Würzburg – Mannheim – Stuttgart

… from Franconia to Swabia

Suggested itineraries

Three cities, three regions, three different Germanys


Würzburg – Mannheim:
As the crow flies: approx. 110 km
Travel time by train: approx. three hours

Mannheim – Stuttgart:
As the crow flies: approx. 95 km
Travel time by train: approx. one hour

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A sustainable trip from A to B

From Würzburg, take the RE to Osterburken and then take the S-Bahn to Mannheim.

If you feel like taking a more leisurely pace, make a stop in Heidelberg en route. This romantic city surrounded by vineyards and imposing castle ruins is well worth a visit.

The fastest way from Mannheim to Stuttgart is by ICE – it takes just 40 minutes to get there. The Deutschlandticket is cheaper and easier to get around with – then the journey takes about two hours.

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Starting point: Würzburg

Our Motel One in Würzburg

Würzburg is full of history, culture – and, above all, wine. The city and its surroundings are particularly stunning during the summer months. The best thing about it? A trip to the Franconian city doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. And: Our brand new Motel One Würzburg awaits!

Things to do 
Würzburg is best explored on foot or by bike: start at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Würzburg Residenz, via the Marktplatz public square to the Old Town Hall. Continue over the old Mainbrücke and then uphill to Marienberg Fortress – from there, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city. The necessary refreshment comes later with a glass of organic wine on the Main.

Green and (almost) free  

  • Soak in the culture: Although you have to pay for admission to the Würzburg Residenz itself, entry to its court church, garden and the Martin von Wagner Museum are all free of charge. Budding horticulturists will enjoy the Botanical Garden, which is also free of charge.
  • Modern art: Attention all fans of modern art: on the first Sunday of the month, admission to the Kulturspeicher is free of charge. Spanning over 2,000 square metres, the museum is dedicated to post-1945 art in particular.
  • Go wild: If you feel like leaving the city, you should visit the Wildpark an den Eichen in Schweinfurt, where there are 43 different animal species to marvel at. From Würzburg, you can get to the free wildlife park using the Regionalbahn in about half an hour.

Pure indulgence  
Environmentally conscious foodies will get their money’s worth in Würzburg.

The Vietnamese restaurant Chay Viet Tadilen offers only vegan dishes. Sustainability is at the fore at Café Sturbock, where they work with regional suppliers, bakeries and natural farms. Delicious vegan, vegetarian and, above all, allergen-free dishes are available at Restaurant Vrohstoff.

If you prefer to cook yourself, you’re best off buying fruit and vegetables locally at one of Würzburg’s many markets. For example, every first Saturday of the month there’s a farmers’ market on the Bürgerbräu site; there’s also the green market and speciality market on the lower market square.

Würzburg’s vegan street festival, Veganmania, is held in summer. You’ll find delicious food and numerous information stands about veganism and much more.

Outdoor adventures  
If you fancy a hike through the vineyards of Würzburg, you’re best off following the Stein-Wein-Pfad. The four-kilometre circular route is designed so that hikers can visit different wine villages and estates along the way. Public guided tours of about two hours can also be arranged.

If you love the water, you can enjoy the Main or head to one of the many bathing lakes in the Franconian countryside. The bathing lake in Erlabrunn is particularly beautiful and can be reached by bike in 40 minutes via the Main cycle path. Green oases can be found in the city, such as on the Main and the Ringpark, or in the vineyards: perfect for a romantic picnic. 

Summer in the city
Summer is a season for celebrating outside – including in Würzburg. Plenty of festivals are also on the calendar every year, such as the Stramu International Festival of Street Music and Street Art. The locals prefer to spend the warm summer nights at a wine festival – a list of these can be found in the Franconian wine festival calendar. The wine festival highlight of the year is Wein am Stein, a festival featuring lots of music acts right in the middle of the vineyards.

