We headed to Nuremberg last month for Mr. ESLT’s birthday. We both love visiting Germany so when the opportunity to visit Nuremberg arose we jumped at the chance. Nuremberg has a well-documented history. Adolf Hitler declared that it was his favourite German city and it became the venue for the Nazi Party Rallies and the subsequent Nuremberg Trials. Nuremberg and its inhabitants paid the price for Hitler’s love of and the Nazi’s strong hold on the city. Buildings were destroyed and thousands of lives were lost during World War II. However, over the past few decades, the city has been rebuilt and restored as much as possible to the city’s original character, including its medieval charm.
We found Nuremberg to be a hidden gem and very underrated. Having been to at least half a dozen other German cities and towns, we can categorically say Nuremberg is our favourite, so far at least. With beautiful architecture, many bars, shops, cafes, and restaurants and not forgetting numerous museums and landmarks, Nuremberg is a cool and interesting place to visit and really should be on your city break list.
Here are our top 4 ways how you can make the most of your trip.
Book an Old Town hotel
If you have visions of half-timbered houses, gothic churches, medieval city wall and a castle in your mind when thinking of Nuremberg and your visit is only short then you must base yourself in the beautiful Old Town. We stayed at the 3 star Deutscher Kaiser Hotel which is located a mere 400m from Nuremberg’s central train station and is in the heart of the old town, meaning everything is within walking distance. We actually arrived at the hotel from the airport by taxi which cost €22, we could have gotten a train from the airport which would have saved us a bit of cash, however as our visit was a flying one we didn’t want to waste a second and opted for the quicker option of a cab.
The Deutscher Kaiser is a historic building and was built in 1888/1889. Even though it is decorated in a simplistic manner with period furniture it still had everything we needed for our stay, including the all important en suite bathroom and a large buffet breakfast. Its location was perfect, we could get anywhere we wanted within 10 minutes on foot, meaning we did not have to rely on public transport at all during our trip.
If you have more cash to splash then there are a number of 4 and 5-star hotels in the city and if you are on a budget you must check out Jugendherberge Nürnberg, a youth hostel located in a castle and said to be the most beautiful hostel in the world.
Take a guided walking tour of the city
We find the best way of getting to know a city and finding the best spots, is by taking a guided walking tour of it with a local and that’s exactly what we did in Nuremberg. Every day, from the middle of April to the beginning of January the 2 hour guided walking tour departs from the Tourist Information Centre at the Hauptmarkt at 1.00pm. Tickets must be bought in advance from the Tourist Information Centre and they cost €10 each.
Our tour guide was the lovely and ever so friendly Gabi. In our group, there was around 20 of us all eager to learn about Nuremberg and its history. Starting in Hauptmarkt, Gabi spoke about the city and the buildings within the square before leading us up toward Nuremberg Castle (Nürnberger Burg) explaining things as we went and always finding places in the shade for the group to stand and listen. The views from the castle are fantastic and are definitely worth the trek up there. If you have any walking difficulties then the steepish path up there may prove quite difficult.
The walking tour was a great introduction to the city and allowed us to find things that we maybe would not have on our own. The day we took the walking tour the weather was fantastic, however, the tours run even when it’s not that great, therefore, dress for the weather and remember to wear comfortable shoes.
Eat Nuremberg sausages
The culinary scene in Nuremberg really shocked us, in the best way, especially the city’s very own Nuremberg sausages (Nürnberger bratwurst) which have been produced since Since the 14th century. These tasty little devils prove that size really does matter as they must be no longer than 9cm and no weightier than 25g. There are many stories in circulation as to why the sausages are small, the favourite in the city is that it allowed the Nuremberg Innkeepers to be able to sell them to their hungry guests even after the city’s nightly curfew was put in place by pushing them through the keyhole of the city gates.
Nowadays, more than 3 million are produced every day to be eaten in the city and exported. They are served in Nuremberg as either “three in a bun”, or on a pewter plate in combinations of six, eight, 10 or 12 accompanied by sauerkraut or potato salad. They really are delicious and must be tried when in the city, unless you are a vegetarian of course. They are readily available in Nuremberg with many restaurants selling them, just follow your nose. If you are interested in learning more about the little bangers why not take a Bratwurst Tour and explore many “Sausage-Significant” Places.
Grab a Nürnberg Card
As mentioned previously, there are many museums in Nuremberg. Unless you are staying in the city for a long time, there is no way you could visit and get round them all on a short city break, but what fun we had trying during our 2-day stay. Armed with our Nürnberg Cards (currently €25 each, €28 from 1st Jan 2018), we cherry picked the places we really wanted to visit. The Nürnberg Cards includes admission to more than 40 museums and attractions and it felt great just flashing our cards rather than handing over cash.
As with any city card, the more you use your card, the more money you save. We used our Nürnberg cards at the Imperial Castle, Natural History Museum, and the Hangman’s Residence Museum. Also, with attractions such as Nuremberg Zoo, Planetarium and the Children’s and Young People’s Museum, there are plenty of places included for the whole family.
The Nürnberg Card also unlimited travel in Zone A on 2 consecutive days, meaning you can also get around the city and even out of it if you wanted. As we were only in the city for a VERY short trip we just didn’t have the opportunity to explore further afield. We had originally talked about jumping on the number 9 tram from outside the main train station and heading out to the Nazi Party Rally Grounds and the Documentation Centre.
However, as there was so much to see and do in the Old Town and it was Mr. ESLT’s birthday we decided to explore what was on our doorstep and keep the tone upbeat and happy. I think if we ever return to Nuremberg we will certainly visit as we, especially Mr. ESLT, have a strong interest in history. We will just prepare ourselves in advance.
We hope our tips help you if you are planning on visiting Nuremberg, it really has a lot to offer as a short break destination and there is so much more to the city then first meets the eye.
- Thank you to Tourismus Nürnberg for hosting our stay in Nuremberg and for providing us with Nuremberg Cards.