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LIBERTINED
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Both are alright, but also suffered badly in the 20th century.

Esslingen is very close to Stuttgart and really neat. I personally also like Schwäbisch Hall and Calw.
 

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Look at that parking lot!
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Is Karlsruhe worth a trip?
Not a must-see, but not bad either. The surroundings are quite beautiful.
The undisputable highlight of the southwestern/allemanic region is Strassburg/Strasbourg (on the French side of the Rhine). This is 100% a must-see town, it would be almost stupid not to visit it if you are near. Freiburg is nice, too.
 

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LIBERTINED
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Straßburg is gorgeous indeed. In many ways, it exemplifies what a medieval till Gründerzeit city in Germany looked like, although being French today. Closeby places in Alsace are very nice too, like Colmar and Metz.
 

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Don't focus on big cities if you want to see a nice cityscape. The larger the cities, the uglier it gets.
 

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Alphaist
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As @miau and @erbse mentioned:

Esslingen is very near, neat and historically rich.
Ludwigsburg is very near, too. Its palace including park is worth being visited. The town not that much, unless you are especially interested in baroque towns. Btw LB is a baroque town, but surely not the neatest one, mainly rather simple buildings.
Tübingen is a 30-45 Minutes trip. Very neat and nearby the adorable Castle Hohenzollern. Moreover the monastery Bebenhausen is just around the corner.

Schwäbisch Hall, Schwäbisch Gmünd (both ~45-60 Minutes) and Calw (~30 Minutes) are lovely as well.

I'd visit Esslingen, Tübingen and Schwäbisch Hall, if I had not enough time to visit all.

In general churches are quite unpretentious in that region, including Stuttgart. So better focus on towns, palaces and castles.
Impressing churches are in Ulm (highest church in the world, 60-90 Minutes trip), Strassburg and Freiburg. Out of the above mentioned, Schwäbisch Hall and Schwäbisch Gmünd own worth seeing churches which rank one category below imo.

You'll reach Heidelberg likewise Ulm somewhat quicker than Strassburg. Freiburg will take you at least two hours.
 

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No pasaràn
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As @miau and @erbse mentioned:

Esslingen is very near, neat and historically rich.
Ludwigsburg is very near, too. Its palace including park is worth being visited. The town not that much, unless you are especially interested in baroque towns. Btw LB is a baroque town, but surely not the neatest one, mainly rather simple buildings.
Tübingen is a 30-45 Minutes trip. Very neat and nearby the adorable Castle Hohenzollern. Moreover the monastery Bebenhausen is just around the corner.

Schwäbisch Hall, Schwäbisch Gmünd (both ~45-60 Minutes) and Calw (~30 Minutes) are lovely as well.

I'd visit Esslingen, Tübingen and Schwäbisch Hall, if I had not enough time to visit all.

In general churches are quite unpretentious in that region, including Stuttgart. So better focus on towns, palaces and castles.
Impressing churches are in Ulm (highest church in the world, 60-90 Minutes trip), Strassburg and Freiburg. Out of the above mentioned, Schwäbisch Hall and Schwäbisch Gmünd own worth seeing churches which rank one category below imo.

You'll reach Heidelberg likewise Ulm somewhat quicker than Strassburg. Freiburg will take you at least two hours.
danke, very helpful
You said 25000 people and above. But when you are in the southwest and looking for beautiful cities, Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a MUST SEE!
oh boy you are right!
I saw that famous view months ago and I could not remember where it was.

I must go to visit it
 

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^^ I'd prefer Dinkelsbühl and Rothenburg to Nördlingen, which of course is also awesome. As for me Dinkelsbühl is the perfect German Old Town.

^ Hann. Münden is also great but in my opinion one category below Dinkelsbühl and Rothenburg.
If Germanwide I would recommend Bautzen, Erfurt, Goslar, Heidelberg, Lübeck, Lüneburg, Marburg, Nürnberg, Wernigerode, Bamberg or Regensburg. Hildesheim for churches.
 

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Zur Sache Hann. Münden vs. Rothenburg/Tauber und Dinkelsbühl:

Bei Hann. Münden kommt die verträumte Lage dazu. Der weitgereiste Alexander von Humboldt sprach davon, es sei eine der sieben schönstgelegenen Städte der Welt.

Ein anderer Aspekt ist meiner Ansicht nach die höhere Repräsentativität Hann. Mündens für Deutschland. Rothenburg/Tauber und Dinkelsbühl wirken auf mich schon ausdrücklich süddeutsch, Hann. Münden dagegen richtig "mittig". Oder empfindet ein Süddeutscher es als norddeutsch?

Rothenburg/Tauber und Dinkelsbühl bewegen sich beide übrigens weit unter der 25.000-Einwohner-Marke.
 
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