Discover more than 9 things to do in Nuremberg Germany. There is something for everyone!
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🗺️ Where is Nuremberg?
Nuremberg, also known as Nürnberg, in German is located in Franconia, the free-state of Bavaria in Southern Germany.
It’s the second-largest city in Bavaria after Munich (München). Other well-known towns nearby are Fürth, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bamberg and Würzburg.
The city is mainly known for its medieval and Nazi history, yet it has so much more to offer! Here are some of the best things that you can do with top attractions for visitors.
🏰 Visit the Imperial Castle
The imperial castle, known as the Kaiserburg Nürnberg or simple the Nuremberg castle, tells the story of the city and Central Europe.
It is located on a hill in the northern boundaries of the old town, just behind the city walls.
The city of Nuremberg was an important trading post, besides the city of Augsburg, for traders traveling between Italy and Northern Europe.
Rulers and administrative members of the imperial court of the holy roman emperor, would also stop by in Nuremberg and to provide an appropriate setting to rule the city, they extended build the castle. This is the building that we see today.
You get a wonderful view at the castle top to the old town, and you can get there for free. The castle can be visited from 9 am to 6 pm, for a fee of €7 per adult, kids are free. Different timings apply from October to April in winter.
The castle gardens can be accessed for everyone for free and look out for the Sinwell tower.
🚶♂️ Take a stroll through the Nuremberg Old Town
The old town is called the Altstadt in German, and it’s surrounded by the medieval city walls. The city was heavily bombed during WW2, but many of the buildings still hold the charm of this Bavarian city.
Start your walk at the Lorenzkirche, an evangelical church and discover some of the most important landmarks from there:
Walk down the Karolinenstraße shopping lane to the Weisserturm, a medieval 13th century tower turned into a subway entry point. The Ehekarussell, in front of the Weisserturm, by Hans Sachs, is a controversial but interesting fountain depicting his poem Bitter Sweet Married Life.
Take a walk from the Lorenzkirche downwards across the Museums bridge to get to the other side of the old town. From here you will have a great way to the Renaissance hangman’s bridge (Fleischbrücke) and the old hospital on the other side of the bridge.
Once you have crossed the bridge you will come across a peculiar fountain, the Narrenschiffbrunnen (ship of fools fountain). Continue to walk straight towards the Hauptmarkt, Nuremberg’s large main market square.
Here you will see the 14th century gothic Frauenkirche and the Schöner Brunnen (aka Beautiful Fountain). The fountain can be seen from far by its spire. It has a wishing ring which can be rubbed for good luck.
Continue further up the hill and on the Rathausplatz you will come across the St. Sebald Church and the Medieval Dungeons.
The area below the imperial castle is also picturesque. Here you will find the Albrecht Dürer house and the Tiergärtnertor, a large medieval gate.
🌭 Eat Local Food
The city of Nuremberg is known for the Nuremberger Lebkuchen, also called Elisenlebkuchen. Lebkuchen are the German variation of Gingerbread, consisting of a selection of Lebkuchen spices.
The Nuremberg Lebkuchen are a bit different because they are round, prepared with chopped candied fruits and nuts. The bottom is a large communion wafer. These are juicier and come with a sugar glaze or a chocolate glaze.
We bought some outstanding Nürnbergerlebkuchen at the Wicklein store at the Hauptmarkt, located near the Norma store. They bake their Lebkuchen!
Another local favorite and delicacy that you shouldn’t miss is the Nürnberger Würstl. These are small white bratwurst sausages.
At various points across the old town, you will notice small “food takeaway” places, located at the center of the main pathways. These are called Würstl Buden, and they sell the Nürnberger Würstl in a bun, as well as other specialties such as the German Currywurst.
You will get 3 Nuremberg sausages in a bun with a topping of your choice, such as mayonnaise, ketchup, or mustard (called Senf). These pork sausages are super flavorful and prepared on the spot, making this a great hot snack on a cold day in Nuremberg.
More Bavarian Food and Drinks worth trying:
- Ground Horseradish
- Obatzda Cheese Dip
- Warm Bavarian Potato Salad
- Sauerkraut with Sausage or Pork Schopf
- Semmelknödel Dumplings
🏛 Visit Museums
Nuremberg is a city of museums!
- Germanisches Nationalmuseum – with historical German culture artifacts. Located right next to the Straße der Menschenrechte, which is a beautiful memorial pathway.
- Neues Museum Nürnberg – Contemporary Art Museum
- Albrecht Dürer House – the home of the late Renaissance painter
- Nuremberg Toy Museum – It is known for its toy making. The tradition has been upheld for over 600 years.
- Nürnberger Bratwurstmuseum – because the people in this city love this sausage, and it has made history!
- Historischer Kunstbunker – Tours taking you through the tunnels and bunkers used by the Nazis to hide art.
