Whatever your fascination with Porsche is, a trip to the Porsche museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany is sure to feed it. Nothing short of spectacular, every last detail is crafted to amaze. The degree of thought and systematic design engineering implemented with each and every Porsche car is reflected in the space and layout of the museum. It will definitely appeal to anybody with an interest in architecture just as much as any Porsche fanatic, and with so many exhibits and special features, it isn’t just for the family members or friends with an undying love for all things Porsche. It is an ideal day out for all kinds of groups.
About The Porsche Museum
Porsche is no stranger to pushing the boundaries on design elements, and we all know how much this company loves to make us gasp. The design is so personal to the brand itself in so many ways. From the outside, the entire building is built on columns that raise it off the ground and leave it floating before your eyes. If you move around the museum, which you should take the time to do, you’ll notice that every view offers a different depth.
You will move up a steady incline upon entry into a lofty space from which to gaze down at the entire collection, deciding on a path. The space wasn’t intended for you to take any specific route, but is laid out in an easy to view circular fashion – a clever eloquence so familiar to Porsche.
Designed by Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, who won the continent-wide competition to find the perfect taskforce for the job, it is a powerful sight that resonates independence from its competitors, starkly different to other car museums in so many ways. This museum is also the largest in Porsche’s own history.
In every way, this museum is a reflection of the vision Porsche has always held itself to. Porsche’s history of pushing technological advancement is advocated supremely here in this concept. As you move through the space, the story of Porsche unfolds. We can appreciate that they have, without neglecting any part of that story, created a space and concept that can be conquered in a single visit.
There are many small exhibits held within the space, and they are ever changing as part of the “living museum” concept. The main choice you will face as you enter is to delve into the company history first, or the motorcar arena. Either way, you will get to sense and explore each of the 80 Porsche beauties that stand at any given time – all in perfectly running order – and all the technological advancements that mark the growth of Porsche, including iconic models such as the 356, 550, 911, and 917. The exhibits also do a thorough job of demonstrating which models inspired which other models. The displays do change as the cars are all still involved in events around the world.
With special exhibits being held, the entire exhibition concept was to create fans, not simply stir up desire in existing fans. Porsche has found ways of making each one easy to engage with on a level that appeals. You can know as much as you think you know about Porsche, but the insane detail in this museum will leave even die hard fanatics impressed.
What To Expect
The concept of a “living museum” means homage is paid to all areas of passion within the production of these fine cars. There is something to be learned about everything from manufacture to history to how technological turning points were reached. One visit may be an easy feat for your trip, but it simply won’t be enough.
Cars here may be for show, but are kept running and immaculate at all times with a museum workshop. You can look in on the handy work of these friendly specialists as you make your way into the showroom.
Unlike many museums, especially in this industry, there is no loud fuss to interfere with your experience. You have total freedom to move about the floor, there are no physical boundaries between you and the cars, and there are handheld audio guides for your convenience. Incidentally, the design of these devices was a special project for the Porsche team.
Every tiny detail is impeccably thought out. The restaurant at the end of the tour is kitted out in Porsche-red seats, and the handles of the steak knives are carved from the same wood as the iconic steering wheels.
The museum isn’t specifically interactive – as described, you explore at will. However, to ensure that no particular interest is left wanting, there is a full length, twenty HD full screen touch wall, controlled by five graphic PCs with real time 3D applications that any number of visitors can make use of at any given time. A fun toy that is also a major technological boundary pusher. Held within this touch wall is a wealth of knowledge on the history, technical details, and images of every model, and is updated daily.
Moving on from the visual, no Porsche museum would be complete (even though we didn’t know it before it happened) without a sound arena. Pick a model, hear its sound, then add up to eight additional sounds that that model would make, right down to the indicators. This is a truly virtual experience, not limited to the sounds selected. As if this isn’t thrilling enough, you can turn your selection of sounds into a music track and email it to yourself – a total winner especially if you don’t intend visiting the gift shop. This alone made me feel like this museum was a gift from Porsche to me.
How To Prepare For Your Porsche Museum Trip
When (not if) you start planning to detour your life in the direction of the Porsche museum, you will want to know that the space was designed for guests to make it through everything within 90 minutes. It is possible, but you will want more time. Don’t plan too much else on this day. The museum is open on Tuesdays through Sundays, from 9am to 6pm.
While you are in town, you should definitely consider the Porsche factory tour, which starts at the museum and moves across the street to the factory floor, where you can watch these babies being handcrafted and shipped out into the world to find their homes. This, you can schedule on the same day. These tours happen Mondays through Fridays, so maybe keep that in mind when creating your itinerary.
The museum offers so much for its entry price, it’s hard to believe. There are special group and family rates, so if that is what you are planning be sure to take a look before booking, but general entrance is €8, so roughly $10 depending on exchange rates. Children under 14 years of age, accompanied by an adult, don’t pay entrance. Tours are extra. The Porsche Museum’s website has guided tours at an additional €60, and architectural tours at an extra €90. Remember that the factory tour is not part of the museum and you would need to check those prices when booking.
Aside from actual entrance fees, consider that you might like to dine on the premises after your tour (because why end the experience there) and let’s not forget the gift shop. If you have ever fantasised about owning a piece of Porsche memorabilia in any kind of shape, this shop is going to have it – keychains to bathtubs.
As a last point on the money part of your planning, and I know some of you have been waiting for this special mention, we need to talk about test drives. They can happen… at a fee nearing $200… and a deposit of more than a couple of thousands. So this might require some real planning ahead.
Additional Planning Considerations
Don’t expect to get too many photos as the use of cameras is limited.
The Porsche museum and Mercedes museum have an alliance and you should consider seeing both. On that note, the Porsche museum offers discounts of 25 percent upon evidence of another museum visit, which seems like an awesome way to promote a cultural experience.
If you are considering the Porsche factory tour, it is a high demand tour and you will need to book ahead by at least a month.
If you feel the need to get a better idea of what to expect, the website offers a virtual tour.