Only an hour by train or car from Berlin, Wolfsburg is a town built on car production and is for car lovers. With 25 hectares of parkland and lakes and state-of-the-art pavilions housing Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Seats, Skoda, Bugatti and Volkswagen, there’s plenty to keep any autophile happy at VW’s Autostadt. But that’s just the beginning. The pickup centre for pre-purchased cars is like a waiting area in a maternity ward as the expectant buyers wait for their cars, which are brought down without the surface ever being touched by a human hand. Robots reign here.
Autostadt is also a child-friendly autooriented theme park. Here you will not find Mickey or Minnie, but over 250 interactive exhibits, including those about wind, water, light, vision, life energy and a opportunity to conduct your own experiment and design your own car. One of the kiddies’ favourites is the Sun Fuel Lab where plants store up energy from the provided light and will eventually become raw material for future mobility. Youngsters can plant their own part of environmental change with the help of an interactive robot and then add their name to their small plant. Over 640 are planted daily, and when the kids get back home they can track their plant on a website.
The Zeit Haus Museum always has important exhibits on. While I was there it was Frau Und Auto (Woman and the Car). Over 50,000 female visitors were asked to fill out forms and choose their favourite from one of the 12 vintage cars on show. The winner was a flashy 1964 Jaguar E Type.
There’s even a small off-road track where, for a small amount, you can test your skills with a Touareg over a water pond, sand pit, log road and more. I survived, as did my instructor. Surely something for everyone in the family.
If you need somewhere to stay, thankfully there is a Ritz Carlton Hotel with Aqua, a two-star-rated Michelin Guide restaurant.