Nuremberg may not be the first city that comes to mind when planning a trip to Germany, but this underrated destination has seriously delightful surprises in store.
Beyond its famous Christmas markets and role in WWII history, Nuremburg charms visitors with its pristine medieval architecture, mouthwatering frankfurters, and enough culture to fill any size itinerary.
Nuremberg, Germany – a city that’s bursting with history, culture, and a unique blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy.
Imagine wandering through medieval streets, surrounded by half-timbered houses that seem straight out of a fairy tale. Nuremberg’s old town is like a living museum, with cobbled lanes leading to ornate churches, charming market squares, and hidden corners just waiting to be discovered.
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TRIP COST: ~Approx. $400 or $200/per person
*incl. transport, food, entrance fees
Experience the Best of Nuremberg in Just One Day!
Lucky for travelers short on time, Nuremberg’s compact old town is perfect for a one day dash. Follow this speedy guide to soak up the very best of this Franconian beauty.
- Head to the National Socialist Party Rally Grounds to see the documentation center and Zeppelin field where Nazi rallies were held. A sobering and insightful look at the rise of Nazi Germany.
- Explore the Nuremberg Trials Memorial at Courtroom 600 where war crime trials were held after WWII. Audio guides provide background.
- Walk through the Historic Art Bunker where precious art was stored during WWII bombing raids to protect it.
- Wander through the Handwerkerhof craftsman courtyard, or enjoy coffee and cake at a traditional cafe like Cafe Hussel Confiserie.
- Have lunch at one of Nuremberg’s famous wurst sausage stands. Try the small Nuremberg bratwursts grilled over a wood fire.
- Start in the historic central Hauptmarkt square to see sites like the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) and Beautiful Fountain (Schöner Brunnen).
- Walk to Kaiserburg Castle and tour the Imperial Castle complex with its Romanesque Palace, Sinwell Tower, and Deep Well. Be sure to go up to the Sinwell Tower for panoramic views.
- Visit the historic Handwerkerhof again, a medieval craftsman courtyard with demonstrations.
- Go to St. Sebald Church, St. Lawrence Church, and the Trie Churches for stunning Gothic architecture.
- Take an evening stroll through the romantic old town area. The glow of the lamps lighting up the medieval buildings is unforgettable.
- Have dinner at traditional Franconian restaurants like Bratwurst Röslein for local specialties, or Hausbrauerei Altstadthof for brewery-fresh beer and schnitzel.
This provides a taste of Nuremberg’s captivating history, culture, architecture and food scene in just one day! Let me know if you need any other recommendations.
Arrive in Nuremberg and Explore the History
No trip to Nuremberg is complete without acknowledging its significance in World War II and the Holocaust. Visit the sobering Nazi Rally Grounds and Nuremberg Trials Courtroom 600 museum to contemplate humanity’s immense capacity for good and evil. It’s a somber yet valuable experience.
For those interested in WWII, there are 2 main options in Nuremberg – the Nazi Party Rally Grounds or the Nuremberg Trials Memoriam. We opted for the Rally Grounds
Nazi Party Rally Grounds
The Nazi Party Rally Grounds include the Documentation Center, Great Road, Congress Hall and the Zeppelin Field (Zeppelinfeld), which is the monolithic grandstand (partially in ruins) and former site of the infamous Nuremberg rallies.
We spent about an hour walking through the Documentation Center, which is an exhibition providing insights into the rise and fall of the Nazi Party in Germany. It is housed in the unfinished Kongresshalle, or Congress Hall, which was built for the Nazi Party.
We spent an hour in the exhibition, then made our way outside to walk the grounds and the Great Road (Große Straße). The road is made of black and grey granite and stretches 2 km long. It was built to host parades but was never used.
Learn more about Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds.
Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds Details:
- Hours: Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Website: https://museums.nuernberg.de/documentation-center/
- Address: Bayernstraße 110 90478 Nürnberg
Afternoon: Wander Nuremberg’s Altstadt
Wander the streets of Nuremberg’s charming Altstadt, where medieval churches sit peacefully alongside the Handwerkerhof, a 14th century craftsman’s courtyard alive with artisans. Marvel at the Gothic grandeur of St. Lorenz Church before ducking into its underground cellars for a glimpse of ancient worship and punishment. Don’t miss adorable St. Sebaldus Church and its historic cemetery!
