Nuremberg is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany and amongst our favorite European cities. The history-rich city is located in the German state of Bavaria. Even though it is the second-largest city in Bavaria only after Munich it is picturesque enough to bewitch you with a charm of the medieval village. Here are the top things to do in Nuremberg – the charming city which looks no less than a fairytale with its colorful half-timbered houses, wooden bridges, and magnificent churches.
Munich to Nuremberg is an easy day trip but there is enough to explore for two days so you may want to consider staying overnight. If you are here for 2 days avail a Nuremberg Card offering free admission to museums and attractions along with free public transport.
Munich to Nuremberg
There is a good frequency of buses and trains running from Munich to Nuremberg with a travel time of about 2 hrs by bus and only an hour by train. You can also book a tour from Munich to Nuremberg which includes a guided tour of the historic city center and the Nazi Party rally grounds.
We traveled from Munich to Nuremberg by Flixbus. The bus station is very close to the train stationNurnberg Hauptbahnhof.
You can also travel by train. The Nurnberg Hauptbahnhof is one of the important and largest stations in north Bavaria. The train station housed in historic neo-Gothic building dates from early 1900. The architectural design features impressive mosaics and stucco work. The train station connects Nuremberg with many important cities including Munich, Vienna in Austria and Prague in the Czech Republic.
Top Things to do in Nuremberg
Shop for Handicrafts at Handwerkerhof
As soon as you enter the Nuremberg old town through Konigstor (King’s Gate) just opposite to the Nuremberg train station is the huge handicrafts market.
The market enclosed in the historic city walls houses tiny half-timbered shops selling interesting handicrafts and local products like metalwares, wooden dolls, wood carvings, leather, and decorative glass items, and potteries. You can also watch as the artisans also showcase their skills in the workshops. Handwerkerhof is the place to be if you are looking to devour on some delicious Nuremberg sausages, freshly baked gingerbread or Franconian beer.
Marvel at the Half-timbered Houses
Apart from the Nuremberg Sausages and the magical Nuremberg Christmas Market the major draw for the tourists are the colorful and elegantly designed half-timbered houses. Do not miss a visit to the Weißgerbergasse street lined with colorful half-timbered houses each washed in a bright hue with different colored timber beams.
Visit the Magnificient Churches
St. Lorenz Church
St. Lorenz or St. Lawrence is the first church you will come across when walking from Konigstor to the main square Hauptmarkt. The Gothic-style medieval Lutheran church dates back to 15th-century. The west facade of the church has a splendid intricate artwork with statues and rose windows dominated by the two towers.
The Frauenkirche or the Church of Our Lady is an imposing church in main market square Hauptmarkt. The church built in brick Gothic architecture dates back to 14th century and holds numerous medieval artworks and monuments in its ornate interior.
An important and interesting feature of the church is the Mannleinlaufen the mechanical clock in church facade that commemorates the Golden Bull of 1356. Every day when the clock strikes the hour there is a show of electors surrounding the figure of the Holy Roman Emperor accompanied by trumpeters and drummers.
St. Sebaldus Church
The medieval church of St. Sebaldus is one of the oldest churches in Nuremberg dating back to early 13th-century. It is located at the Albrecht-Durer-Platz opposite the Town Hall. The church originally built in Romanesque style features gothic hall and Baroque galleries added much later.
The baroque interior features numerous statues, paintings, and stained glass windows.
Explore the Hauptmarkt
The Hauptmarkt is the main square of the city and holds a huge market every day except Sundays. The market is the best place to indulge in local specialties and street foods like wraps, pretzels, sausages, cheese, candies and to shop for some fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
Haupmarkt is also popular for the world-famous Nuremberg Christmas Market which dates back to early 1600. The traditional market with around 200 stalls mostly sells local handicrafts and local food specialties and draws millions of visitors every year. Book a tour of the old town and Christmas market which will walk you through the highlights and interesting facts.
Join the Guided Tour
It is always fun to explore the city like a local with some insider information. The Nuremberg guided city tour by the Nuremberg Tourism board is fun, entertaining and very informative at the same time. The tour with great information on history, present and the various folklores associated with the city lets you explore the city amidst an intriguing interaction.
Explore the Imperial Nuremberg Castle
The imperial castle of Nuremberg sits atop a hill overlooking the city. One of the best castles in Germany the Nuremberg Castle comprises of a complex of buildings. The castle holds a permanent exhibition in museum providing insight into the history of the castle and the role of Nuremberg in the late Middle Ages.
One can have incredible views of the rooftops of the city and the city skyline with spires and towers from the castle ground. For an even more fantastic panorama of the city, you can climb the Sinwell Tower.
The Nuremberg Castle and the old town is surrounded by city walls which run for 5 km. Around 70 towers remain intact till date. There aren’t many towns enclosed by a well preserved medieval wall, Avignon is we know of which is enclosed by 4.3 km of walls. so it really comes a great feeling of amazement. And the castle along with walls is said to be most formidable which leaves Nuremberg unconquered.
Albrecht Durer House
One of the interesting things to do in Nuremberg is to visit Albrecht Durer’s House. The imposing half-timbered house of the famous German Renaissance artist dates back to 15th century. The Albrecht Durer lived in this house for nearly 20 years.
