WOLFSBURG AND BRUNSWICK - PHAENO AND AUTOSTADT

Trip dates: March 29-30, 2013

Because we were excited by the trip to Sinsheim and Speyer, I started to search for another destination. And I found Autostadt in Wolfsburg. There were a lot of recommendations on web and even on TV. The photos of the buildings look really great. Wolfsburg is not close to Prague, so I decided to plan this trip for two days and to combine it with a visit of Phaeno in Wolfsburg. Phaeno is interactive science center. It is located in an interesting modern building that was designed by prominent architect Zada Hadid.

Wolfsburg, Phaeno
I tried to find a hotel in the city but everything was very expensive. Then I extended the distance and found hotels in Brunswick at more favorable prices. Brunswick is only about 30 km from Wolfsburg and in the photos looks like a pretty city. I had booked Hotel Deutsches Haus in the city center. We went on the trip early on Saturday morning, and after about five hours of driving, we arrived in Wolfsburg. Autostadt is located close to the factory and it is easy to find because of the four high chimneys. When we entered the first building and bought the tickets, we were a bit surprised: where are the cars? There was impressive interior, a couple of exhibits, but no cars. Later we found out that there are more buildings with the exhibitions of the individual carmakers. First of all, we wanted to see Bugatti Veyron, the biggest attraction of Autostadt.

Wolfsburg, Bugatti Veyron
Veyron - the fastest car in the world - has its own separate building. It is presented in the strong light; you can see it from all sides. It is quite impressive. But the architects of this park chose the same approach for the Lamborghini building as well, and in this case that was not so impressive. One might say it is somewhat awkward. A lot of sound and light effects and one car on the wall, the car you sometimes can see on the streets... Then we finally found something better - the building with the historical cars. There among dozens of interesting exhibits was my favorite car - Lamborghini Countach from the seventies. Finally we were quite happy, but certainly not as enthusiastic as in Sinsheim.

Wolfsburg Autostadt, Lamborghini Countach
We moved to Brunswick to find a hotel. The Deutsches Haus hotel is located right in the city center and we were able to see the Brunswick Cathedral and the statue of the lion out of the hotel windows.

Brunswick, hotel deutsches-haus

Brunswick

The next morning we walked around the city center. We saw a beautiful city where the old meets the new – a big shopping center built in old castle (Schloss Arkaden), new office houses between the old wooden. There is one interesting sight besides the historical city center – Happy Rizzi house. Such a quirky landmark, now the home of a local clothing company. Pretty neat, good place to take a few photos.

Brunswick, Rizzi house

Brunswick, Rizzi house

Brunswick, Schloss arkaden

But it was Sunday and Germans do not work on Sunday. There were no open shops almost without people in the streets.
After lunch we started to go back to Wolfsburg to visit Phaeno. We came in front of an impressive contemporary building, and I have to say that from outside it is more interesting than inside. We enjoyed a lot of scientific experiences. We took several hours having fun and learning about everything in natural science, from optics to microbiology, but the impression in comparison with the previous experience in Sinsheim was not so overwhelming. Generally I think that the Autostadt and Phaeno are worth a visit but as a centrepiece of this trip I would choose the city Brunswick.

Wolfsburg Phaeno

Wolfsburg Phaeno
 
Where we stayed: Hotel Deutsches Haus, amazing old building with knightly armor in the hall. Located right in center of the city. Great service for good price. Almost all sights of city are accessible by foot. I highly recommended this hotel.

Review: 3 stars