If you don’t work in the automotive industry or are otherwise a car enthusiast you might not find yourself planning a trip to Wolfsburg, Germany. Let’s be honest, you probably have never even heard of this city, and that’s OK. Lucky for you, I just got back from there, and I’m here to tell you just what it has to offer.
There are plenty of hotels in Wolfsburg, but I happened to get a really good deal through my workplace at The Ritz Carlton.
As you may have guessed already, this is definitely the premium experience- full spa, outdoor pool, fine dining, and, of course, the hotel employee who personally shows you up to your room. The rooms themselves are very modern, and even have floor sensors that will turn on dim lighting when they detect movement so you can see your way to the bathroom. Very convenient but also slightly creepy if you’re not used to intelligent lighting systems!
Since I was on a work trip, I stayed 6 nights at The Ritz Carlton. I arrived my first night to a gated entrance with my rental car. The hotel itself was quite a distance from the gate. I drove down the long cobblestone road passing a self-serve automated parking structure before arriving at the entrance of the hotel. I had only seen these picturesque parking structures on the internet and was amazed to see one in person.
My breakfast was included each morning and this breakfast buffet ranked in my top 5 of all time. Not only was the food exceptional, but I got to eat it next to a cozy fire with a shockingly beautiful view of the southeast corner of Volkswagen’s largest manufacturing plant. In case you didn’t know, this is also the largest vehicle manufacturing plant in the world!
There was a small menu where you could order some common breakfast favorites like an omelette or eggs your way with bacon, but I couldn’t bring myself to not have the buffet. This buffet had cold cuts of just about every protein source – salami, pate, prosciutto, provolone, gouda, swiss, cream cheese, quark (a German version of crème fraise), etc. You could also find many different types of breads, rolls, croissants and anything you might want to top them with – jam, flavored butters, or nutella. Additionally, a plethora of fruit and vegetable options allows one to round out the health value of this indulgent breakfast. Perhaps the cherry on the top of this experience for me was the ability to order any type of coffee – latte, latte macchiato, cappacino, espresso. No matter what you breakfast style is, this place has something incredibly delicious for you.
This fantastic venue and its wonderful amenities happens to be located it what is known as Autostadt, or “Car City” in English. This place truly is a city. There are several different buildings, all with a different modern architectural twist. Even if you didn’t go inside any of these buildings, just walking around the city to see the view from the outside is something worth experiencing. You could definitely spend a full day in this theme park for the car enthusiast so plan ahead. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes on site so you needn’t leave for anything once you’ve arrived. My dinner recommendation would definitely be Trattoria Barolo. They had buffet style Italian cold dishes, including caprese salads, marinated fresh vegetables, artisan cheeses, as well as some main pasta dishes. Pairing a nice Italian wine is also highly recommended!
They layout of the city is pretty straight forward. There is a “Zeithaus”, “Time house” in English, where you can see the development of cars over time. I recommend you visit this area first as I enjoyed this museum more than anything else. Once you’ve had the evolutionary overview you can then visit the areas dedicated to particular car manufacturers like Audi, Porsche, Seat, etc.
After you’ve fed your automotive hunger, head on over to Schloss Wolfsburg to meet your cultural needs. I made the mistake of assuming they would have tours at all visiting hours and found out the hard way that you need to call in advance to schedule a tour. Needless to say, I will be doing this on my next visit! Having said that, even without the tour, a trip to the Schloss was more than worth it. The surrounding nature is simply astounding. I spent an ungodly amount of time just standing on a bridge adorned with locks that separates the Schloss from a field of green and trees. It was such a beautiful view in every direction that I didn’t want to move. At some point, it was the feeling of hunger pains that moved me to the on-site restaurant called Restaurant Schlossremise. The main dining room is finished all in glass so you can still enjoy the view of the Schloss. The food was authentic and on point with nice wine pairing offerings in addition to your standard uber, high-quality local beers.
Overall, my experience in Wolfsburg was very positive, and I highly recommend this destination should if you are an automotive enthusiast of any sort. You will absolutely love the assortment of cars- from the historical relics and their stories, to the newest, sleekest models around the world. The superb dining and café opportunities in Autostadt will keep your child-like high alive for the duration of your stay, and if you truly want to be treated like a king or queen, be sure to stay right on-site within the Autostadt at The Ritz Carlton. I promise you, it will be a ride to remember!