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Volkswagen's Autostadt

A VW automotive theme park in Wolfsburg, Germany

photo by Rainier Jensen

ABOVE: A night view of the Autostadt with its twin Autotürme, which are automated dispensers for car buyers who pick up VWs in Wolfsburg. INSET BELOW: A flowerpot bridge in the Autostadt, which is Germany's #2 theme park in popularity.

photoVolkswagen has been making cars in Wolfsburg, Germany since 1939, when the Volkswagenwerk was completed and the first Beetle--then known as the KdF--came off the assembly line.

Today, the made-to-order factory town of Wolfsburg has grown into a city of 123,000, and a former industrial area next to the Volkswagen factory has become the Autostadt, an automotive theme park that has attracted more than 10 million visitors since its opening on June 1, 2000.

Autostadt has a state-of-the-art car museum, brand pavilions for marques that range from Volkswagen to Lamborghini, driving courses for adults and children, tours of the world's largest auto factory, robot-guided ascents of the 20-story car towers, music festivals and other events, restaurants (don't miss the VW factory's renowned Currywurst), and even a luxury hotel.

Just as important, Autostadt is the home of Volkswagen's KundenCenter, or Customer Center, where car buyers can pick up custom-ordered VWs directly from the factory.

With a range of activities, a location next to Wolfsburg's world-class Phaeno science museum, and quick access from Berlin by high-speed ICE train, the Autostadt is a worthwhile destination for VW fans or anyone who's interested in cars.

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Top photo: Autostadt. Photographer: Rainier Jensen.

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