Nuremberg is not one of the first cities you think of for a city trip within Europe or even Germany. And that’s a pity, because this city of about 500,000 inhabitants has a lot to offer. Nuremberg has a very nice and cozy center, it has a rich history and you can also enjoy delicious food and drinks at the many breweries in town. In this Travel Guide I provide you with the 10 best historical sights of this beautiful “medieval” city.
What would you like to know about Nuremberg, Germany?
- History – 5 historical facts – Did you know…?
- Sightseeing – 10 things to see and do in Nuremberg
- Accommodation – Where to stay?
- Transport – How to get there?
History – 5 historical facts – Did you know…?
- The medieval character of the city had its origins around 1300? Walking through the inner city you get the impression that you are walking through an old city. However, appearances are deceiving: during the bombing of Nuremberg during World War II (1940-1945) a large part of the old city center was destroyed. After the war, reconstruction began and the medieval character was restored.
- Nuremberg around 1500 was one of the most important cities when it came to the metal industry? It produced a lot of wealth and the city was among the largest cities in the German Holy Roman Empire along with Cologne and Prague.
- In the late 1920s and 1930s, the annual Nazi Party Days were held here? Many supporters of Adolf Hitler came here to participate in large parades and processions and show support for the ideas of the National Socialists.
- In 1935, Nazi Germany’s race laws were promulgated here? These laws determined who could call themselves Germans and who you could or could not marry.
- After the war at Nuremberg, the leading figures of Nazi Germany were judged? The Allies looked for a suitable location and found it at the intact Palace of Justice.
Sightseeing – 10 things to see and do in Nuremberg
How many days do you need for a city break to Nuremberg? If you would like to do all the sights listed below you will need at least 4 days. Shorter is also possible and otherwise there is the possibility to combine it with a trip to Munich.
1. Take a stroll through the Old Town
Nuremberg has an incredibly pleasant and historical walled city center. This inner city dates back to the Middle Ages, although World War II bombings destroyed much of it. However, the rebuilding of the city after the war still makes you feel like you are in the past.
Just a walk through the city center will take you past several churches, such as St. Sebald’s Church, St. Laurentius Church and Our Lady’s Church. But also along typical German houses, along cozy cafes and restaurants and along interesting museums. And don’t forget to walk through the Weissgerbergasse. Here you will find typical German houses that you would love to have photographed. And do you like shopping? That’s another thing you can do in Nuremberg.
2. Visit chamber 600, the trial of Nuremberg
Who does not know the picture of 20 former Nazi leaders awaiting their verdict in a court of law. That photo was taken in room 600 of the Palace of Justice. Just after the war, the Allies were looking for a place where they could trial the imprisoned leaders of the Nazi regime. Finally, it became Nuremberg. Not because this was where the racial laws were proclaimed or where the Nazi party days were held. No, the reason was that the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg was still intact after the bombing and because this complex offered all the facilities for the many people who had to participate in the trial.
Today, Room 600 is still in use. This means that this room cannot be visited on the days when there is a session. There is also an informative museum that explains the entire process with the help of an audio guide. For more information on opening times, check out the website on the Nuremberg Trials.
3. Go to the old castle for views of Nuremberg
Perhaps the most interesting structure in the downtown area is the Nurnberger Burg. It is located on the north side of downtown and towers over the city. This is the place where several emperors of the Holy Roman Empire (962-1806) once resided. Certain parts of the burg date back to the 11th century.
Those who wish to undertake a visit to the burg pay €5.50 for it. However, what is free are the beautiful gardens next to the castle and the beautiful view over the city. So don’t skip the castle. For more information visit the website of the Nurnberger Burg.
4. Visit the house of Germany’s most famous artist, Albrecht Dürer
Who do you say? People who have little interest in art will probably not know the German Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528). And yet he was an important person when it comes to printmaking and his revolutionary approach to the woodcut. He was also a painter, draughtsman, art theorist and humanist. Say the Leonardo da Vinci of the north, or is this too much honor? Nevertheless, he was an inspiration to contemporaries and future artists such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
The Albrecht Dürer House dates back to the 15th century. Albrecht Dürer bought the house in 1509 and had his studio here until his death in 1528. Since 1871 it has been a museum dedicated to the painter. During World War II the house was hit and had to be largely rebuilt. As of 1971, the museum is open to the public again.
The Albrecht Dürer House is located on the northwest side of the city center right next to the burg. Admission to his house costs € 6.00.
5. Visit the 23 sites of the Nazi Party Rally Grounds
Anyone who says Nuremberg and history immediately links it to the Nuremberg Trial. But did you know that the Nazis held the annual Party Days here from 1933 to 1938? More than a million people came to this major event.
Some of the historic sites of the Nazis still remain partially intact. For example, in the old congress hall, which is the largest Nazi building still standing, there is a museum called Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelände. An absolute must for people who want to learn more about these party days.
Since 2006, the city government of Nuremberg has placed signs at 23 former Nazi landmarks about what they wanted to build there. Something you shouldn’t skip is the zeppelin grandstand. Largely in disrepair, but you can still recognize part of the place where Adolf Hitler gave his speeches in front of more than 50,000 spectators.