If you fancy relaxing on a deckchair, burying your toes in the sand and enjoying a cocktail, you don’t have to go to the seaside – head to the Stadtstrand Würzburg (city beach) instead, where you can also enjoy a stunning view of the Marienberg fortress. Prefer to head straight to the water? Dallenbergbad provides the necessary spot to cool off.

End the evening in spring, summer and autumn with a glass or two of wine on the old Mainbrücke. At the old Mainmühle, you can also sample organic wines, such as the Würzburger Silvaner from Weingut am Stein.

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Stop 1: Mannheim

Motel One Mannheim

Mannheim’s sightseeing highlight is, and will probably always be, its Baroque palace – one of the largest in Europe. However, the city has much more to offer: around half of Mannheim consists of vast green spaces, where nature meets urban flair.

Things to do 
‘Distinctive’ nicely sums up the cityscape of Mannheim. Its city centre is built in a unique square structure. You can search for street names here in vain – but you are either in G7 or F1. At the edge of the squares, you’ll find the city’s iconic landmark, the Water Tower. It is part of the largest contiguous Art Nouveau complex in Germany and amazes tourists with its water features.

Green and (almost) free 

  • Murals: STADT.WAND.KUNST is an art project that focuses on the design of building façades. You can find murals in urban spaces by different artists throughout Mannheim. The online map is handy if you want to explore these on your own.
  • City tours: There are many ways to get to know Mannheim: from the culinary tour to the Tiefbunker tour. Walking tours are perfect for those on a smaller budget.
  • Kunsthalle Mannheim: If you want to escape the heat in summer, pay a visit to Kunsthalle Mannheim. The museum houses modern and contemporary art and admission is free of charge on the first Wednesday of the month from 6 pm. The entrance hall in the Hector building, the light atrium, is open to the public every day.

Pure indulgence  
Mannheim is known for its culinary diversity, as it’s a meeting point for many different cultures: 47.8% of Mannheim’s citizens have a migrant background, which is also reflected in the city’s cuisine. In ‘Little Istanbul’ in Mannheim, between market stalls, jewellery shops and bridal fashion shops, you can find delicious biscuits from Turkish bakeries. Nearby, the traditional weekly market takes place on the market square every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – and has done so for 400 years. You’ll hear the ‘Mannemerisch’ dialect every now and then.

Vegan food is also served in Mannheim. The Kombüse, Glück & Verstand and Com Chay restaurants specialise primarily in vegan and/or vegetarian dishes. Looking for delicious coffee? The coffee roasting company Helder & Leeuwen offers organic espresso. Fancy some ice cream? Head to Eis, Eis, Baby for delicious vegan ice cream, where the ice cream is made in-house using natural ingredients.

Outdoor adventures  
Many bicycle tours start from Mannheim: for example, the one to Schwetzingen. Schwetzinger Schloss, the former summer residence of the Electors of Mannheim, can be reached in about 1.5 hours by bike. Speyer and Heidelberg are also worthwhile excursions by bike.

Not so far away, but also a green place to relax, is Luisenpark, Mannheim’s largest park. In the upper Luisenpark, you’ll find the Chinese tea house, where you can experience authentic Chinese tea culture. In 2023, this part of Luisenpark will be part of the Bundesgartenschau (BuGa) horticulture show and the cost for admission will be higher than usual. Admission to lower Luisenpark, on the other hand, is free of charge. In summer, a free sport programme by the city of Mannheim is also held here. If you don’t want to miss out on sport when travelling, you can work out here with Zumba, BodyFit or yoga.

Summer in the city 
How about a short trip to the Reißinsel nature reserve? It only takes about 20 minutes from Mannheim Castle and you can head straight to the lido once you get there and find plenty of space on the banks of the Rhine to sunbathe, relax or read. Speaking of reading, there are several public bookshelves and cabinets in Mannheim. Just drop by and save yourself the trouble of lugging around your travel reads.

