Travel Germany. Things to see on a walk through Nuremberg

This guide tells you about the history of Nuremberg and is full of up-to-date background and travel information, and travel inspiration for first-time visitors to Nuremberg in Germany. A travel guide with museums, churches, and cathedrals, cafés, and restaurants.

Travel Germany. Things to see on a walk through Nuremberg

Visiting the southern part of Germany, I don’t exaggerate when I say that it is indeed a pretty beautiful part of the country. Nuremberg in the state of Bavaria, to be more precise it is in Middle Franconia. It is of the utmost importance to Franconians to not to be considered Bavarians, everyone I met so far insists at every given moment that they have got nothing to do with Bavarians and will never be Bavarians and never were Bavarians … it is one of these local patriotism things, forever remaining a secret for outsiders, but more about this in a moment.

The sky is blue, and the people are friendly. The castles are as enchanting in Franconia as they are in the rest of Bavaria. Nuremberg is known as a city with a very high quality of life, its citizens praise its culture and also its close proximity to the great outdoors.

Two medieval red and white and yellow coloured timbered houses, and several green church spires in a sea of red rooftops.

Nuremberg through the times – a quick overview

On July 16, 1050, Nuremberg is first mentioned in written documents. This date is now celebrated as Nuremberg's birthday. In medieval times, Nuremberg quickly turns out to be a significant trade and cultural centre. The town’s strategic location at the crossroads of major trade routes is an immense blessing and helps Nuremberg to grow vigorously in no time. Nuremberg Castle, perched on a hill overlooking the town, has ever since been the symbol of Nuremberg. The city experiences its economic and cultural heyday at the end of the 15th and 16th centuries.

After the Thirty Years' War from 1618 to 1648, Nuremberg's economic and cultural clout weakens. At the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the imperial city loses its prestige, and with that, it is easy for Bavaria to annex Nuremberg. Bavaria declares Nuremberg the status of a provincial town. Locals can’t help it but must accept their fate. You know the popular saying that time heals all wounds, but we all know it might not be completely true. To this day, more than 200 years later, not much has changed, and Nurembergers stubbornly consider themselves Franconian and not Bavarians.

It doesn’t take long, and only a few decades later Nuremberg's entrepreneurial spirit helps the town once more to prosper. Germany, consistently a little bit on the cautious side, when innovation arrives, elsewhere Industrialization was in full swing already. The people of Franconia quickly embrace the new times, take the plunge, and jump at all the possibilities the latest technologies offer them. The first German railway journey between Nuremberg and the Franconian town of Fürth takes place in 1835. The manufacturing industry booms, and the 19th century is one of economic growth for Nuremberg.

A tall green church spire and a sea of red rooftops covered in a light dusting of fresh snow.

In the 20th century, the National Socialists use Nuremberg's good reputation to celebrate themselves. Hitler makes Nuremberg the centre stage for National Socialism at the Nazi Party parades and rallies. It is in Nuremberg where the Germans enact the "Nuremberg Race Laws" in September 1935 that announce Jews could be German citizens but without any citizenship rights.

Having been of massive symbolic importance to the Nazis in Second World War, Nuremberg is an obvious and important target for the Allies. The town is destroyed during the Second World War. In April 1945, American troops remove the golden swastika above the main stand of the Zeppelin arena. In November 1945, war criminals of the Nazi terror regime stand trial before the international military tribunal in Nuremberg.

The old town of Nuremberg is reconstructed in detail after the war. It is picture-perfect and you would not believe it has been damaged this severely. Nuremberg’s recent history, but also its architecture, the old town, the market square, the St Lorenz Church, and the Nuremberg Castle make the town well worth a visit. Not to forget the Christkindlesmarkt in December.

A medieval stone tower with a red spire and red and white and brown coloured timbered houses on a cobblestone square covered in a light dusting of snow, under a blue sky dotted with a few fluffy white clouds.

Places to see on a walk through Nuremberg


1. Hospital of the Holy Spirit Nuremberg

In the years 1332 and 1339, the Hospital of the Holy Spirit and a church were built by the richest citizen of Nuremberg. The extraordinarily rich resident hoped that in the afterlife, the generous donation would be to his advantage. When he founded the Hospital of the Holy Spirit it was the largest hospital in Nuremberg at the time, that offered space to 200 sick and poor.

In World War Two, in 1944, the property was so severely damaged that it needed to be reconstructed in the 1950s. Today, the property is home to a nursing home and a Franconian restaurant with the name Heilig Geist Spital zu Nürnberg.

A medieval two-storey stone building with a red and brown timbered spire at its front covered in a light dusting of snow next to a tree without leaves, and all reflected in the river they stand by,  under a light grey winter sky.

A red-roofed medieval two-storey stone building with a red and brown timbered spire at its front decorated with red geraniums in flower pots, at a river.


A red-roofed medieval two-storey stone building with a red and brown timbered spire at its front, decorated with red geraniums in flower pots next to a lush green tall tree, and all reflected in the river they stand by,  under a light blue sky.

