This Bavarian city nestled between Munich and Frankfurt is straight out of a fairytale! In this guide I’m going to sum up the best activities, eats, places to stay and ways to get there & away.
I’ve had plenty of trips to Nuremberg now as my sister lives and works there. I love the Old Town which is characterised by traditional markets, timber framed houses and balconies overflowing with flowers. With half a million residents, it’s a midsized city with a centre that can be easily explored in a day or two.
Here are my 15 favourite things to do:
1. The Handwerkerhof market
This medieval village within the city walls is home to Bavarian craft shops and cute rustic restaurants. Pick up your souvenirs, have a wander or sit and enjoy a beer whilst watching the world go by. It doesn’t get much more Bavarian than this!
I’d seen loads of photos of this street online and it didn’t disappoint! Once you’ve walked it you’ll have really felt the magic of Bavaria. It’s home to lots of cafes and ice cream shops so it’s a good spot for coffee – or beer. When in Rome!
This church in the centre of town is built in gothic style and has been around since 1250. It’s absolutely gorgeous inside and out!
4. Documentation Center // Nazi party rally grounds
Now a museum, this area was one used by Hitler for his speeches and as a rally ground for the Nazis. No, it’s not an upbeat excursion but it’s important – if you don’t fancy a full afternoon at the museum you can visit the rally ground (below) for free. For after, there’s a gorgeous boating lake beside it.
This is one of the town’s most iconic buildings – and the prettiest! It’s had loads of uses over the years – it’s been a wine warehouse, a house for lepers who were only allowed in the city at Easter, and nowadays the tower to the side is used as student accommodation. It’s a great place to photograph from the nearby bridges – I spent ages doing it!
6. Go boating on the Großer Dutzendteich
Right beside the Nazi rally grounds lies this pretty man-made lake. Spend an hour in a pedalo with a beer in hand as the perfect antidote to learning about the gruelling history nearby. Pedalo hire is €12 an hour.
7. See the world’s oldest globe
I didn’t hear about this until after I’d left so on my list for my next Nuremberg trip is a visit to the Germanisches National Museum where it’s housed. The globe dates back to 1492 and is so ancient it doesn’t feature America. This blows my mind – our continent of Europe is so incredible and full of history!
8. Climb Nuremberg Castle & see the view
The only thing more photogenic than the Imperial Castle itself is the view from the top. I’d recommend a late afternoon visit so you can see Nuremberg bathed in golden light and also explore the royal residence which includes the castle courtyard, Knight’s Hall and rose garden.
9. Sit in Tiergartnertor Platz in the evening
The vibe here on a sunny evening is so nice – people of all ages sit outside to drink and chat.
Drink: A Hugo, my new favourite cocktail. It’s a German staple made of Prosecco, elderflower and mint – so refreshing!
10. The Market Square
Known in German as the Hauptmarkt, the red and white stalls cover the city centre. Nuremberg is famous for its Christmas Markets but even if you visit outside of December, you’ll be able to stock up on German treats.
Try: Lebkuchen – honey and spice biscuits similar to gingerbread.
11. The Schöner Brunnen ‘wish tower’
In the central square you’ll find the Schöner Brunnen which translates as ‘beautiful fountain’. It’s also thought to grant wishes if you turn the golden ring on the fountain grille three times whilst making your wish. Why not?
12. Tour of the cellars
Back in the day, a law was passed that anyone who wanted to sell beer had to have their own cellar – thus, underneath Nuremberg is a maze of storage rooms. You can explore them during a beer tour where you’ll sample the different brews.
During World War II the cellars were also used as bunkers to keep people and treasures safe – this included paintings and artefacts from the churches. You can learn more on history tours – buy your tickets here.
13. Wander the bridges & the ‘love island’
There seem to be endless bridges with exceptional views in Nuremberg. Below I’m looking over at Heilig Geist Spital building, an old 1300s hospital that’s since been restored.
You can also relax on the ‘Liebesinse’ or ‘love island’ – a nearby island of grass reachable by bridge.
14. St. Sebaldus Church
As well as the Frauenkirche and Lorenzkirche, this is the other important church in the city. Like the others, it’s very pretty and gothic.
15. Go to a beer festival
We went to the Volksfest which runs from August to September and involves fair rides, food stands and beer tents. If you can’t make those dates, there’s bound to be something else on during your stay – Nuremberg is renowned for its outdoor events and celebrations.
There are some great eateries in Nuremberg and you’ll find a good balance between traditional German food and world cuisine. Here are some of my top picks:
This place is great for a casual lunch, brunch or cheese & meat platter. I opted for toasted German bread and mixed up the toppings (two with camembert, pear and walnut and and one with goat’s cheese, balsamic dressing and raspberries).
On a hot day the flavoured lemonades are a winner – we went for raspberry and mint.
This pretzel shop has been open for more than 50 years and claims the key ingredient is passion. I agree but I also think cheese is important – which is fine as there are lots of flavours on offer.
A Japanese restaurant with sushi to die for, as well as lots of other authentic Asian dishes. If it’s good weather you can sit outside by the fountains. Dinner for two with cocktails came to €50 so it wasn’t the absolute cheapest, but was worth every penny.
For about €10 per main dish, you’ll tuck into enormous pizzas as well as pasta dishes and Italian starters like tasty bruschetta. I loved the vibe at Il Rossini – especially the red checkered tablecloths in the atmospheric garden area.
Flashpack: Hotel Victoria is right in the city centre and has lovely single and double rooms from €118.
Backpack: Five Reasons Hotel & Hostel couldn’t be a better bet – clean and comfy dorm rooms in a top location from €23 a night.
Getting there and away
Fly: Flight prices begin at £15 to and from destinations including the UK, Italy, Spain, Hungary and more. From the city centre, the airport is just a 20-minute ride on the U-Bahn (underground train).
Train: Connections are good – you’re just 1 hour from Munich and 2 hours 20 minutes from Frankfurt. If travelling in a group of up to four you can purchase ‘Bayern tickets’ which are group journeys that work out much better value than travelling alone. These are valid on journeys within the same state (i.e. Bavaria) on the day of purchase.
Bus: The FlixBus is your cheap and cheerful way to explore the rest of the country and cross the border – Germany has nine of them so you’re well placed for lots of European excursions. Tickets from £4.
As well as it being easily to get to Munich in a day, you can also visit other typical Bavarian towns such as Rothenberg, Bamburg, Regensburg and Wurzburg. None of these take more 1 hour 30 minutes by train from the central train station (Hauptbahnhof).
Good luck planning your trip! If you need any more tips send me an email at email@example.com. I know you’ll love your stay in Nuremberg!
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