- Introduction to Nuremberg
- Brief History of Nuremberg
- Cultural and Geographic Overview
- Getting to Nuremberg
- Best Time to Visit
- Iconic Sites and Monuments
- Nuremberg Castle
- The Beautiful Fountain
- Nazi Party Rally Grounds
- Sebaldus Church
- Albrecht Dürer's House
- Museums and Cultural Stops
- German National Railway Museum
- Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds
- Toy Museum
- Germanisches Nationalmuseum
- Neues Museum Nürnberg
- Unique Experiences in Nuremberg
- Visit the Christmas Market - Christkindlesmarkt
- Taste the Famous Nuremberg Sausages
- Watch a Game of FC Nuremberg
- Walking Tour of the Medieval Nuremberg City Walls
- Shopping and Cuisine in Nuremberg
- Exploring Hauptmarkt - Nuremberg's Main Market
- Shopping in Karolinenstraße and Königstraße
- Enjoying Franconian Cuisine
- Sampling Nuremberg's Beer Specialties
- Recommended Itineraries
- One-day Itinerary
- Three-day Itinerary
- One-week Itinerary
- Family-friendly Itinerary
- Itinerary for History buffs
Introduction to Nuremberg
Brief History of Nuremberg
From the Holy Roman Empire to World War II, Nuremberg has history at every turn. Founded in the 11th century, this Bavarian city later became a residence of German kings, and was a cultural and scientific hub during the Renaissance. 20th-century Nuremberg is most known for Nazi rallies and the subsequent Nuremberg Trials. The city was severely damaged during the war but, like a phoenix, Nuremberg rose from its ashes and underwent remarkable reconstruction, maintaining its medieval charm.
Cultural and Geographic Overview
Nuremberg, a historic city in northern Bavaria, is renowned for its preserved medieval old town, encompassing Kaiserburg Castle, and its rich cultural heritage. Nestled 170 kilometers north of Munich, the city is also the second-largest in Bavaria. Culture enthusiasts are charmed by Nuremberg's wealth of museums, historical sites, such as the infamous WWII Nuremberg Trials Courtroom, and traditional arts like gingerbread baking. Its strategic position along Pegnitz river and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal offers picturesque views, enhancing the city's overall allure.
Getting to Nuremberg
Getting to Nuremberg is convenient thanks to a well-connected infrastructure. The Albrecht Dürer Airport features direct flights from major European destinations and is just 20 minutes away from the city center via subway line U2. Travelers can also reach Nuremberg by rail, as the city's central station hosts numerous high-speed ICE trains from different parts of Germany. If you prefer road travel, multiple autobahns (A3, A6, A9, and A73) lead to Nuremberg, making car or bus travel hassle-free.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Nuremberg varies depending on your preferred activities. Spring, from late May to early June, offers blooming landscapes and pleasant weather, perfect for outdoor pursuits. If you're a fan of Christmas markets, winter is the ideal time. The city is beautifully lit up and the market buzzes with activity. However, it's also colder, so dress warm. For fewer crowds, opt for the shoulder seasons of early spring and late autumn. Temperatures during these periods can range from crisp to warm, offering a genuine taste of the city's varying climates.
Iconic Sites and Monuments
Nuremberg Castle is a landmark overlooking the cityscape from a hilltop. A stunning medieval fortification, it encompasses the Imperial castle, the Burgraves' castle, and the municipal buildings. Tourists are attracted to its mix of Gothic and Romanesque architecture, lush gardens, and expansive vista. Its various sections tell tales of different eras, giving visitors a rare historical insight. The Sinwell Tower offers an unmatchable 360-degree view of Nuremberg. Moreover, the Deep Well and the Imperial Chapel are important must-visit spots in the complex. This castle truly is a page straight out of a storybook.
