Nuremberg is a historic city located in the state of Bavaria, Germany. With a rich and fascinating history that spans over a thousand years, Nuremberg is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, vibrant cultural scene, and significant role in European history.
Nuremberg is one of the first European cities my daughter and I came to see, that’s why it is very special to me. If you plan to visit by yourself or with your family, here are some things to keep in mind.
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When to Go
- Nuremberg experiences a moderate climate, with warm summers and cold winters.
- The peak tourist season in Nuremberg is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is pleasant, but it can be crowded.
- Spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) offer milder weather and fewer crowds, making them good options for a more relaxed visit.
- Winter (December to February) can be cold, but it has its charm with Christmas markets and festive events.
- Additionally, consider the following events in Nuremberg that may influence your decision on when to visit:
- Christkindlesmarkt: Nuremberg’s famous Christmas market takes place from late November to December and is one of the most renowned in Germany.
- Nuremberg International Toy Fair: If your family is interested in toys and games, this fair, usually held in late January or early February, is a great opportunity to explore the latest trends in the industry.
- Rock im Park: If you enjoy music festivals, Nuremberg hosts Rock im Park in early June, featuring well-known bands and artists.
Ultimately, the best time to visit Nuremberg depends on your preferences for weather, crowd sizes, and any specific events or activities you wish to experience.
Main Places To See
Old Town (Altstadt):
Nuremberg’s Old Town is a fascinating area filled with history, charming architecture, and a vibrant atmosphere. Here are some highlights to explore:
Dominating the city’s skyline, Nuremberg Castle is a must-visit. You can explore the grounds, visit the Imperial Castle Museum, and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
St. Sebaldus Church
This medieval church is known for its stunning Gothic architecture, intricate sculptures, and beautiful stained glass windows.
Hauptmarkt (Main Market Square)
The Hauptmarkt is a bustling square surrounded by colorful buildings. It is home to the famous Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain) and hosts the Markts during December season
- Architectural Design: The Schöner Brunnen is an ornate and intricate Gothic-style fountain. It consists of a 19-meter (62-foot) tall spire-like structure, divided into five levels. The structure is adorned with numerous sculptures, figurines, and decorative elements, all meticulously crafted by skilled craftsmen of the time.
- Iconic Features: One of the most iconic features of the Schöner Brunnen is the “Ring of Virtues.” This iron lattice surrounding the fountain contains a set of brass rings, which are believed to bring good luck when touched or turned. Each ring represents one of the seven virtues: faith, love, hope, chastity, humility, patience, and diligence.
- Figurines and Sculptures: The fountain is embellished with 40 sculpted figures, representing biblical and historical personalities. These include biblical figures such as Moses, King David, and the Four Evangelists, as well as famous emperors, kings, and city patrons. The figures are intricately carved and painted, adding to the overall beauty of the fountain.
- Decorative Details: The Schöner Brunnen is adorned with various decorative elements, including coats of arms, floral patterns, and intricate reliefs. These details showcase the craftsmanship and attention to detail prevalent during the Gothic era.
Discover the former residence of the renowned German artist Albrecht Dürer, which has been converted into a museum showcasing his life and work.
Way of Human Rights
This outdoor art installation commemorates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is a thought-provoking site to visit with the family.
Medieval Castle (Kaiserburg)
The Nuremberg Castle, also known as Kaiserburg, is a medieval fortress and one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Here’s what you can experience:
Castle Museum: Explore the history of Nuremberg and the castle itself through informative exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays.
Deep Well and Sinwell Tower: Descend into the Deep Well, which reaches a depth of 50 meters (165 feet), and climb the Sinwell Tower for panoramic views of the city.
Kaiserburg Gardens: Relax in the scenic gardens surrounding the castle, offering
- picturesque views and a pleasant atmosphere.
- Historical Reenactments: During certain times of the year, the castle hosts medieval reenactments and performances, providing an immersive experience for visitors.
