Last year (2022) I journeyed to the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen, Germany for the first time. Besides exploring the museum, I had a secondary, self-imposed mission. That mission was to create a shareable photo album of every car in the museum at that point. The 2022 trip was so much fun that upon realizing how important 2023 is to Porsche I planned another trip.
The mission involved three days on the ground in Germany. To me, late October seems like an airfare sweet spot for flying to Germany. Octoberfest is over and the Christmas markets are still a few weeks away. Plus, I learned from the 2022 trip, the weather around Stuttgart in late October is quite nice.
With a short trip I wanted to keep the cost down. Flying direct to Stuttgart can be costly. I scooped up a great deal ($650 roundtrip) flying from Washington Dulles to Frankfurt via Reykjavik, Iceland. Having been to Iceland a few times, a layover of any kind there is welcome. The airport, although small, has some great food and drink options. Honestly, it’s the kind of place where you don’t mind having a layover. That is so long as winter is not in full force there. Plus, the one-hour train ride from Frankfurt to Stuttgart is pleasant and inexpensive. I stayed at the super convenient B&B Hotel that is only 300 meters from the museum. This European hotel chain offers simple, clean, modern rooms at very reasonable prices.
The nice aspect of staying at B&B Hotel Zuffenhausen is that one can get away with not renting a car. The obvious is that you must be willing to use the train as well as some walking. Within a 15-minute walk of the B&B Hotel you can be at the museum, a nice coffee shop, a grocery store, a beer/wine store, a yummy döner place (Big Baba’s Kebab) and a train station linking you to the rest of the city/country.
With the 75th anniversary of the company and 60th of the 911, I knew the museum was going to have some great displays. Again, this trip was about both getting to see the museum as well as making a photographic chronicle for others.
The ground floor level of the museum is the entrance for ticketing. As well, you will find a modest gift shop, a lovely cantina-like restaurant, a cafe and a view into a working car shop. Once ticketed, you take a long escalator ride to the second floor where the fun begins. The layout of the museum is such that you walk counterclockwise to the top. There are not ‘floors’ but rather a continuous ascent through exhibits.
Knowing the layout proved helpful both last year and this year. Since photography was a major reason for my visit, I aimed for photos with little or no people in the pictures. To do this, I was at the museum when it opened and went straight to the top of the museum. By working my way down versus up, I covered more than half of the museum without seeing another person. Then, late in the day I went back through the museum to do the beginning parts where most everyone had already passed. The second day I did more artistic or closeup photos. The second day was also helpful for getting reshoots. As well, I spent time with the non-car elements of the museum and did the self-guided tour.
I’ve travelled a great deal and visited many of the world’s best museums. I have to say that I love the Porsche Museum for being so open and accessible. As you will see from the pictures, one can get right up to the cars. They are not roped off or behind glass. I’m afraid the accessibility might change though.
Last year while visiting, I watched a small group of twenty something year old men walk up and get into many of the cars. Not only were they getting in they would slam the doors or not close them at all. Yes, they did get escorted out. This year I noticed that many cars now had a clear tape over the door handles.
I cannot express enough what a great experience the museum was. I told my son, as you walk past some of the 917s you can smell the car. If you’re a petrolhead you know the smells I’m talking about. You will visit few museums that give you a visceral response like this one will.
The great thing about being a PCA member is you get into the museum at a discount. The ticket price of 10 euro is already cheap enough but the 50% discount is nice.
I’m lucky enough to have become friends with fellow Porsche Club of America members living in Stuttgart. Both last year and this year I’ve met them for dinner while there. Last year we enjoyed Carl’s Brauhaus in Stuttgart. This year we met in Zuffenhausen at Triple B – Beef Burgers Brothers. Both places are highly recommended.
In my little bit of free time, I made it into Stuttgart to visit the very cool Porsche Brand store. Along the way I stumbled across a few Saturday markets near the city center. I’m a sucker for a good European market. There is always good food and fun things to discover.
To be clear, I’m not a professional photographer. I shot all pictures on my iPhone and did my best to consider lights, shadows, people and such. I hope you enjoy the Google Photo album I’ve put together. Feel free to reach out if you would like any of the raw pictures.
Here is a link to the Google Photo Album of the 2023 Porsche Museum Photo Tour