Hospital of the Holy Spirit, Spitalgasse 16, 90403 Nuremberg, Germany. Hours Restaurant Heilig Geist Spital zu Nürnberg: Monday to Sunday 11.30am to 11pm, the kitchen closes 10pm.

2. St Lorenz Church Nuremberg

Construction of the three-aisled basilica started in 1250, the Gothic choir was completed in 1477, and in 1525 it became a Protestant church. The Lorenz Church houses the second largest organ facility in Germany, and one of the largest in the world.

Two people walk past a giant gothic-style basilica with two green spires.

The giant rose window and ornamented heavy green wooden entrance door of a tall gothic-style basilica.

Five people stand in front of a giant gothic-style basilica with two green spires, under a blue early evening sky.

Information: St Lorenz Church. Lorenzer Platz 10, 90402 Nürnberg. Hours: Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm. Sunday 10am to 3.30pm. Tickets: free. Wheelchair accessible.

3. Central Market Nuremberg - Hauptmarkt

You would need to have a heart of stone to not love a good farmers’ market. In the whole of Nuremberg, you find eleven different farmers' markets. The one on the main market square is the most famous. There are about 40 stall holders that offer fresh produce from fruit and vegetables to flowers, delicatessen, cheese, eggs, honey, and spices as well as coffee and smoothies. It is a gorgeous scene, the stalls with their red and white awnings in front of the Gothic-style Church of Our Lady.

Grab a space in the centre of the main market to take it all in. It is the perfect place for a little break, to people-watch and devour local delicacies.

At times, it might be that the market square will be used for other events, fret not, in that case, the market simply moves to nearby pedestrian zones Königstrasse and Karolinenstrasse.

Hours: Hauptmarkt, 90403 Nuremberg, Germany. Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm.

Three large baskets filled with fresh chanterelles.

A glass jar of wild blueberry jam covered in a blue and white chequered cloth stands atop six small baskets of fresh wild blueberries.

Easter Market: People gathered here to hold an Easter Market as early as 1424. After a long and grey and cold winter, everybody is in the mood to celebrate the arrival of spring with flowers and sunshine. Browse your way through Easter decorations, ceramics, textiles, brooms, brushes, and aprons. There is also chocolate and other local delicacies. Hours: 10am to 7pm. Good Friday closed.

Autumn Market: Each year, there is an 'Autumn Market' on the main market square at the same time as the Nuremberg Old Town Festival in mid-September. There are about 100 traders that offer pottery, but also clothing, and decorative arts, or woven baskets. Culinary specialties include Franconian Federweißen and freshly baked onion cake.

Antique Market: The Antique Market is heaven for vintage lovers and treasure hunters. Traders offer their goods at around 600 locations throughout the alleys of the old town. Hours: Friday from 4pm to midnight, Saturday 7am to 8pm. The midnight market on Friday is truly a special affair.

Pottery Market: At the end of April and the beginning of October, local potters and ceramicists offer their high-quality handmade goods at the pottery market all around the Beautiful Fountain. Plates, cups, vases, and jugs, jewelry, and sculptures. Hours: 10am to 6pm.

Christkindlesmarkt: Come December, the Christkindlesmarkt, is the ideal place to eat and buy gingerbread, mulled wine, Christmas decorations, handicrafts, toys, and confectionery. What is not to love? Hours: Monday to Sunday: 10am to 9pm. 24th December: 10am to 2pm.

4. Beautiful Fountain Nuremberg -Schöner Brunnen

Legend has it that whoever turns the ring of the Beautiful Fountain will have good luck. Nobody really knows with what you will get lucky exactly, be it health, money, a big family, lots of travels etc. So, to be on the safe side, you better touch that ring. On the fountain, you find philosophy and the seven liberal arts, the four evangelists with representatives of the clergy, the seven electors entitled to be elected emperor together with nine heroes of world history, and finally Moses with seven prophets. All are neatly arranged from bottom to top in four rows of figures.

Emperor Charles IV ordered the Beautiful Fountain to be built between 1385 and 1396 and also donated the Church of Our Lady. With that, the market square even received its own water supply.

It is obvious that, over the course of six centuries, the original fountain fell victim to weathering and needed to be restored repeatedly. At the beginning of the 20th century, a replica replaced the original. The rather weathered parts of the old fountain are safely kept in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum (Kartäusergasse 1, 90402 Nürnberg).

Ornamented iron grille.

Colourful statues on a tall elaborately decorated pillar with  surrounded by an ornamented iron grille at its base in front of red-roofed white- and yellow facades of period properties.

Information: Beautiful Fountain. Hauptmarkt, 90403 Nuremberg, Germany. Tickets: free.

5. Walk all the way up to Nuremberg castle - Kaiserburg

The Kaiserburg is the true landmark of Nuremberg. Its silhouette represented the power and importance of the Holy Roman Empire, and the important role of the imperial city of Nuremberg. Ever since 1050, Nuremberg was the preferred base for imperial and domestic power politics. To accommodate that, an extensive complex on the castle rock was created. In late medieval times, Nuremberg was the best-located city in the empire. Most emperors stayed here several times.

