City Guide: Nuremberg – Home to Castles and Lebkuchen
Nuremberg is one of Germany’s most historic and beautiful cities. When people think of Neremberg the Reich Party Rally Grounds and the Nuremberg Trials often come to mind. But there’s so much more to this city making it a great choice for a city break, family holiday or business trip. Take a look at our city guide and get the most out of your trip to Bavaria and Nuremberg.
Medieval Old Town
First of all you’ll want to spend some time wandering the streets of the Old Town, maybe stopping for a coffee and some traditional bratwurst in the shadow the city’s imposing castle. The castle was built in 1495 and dominates the north western corner of the Old Town. These days it functions as a youth hostel and tourist attraction. Climb up to the Freiung where you can enjoy one of the best views in the city. Head to the main courtyard and you’ll find the Palas on the left side which is home to the castle museum. A word of warning though; the guided tour here is only available in German so check out some of the other tours around town that include the castle and offer English language information.
The Park Inn by Radisson Nuremberg is right in the heart of the city and makes the perfect base from which to explore the castle quarter (Burgviertel). Here you’ll find many original medieval sandstone buildings that survived the war. Some of the timber-framed houses have also been restored and can be seen in Obere and Untere Kraemersgasse. Like many ancient European cities built on rock, Nuremberg has an underground city. English tours of the many underground beer cellars and water supply conduits are available on a Sunday at 11.30am.
Local Nuremberg Cuisine
If you are in Nuremberg at advent you’ll love the famous Christmas markets which set up around the Old Town selling the famous lebkuchen and gluhwein or gingerbread and mulled wine as we know them. The locals are rightly proud of their cuisine and Nuremberg lebkuchen is protected by EU law as a designation of origin (basically only lebkuchen made in Nuremberg to their exacting standards can be labelled Oblaten lebkuchen) making it the perfect gift for loved ones with a sweet tooth back home.
A handy tip for keeping your lebkuchen fresh once you get it back home is to put half an apple and some orange or lemon zest in the tin with the pack. This helps provide humidity and extra flavor – yum!
Other local cuisines to try include drei im weggla or three sausages in a roll. Nuremberg Roast Sausage is also protected by EU regulation so it is naturally of a high quality and carnivores should seek it out during their trip for a culinary treat.
Nuremberg also has loads of beer gardens and cafes where you can just sit back, relax and enjoy watching the world go by. There are lots of craft breweries in the city so if you are a fan of the hops then you won’t be disappointed.
Museums in Nuremberg
Don’t get too relaxed though, there’s plenty to see and do in Nuremberg. The city has a wealth of museums, art galleries and historic sites to visit year-round. If you have an interest in the history of Nuremberg then the former Reich Party Rally Grounds and Documentation-Center (Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelaende) are a good place to learn about life in the city leading up to and during World War Two.
The grounds and museum, a short ride from the town center on tram number nine, explore aspects of the rise of Nazism and offers challenging insights into how it happened. There is a good museum and seeing everything will take three to four hours. The grounds are a great example of how Germany is dealing with its past.
To explore some more modern cultural life in the city take a trip to the Neues Musem a museum of modern art and design. It hosts a diverse program of art and cultural exhibitions that explore the development of art form the mid-20th Century to the present.
Or if you want to go further back in time then a visit to the restored house of Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer will take you through his life and work with installations of period furnishings, a recreation of the great man’s workshop and demonstrations of printmaking techniques of the time. A fun addition to the house is a guided tour take by an actress in the role of Dürer’s wife Agnes.