Insider tips: Planning a trip to Nuremberg
Thomas Dowson is the founder of Archaeology Travel, a website for those seeking adventures in archaeology and history. As a professional archaeologist Thomas enjoys visiting archaeological and historical sites around the world. And sharing these experiences so that others can explore the world’s pasts more deeply. On his blog, you can find more information and all the details for planning a trip to Nuremberg.
What should I do on my first trip to Nuremberg?
Today the second largest city in Bavaria, Nuremberg has a complex but intriguing history. An Imperial City for the Holy Roman Empire and, partly because of this, a city chosen by the Nazis to hold their rallies. Visiting the Nuremberg Imperial Castle is a must. The oldest part dates to around 1000 AD, and together with the city walls, still standing in some places, this is considered one of the most formidable fortifications from medieval Europe. Away from the Altstadt, signs of the Nuremberg rallies also survive for those who are interested in 20th century history. The best way to see these is on a walking tour.
What are some hidden gems to see in Nuremberg?
My favourite Nuremberg ‘hidden gem’ is an object not an attraction. Although the object is in an amazing attraction, the Germanisches Nationalmuseum. This is the largest cultural and historical museum in the German-speaking region. In the vast collection of objects that range from prehistory to the present one stands out, the Behaim Globe made in the 1490s. It is the oldest spherical representation of the world in the world. The detail on the globe is exquisite, something any traveler will appreciate.
How much time should I spend in Nuremberg?
Nuremberg is a welcoming city throughout the year. But it is during December that most visitors come, for the world famous Christkindlesmarkt. While you could easily spend four or five days in the city during summer, a weekend break in December is more than enough time to experience Nuremberg at Christmas. Book yourself a good walking tour that includes the main sites, the markets and the history. Spend a few hours in the museum and then save time to explore the Christmas markets at your own pace. It will be a weekend you remember for all the right reasons.
What food is Nuremberg known for?
Nuremberg, and this part of Germany called Franconia, is known for a number of culinary delights. In spring it is spargelzeit and you can not miss the Franconian asparagus. In December, especially for Christmas, you can not avoid Nuremberg Lebkuchen; a traditional gingerbread with a closely guarded recipe that includes nuts, honey and a mix of different spices that include cinnamon, clove and cardamom. Throughout the year you will not be able to escape the Nuremberg Bratwurst. A few euros will get you three on a bread roll. If you are looking for something more substantial, try Schäufele. This is a typical regional dish, roasted shoulder of pork served with dumplings and red cabbage.
What is the best way to get around Nuremberg?
Everything most tourists want to see when they visit Nuremberg, particularly in the winter, is within walking distance. The old town is quite compact, and although the castle and the museum are at either ends of the town, they are only a 45 minute walk apart. The 20th century Nazi sites are a bit further away from the centre of town, but still within walking distance. Although the city has an excellent tram service.
What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Nuremberg?
Given the atmosphere in the Old Town in December, I recommend finding a hotel in the centre. Really, there is no point in being too far away from the festive action! Being in the city centre allows you to get out early and beat the crowds if you need to. Nuremberg has a good range of hotels to choose from, to suit all styles and budgets.
What are the best annual events in Nuremberg?
Nuremberg’s Christmas market is one of the oldest and best known Christmas markets in the world. The oldest known date is 1628. In December each year over two million people visit Nuremberg. Known as Christkindlesmarkt, the market is opened by the Christkind on Friday evening before the first Sunday of Advent.