Nothing symbolizes Stuttgart more than its legendary cars. Stuttgart's name, "Garden of Mares," harkens to its days as an aristocratic stud farm, but now most of Stuttgart's horsepower comes from an internal combustion engine. The tristar Mercedes logo crowns the main rail station's tower, and the world's oldest car factory lies on the banks of the Neckar. When it opened, the swank new Mercedes-Benz Museum helped kick off the World Cup '06 party. The ultramodern double helix of glass and steel houses everything from historic "silver arrow" race cars to trucks to Princess Di's limo. There are also workshops and studios, shops and a restaurant in the spiraling 17,000 square meter space. (Mercedesstrasse 100, Stuttgart 70372, tel. +49/0711/173 0000.; closed Mondays.) To find the museum, take the S-Bahn (S1) towards Plochingen to the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion stop, then follow the signs.
Not to be outdone, Porsche has opened its über-cool, €50 million museum. (Porsche Museum, open daily, free entry. By train, take the S6 towards Weil der Stadt, to the Neuwirtzhaus [Porscheplatz] stop.)—by Lydia Itoi