Make sure to check the opening hours, ticket prices, and any specific guidelines or restrictions for visiting these attractions, as they may vary. Both the Old Town and Nuremberg Castle offer unique historical and cultural experiences, making them ideal for a memorable family city break in Nuremberg.
Stadtpark: Located in the heart of Nuremberg, Stadtpark is a large urban park with expansive green spaces, walking paths, and picturesque ponds. It’s an ideal place for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply enjoying the serene surroundings. The park also features sculptures, flower beds, and a children’s playground.
- Rosengarten: Situated on the slopes of the Nuremberg Castle, the Rosengarten (Rose Garden) offers stunning views of the city’s skyline and the surrounding area. As the name suggests, this garden is known for its beautiful rose bushes, with over 2,000 different rose varieties. It’s a lovely spot to relax, smell the fragrant roses, and take in the panoramic vistas.
- Wöhrder Wiese: Located along the shores of the Wöhrder See, Wöhrder Wiese is a popular recreational area and park. It features a large lake, expansive green lawns, and walking paths. Visitors can rent paddleboats, go for a jog, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. The park is particularly beautiful in spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.
- Japanese Garden: The Japanese Garden in Nuremberg is a small oasis of tranquility inspired by traditional Japanese garden design principles. It showcases carefully arranged plants, a pond with koi fish, stone lanterns, and a tea house. It’s a serene and peaceful space where visitors can experience a taste of Japanese aesthetics and enjoy a moment of calm.
- Botanischer Garten Nürnberg: The Botanischer Garten Nürnberg is a botanical garden that boasts an impressive collection of plants from around the world. It features various themed gardens, including a Mediterranean garden, a succulent greenhouse, an alpine garden, and more. The garden provides a rich botanical experience and an opportunity to learn about different plant species.
Dutzendteich Park: Dutzendteich Park is a large park complex in the southeastern part of Nuremberg. It encompasses several lakes, green areas, and walking paths. The park is ideal for outdoor activities, such as cycling, jogging, and picnicking.
Nuremberg For Kids
The Nuremberg Zoo, also known as Tiergarten Nürnberg, is a popular attraction located in Nuremberg, Germany. Spanning over 70 hectares (173 acres) of lush greenery, the zoo is home to a diverse collection of animals from around the world. Here’s a description of the Nuremberg Zoo:
- Animal Exhibits: The zoo boasts a wide range of animal species, totaling over 300 different species. From large mammals to exotic birds and reptiles, visitors can encounter a variety of animals during their visit. Some notable exhibits include:
- African Savannah: This expansive exhibit showcases African animals such as giraffes, zebras, elephants, and rhinoceroses. Visitors can observe these majestic creatures in a habitat that closely resembles their natural environment.
- Tropical House: Step into a tropical paradise with lush vegetation, cascading waterfalls, and a diverse array of colorful birds, reptiles, and insects. This exhibit provides an immersive experience of tropical ecosystems.
- Dolphinarium: Home to a group of dolphins, the dolphinarium offers educational shows and demonstrations that highlight the intelligence and agility of these marine mammals.
- Children’s Zoo: Designed with young visitors in mind, the children’s zoo allows children to interact with friendly farm animals like goats, sheep, and ponies. It provides an opportunity for kids to learn about domesticated animals up close.
Nuremberg hosts a Spring Fair, known as “Frühjahrsmesse” in German, which is a popular event that takes place annually during the spring season. Here’s a description of the Spring Fair in Nuremberg:
- Dates and Duration: The Spring Fair usually spans over several days, typically in April or May. The exact dates may vary each year, so it’s advisable to check the official event information closer to your visit.
- Location: The fairgrounds are set up at the Dutzendteich area, a spacious park located in the southeast of Nuremberg. This location provides ample space for various attractions, rides, food stalls, and entertainment.
- Attractions and Rides: The Spring Fair offers a wide range of attractions and rides for visitors of all ages. From thrilling roller coasters and Ferris wheels to traditional carousel rides and bumper cars, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste. The fairgrounds are transformed into a vibrant and colorful playground with a festive atmosphere.
