Sometimes called “the city where work is a pleasure,” Stuttgart is a hard-working center of industry on the Neckar river in southern Germany. The people here are serious about business, but the city affords them the opportunity to get outside, be social, and relax when the day is done. Visitors might want to begin their adventure in Schlossplatz, the largest square in Stuttgart and the site of the Neues Schloss, the magnificent 18th-century baroque royal palace with its gold-topped Mercury column in front. After that, make your way to the Altes Schloss (Old Castle) to step even further back in time.

If you’re a book lover, stop in at the Stuttgart City Library. In a city so historic, this library defies cliches with a stark-white minimalist interior and an open rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city. To get an idea of the tragic effects of World War II on the city, head up to Rubble Hill. After Stuttgart was bombed and reduced to ruins, the rubble was gathered and brought here to serve as a memorial to those who lost their lives.

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