Stuttgart: the Michelin-starred airport ....
Stuttgart Airport (STR) is located about 13km south of the city centre, in the Baden-Württemberg region of Germany. Carrying over 9.2 million passengers annually, it is the country’s seventh most important airport.
In 2004, its old 1938 terminal was completely replaced, bringing the airport into the 21st century. It now has four modern terminals, arranged linearly. When the Stuttgart Trade Fair moved into adjacent premises in 2007, air traffic increased • as did pressures for a second runway to be built. To cope with its rising popularity, Stuttgart Airport now has eight airport hotels including a Best Western, a Mercure, a Mövenpick and a Parkhotel.
The city’s excellent, integrated transport system means that travel from the airport to the city centre is a breeze. Regular direct trains leave from Terminal 1 (Level 1), with a journey time of around 27 minutes.
Stuttgart Airport serves a whole host of domestic and international locations, and acts as a hub for low-cost carrier Germanwings. Its other principal airlines are Air Berlin, Lufthansa, TUIfly, British Airways and British no-frills airline, Flybe.
To compare flight costs to your desired destination, log onto the Internet via the airport’s speedy wireless LAN network (charges apply) or pop along to the travel agency paradise in Terminal 3 (level 4). Over 30 agencies are clustered here, including Thomas Cook and TUI tours.
In addition to copious cafés, snack bars and chocolate shops, the airport’s dining provision is somewhat legendary. In addition to the Pizza Hut Express, Red Baron restaurant, Leysieffer Bistro and a Pasta and Seafood Trattoria, it has its very own Michelin-starred Top Air Restaurant. Located in Terminal 1 (Level 4), it offers dramatic runway views alongside one of the finest dining experiences in the entire region, courtesy of its creative chef, Claudio Urru.
In a country renowned for its precision engineering and craftsmanship, you are guaranteed to find an enviable range of top-end luxury goods at Stuttgart Airport. Its extensive range of stores and boutiques stocks everything from electrical goods, hair and skincare products to haute-couture fashions, arts, crafts and leather goods, all at great value, tax-free prices. It also has three Travel Value and Duty Free Shops. One is in Terminal 1 (Level 3), a second is in Terminal 3 (Level 3) and the third is in Terminal 4 (Level 2).
Stuttgart’s duty free stores carry a stunning range of sunglasses and sports eyewear, many of which are exclusive to travel retail. There is also the dedicated Bochmann & Pfendt Airport Optic store in Terminal 3 (Level 3). For timeless style try out the latest from Ray Ban, Armani Exchange or Burberry, or make a fashion statement with a trendsetting pair from Versace, Police, D&G, Maui Jim or Salvatore Ferragamo.
Gold, cultured pearls and glittering costume jewellery sets make perfect gifts for the ones you love. For a leather cuff bracelet, elegant pendant or silver charm, excellent value designers in the mid-price levels are Guess, Fossil, Breil and DKNY. Make a statement with cufflinks from Diesel or Seven; a limited-edition necklace and earring set from Amoro or Swarovski, or a colourfully glamorous, crystal-set bracelet from Trésor Paris.
For frequent-flyers criss-crossing the time zones, a world-class watch isn’t merely an executive accessory, it’s a fashion statement. With many designs exclusive to tax-free and in-flight travel retail, seize the moment with a new business-like watch from Aviator, Hugo Boss, Omega or Tag Heuer, and treat yourself to a casually cool one from designers like Gio Goi, Ice, Diesel, Breo or Puma.
Catwalk queens should make a beeline for the Catwalk Fashion store. It showcases all of this season’s latest looks in apparel and accessories, from Hugo Boss, Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger. Dress Code is another clothing wonderland, with urban chic or occasion wear from Boss Orange, Swisscross, Bognor Fire & Ice, Strellson and Hilfiger Denim. To sport one of Germany’s best loved fashion brands, kit yourself out at the Esprit store in Terminal 3 (Level 3).
To accompany the new outfit, the Core Shop stocks fabulously top-end leather handbags under its own brand name as well as Lancel, Coccinelle, Guess, Lamarthe and Fiorelli. For head-turning clothing and shoes, pop into Chic-y-Micci for the latest from S Oliver, Marco Tozzi, Tamaris and Gino Ventori. For Samsonite and Rimowa luggage, visit the Jetsetter store in Terminal 2 (Level 3).
With five-star shopping, Michelin-starred food and world-class conference and banqueting on its doorstep, Stuttgart is one very well connected airport.