- Food and Refreshments: Like any fair, the Spring Fair in Nuremberg features a variety of food stalls and stands offering a tempting selection of culinary treats. You can indulge in traditional fair favorites such as cotton candy, popcorn, grilled sausages, roasted nuts, candy apples, and more. There are also food options representing international cuisines to cater to diverse tastes.
- Games and Entertainment: Besides the rides, the fair also hosts numerous game booths where visitors can try their luck and win prizes. From shooting galleries and ring tosses to classic fair games like darts and ball throws, there’s plenty of entertainment to keep everyone engaged.
- Festive Atmosphere: The Spring Fair in Nuremberg creates a lively and festive atmosphere that attracts locals and visitors alike. The fairgrounds are often decorated with colorful lights and decorations, creating an inviting and joyful ambiance.
Additional Events and Activities: During the Spring Fair, there may be additional events and activities taking place, such as live music performances, dance shows, and special entertainment programs. These events add to the overall festive experience and provide a diverse range of entertainment options.
There is also a festival known as the “Nürnberger Herbstvolksfest.”
- Dates and Duration: The Nürnberger Herbstvolksfest usually takes place in the early fall, typically around the end of August to early September. The festival lasts for about ten days, providing ample time for visitors to enjoy the festivities.
- Location: The festival is held at the Dutzendteich area, which is a large park and event space in the southeast of Nuremberg. The location offers a spacious setting to accommodate the various attractions, beer tents, food stalls, and entertainment.
- Food and Culinary Delights: The Nürnberger Herbstvolksfest offers a range of culinary treats to satisfy your appetite. You can indulge in traditional Bavarian dishes, including sausages, pretzels, roasted chicken, grilled meats, and various regional specialties. Food stalls and stands provide a delightful assortment of flavors and options.
- Rides and Attractions: The festival grounds are filled with thrilling rides and attractions to entertain visitors. From towering Ferris wheels and roller coasters to carousel rides and funfair games, there’s plenty of excitement for people of all ages.
- Music and Entertainment: Live music and entertainment are an integral part of the Nürnberger Herbstvolksfest. Various bands and performers take the stage in the beer tents, creating a lively atmosphere with traditional Bavarian music, folk songs, and modern tunes. Visitors can enjoy dancing, singing along, and joining in the festive spirit.
- Family-Friendly Activities: The Oktoberfest in Nuremberg also caters to families with children. There are dedicated areas with rides and attractions suitable for young visitors, ensuring that everyone can have a memorable experience.
- Playmobil FunPark is located in Zirndorf, a suburb of Nuremberg, Germany. It is easily accessible by car or public transportation from Nuremberg city center.Playmobil FunPark is located in Zirndorf, a suburb of Nuremberg, Germany. It is easily accessible by car or public transportation from Nuremberg city center.Playmobil FunPark is located in Zirndorf, a suburb of Nuremberg, Germany. It is easily accessible by car or public transportation from Nuremberg city center.
Playmobil FunPark is located in Zirndorf, a suburb of Nuremberg, Germany. It is easily accessible by car or public transportation from Nuremberg city center. Kids can enjoy the following:
- Play Areas: The park features numerous themed play areas where children can immerse themselves in different Playmobil worlds. They can build, create, and interact with the iconic Playmobil toys, letting their imaginations run wild.
- Climbing and Adventure Zones: There are various climbing structures, adventure courses, and slides for kids to enjoy. These areas provide opportunities for active play and exploration.
- Water Play: Playmobil FunPark has a water play area where children can splash around, cool off, and engage in water-based activities. It’s a great way for kids to have fun on a warm day.
Rides and Attractions: The park has a few gentle rides suitable for younger children, such as a mini train and a carousel. These rides provide additional entertainment and enjoyment.