The Handwerkerhof is not a particularly large, but it is full of a lot of stuff. It was established in 1971 and it is a medieval shopping area with small shops focusing on traditional crafts, plus rustic restaurants. It is a Village Within a Village.
A quick two minute walked from the Hauptbahnhof lead us right into the fun little area. It is full of unique shops with handcrafted items and collectibles. You can see from my photos that it wasn’t too crowded when I visited, but I’ve read that it is quite the place to visit during Christmas.
If you’re only stopping through Nuremberg for a few hours, this is one quick spot for shopping and a bite to eat!
- Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
- Address: Königstraße 82, 90402 Nürnberg
- Address: Henkersteg, 90403 Nürnberg
We continued walking through the streets looking at all the shops and people out and about. I had everything marked on Google Maps for us to review when we walked by.
Known as the “Henkersteg” in German, this historic bridge has a fascinating and somewhat eerie history that adds a unique dimension to the city’s past.
The Henkersteg is a charming footbridge that spans the Pegnitz River, connecting the district of Sebald and the executioner’s house with the city center. Its name derives from the fact that it was traditionally used by the executioner to access the city without having to go through the main gates. This is because executioners were often considered social outcasts due to the nature of their profession.
Walking across the Henkersteg today, you’ll find yourself enveloped in the ambiance of history. The bridge offers a captivating view of Nuremberg’s skyline, as well as the tranquil waters of the Pegnitz River flowing beneath it. The blend of medieval architecture and the story behind the bridge’s name gives it a unique allure.
Walk Around Maxplatz
- Address: Maxpl. 21, 90403 Nürnberg
Welcome to Maxplatz – a charming square that adds its own special flair to the tapestry of Nuremberg’s streets. This lively and bustling spot captures the essence of the city’s everyday life and its unique blend of history and modernity.
One of the striking features of Maxplatz is the Frauenkirche, a beautiful church that adds an air of elegance to the square. Its iconic green dome and intricate architecture make it a focal point that’s hard to miss.
Walk Along the Weibgerbergasse
- Address: Weißgerbergasse 37-7, 90403 Nürnberg
Ah, the Weißgerbergasse – a hidden gem nestled within the charming city of Nuremberg, Germany. Picture this: a narrow cobblestone lane lined with colorful half-timbered houses that exude an air of whimsical nostalgia.
Visit early or late if you want to capture photos here. When the shops and cafes are open, the street gets very busy.
Weißgerbergasse is the city’s most charming street. It’s the largest ensemble of medieval half-timbered houses in Nuremberg.
Albrecht Durer House
Albrecht Dürer is one of the most famous German painters. Art enthusiasts, don’t miss the chance to visit Albrecht Dürer’s House, the former residence of the iconic Renaissance artist. You’ll get a peek into his life and work, surrounded by the very streets that inspired him.
International visitors may have never heard the name Albrecht Durer, but he’s a mega-household name in Germany, and largely regarded as the country’s most famous artist.
Albrecht Dürer House Details:
- Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Address: Albrecht-Dürer-Straße 3990403 Nuremberg
In this area you can also find Der Hase (The Hare) by Jürgen Goertz (Beim Tiergärtnertor 6, 90403 Nürnberg) You can also head right outside the city walls through this tunnel.
The popular Kaiserburg Nurnberg, or Imperial Castle of Nuremberg, is a must visit spot for spectacular views of the city!
The Imperial Castle of Nuremberg is a majestic fortress that stands as a testament to centuries of history and power. Perched on a hill overlooking the city, this castle is more than just stone and walls – it’s a portal to the past.
As you approach the castle, you’ll feel the weight of its significance. Imagine walking through gates that have welcomed kings, emperors, and dignitaries throughout the ages. The grandeur of the architecture will leave you in awe, with towers that touch the sky and walls that seem to whisper secrets of times long gone.
Learn more about Imperial Castle of Nuremberg.
Imperial Castle of Nuremberg Details:
- Hours: April to September from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and October to March from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Address: Ob. Krämersgasse 20, 90403 Nürnberg
The deep-rooted history of the Imperial Castle is intertwined with the story of Nuremberg itself. It’s a place where empires were shaped and decisions that impacted nations were made. As you explore its nooks and crannies, you’ll feel a connection to the past that’s both humbling and awe-inspiring.
