Cars! Cars! Cars...2! A visit to the Mercedes-Benz Museum
After visiting the Porsche Museum, it was time to head back to the Stuttgart Hauptbanhof to catch the S-bahn to Neckar Park - basically clear on the other side of town. I only had time at Hauptbanhof to pick up a sandwich and pastry in the station, to eat while waiting for the next train.
Unlike the Porsche Museum with its advantageous location adjacent to the station, you do have to walk about 15 minutes from the station to the Mercedes-Benz Museum. It's fairly well signposted, though.
On the other hand, like the Porsche Museum, there's a vanity roundabout sculpture next to the museum. While the Porsche Museum had Porsches mounted on top of three tall posts, the Mercedes-Benz version is a more subtle, extruded 3-pointed star.
Compounding my surprise discounts, by showing my Porsche Museum ticket, I got 25% off my Mercedes-Benz Museum ticket, so I paid €7.50 instead of €10. This discount was in effect from July 28, 2016 through June 30, 2017, and I don't know if it will be renewed.
Since the Mercedes-Benz Museum is more expensive than the Porsche Museum, and I'm not sure if it gives the same 50% public transit discount like the Porsche Museum, it worked out well to visit Porsche first! In total, between, the two museums, I paid €11.50 for a day's worth of sightseeing. Pretty good value!
The Mercedes-Benz Museum is much more extensive than Porsche, going over 8 floors. There are sections for different eras in the company history, as well as sub-sections on an aspect of the entire company, like Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles, or Mercedes-Benz vehicles for police.
Here, they give you a high-tech audio guide, which you point at a display to make the audio start automatically. That was the theory, at least, because sometimes it just didn't work at all. Kind of sounds like the complaints about recent Mercedes-Benz cars, where dodgy implementation of technology has caused its reliability rankings to plummet. Hmmm...
Here is the very first automobile! The Benz Patent Motor Car, developed by Mr. Benz, with a one-cylinder engine.
Here's the classic gull-wing SL. I always think of California, maybe because of Hollywood, when I see Mercedes-Benz cars of this time.
I also quite like Mercedes-Benz cars from the 1980s, like the 190 series. They just look sturdy and well-engineered. I would say current Mercedes-Benz design seems more similar to other cars; in fact sometimes I'm surprised when I approach a car and only when I see the name badge do I realize it's a Mercedes.
I also liked the little section at the end with old concept cars. I love seeing how people in the past envisioned the future! I wish this section was bigger and more immersive.
You could easily spend a good 4, 5, or 6 hours here, depending on how closely you read every wall text. It was here that I saw a display about the Weissenhof Estate, and realized that an architectural classic was right here in Stuttgart. So I couldn't linger, and headed back to the west side of town for a final stop before my flight home.