Esslingen, the Enchanting Town Near Stuttgart

If you live in Stuttgart you may have visited Esslingen as it’s in the Baden-Württemberg region and only 9 miles (14 kilometers) away to the south-east. If you haven’t been there, then it is worth considering for a day trip or for a break. Its full name is Esslingen am Neckar as it lies on the banks of the River Neckar.

Esslingen skyline viewTatiana Frank /

There are several types of ghost tours you can take in Esslingen, and you can also have a three course meal after the tour in an historic setting. Hear tales of murderers, executioners, ghosts and witches and demons. These tours are not for the faint-hearted!

Take a tour of the city

If you prefer not to wander around to discover the city for yourself (perhaps time is limited), then you might like to take the city tour (in English or other languages) and see all the important and beautiful parts of this historic former Free Imperial city. The tour lasts for an hour and a half, and takes you up to the Burg or castle that towers above the town.

The Burg

Esslingen Big Towermironov / shutterstock.comThe Burg is not a castle in the usual sense, in that it was never occupied by a member of the nobility. It was built by the citizens of Esslingen as part of the town’s fortifications. The Hochwacht (High Watch Tower) as built in the 14th century and the Dicker Turm (Big Tower) was built in the 16th century when larger and more powerful weapons were used. There is a wonderful view from this vantage point.

Events and Festivals

The Esslinger Cultural Festival “Stadt im Fluss” (“City on the River”) takes place every three years, so there will be one in 2015. The main focus of this festival is the river and the canals that flows through the city. It won an award from the Lebendige Stadt Foundation in 2013 for being one of the most beautiful of all the festivals in Germany.

Esslingen Medieval Market and Christmas Market

If you are visiting Esslingen in winter, go to the Christmas market which is one of the biggest in the region with more than 200 stalls for you to browse through. The Esslingen Medieval and Christmas market is unique, with stall-holders dressed in historical costumes, so bringing to life the atmosphere of markets held in the town in its past. Craftsmen demonstrate their skills and there are also artistes to entertain shoppers.

Eating and Drinking in Esslingen

Esslingen rou meathlphoto / shutterstock.comWeinkeller Einhorn

The building that houses the Weinkeller Einhorn at Heugasse 17 is more than 700 years old (although the sign outside says 1671) and a wine cellar. You need to book a table in advance, but then it’s yours for the evening. The food is delightful and seasonal as fresh local produce is used and you eat by candlelight in the cellar.

Osteria La Vite

If you are hankering for cuisines other than German, try Osteria La Vite located at Blumenstrasse, 15. This has Italian and other Mediterranean cuisines, which will tempt your palette. Both the service and food are excellent.


For good food at reasonable prices, you probably couldn’t do better than eat at Martplatzbesen, located at Marktplatz 3. The food is typical Bavarian using fresh, seasonal, and local produce. Its central position means that you can find it easily. Book in advance to be sure of a table.

Kessler champagne cellar: Sektkellerei Kessler

A visit to Esslingen wouldn’t be complete without tasting the locally produced Kessler champagne. Why not try it at the Sektkellerei Kessler at Marktplatz 21-23? The original vaulted cellar is part (now) of the company’s home and main production site, located in the Speyrer Pfleghof, a building with an impressive façade that was built in the early 13th century. The history of the production of this, Germany’s oldest champagne, as well as tastings can be found at Kessler Karrée 18.

Check out native speaker Tom Hale’s tours of Esslingen here.

Getting to Esslingen am Neckar

From Wiesbaden: by road or by train. From Kaiserslautern: by road or by train. From Stuttgart: by road or by train.

Cover photo by AMzPhoto

Categories: Attractions, Castles, Road Trips, Stuttgart Area, Stuttgart Area

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