The Beautiful Fountain
One of Nuremberg's most cherished landmarks is the Beautiful Fountain, situated at Hauptmarkt. Built in the 14th century, this 19-meter high Gothic sculpture impresses every visitor with its intricate design and gold accents. The fountain boasts 40 colorful figures, each symbolizing a different philosophical idea or character. Legend has it that those who spin the brass ring on its fence will be granted a wish. Whether you're coming for the stories or the stunning aesthetics, the Beautiful Fountain is a must-see when in Nuremberg.
Nazi Party Rally Grounds
One haunting yet important landmark in Nuremberg's history is the Nazi Party Rally Grounds. This vast 11-square kilometer site hosted annual rallies between 1933 and 1938, monumental gatherings orchestrated by Hitler's regime to showcase the power of National Socialism. Today, the grounds serve as a symbol of reflection and education. The Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds, housed in a part of the unfinished Congress Hall, offers a critical examination of Nazi history. Explore the permanent exhibit "Fascination and Terror" that examines the causes, context and consequences of the Nazi regime.
Nuremberg's Sebaldus Church stands tall with its dual spires reaching towards the sky. Admirably historic, it dates back to the 13th century, beautifully blending styles of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Inside the church, it houses the breath-taking Schreyer-Landauer tomb, considered a masterpiece of the German Renaissance. The spectacular stained-glass windows, are illuminated, magnifying the interior’s spiritual ambiance. When visiting Nuremberg, a stop at Sebaldus Church is a must for its unique combination of historical significance and pure artistry. Immerse in its solemn tranquility and marvel at its architectural elegance.
Albrecht Dürer's House
Nestled in Nuremberg's historic old town is the charming Albrecht Dürer's House. This half-timbered, multi-storied building was the dwelling of Germany's most renowned artist. With a preserved original architecture, the house serves as a remarkable symbol of the city’s rich Renaissance past. Today, it functions as a museum that exhibits Dürer's works, offering a unique glimpse into the life of this iconic artist. Interactive displays add a modern touch to the experience. Its distinct structure and cultural relevance make Albrecht Dürer's House a must-visit spot. An icon of Nuremberg, it's a testament to historical German living and creativity.
Museums and Cultural Stops
German National Railway Museum
The German National Railway Museum in Nuremberg is a must-visit for all railroad enthusiasts. Home to over 160 vehicles spanning nearly two centuries, the museum boasts an extensive collection of locomotives, carriages, and model trains. Explore the transformation of rail travel through the years by navigating the site's historic roundhouse and functional turntable. Don't miss the "Adler", Germany's first train, which is one of the many gems in this train lover's paradise. Whether you're an avid railway fan or just curious, this museum offers a unique, informative dive into Germany's railway history.
Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds
The Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds offers a chilling insight into the mechanisms of Nazi propaganda. Housed in the unfinished remains of the Congress Hall, an uncompleted Nazi-era building, it presents a comprehensive exhibition on the National Socialist period. The displays disclose the propaganda methods and the architectural megalomania of the National Socialist regime. The museums' extensive collection allows you to dive into a dark chapter of German history, making it an essential stop for history enthusiasts. It stands as a potent reminder of the horrors of extremism.
The Spielzeugmuseum, or Toy Museum, is a must-see stop in Nuremberg, renowned for its rich history in toy making. Spanning centuries, the museum showcases everything from classic wooden dolls to modern electronic playthings. Interactive exhibits allow visitors immersive fun alongside learning. The museum is family-friendly and designed to thrill every age group. Don't miss the "Barbie: History and Lifestyle" exhibit showcasing over 1,000 Barbies. A visit to the Toy Museum guarantees a delightful peek into the evolution of playtime, reflecting the cultural changes of the times.
As the largest museum of German art and culture, the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg is a must-visit. Boasting collections from the prehistoric period through to the 21st century, it provides a fascinating journey through history. The museum's extensive exhibits include medieval armory, religious works, textiles, musical instruments, and artworks from noted artists like Albrecht Dürer. A special feature to explore is the original 15th century living and working spaces that have been meticulously reconstructed. Don't miss this cultural hotspot when in Nuremberg. The museum brilliantly captures national identity, offering enlightening insights into the German cultural heritage.
