Stuttgart Toys
For the Young at Heart

Shopaholics, rejoice. Even if you aren't in the market for a new luxury car, Stuttgart has something to tempt everyone. Königstrasse, the main shopping drag, starts across the street from the rail station and is like a giant outdoor mall. It seems everyone in town is trolling the shop windows.

Not to be missed is the Markthalle, a covered market in an Art Nouveau building behind the Altes Schloss at Dorotheenstrasse 4. The ground floor is a riot of fruits, vegetables, and specialty gourmet food stalls. The second floor has beautiful houseware and garden items.

Eberhardt Strasse is where the fashionistas hang out, mostly in the soaring glass dome atrium of Breuninger, Stuttgart's answer to Saks Fifth Avenue. Luxury shoppers should make a beeline for the Calwer Passage, just off of Calwer Strasse and Rotebühlplatz. Boutiques display antiques and cigars in a charming glass arcade. There are too many contemporary art galleries to list here, but lovers of conceptual art and design might want to check out Art Alarm for the annual September gallery open house. For junk shops, antiques, and funkier design boutiques, head for the cool vibes of the Bohnenviertel neighborhood.

Stuttgart also has a wonderful collection of toy shops. The biggest, Spielwaren Kurtz, is at Marketplace 10. I found a lovely stuffed dog on wooden wheels at Steybe, located at Kronprintzstr. 8, while Tausendschön at Lautenschlagerstra. 24 specializes in hand-turned wooden tops. Another wooden toy specialist, Holzspielwaren Hans Strigl, is a little hard to find at Wagnerst. 38, but look for a passage through the antique store that leads to a courtyard behind (tel. +49/711/235 405, closed Mon.). Model train enthusiasts should visit Modelleisenbahn Center W. Schüler at Christophstr. 2 on Österreichischer Platz.—by Lydia Itoi