Germany is renowned for its engineering and ingenuity and there is one area in which this nation has excelled in both these departments: automobiles. In fact, you'd do well to find a car manufacturer or luxury marque from Germany that's not recognised the world over. With such an illustrious automotive history, it's no surprise Germany is home to some of the most interesting and smart factories and motor museums. The best part is: they are all open to the public.
One of two stops you will make in Stuttgart, there are more than 80 vehicles on display in the Porsche Museum, ranging from the classics to the futuristic. Gain an insight into the history of the company and its journey to one of the most prestigious marques in the world today.
A world-first Porsche in the Mix sound installation is a fantastic permanent addition to the museum. You can select from seven Porsche vehicles and the exhibit plays back the characteristic sounds of each vehicle. Sounds such as indicators, doors closing and engine noises are integrated into a music track. The composition is visualised on an impressive 12m-high interactive wall via video, animations, and LED sound level indicators. You can even choose to create your own music to take home.
Following your museum visit, take the factory tour where you get a firsthand look at the assembly line and the work that goes in to making every Porsche that extra bit special.
Situated 6km outside Stuttgart city centre, the Mercedes-Benz Museum stands nine storeys and houses more than 160 vehicles. The museum offers a two-hour guided tour that covers everything from the origins and history of Mercedes through to the present and the future of the industry.
After your museum tour, enjoy a guided tour of Mercedes' world-largest Sindelfingen production plant. The tour begins in the press shop, where the body parts are given their shape, continues in the body shop and ends in the assembly line, where the body shell and power train are married together. In the logistics 'supermarket' you can see how vehicle components are fed to the assembly lines, in part by two driverless transport systems named Bertha and Gottlieb.
A handy tip: Whether you go to the Mercedes or Porsche museum first, present your ticket to the second museum for discounted rates.
Located on the banks of the Mitteland Canal in the middle of Wolfsburg is a car enthusiast's 2 for 1, the Volkswagen factory and museum, and Autostadt, or automobile city. The fantastic combination of the architecture intertwined with the natural beauty of the area makes this impressive sight worth the visit.
AutoMuseum Volkswagen offers different variations of factory tours to cater to every demographic. You can watch cars being made from scratch and also get to witness the car towers in full operation. The fully controlled robot towers housing cars produced for customers have been beautifully designed and engineered, and make for a fantastic sight.
The Autostadt has attractions that will keep everyone busy. Enjoy a ride on the small track, which goes underneath the canal bridge, or step back in time and visit the first petrol vehicle produced.
It only takes around 15 minutes to get from Munich city centre to the BMW Welt factory and museum in Olympiapark. Like all the other tours, the BMW factory tour will take you on a trip through the plant as you watch the BMW vehicle come to life on the production line.
What sets the BMW tour apart is how close you get to the production line. You will be touching distance from all the equipment and gain a full firsthand view of the work that goes in to making these wheeled machines. A visit to the BMW museum is truly immersive and BMW has done a fantastic job incorporating all aspects of technology to turn every part of the museum into a fun and exciting experience.
Don't miss the BMW Welt M Town exhibition, a dedicated space that showcases state-of-the-art technology and uncompromising high performance for the latest in car design.
No visit to Ingolstadt is complete without a trip to the Audi factory and museum. Audi offers a variety of tours to suit every need - the only problem is that you will want to do all of them.
Each 90-minute tour is guaranteed to offer you an up-close view at the key aspects that make an Audi come together, and with unprecedented access to some of Audi's most important assembly rooms, you'll gain firsthand experiences that will leave lasting impressions. There's alos a one-hour compact tour available from Monday to Friday at 2pm. Bookings must be made in advance to secure your spot.
The title says five reasons, but you can’t complete a tour of German car musuems and factories without mention of this famous race track and motorsports complex in Nurburg. The Nurburgring offers guests a variety of experience options: you can either get behind the steering wheel of a vehicle to experience the thrill of racing around the track, or if you prefer something a little more relaxed, explore the venue on a guided tour. Whichever option you choose, you will definitely have a great day out.
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