Neues Museum Nürnberg
A showcase of art and design, Neues Museum Nürnberg transports visitors into the future of creativity. This contemporary art museum is home to 20th and 21st-century works, featuring over 400 pieces in various mediums. Considered a respite from Nuremberg’s historical ambiance, it allows guests to delve into modern art interpretations and designs. The Neues Museum’s curated exhibitions and cultural events form a vibrant conversation on innovation, offering a fascinating contrast to the city's rich past. Do not miss this enriching stop in your Nuremberg exploration.
Unique Experiences in Nuremberg
Visit the Christmas Market - Christkindlesmarkt
Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg’s iconic Christmas Market, offers an unparalleled holiday experience. Its festive booths filled with handmade crafts, traditional Christmas ornaments, and authentic Nuremberg lebkuchen (gingerbread) whisk visitors into a winter wonderland. No visit is complete without sampling the Glühwein (mulled wine). This beloved tradition takes place from the end of November until Christmas Eve. Attending Christkindlesmarkt is a unique way to experience Nuremberg’s cultural heritage during the holiday season.
Taste the Famous Nuremberg Sausages
Don't miss a visit to Nuremberg without tasting its renowned sausages. These tiny grilled delights, often called "Nurembergers", are a fixture of the local culinary scene. They're typically served three in a bun, complemented with tangy sauerkraut or delightful mustard. You can get a true taste of the city's food culture at Bratwurst Röslein, or the "Nuremberg Bratwurst Kitchen". Try these iconic sausages as a part of a hearty German meal for a delightful and authentically Nuremberg experience.
Watch a Game of FC Nuremberg
Experience the electric atmosphere of a German football match at FC Nuremberg's home ground, Max-Morlock-Stadion. Surely an unforgettable event even if you're not a die-hard sports fan. Join the passionate crowds as they cheer their local heroes. This second-division team offers an authentic sporting spectacle away from the high-profile hype of larger clubs. Enjoy the camaraderie, banter, and traditional food. Gain a thrilling, first-hand insight into an integral aspect of German culture through football. Book your tickets in advance, match days attract a legion of dedicated supporters!
Walking Tour of the Medieval Nuremberg City Walls
Discover the landmark medieval city walls that encircle Nuremberg. The well-preserved fortification, dating back to the 14th century, bestows a glimpse into Nuremberg's rich history. Be sure to traverse the cobblestone paths, crowned with 80 beautiful watchtowers. A breathtaking panorama awaits atop the wall where stunning cityscapes unfold. Features like Frauentorgraben are reminiscent of medieval sieges and battles. This walking tour is an engaging exploration of the past, painting a vivid picture of Nuremberg's history. Remember to wear comfortable shoes, for the old cobblestones tell an enchanting tale, but they are certainly not kind to the feet.
Shopping and Cuisine in Nuremberg
Exploring Hauptmarkt - Nuremberg's Main Market
At the heart of Nuremberg is Hauptmarkt - an expansive and lively square filled with local vendors. The market is known for selling fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and various regional specialties like Nuremberg sausages and lebkuchen. The well-loved Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain) and Frauenkirche church add historical charm to the bustling shopping area. Every winter, Hauptmarkt transforms into the city’s famous Christmas Market. Be sure to take advantage of the varied food stalls to satiate your culinary curiosity.
Shopping in Karolinenstraße and Königstraße
Karolinenstraße and Königstraße are shoppers' paradise, brimming with international brands, local boutiques, and delicatessen stores. It's a magnetic mix of mainstream and bespoke shops that attract locals and tourists alike. Fashion enthusiasts should not miss the LadenZeile on Karolinenstraße, home to high-end brands like Zara and H&M. For those hunting for an authentic Nuremberg souvenir, myriad shops on Königstraße offer specialty items and hand-crafted goods. Don't forget to grab a Nuremberg Bratwurst or a Lebkuchen (gingerbread) from the food stalls. They perfectly encapsulate the city's gastronomic charm. Enjoy the vibrant shopping scene and the city's culinary delights.