- Address: Hauptmarkt, 90403 Nürnberg
The Hauptmarkt in Nuremberg is a vibrant square that pulses with the energy of the city and the spirit of its people. This bustling market square has been the heart of Nuremberg’s social and cultural life for centuries, and it’s a place where history and daily life collide in the most charming way.
The Hauptmarkt is also home to the world-famous Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt. During the holiday season, the square transforms into a magical wonderland, with wooden stalls adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations. Sip on mulled wine, savor gingerbread treats, and immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of a true German Christmas market.
On Hauptmarkt, you’ll also find the Schöner Brunnen, which translates to “Beautiful Fountain,” is more than just a fountain – it’s a time machine that transports you back to the days when Nuremberg was a bustling medieval trade center. . This incredible Gothic fountain isn’t just a piece of art; it’s a symbol of luck, tradition, and the city’s rich history.
Imagine gazing up at a towering masterpiece adorned with intricate sculptures, ornate details, and a stunning golden ring. This ring, known as the “Bratwurst Glöcklein,” has become the stuff of legends. It’s said that giving the ring a spin will bring you good luck and grant you a wish. It’s no wonder that visitors from all corners of the globe can’t resist the temptation to turn the ring and make their wishes come true.
Views of the Pegnitz River
The Pegnitz River gracefully winds its way through Nuremberg, adding an extra layer of enchantment to this already picturesque city. The Pegnitz River isn’t just a body of water – it’s like a tranquil ribbon that ties together Nuremberg’s historic sites, vibrant neighborhoods, and natural beauty.
As you walk along its shores, you’ll come across delightful bridges that connect different parts of the city, offering scenic viewpoints and opportunities for leisurely people-watching. The Fleisch Bridge, Henkersteg, and Kettensteg are just a few examples of these picturesque crossings.
The Pegnitz River also plays a vital role in Nuremberg’s history, having been a key part of the city’s development and growth throughout the centuries. Its presence has shaped the city’s layout, and its waters have witnessed the ebb and flow of Nuremberg’s story.
Evening: Enjoy the Lights and Dinner
We met up with Zack’s company in the hotel lobby and headed out on foot to dinner. They chose Im Keller – which serves old-fashioned German food in a medieval cellar.
You only have to descend a few steps and you are already standing in the middle of an over 800-year-old vaulted cellar – a restaurant with a very special ambience and seating for up to 150 people . Sit down at one of the massive wooden tables, let the old knights look over your shoulder while you drink and eat – in short, feast like in the 12th century at the foot of the Imperial Castle .
Im Keller Details
- Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
- Address: Albrecht-Dürer-Straße 3, 90403 Nürnberg
- Website: https://alte-kuechn.de/
Google Map for your Nuremberg itinerary
Below you can find a customized map that includes all the locations you’re going to visit on this Nuremberg itinerary.
If you open up this post on your phone and you click on the bracket in the upper right corner of the map, it will open up in your Google Maps app so you can always have it with you. It’s super convenient!
Other things to do in Nuremberg
While we saw a lot in our one day adventure, we didn’t get to see everything. Here’s a list of other things to do during your visit to Nuremberg.
- German National Museum – Kartäusergasse 1, 90402 Nürnberg
- Unschlittplatz – Unschlittpl., 90403 Nürnberg
- Bürgermeistergarten – Neutor, 90403 Nürnberg
- Neutorbastion – Neutorzwinger, 90403 Nürnberg
We started our day a little backwards. We arrived in the late afternoon by getting into the Nuremberg Hauptbahnhof. It was late enough to check into our hotel, so we walked there and dropped off our bags. Once we were situated, we walked our way to the Nuremberg Old Town. Then we went to Im Keller for dinner and went straight back to the hotel.
The next morning we woke up, grabbed buffet breakfast at the hotel, the made our way out the door. We went to the train station to buy tickets for the tram. It was especially cold that morning and we had to wear our gloves and hats. We spent the morning at the Documentation Center, then the afternoon in the Old Town to visit the Imperial Castle.
I hope that you’ve got the information you needed to make your trip to Nuremberg a wonderful success!
If you have any questions about visiting Nuremberg, please feel free to reach out. You can email me, direct message via social media, or drop a comment below. If you’ve already visited, let me know what you thought and if there’s anything else you’d like to recommend!
If you are planning a trip to Germany, you may also want to check these other articles:
- How To See Neuschwanstein Castle In One Day From Munich: The Ultimate Guide
- Taste Tradition: 4 Authentic Restaurants in Nuremberg
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