The Durer Room is a permanent exhibition of copies of Dürer’s important paintings. One of the major highlights of the museum is the guided tours led by an actress dressed as the Durer’s wife Agnes. The tours are held 5 days a week in German and English only on Saturday afternoon. More details here.
Visitors can also explore on their own with audioguides available in 7 different languages. The tour lasts for 40 minutes.
The Hausbrauerei Altstadthof Brewery
Beer lovers cannot miss a visit to the Hausbrauerei Altstadthof. It is popular for traditional brewing methods and organic beers with some Franconian delicacies to accompany. You can also tour the maze of tunnels spread underneath the streets of Nuremberg Old Town. The tunnels were originally built to store beer but also served as a refuge to the entire old town during the world war. The tours are held in German. The audioguides are available in English. The tour is free with the Nuremberg Card. But if you don’t have one you can book a tour of Breweries visit along with the 2-hour walking tour.
Walk the Bridges and Squares dotted with Fountains
The 16th-century fountain standing next to St Lorenz Church is a three-story bronze fountain. It is decorated with the symbols of the virtues on the lower level. The 6 putti are holding the Nuremberg coat of arms on the central level. On the top is the seventh virtue statue ‘Justice’ with her symbols.
Schoner Brunnen translates to the beautiful fountain in English is a 14th-century ornate fountain resembling a Gothic church spire and located on main market square Hauptmarkt. The fountain is adorned with 40 colorful figures representing the worldview of the Holy Roman Empire.
According to legend spinning the rings in the fence of the fountain three times brings you luck. A common sight around the fountain is the tourists hanging from the fence trying their luck.
This is a magnificent fountain close to the St Elizabeth church. Opened in 1981 it is considered as Nuremberg’s controversial bronze fountain for the grim representation of ups and downs in marriage.
The pedestrian Chain Bridge of Nuremberg spans the River Pegnitz. It is the oldest chain bridge in Europe built in the year 1824.
Hangman’s Bridge or Henkersteg
The Hangman’s Bridge or the Henkersteg is the most beautiful bridge in Nuremberg dating back to 1457. The hangman of a city had to live in outskirts of the city away from the crowd. The hangman from Nuremberg is said to live in the tower of the bridge. Today the tower houses a museum on the criminal history of Nuremberg.
Other things to do in Nuremberg (2 days or more)
Visit Medieval Dungeons in Nuremberg’s Town Hall
The Medieval Dungeons of Nuremberg are located in the vaulted cellar of Nuremberg’s Town Hall. The dungeons can only be visited during the guided tours which last for around 20 minutes. The dungeons were used to interrogate the prisoners awaiting trials. The tour walks you through the twelve cells and a torture chamber which gives you an insight into the justice system of those days. The tours are in German. The English tours can be arranged with a prior appointment.
Do Not Miss the St John Cemetery
The 13th-century St. John’s Cemetery is an important cemetery of Nuremberg. It is the resting place of Albrecht Dürer and many other prominent personalities. It is also the most beautiful burial grounds in Nuremberg. Each of the graves is adorned with bright and gorgeous blossom which make it look more like a flower garden.
Walk back in Time at Nazi Party Rally Grounds
If you are a history buff and have more than a day in Nuremberg you should consider visiting the Nazi Party Rally Grounds in the outskirts of the city. Nuremberg was the location for Nazi Party Rallies and the Nuremberg Trials.
The Kongresshalle or the Congress Hall is a colossal structure designed on lines of the magnificent Roman Colosseum. The Congress Hall along with the Rally Grounds was built to house the Nazi Party during the rallies.
The Documentation Center Nazi Party Rallying Grounds located in the north wing of the Congress Hall is a museum exhibiting a permanent exhibition ‘Fascination and Terror’. The exhibition provides insight and information on the history of the Nazi Party Rally and Nazi Germany.
You can also visit the infamous Courtroom 600 in Nuremberg Palace of Justice. It was the site of Nuremberg trials of German war criminals of WWII. Visitors can take an audio-guided tour of Courtroom 600. You can book a guided tour here.
Things to do in Nuremberg with Kids
Nuremberg is a city with rich history and architecture. But if you are traveling with kids here are some interesting things to do in Nuremberg. The Nuremberg toy museum represents the tradition of toymaking housing around 12000 toys. Kids can indulge in some creative activities and explore the play area. Nuremberg Zoo housing more than 300 species of animals can also be one of the fun things to do with kids on Nuremberg visit.
We are sure you cannot resist falling in love with the stunning architecture, intriguing history and a wide choice of delicious gourmet the lovely city of Nuremberg has to offer. Do you agree? Let us know in comments.
Best Time to Visit Nuremberg
The Christmas Market in Nuremberg is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe. So if possible do plan a visit in December and relish the holiday spirit. December to February gets very chilly weather and expect snowfall too.
Any time from March until October is considered to be best to travel to Nuremberg. Spring Months March and April are good for budget travel. The summer months May to August are warmest and might see some rainy days and also the expensive months.
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Many Thanks to Nuremberg Tourism for sponsoring our Nuremberg Guided Walking Tour. As always, all opinions are our own.
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