Enjoying Franconian Cuisine
While in Nuremberg, don't miss out on traditional Franconian cuisine. Famous for hearty, comfort-style dishes, taste the typical Bratwurst, served six in a row, and the Nürnberger Lebkuchen, a gingerbread-like delicacy. Be sure to check out local restaurants like Bratwurst Röslein and Albrecht Dürer Stube to have the best Franconian culinary experience. Dining here, you will be exposed to local traditions while pampering your palate with unique flavors. Finally, pair your meal with a glass of Franconian wine, typically served in a traditional Bocksbeutel bottle. This will perfectly round off your authentic Franconian gastronomic journey.
Sampling Nuremberg's Beer Specialties
Nuremberg allows beer lovers to experience Franconian beer culture at its finest. The city is home to numerous beer houses and microbreweries that pride themselves in traditional brewing methods passed down over centuries. Check out a local favorite, Hausbrauerei Altstadthof, which revives medieval brewing techniques. A visit to its beer cellar offers an exploration into the history and art of brewing in Nuremberg. Finally, don't miss out on trying the city's signature red beer, Rotbier, and other unique brews. Pair these with hearty German food to amplify your beer tasting experience.
Begin your day exploring the stunning Kaiserburg Castle, a symbol of Nuremberg. Absorb the breathtaking view of the city from Sinwell Tower. From there, head to Hauptmarkt, the city's biggest market, a great place to grab lunch and shop for souvenirs. In the afternoon, lose yourself in old city charm at the Alstadt. Don't miss the picturesque Schöner Brunnen, a 14th-century fountain. Wrap up your day with a visit to the hauntingly beautiful St. Lorenz Church, and savour the vibrant nightlife of the city afterwards.
Start your excursion with Nuremberg Castle, the city’s historic heart, then head to the Old Town, wander its picturesque squares, and enjoy local cuisine at Bratwursthäusle. Finally, explore St. Lorenz Church and Albrecht Dürer's House. On day two, visit the Germanic National Museum and the historic Zeppelin Field. Next, commemorate dark history at the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds. Conclude your day at the Handwerkerhof, filled with artisan workshops. On your last day, pay homage at the Nuremberg Trials Memorial. Later, visit the Toy Museum, and end your stay at the beautiful Pegnitz River and its famous bridges.
Kick off your one-week tour at the iconic Nuremberg Castle, followed by the Nazi Party Rally Grounds for a history lesson. Discover the Toy Museum and spend leisurely hours shopping at Hauptmarkt. Day 3-5, delve deeper into history at the Germanic National Museum, the Albrecht Dürer's house, and immerse in art at Neues Museum. Enjoy scenic walks at Pegnitz River & its bridges. Last two days, explore the Nuremberg Zoo and St. Lawrence Church to grasp the city's essence, wrapping up at the beautiful Old Town. Don't forget to taste signature bratwurst and gingerbread!
Start your day at the Nuremberg Zoo, home to over 300 species from around the world. The petting zoo and dolphin lagoon are a must-visit for kids. Grab lunch at one of the family-friendly cafes near the zoo. In the afternoon, explore the Toy Museum, featuring toys from all eras. Lastly, visit the Playmobil FunPark for interactive play areas and life-size Playmobil figures. A joyful end to a kid-friendly day in Nuremberg.
Itinerary for History buffs
Begin your historical journey at Nuremberg Castle, a medieval fortification with panoramic city views. Visit its museum to discover its royal history. Then, unwind in the picturesque castle gardens. Next, head to the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds, a significant landmark from World War II. Finally, explore the Albrecht Durer's House, a half-timbered building showcasing the life and work of this famous artist. Finish your day strolling around the historic Hauptmarkt, Nuremberg’s main market, where you can buy souvenirs and enjoy local cuisine. This itinerary offers a fascinating glimpse into the city's rich past.
Have a good trip!