Tucherland is an amusement park which offers a variety of fun activities and entertainment for kids. Here’s what you can expect when visiting Tucherland with your children:
- Attractions and Play Areas: Tucherland features a range of attractions and play areas designed to keep kids entertained. These includes indoor playgrounds with slides, climbing structures, ball pits, and trampolines. There are also themed play zones where children can engage in imaginative play and role-playing activities.
- Rides and Amusements: The park has a selection of gentle rides suitable for younger children, such as roller coasters, carousels, and bumper cars. These rides provide an additional level of excitement and enjoyment for kids.
Adventure Courses: Tucherland offers adventure courses that allow kids to test their agility and skill like rope bridges, climbing walls, and other obstacles, providing a fun and challenging experience.
City Break in Nuremberg
The ideal duration for exploring Nuremberg will depend on your interests and how much time you want to dedicate to each attraction. However, a suggested itinerary for exploring Nuremberg with kids for a well-rounded experience could be around 3 to 4 days. This should provide you with enough time to see the main highlights and enjoy family-friendly activities as suggested already.
What and Where to Eat
Nuremberg offers a wide array of culinary delights, ranging from traditional Bavarian dishes to international cuisine. Here are some popular food items and dining options you can explore while in Nuremberg:
- Nuremberg Sausages: Nuremberg is famous for its small grilled sausages known as Nürnberger Rostbratwurst. These flavorful sausages are made from a mixture of pork, beef, and spices. They are traditionally served with sauerkraut, mustard, and freshly baked pretzels.
- Gingerbread (Lebkuchen): Nuremberg is renowned for its gingerbread, known locally as Nürnberger Lebkuchen. These sweet, spiced cookies are typically made with honey, nuts, and various spices. They are often decorated with icing and come in different shapes and sizes. Look for authentic Lebkuchen shops in the city to sample and purchase these delicious treats.
- Franconian Dishes: Being in Franconia, the region of Bavaria where Nuremberg is located, you can also try regional specialties such as:
- Schäufele: This is a traditional Franconian dish made from pork shoulder that is marinated, slow-cooked, and then roasted until tender and flavorful.
- Sauerbraten: A pot roast made from marinated beef, typically served with red cabbage and potato dumplings.
- Franconian Carp: In December, many restaurants serve carp, prepared in various ways, as a festive specialty.
- Beer Gardens and Breweries: Bavaria is known for its beer culture, and Nuremberg offers several beer gardens and breweries where you can enjoy local brews. Look out for traditional Franconian beers such as Kellerbier or try Nuremberg’s famous red beer called Rotbier.
- International Cuisine: Nuremberg also caters to a diverse range of tastes with its international culinary scene. In the city, you can find restaurants offering Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern, and other international cuisines.
- Where to Eat: For a variety of dining options, consider visiting the following areas:
- Altstadt (Old Town): The historic center of Nuremberg has numerous traditional Bavarian restaurants, cozy beer gardens, and charming cafés.
- Hauptmarkt: The main square of Nuremberg is surrounded by restaurants and eateries offering both local and international cuisine.
- Craftsmen’s Courtyard (Handwerkerhof): Located near the city walls, this small courtyard is home to several artisanal shops and restaurants serving regional specialties.
Nuremberg, like most cities in Germany, is generally considered a safe destination for travelers and residents alike. It has a reputation for being a well-organized and secure city with low crime rates compared to many other urban areas.
However, as with any city, it’s always essential to remain vigilant and take standard precautions to ensure your safety. Here are some general safety tips:
*Be extra cautious in crowded areas.
*Use official taxis and transportation services: When using taxis or rideshare services, choose reputable and official providers to ensure a safe journey.
*Stay aware of your surroundings: Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If something or someone seems suspicious, it’s best to avoid the situation.
*Secure your accommodation: Choose reputable accommodations and use safety measures like locking doors and windows.
*Respect local laws and customs:
Determine your overall budget: Start by setting a realistic budget for your entire trip, including accommodation, transportation, meals, attractions, and souvenirs. This will give you a clear idea of how much you can spend and help you make informed decisions.
