Collection of photos can be seen here.
On Saturday a small group of us went to Stuttgart for the day to spend some time at the Porsche and Meredes-Benz museums located in the city. We took the train from Reutlingen through to Stuttgart Hbf and then the S-Bahn to Neuwirtshaus (Porscheplatz). As you climb off the train you’re straight into the road surrounded by Porsche buildings. The large, white, imposing and windowless building to one’s right is the museum, with a dealership and service centre off to the left and other corporate buildings off in front.
Tickets for students were only 4 Euros which covers the entire exhibition and an audio guide available in a variety of languages. A baggage and coat check was available and a long escalator ride takes you to the start of the exhibition. The exhibition has a nice suggested spiralling route which takes you through pretty much everything in a progressive order. Starting with some of their first vehicles, a look at the VW Beetle and going through a variety of sports and publicly available cars covering the last 60 years.
Most of the exhibits have numbers printed on which when typed into your audio guide give you quite a lot of information. Some other displays have engines made for boats and planes. One exhibit demonstrates different stages of design and production with cross-sections of a specific model allowing you to see all the internals.
We were there for between an hour and a half and two hours. If one were to listen to all the audio information one could probably easily be there for over 3 hours. It’s a lovely display of Porsche heritage. The museum is beautiful, well laid out and worth the visit. Included downstairs is a restaurant, coffee bar and merchandise shop.
After a look around the Porsche dealership we hopped back on the S-Bahn back to Hbf where we went into town to grab some lunch. I ate my first beef steak since having arrived in Germany, and although not the best steak ever was a good meal. Back on the S-Bahn and off at the Neckarpark (Mercedes-Benz) station.
First thing we notice is that there’s a 1km walk from the station up to the museum. Not the end of the world, but just something to note. Once again as you head towards the museum you’ll notice all the surrounding Mercedes branded buildings including the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Entering the building it’s the same 4 Euro student ticket, bag and jacket check and free audio guide for the exhibits. We climbed into an elevator shuttle which takes one up to the 8th floor to start the tour. The Mercedes museum covers the full progression of the motor car and the internal combustion engine, with displays on the founders Benz, Daimler and Maybach. each floor is separated into to two separate displays. Usually one with a selection of cars of a specific era or design styling and the other displaying Mercs seen in pop culture, racing or public service vehicles.
Most displays would have a marker indicating that audio guide information is available. One is supposed to point your guide at the marker press a button and then select between several different options relating to the display, technology, culture, and one or two other options. The point and click worked to varying degrees of success on different occasions. Quite often there are some small interactive displays explaining steering, braking, superchargers or some other technology developed by Mercedes.
The building has a kind of flow to it from floor to floor, but we found that if you follow the flow for a floor you end up on the wrong side of the building to get down to the next floor, generally just taking a set of stairs down to the next floor then crossing and rejoining the flow. Nothing major but just irritating at times.
One can spend hours and hours in the Museum. After taking half an hour to get through the first floor we were advised to speed it up a bit if we want to see everything as one can spend a long time looking at all the exhibits and the museum was set to close in two hours (18h00). So after that we hurried through the rest of the floors, finishing with several minutes to spare strolling through the gift shop and sales floor. Restaurant facilities are also contained in the building.
The building is huge and one can definitely spend many hours there. We also got to keep our Mercedes Museum branded lanyards which we used for our Audio Guides, a nice souvenir. A quick walk back to the train station and we were on our way back to Reutlingen.