Tip: Would you like to read more about the Nazi Party Rally Grounds? Then read the article Nazi Party Rally Grounds | Discover the 23 historical sites in Nuremberg.
6. Spending Christmas in Nuremberg, the oldest Christmas market of Germany
Anyone looking for a fun city break at Christmas should definitely consider Nuremberg. For here you will find perhaps the most famous and busiest Christmas market in Germany. Every year, more than 2 million people visit this Christmas market, which is dominated by the golden Christmas angel.
The Christmas market is also the oldest in Germany. Written sources show that as early as 1628 AD some kind of Christmas market was organized. And in 1737, more than 140 people were registered to sell all kinds of nice things at Christmas. That was already pretty big for that time. In short, those who really want to experience a special Christmas should go to Nuremberg….
7. See the largest collection of German objects in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum
Anyone interested in the history of German culture should visit the Germanisches Nationalmuseum. Here you will find the largest collection of German objects in the entire country.
The entrance can be reached through the Street of Human Rights. This consists of 27 pillars with a number of articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on them. The third pillar is in Dutch and contains the text Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person (Article 3).
8. The Toy Museum… from Playmobil to trains
In 1972, the German Geobra Brandstätter applied for a patent on a 7.5 centimeter toy doll. In 1974, this doll was officially presented at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair. It turned out to be a great success. And there you have it: Playmobil was born. Officially, the company is from Zirndorf, which is about 20 kilometers west. These toy dolls can be seen, among other things, in the Toy Museum.
The toy museum is not only about Playmobil, but that Playmobil is inextricably linked to this city is clear. If you have children then a trip to this museum is a must. Incidentally, in Zirndorf you also have the Playmobil Funpark, entirely dedicated to these fun toys.
9. Go underground and visit the underground beer cellars
A document from 1380 revealed that every resident of Nuremberg who brewed beer was required to have a beer cellar underground. For centuries, beer was stored in these cellars. During World War II, many residents of Nuremberg schooled in these cellars. It immediately shows how strong these underground corridors were near the Nurnberger Burg.
To visit the cellars you need to sign up for a tour through the Felsengänge website. There are several tours to book, mostly in German and it usually ends with tasting several beers from Nuremberg’s most famous brewery, Hausbrauerei Altstadthof.
10. Finally, enjoy a beer at one of the many breweries
Have you checked out all the sights above? Then you’re ready for a beer. If you have not done the Felsengänge then there are plenty of opportunities where you, in addition to Hausbrauerei Altstadthof a beer can grab. Think of Brauerei Schanzenbräu, Bruderherz or Nassauerkeller.
In addition to an ordinary Nuremberg beer, there is also the Nürnberger Rotbier. This beer dates back to the 14th century and is perhaps the most famous Rotbier in the world. This beer consists of roasted malt and aromatic hops and, as the name suggests, has a somewhat red color.
In addition to the Nürnberger Rotbier, another specialty of the city is the Nürnberger Bratwurste. This dish consists of small sausages that are best combined with bread and sauerkraut (sauerkraut). You can get it in any restaurant. But one of the best places to eat this meal is at Bratwurst Glöcklein im Handwerkerhof. In any case, enjoy your meal!
Accommodation – Where to stay in Nuremberg?
Are you looking for a nice accommodation in Nuremberg? Below are 3 options of historic hotels in the nice center of Nuremberg.
Hotel Deutscher Kaiser
Hotel Deutscher Kaiser is a 3-star hotel less than a 10-minute walk from Nuremberg’s main train station. The hotel was built in 1888/1889 by Peter Behrens, one of the most famous German architects of the time. It was built in the so-called “Nuremberg style.” This means that it had to be in harmony with the other historic buildings of the inner city. A room for 2 adults including breakfast costs about 125 euros per night.
A cheaper option is Hotel Elch in the northwest of the city center. Documents show that there has been an inn here since 1342. At that time it was still a wooden building. Today it is a boutique hotel with all the comforts. A room for 2 adults excluding breakfast costs 70 euros per night.
Le Méridien Grand Hotel Nuremberg
Those with a fat wallet are likely to end up in this five-star hotel. What once started as a hop warehouse was transformed into an 80-room hotel in 1896. Today it is one of Germany’s most iconic hotels and some of the celebrities who have slept here include the Dalai Lama and the national teams of England, Ghana, Japan, Mexico and Portugal. A room for 2 adults including breakfast starts at 150 euros per night.
Transport – How to get to Nuremberg?
By car: If you’re traveling by car to Austria, for example, Nuremberg is a great place to stop. But before you go you need an environment
By plane: The best way to get to Nuremberg is by plane. KLM Cityhopper flies to this destination a few times a day. And the trip takes only 1.15 hours. The subway will take you to Nuremberg’s train station in 15 minutes.
Another option is to fly to Munich and take the train to Nuremberg there. The ICE train takes just over an hour.
Train: Those who book early will pay about 80 euros per person for a return ticket by train. The train does not go directly to Nuremberg, but usually has a stopover in Frankfurt or Hannover.
Do you have more tips, ideas or comments about Nuremberg? Feel free to leave a comment below.