hallo, i live in Germany for a half year and i've been in most of the places in Baden Wurtemberg by now. And i take all my friends who come here just for a weekend to Esslingen. Esslingen is a small town very close to Stuttgart and has it all- the beatiful old city with a Rathaus, a castle on the hill, from where you can see all the area, small cosy cafes and just in just in the very center of the town the vineyards from which the view to the city is the best. And of course its on the river Neckar- Neckar here makes a strange figure so that the half of the old city is actually an island. Most important that on Christmas time they have a wonderful medieval market all over the old city. I recommend it if you dont have much time and want to see the typical town of Baden Wurtemberg.
The distinctive medieval university town of Tubingen is only a short 45 minute train ride from Stuttgart, and well worth a day trip if you are here for a longer stay. With its incredibly tall gabled buildings teetering over miles of tight cobbled roads it is one of the most memorable sights in the country. The academic, historic and small town nature also make it a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of down town Stuttgart. Trains run to the town direct from the main station, and cost just over 18 euros return.
Read more about the town on my Tubigen page.
On the far flung reaches of Stuttgart's outer suburbs is the old imperial city of Esslingen. Once a proud medieval city, it is now incorporated into the environs of greater Stuttgart. While this means it has been encirled by industry, and picked up a few other of the blights of modern suburbia, it still has a fine collection of historic buildings, including the stunning Stadtkirche St Dionys. It's an easy journey from Stuttgart, between 12 and 17 minutes on the train or S-Bahn. It is outside the central 10 and 20 zones, so you will need to make sure your ticket covers the journey. The standard all dayers won't, but if you buy the full StuttCart, you will be fine.
You can read more about the town on my Esslingen page.
From the "Kappelberg" mountain you've also got a wonderful view over the "Rotenberg" mountain and the vineyards !!!