- City Museum in Fembo House – historical exhibitions in a former
- Bernsteinmuseum Nürnberg – Amber Collection Museum
- Medieval Dungeons – with 12 prison cells and a torture chamber
🐯 Discover the Nuremberg Zoo with your Kids
The Nuremberg zoo makes for a great afternoon hangout on a beautiful day with your kids, and it’s a major tourist attraction. The zoo is known as one of the most beautifully located zoos in Europe. Red rocks and age-old trees surround animals from around the world.
Gorillas, camels, polar bears, rhinoceros, dolphins, tigers and many more species call this zoo their home. The park tries to take part in the protection of species and nature.
The park can be visited daily from 8 am to 6:30 pm and a family ticket with two adults and children costs €42.
Take the E5 public bus from the train station, direction Tiergarten, to go to the Nuremberg zoo.
⭐️ Get Mesmerized by the Christmas Market
The Nuremberg Christmas market is one of the most genuine advent markets in Europe.
The market is held every year from end of November/beginning December up to the 24th of December. It can be visited for free from 10 am to 9 pm. The market is open up to 2 pm on the 24th December.
Germans celebrate Christmas with their families on the 24th night, but the period before Christmas is actually more important.
These are the advent weeks when people get into Christmas moods with Glühwein mulled wine, Christmas cookies, good food, scented candles and carols.
The Christmas market at the Hauptmarkt, main square, will get you into the German Christmas mood in a jiffy. You can access it freely!
Take a stroll through the square, stop at vibrant warm wooden stalls and huts, get mesmerized by the illuminated decorations and most importantly eat all the good Lebkuchen in the world as long as you can!
🎨 Discover the charming Medieval Market
This medieval market consists of traditional Nuremberg buildings. This area is known as the Handwerkerhof in German. Here you will find some of the last medieval buildings, which were not bombed during the war.
It’s located right opposite the train station behind the Nuremberg walls. It’s a tiny cute area with small shops and food places, selling memorable, creative items and anything Nuremberg related.
Occasionally, you get to see artisans creating handmade objects made of metal, wood, or pottery.
🌃 Have Fun at Night
So, you are up for a pub, bar, beer garden or to go clubbing at night? Turns out Nuremberg offers something for everyone!
Here are some of the most memorable places that you should check out:
- Mata Hari – Dedicated to the Dutch dancer and courtesan, and it’s a cult bar! It’s tiny and cozy, but you will meet a good crowd there.
- Gin & Julep – a classy cocktail bar with a twist. Open the door, and you will find yourself in a phone booth. Dial the 1 and the door will be opened to the “hidden bar”. The concept shall remind us of the prohibition times in the US.
- Ludwig’s Bar & Café – Great place for live music on Tuesdays.
- O´Sheas – Irish pub and a top place to be for anyone!
- Kopernikus – Polish-German Beer garden and Restaurant
- Rock im Park – 3 day long Rock and Metal Festival in June. It’s the ultimate rock festival.
- Haus 33 – For the ultimate German Techno clubbing experience.
📽 Nazi Party Rally Grounds and Documentation Center
The Nazi Party Rally Grounds, aka Reichsparteigelände, is where the NSDPA held the Nuremberg Party Rallies.
It’s a massive area, covering over 16 km², just outside the city of Nuremberg. The Nazi party used it for the so called Reichsparteitag, which are known as Nuremberg Rallies. Those gigantic events were held once a year to show German strength and unification.
Nuremberg was chosen by the Nazis and Hitler because of the cities imperial past. This and more is very well explained in the documentation center, which was built in the Kongresshalle.
The Kongresshalle, congress hall, is a massive unfinished project by the Nazis, which is the main attraction when you visit.
We recommend that you book a guide in your language on your visit to Nuremberg. They will explain all the details and stories connected to the Nazis, WW2 and the Nuremberg trials.
What is special about Nuremberg?
Nuremberg was the imperial city. It has a rich history and also a very dark past. Many Jewish people from Nuremberg were prosecuted and hunted down over the last 1000 years, well before the Nazis came to power.
Is Nuremberg safe at night and for tourists?
Yes, absolutely! Nuremberg is a very safe city any time of the day.
Is 1 day enough for Nuremberg?
If you have just 1 day to visit Nuremberg, it’s doable. You can see the old town or the Christmas market in December in a day. Plan in at least 2 days if you want to visit museums or the Nazi party rally grounds.
What’s the Nuremberg Card?
With the Nuremberg card you can visit over 30 major museums in the city and travel for free in zone A with the public transport. You can also see the documentation center at the Nazi party rally ground or the Zoo with the Nuremberg card. The card is valid for 48 hours and costs €33 per adult or €11 per child.
What are some day trips from Nuremberg?
Add the medieval Christmas town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber to your bucket list. Discover the best photo spots in the charming city of Bamberg. Drink white wine on the old bridge in Würzburg and enjoy the view to the vineyards on the hills. Another tip is to explore a stretch of the German romantic road, which starts in Würzburg and ends in Southern Germany Garmisch-Partenkirchen.