Peering inside the grounds of the Kaiserberg - Nuremberg's Imperial castle
Visiting Bavaria in Germany, but not sure where to go? Nuremberg, in Northern Bavaria is a great choice! Here's 8 great things to see and do in Nuremberg for the perfect day trip - and bonus - most of them are free!
Bavaria is one of Germany's most beautiful regions, alongside the Black Forest and Romantic Rhine Valley. Nuremberg is located in the north of Bavaria, in the region of Franconia and is Bavaria’s second-largest city (behind the state’s capital, Munich). Sadly, a large part of Nuremberg was destroyed in World War II and it later became known for holding the Nuremberg trials - a series of 13 trials held after the war to bring Nazi war criminals to justice.
The city was rebuilt following the war, paving the way for more modern structures, however, there are still parts of the old town (Aldstadt) and the old city walls that remain intact.
Despite the city’s modern additions, the old town has managed to retain its charm, making Nuremberg a great place to spend the day sightseeing, and one of Northern Bavaria’s must-see cities.
Top 8 things to do in Nuremberg, Bavaria
1. Stroll along the river Pegnitz in the centre of Nuremberg
The old town straddles the river Pegnitz and a stroll alongside the river is an idyllic way to start your day sightseeing in Nuremberg. You will cross over the Maxbrücke bridge - a traditional timber bridge framed by half-timber houses and a medieval tower. It’s one of Nuremberg’s prettiest bridges and makes for the perfect photo spot!
The historic Maxbrücke bridge in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany
2. Visit the Henkerhaus Museum
On the river Pegnitz, you’ll also find the Henkerhaus Museum. One of Nuremberg’s more unusual attractions, the small museum is housed in the old residence of Nuremberg’s official executioner. Inside you can learn about his life through the diaries he kept on each of the 361 criminals he executed!
3. Visit the Kaiserberg (Imperial Castle of Nuremberg)
Visiting Nuremberg’s castle is one of the best things to do in Nuremberg. There is a small entrance fee to visit inside the castle and museum, however, you can actually see a great deal of this impressive 11th-century castle for free by wandering around the grounds and gardens. From the terrace that wraps around the castle’s entrance, you can also get sweeping views across Nuremberg’s old town and the surrounding city.
Walking up to the main entrance of the Kaiserberg - Nuremberg's Imperial castle
4. See the Tiergartnertor
The Tiergartnertor is a 13th-century gate and defensive tower in the old city walls, located by Nuremberg’s castle. Make sure that you walk through the tunnel under the gate to see how thick the defensive stone wall was! Part of the Tiergartnertor gate is open to visitors, overlooking the old town. There’s also a couple of bars in the small square in front of the Tiergartnertor, creating a really nice, lively atmosphere. Almost 4km of the old city wall and several of its towers still remain standing, so after seeing the Tiergartnertor, why not check out the rest of the medieval wall.
The Tiergartnertor defensive gate by Nuremberg's castle, in Bavaria
5. Visit the gothic house of Albrecht Dürer
Sat opposite the Tiergartnertor, in Nuremberg’s old town, you will find the house of famous German artist, Albrecht Dürer. The house, which now acts as a museum and art gallery, is one of the few undestroyed gothic houses from pre-war Nuremberg and is notable for being the last remaining example of a 16th-century artist’s house in Europe.
6. Wander down Nuremberg's prettiest street
Weissgerbergasse is one of Nuremberg’s prettiest and most photogenic streets. Historic colourful, half-timber houses sit on either side of the cobbled street, which now has the addition of a couple of cafes now too.
Nuremberg's pretty Weissgerbergasse street in Bavaria, Germany
7. Visit Nuremberg's Hauptmarkt
In the centre of Nuremberg’s old town, the Hauptmarkrt is a large open-air market where you’ll find vendors selling all kinds of local produce, sweet and savoury snack stalls, and crafts. Whilst you're here, don't miss the Schoner Brunnen - an ornate, gothic fountain and the Frauenkirche - a 14th-century gothic church housing historic artwork.
8. Pick up a traditional Bavarian souvenir in Handwerkerhof
Handwerkerhof is a small purpose-built, medieval-style Bavarian village. Shops occupy half-timber houses, showcasing local crafts, gifts, and produce whilst traditional rustic pubs serve local beer and tasty treats. If you want to get a feel for how Nuremberg was in the past, then this is a great attraction.
There you have it, my top 8 things to do in Nuremberg, Bavaria. There are many beautiful towns and cities in Bavaria and because of this, Nuremberg often gets overlooked in favour of some of its smaller, quainter neighbours, such as Bamberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. However Nuremberg is a great choice for a day out, there’s so much to see and do here, and much of it for free!
How to get to Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany
As you might expect for a large city, Nuremberg is really well connected. There are 3 main ways to get to Nuremberg: by plane, train or car
By plane - You can fly into Nuremberg airport, which is less than 5km from the main city centre.
By Train - Nuremberg is an important transit hub for trains around Germany, therefore trains from all over the country arrive and depart frequently from Nurembnerg's train station
By Car - Arriving into Nuremberg by car is easy. There are many car parks located on the outskirts of the old town, so you can park up and explore for the full day
Getting around - Getting around Nuremberg is best done on foot. The old town is full of small streets and pedestrianised roads and you'll see so much more by walking round and exploring at your own pace.
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