something we know all about at NMBS / SNCB – it can be stressful. But we arrived in Stuttgart as expected at 10.39 AM.
After navigating the Stuttgart 21 railway engineering project, we checked in at Le Méridien. It left us time in the afternoon to visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum.
It would be a hot weekend, but decided to walk the hour-long journey to the museum.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum covers the history of the Mercedes-Benz brand and the brands associated with it. Stuttgart is home to the Mercedes-Benz brand and the international headquarters of the Mercedes-Benz Group.
The current building, which stands directly outside the main gate of the Daimler factory in Stuttgart, was designed by UN Studio. It is based on a unique cloverleaf concept using three overlapping circles with the center removed to form a triangular atrium recalling the shape of a Wankel engine.
The building was completed and opened on 19 May 2006.
The building’s height and double helix interior were designed to maximise space, providing 16,500 square metres (178,000 sq ft) of exhibition space on a footprint of just 4,800 square metres (52,000 sq ft). The double helix also corresponds to the exhibition concept, which divides the museum into the ‘legend rooms’ and the ‘collections’, offering two alternative tours that can be merged at any given point of the museum.
The museum contains more than 160 vehicles, some dating back to the very earliest days of the motorcar engine.
The vehicles are maintained by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center of Fellbach.
Previously, the museum was housed in a dedicated building within the factory complex and visitors had in recent decades been transported from the main gate by a secured shuttle.
The ingenious architectural concept works. You take a lift to the upper floor and you wind down through Benz‘, Daimler’s, Maybach‘s and Mercedes‘ history. In the so-called ‘legend rooms’, cars are showed by themes. Cars of celebrities, for instance, the Popemobile, buses etc.
The tour ends with ‘the future’ and the racing heritage.
The museum is interesting as it puts the Mercedes history in perspective to world events. Sometimes it’s not completely clear where to go next, as you don’t want to miss something.
There are photo opportunity points, showing what the next floor down will exhibit. The cars are also displayed in such manner you you can almost always take a good photo. Even if that means you can’t touch them. You shouldn’t anyway.
Some of the earlier vehicles are replicas, but many are not. They’re in such good condition.
The museum is great. Well worth a visit. We walked through quite quickly, without bothering with an audioguide, but still needed two hours. If you take more time, you can easily spend four hours inside.
Car (related) museums
- DAF Museum in Eindhoven.
- BMW Museum & BMW Welt in Munich.
- PHOTOS | Swiss Museum of Transport Verkehrshaus in Lucerne.
- Deutsches Museum’s Verkehrszentrum or Transport Centre in Munich.
- SALZBURG | Formula 1 cars and the Flying Bulls at Red Bull’s Hangar-7.
More Formula 1 and other racing
- Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City, Mexico.
- Zandvoort, the Netherlands.
- Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia (1).
- Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia (2).
- Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
- Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
- Le Mans, France.
- Norisring, Nuremberg, Germany.
Our experiences with Deutsche Bahn
- The delicious German state secret: dining onboard Deutsche Bahn.
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Innsbruck via Mittenwald on DB Regio.
- Travelling on Deutsche Bahn’s new ICE 4 from Frankfurt to Leipzig.
- By train from Lindau to Garmisch-Partenkirchen via the Ausserfern railway.
- Coping with train delays and cancellations: Zug – Antwerp when everything goes wrong.
- Antwerp to Zug: the Frankfurt – Zurich Business Route.
- DB Regio from Nuremberg to Regensburg.
- By ICE from Leipzig to Nuremberg.
- Managing to get from Antwerp to Zug despite a corona ghost train.
- Antwerp – Brussels – Cologne – Basel – Zürich – Zug by train.
- Zürich – Frankfurt – Brussels with Deutsche Bahn’s ICE high speed trains.
- Antwerp to Zug by train.
- From Antwerp to Dresden by train.
- A return trip by train to ‘exotic’ places for only 150 euros.
- Salzburg – Frankfurt by DB Intercity.
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