- Research accommodation options: Look for family-friendly accommodations in Nuremberg that fit your budget. Consider staying in apartments or vacation rentals, as they often provide more space and kitchen facilities, allowing you to save money by preparing some of your own meals.
- Plan your transportation: Research transportation options and compare prices. If you’re traveling within Germany, consider using the train system, as it is efficient and connects major cities, including Nuremberg. Look for discounted family tickets or rail passes to save on fares.
- Explore free or low-cost attractions: Nuremberg offers several attractions that are either free or have low admission fees. Visit the historic Old Town, walk along the city walls, or explore the Nuremberg Castle grounds. Take advantage of public parks, gardens, and playgrounds, which are great for children.
- Take advantage of city cards: Consider purchasing the Nuremberg Card, which provides free or discounted entry to numerous attractions and unlimited use of public transportation. It can be a cost-effective option if you plan to visit multiple sites.
- Eat like a local: While dining out can be enjoyable, it can also be expensive. Look for local markets or grocery stores to buy fresh produce and snacks for picnics. Sampling street food and trying traditional German dishes at smaller, family-run restaurants can also be a more budget-friendly option.
- Pack smart: Make a list of essential items you’ll need during your trip, such as sunscreen, reusable water bottles, and comfortable walking shoes. Bringing these items from home can save you money compared to buying them on the go.
- Plan in advance: Research and book attractions, tours, and activities in advance to secure better deals and avoid last-minute price hikes. Some attractions also offer discounted family packages or children’s rates.
- Use public transportation: Nuremberg has an excellent public transportation system, including buses, trams, and trains. Opt for day passes or group tickets, which can save you money if you’re traveling as a family.
Allocate a souvenir budget: Set aside a specific amount for souvenirs and stick to it. Encourage children to choose meaningful and practical souvenirs, such as local crafts or items they can use, rather than expensive trinkets.
Remember to be flexible with your budget and allow for some unplanned expenses. By planning ahead, researching options, and making informed choices, you can have a fantastic family trip to Nuremberg while staying within your budget.
Where to Book Accommodation:
Nuremberg’s Altstadt (Old Town) is a popular area to stay due to its historic charm and proximity to major attractions. You can find a range of accommodation options in and around Altstadt, including hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals.
Consider checking popular booking websites to compare prices and availability. It’s advisable to book accommodation well in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
ibis Nuernberg Altstadt (Königstraße 74) : This hotel is just 3 minutes away from Nuremberg’s central/main train station (Nürnberg Hauptbahnhof) and is within the Old Town. You can easily walk around to the Old Town’s most known attractions and transfer train to train in the other parts of the city. It’s also easy on the pocket.
Hotel Motel One Nürnberg-Hauptbahnhof (Bahnhofsplatz 1) : Just like most hotels of their chain, this hotel is very near from the train station Nürnberg Hauptbahnhof. It’s also not very expensive and is very conveniently located.
ibis Nuernberg Hauptbahnhof (Königstorgraben 9/49) : Another ibis hotel that’s conveniently situated near the main train station and the Old town.
Park Plaza Nuremberg (Bahnhofstraße 5) : Located across the road from Nuremberg Central Station, this upscale hotel offers chic, modern rooms offer minibars, free Wi-Fi and flat-screens, plus tea and coffeemakers. Dining options include a posh grill restaurant and an elegant lounge bar.
Continental (Luitpoldstraße 14 – 16) : This relaxed hotel is within the walls of the Old town and also 1.5 km from the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg and 6 km from Nuremberg Zoo. The down-to-earth rooms and suites feature simple furnishings, and breakfast is included.
Nuremberg is a really clean, relaxed city, with an old-world charm that you’ll get to love. It’s full of history and character. It’s perfect for your family city break. When visiting, consider the kids’ interests and adapt the itinerary accordingly. Nuremberg is well-connected with public transportation, making it easy to move around and explore the city with kids in tow. Enjoy!