Nuremberg – the city of gingerbread houses, cute Christmas markets, and a lot of history. It is Bavaria’s second-large city, but is Nuremberg worth visiting? Let’s find out.
Nuremberg boasts a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages. As a key center for trade, art, and culture, Nuremberg has played a significant role in shaping Germany’s history, including during WW11 and its aftermath.
Throughout the centuries, it has experienced both triumphant and dark times, making it a fascinating destination for history buffs and travelers alike. Let’s take a look at the many reasons you shouldn’t skip the city while on a trip to Germany!
Note: If you’re planning to visit Germany in 2024, you might first have to submit an ETIAS application. Make sure you check the requirements to avoid problems on arrival!
To make the most of your trip to Nuremberg, be sure to visit the following must-see attractions that showcase this riverside city’s historic past and vibrant present.
Nuremberg has an Old Town and Historic Walls
Nuremberg’s Altstadt (Old Town) is a picturesque area filled with medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, and charming squares.
As you wander through the Old Town, you’ll discover half-timbered houses, impressive churches, and historic landmarks like the Albrecht Dürer House, where the famous artist once lived.
Don’t miss a walk along the historic walls, which once served as a defense system for Nuremberg. The five-kilometer-long wall is dotted with stunning watchtowers and offers incredible panoramic views of the city.
Nuremberg Castle is Lovely
Perched atop a sandstone ridge, this medieval German castle dates back to the 11th century and played a crucial role in the Holy Roman Empire.
This impressive fortress consists of 3 buildings, the Imperial Castle (Kaiserburg), the Burgraves’ Castle (Burggrafenburg), and buildings erected by the Imperial City (Reichsstädtische Bauten).
The vast castle complex is full of impressive constructs, but a must-see is the iconic Sinwell Tower. You should also pay a visit to the Corner Chamber to take in the splendor of the bejeweled imperial crown.
Pegnitz Riverside is Beautiful
All the historic cities in the world have a river that goes through, and that’s the case with Nuremberg too. Pegnitz River goes through the old town and separates Sebalder Alstadt from Lorenzer Altstadt.
Walk along the Pegnitz River after dark to see the twinkling city lights of the old town and enjoy the beauty of their reflection.
Hesperidengaerten is one of the few restored baroque gardens of Nuremberg. A path from Hesperidengaerten goes along the Pegnitz River. Walk on this path along the river and it will take you to the old town.
Nuremberg Market is Always Open
Hauptmarkt the city’s main market is always open in the market square. It is full of vibrant stalls offering local produce and souvenirs. Of course, if you’re visiting during the festive season, like Christmas, Easter, or Autumn time in general, then there’s a lot more happening.
You’ll also want to take a snap of the square’s central attraction, the Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain). This stunning 14th-century fountain is an intricately designed Gothic masterpiece adorned with 40 colorful statues representing historical figures, philosophers, and religious icons.
Make sure to spin one of the two brass rings embedded in the fountain’s fence – a local tradition believed to bring good luck
Nuremberg has a Transport Museum too!
Made up of 2 separate museums, the Museum of Communications and the Deutsche Bahn’s DB Museum, this expansive space is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of transportation.
As Germany’s oldest railway museum, it houses an impressive collection of trains, railway equipment, and historical exhibits. You can explore the development of rail travel and marvel at the intricate models and life-sized locomotives that showcase the evolution of trains in the country.
Food & Beer Lovers will Love Nuremberg
Believe it or not, Nuremberg’s culinary scene is pretty famous. As with a majority of European destinations, the most famous foods aren’t for vegetarians, oops.
Try the Nuremberg Bratwurst with Sauerkraut – a simple roasted sausage plate. For something fancier, try the “Saure Zipfel”, a dish where sausages are cooked in a vinegar-onion sauce with fresh horseradish. On the roadside you can get three small Nuremberg sausages in a bun, it is called “Drei im Weggla”.
Vegetarians and vegans sadly won’t have many easy roadside options except potatoes, “Brezn” or Bretzel (pretzels) but there are now plenty of vegan restaurants that have come up.
Nuremberg’s beer halls are legendary, and shouldn’t be missed. Spend a nice evening or an afternoon in one of them and enjoy the super delicious beer of this historical city.
Some of the beer halls that you can look for are Zwinger Bar, Barfüßer, and Landbierparadies.
Documentation Center and Rally Grounds
The Documentation Center and Nazi Party Rally Grounds is an important historical site that provides an in-depth look into the Nazi era in Nuremberg. A visit to this site is essential for understanding the city’s role during this dark chapter in history.
The museum, housed in an unfinished former Nazi party building, offers a comprehensive exhibition on the rise and fall of the Third Reich and its propaganda machine.
The nearby Rally Grounds, once used for large-scale Nazi party events, now serve as a powerful reminder of the dangers of totalitarianism.
You can delve into Nuremberg’s artistic history at the Art Bunker, a hidden gem that played a critical role during World War II.
Located as much as 24 m beneath the city, this series of tunnels and chambers protected valuable artwork and artifacts from destruction during heavy air raids.
Today, you can tour the bunker and learn about its wartime history, while also admiring some of the art that it once sheltered.
Nuremberg Trials Memorial
The Nuremberg Trials, held after World War II, played a crucial role in holding Nazi war criminals accountable for their actions. Also known as the Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse, it is located on the top floor of the Palace of Justice where the trials took place.
This fascinating museum offers a detailed account of the trials, their impact on international law, and the pursuit of justice in the face of unimaginable atrocities. If you’re in Nuremberg to get a complete picture of its history, this is an essential visit.
So is Nuremberg Worth Visiting?
In conclusion, Nuremberg is a city with a rich and complex history that offers visitors an unforgettable journey through time. From its stunning medieval architecture to its significant World War II sites, there is no shortage of captivating attractions to explore.
Yes, Nurenberg is definitely worth visiting if you’re going to visit Germany. Also, while you’re in the general vicinity, I strongly advise you to take the 2h 30m drive to Heidelberg, another incredibly beautiful riverside town in Germany.
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