According to Zipjet's 2017 ranking of the “global most and least stressful cities”, Stuttgart is the least stressful city in the world.
The capital city of Baden-Württemberg received the highest ratings for its green spaces, for family purchasing power and for the mental health of its citizens. The city also did well in categories like unemployment and debt per capita, with low rates that were only beaten by Munich.
So without further ado, here are five reasons why Stuttgart is such a relaxing place to live.
Green spaces are everywhere
A man sunbathing in the Schlossgarten. Photo: DPA
Stuttgart is a green city - and that's not just because the local mayor is a member of Germany's green party "Die Grünen". It has 6,000 square metres of public parks and recreational areas, including the city's most famous park the Schlossgarten (the castle garden).
The Schlossgarten is also part of what is called the “Green U”, where parks such as the Rosenstein Park, the Leibfriedscher Garden and the Killesberg Hill Park join up to form a natural “U” shape if you look down on Stuttgart from above.
There are numerous natural springs
Stuttgart has 19 natural springs which pump 22 million litres of mineral water daily. The city has three main thermal baths and there are even more private baths in and around the town. Locals know there's nothing better to do on a cold winter's day than to hop into a pool of warm, bubbly water and let your troubles float away.
Everything you need is just a short journey away
The Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. Photo: DPA
In downtown Stuttgart, everything is close by. With around 600,000 inhabitants, it is still a small city, so a lot of locations in the downtown area are in walking distance.
If you need to get out of the valley where downtown Stuttgart is located, you just take advantage of the reliable public transportation system and hop onto a bus or U-Bahn.
The scenery is simply stunning
Schönbuch Nature Park. Photo: DPA
Stuttgart is surrounded by beautiful landscapes. Locals who want to escape city life can choose from several locations. The Schönbuch Nature Park in the south-west of the city is perfect for hiking and nature-watching, offering dense forests, beautiful streams, ancient trees and game enclosures.
The river Neckar flows through the north of town, surrounded by lovely vineyards. Moreover the Swabian Alps and even the Black Forest, the namesake of the famous gateaux, are only an hour away. All these areas invite you to take a walk, ride your bike, or just sit down and have a picnic.
If you've got a hankering for wine you needn't look far
A Stuttgart Vineyard. Photo:DPA
Last but not least, Stuttgart is a wine town. Might this not have a tiny influence on its relaxed inhabitants, I ask you?
Stuttgart is the only city in Germany that owns 17.5 hectares of municipal vineyards. Wine grapes can be found everywhere, even in the centre, behind the main train station.
And where there is wine there are also festivals. The “Stuttgart Wine Village” is one of the biggest in Germany. It takes place in early September and more than 500 different wines from the region are served in 120 arbours around the Old Palace.
Stuttgart is truly a great place to live and still a hidden gem. Even as a local, there are always new spots to discover and explore.
Melanie Buck blogs at Living in Stuttgart