The trendy Jungbusch district with its many pubs is the perfect spot for a drink in the evening. But how about a bit of variety? Beach vibes can be found at Neckarstrand or OEG City Beach, for example. Our insider tip is Alter. This is a project that offers everyone access to free sporting and cultural activities. In addition to the skating courses, table tennis tables and basketball court available here, the project also regularly holds free concerts.

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Dreary, grey Stuttgart? This image is a thing of the past. Various initiatives and projects are developing throughout Stuttgart that are beginning to make the city more colourful. For example, the non-profit project contain’t – the Container City near Wagenhallen creates a platform for art, culture and music. Another example is Neckarinsel, run by the Stadtlücken association. Every Sunday from 1 pm, you can relax here or take part in one of the many activities on offer.

Things to do 
The central attraction of Stuttgart is undoubtedly the Schlossplatz, home to the New Palace. Here, you can shop till you drop along Königsstraße. Directly opposite is the imposing Stuttgart art museum, an attention-grabbing glass cube. In addition to the Staatstheater, the Fernsehturm (TV tower) and the Villa Berg, there are many beautiful places to visit in Stuttgart. Read on to find out our insider tips for the summer.

Green and (almost) free  

  • Cultural diversity: Every Wednesday from 1 pm, admission to the Natural History Museum is free of charge. The Stuttgarter Staatsgalerie is also free of charge on Wednesdays. The extension, the Neue Staatsgalerie, built by James Stirling, is particularly worth a visit for fans of postmodernism. Another architectural highlight is the city library on Mailänder Platz: architect Eun Young Yi created a masterpiece bathed in light in 2011.
  • Finish on a high: Looking for a vantage point? Then visit the tea house in Weißenburgpark. It was built in 1913 by the manufacturer Sieglin for his wife. An alternative is the Karlshöhe: this popular viewpoint sits very close to Marienplatz in the south of Stuttgart.
  • A technical marvel: A very special train runs right from Marienplatz – the ‘Zacke’ rack railway. Since 1884, it has been connecting the south of Stuttgart with Degerloch and climbs up to a gradient of 17.8%. Once at the top, you can either continue on foot towards the TV tower or head back via the Schimmelhüttenweg. The trip is free with the Deutschlandticket.

Pure indulgence  
Stuttgart’s market hall is more than just a place to shop for fresh food: it’s also a place for indulgence. High-quality vegan delicatessen products, for example, can be found at the VHY! In Plants we Trust stand. One of the co-founders is former national goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand. Here, and in the restaurant of the same name on Reinsburgstraße, delicious vegan food is served. Super Jami Kitchen, The Gardener’s Nosh and Körle and Adam also all serve delectable vegan cuisine.

Outdoor adventures  
Head on up to Killesberg, one of the largest parks in the state capital, where you’ll find an adventure playground for the little ones and a petting zoo with goats, pigs and alpacas. At the highest point of the park is Killesberg Tower, a remarkable steel network construction at a height of 42 metres.

If you’re drawn to water, head to Bärensee, a lake near Stuttgart that features the Bärenschlössle, which once served as a princely hunting lodge. There are numerous hiking trails around the lake, for example, via the Rotwildpark to Solitude Palace, the former hunting lodge and palace of Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg.

Summer in the city
Stuttgart shows off its colourful side in the warmer months. The Lichterfest festival of lights brings Killesbergpark to life. Once a year, numerous light installations, hundreds of thousands of colourful lamps and spectacular fireworks transform the park into a sea of light – and do so sustainably. With the support of Stadtwerke Stuttgart, the festival uses 100% sustainable green electricity. At the festival of lights, you can marvel, celebrate and dance with a clear conscience. The same goes for the Umsonst & Draußen festival.

Readings, theatre and music can also be enjoyed at Stuttgart’s Lapidarium during the summer months – the garden setting with numerous sculptures and gravestones is particularly idyllic.

On warm summer nights, Stuttgart residents are drawn to the Hans-im-Glück fountain for a nightcap. Alternatively, you could go for a beer at Börsenplatz, known as the Palast der Republik, or enjoy a show in the cosy Café Galào.

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