After the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, and after Bavaria took over Nuremberg, the castle became a monument to German history.

With the end of the monarchy in 1918, the traditional castle style wasn't a desired one any longer. In 1934, the neo-Gothic style was removed to 'purify' its design for German Nazi taste. Soon after, in 1945, most of the castle was in ruins, but many Romanesque and late Gothic components remained almost intact.

Visit the castle to learn all about its architecture, its fascinating history, and especially about its role as an imperial castle, about the Holy Roman Empire, and the role of Nuremberg in medieval times.

Medieval red and white and yellow coloured timbered houses decorated with geraniums in flower pots and red brick- towers and spires, on a cobblestone square, under a light blue summer sky.

A giant intricate ornamental silver lock on a heavy wooden door painted with black feathers, a red and white shield, and yellow, red nailed feet of a bird.


Red and pink potted plants in front of a beige- and brown-coloured timbered house next to a stone tower with red- and white wooden shutters under a blue sky.

Information Kaiserburg, Burg 17, 90403 Nuremberg, Germany. There is no parking, please leave your car at home, at the hotel or at one of the public parking options in town.

Hours: April to 3. October: Monday to Sunday 9am to 6pm. 4. October to March: Monday to Sunday 10am to 4pm.Last admission: approx. 45 minutes before cob. The Kaiserburg is closed on: 1 January, Shrove Tuesday, 24th, 25th and 31st December.

Tickets: Ticket 'Imperial Castle' (includes Palace with double chapel / Imperial Castle Museum, Deep Well, Sinwell Tower) EUR 7 regular, EUR 6 reduced. Free entry for children up to the age of 18.

6. Albrecht Dürer Museum in Nuremberg

One can very well imagine that every person on this earth has at one point seen a print of the Dürer woodcut of a Rhinoceros, or the one of the hare. And if not, then certainly his Praying Hands.

Albrecht Dürer, the painter and printmaker was born in Nuremberg in 1471. During his life spent in places like Nuremberg, Basel, Strasbourg, Colmar, Frankfurt Main, Mainz, Cologne, Innsbruck, Venice, Bologna, Milan, Florence, Rome, and Augsburg, he created about 900 hand drawings, 70 paintings, 100 engravings, 350 woodcuts and several fonts. Albrecht Dürer was always painstakingly thorough in depicting nature as realistically as possible. All his works are done in great detail. He is a true Renaissance superstar and has been a big fan of selfies.

It is precious to visit an artist's house from the 15th century. On your visit to the Dürer House, built around 1420, you can look at artistic techniques of his time, and check out his painting- and printing workshop. You can grab an audio guide for your trip through the four-storey Dürer house. Even better is to follow his wife Agnes while she personally guides you through their home where you even stop in their living room and kitchen. The Dürer couple had no children, and Dürer lived with his wife, apprentices, maids, and his mother in the house which houses today's museum.

A shop on the ground floor of a narrow three storeyed red- and beige timbered medieval house, in its front a postcard stand decorated with a red umbrella and a woven basket.

Opposite the Dürer House, there is a shop where you can buy Dürer prints and so on.

Info: Albrecht-Dürer-Haus, Albrecht-Dürer-Strasse 39, 90403 Nuremberg, Germany. Hours: Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 5pm. Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 6pm. Closed on Monday (from July to September and during the Christmas market open on Mondays from 10am to 5pm).

The tour with Agnes Dürer: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 3pm. Sunday 11am. This is an ideal occasion to test your German skills, this tour is available in German only.

7. Weissgerbergasse in Nuremberg

Colourful timber-framed houses, romantic gables, and decorative wooden figurines. And, best of all, a whole street lined by these.

The Weissgerbergasse in the heart of Nuremberg's Old Town translates to "Tanner's Lane" in English. In medieval times, it was here on this winding street, that tanners processed animal skins from calves, sheep or goats with the help of alum and salt into fine, light leather. Imagine the time when the street was filled with the sounds of artisans at work and the clinking of tools. The craftsmen had chosen this location strategically. It provided easy access to the Pegnitz River for water required in the tanning process, and to the city wall which was an ideal structure to dry the skin.

Go early and or visit in winter to have the street for yourself.

Two timbered houses on a pedestrianized lane, one in yellow and white decorated with purple flower pots, and the other in soft pastel pink-red-gold with a shop on its ground floor.

A pedestrianized lane along a row of yellow, red, and brown timbered house facades in several places decorated with pink geranium plants.

Facades of a row of yellow, red, and brown timbered houses in several places decorated with pink geranium plants.

A pedestrianized lane along a row of yellow, red, and brown timbered house facades in several places decorated with pink geranium plants.

Black street lamps in front of a row of yellow, red, and brown timbered house facades

Information: Weissgerbergasse, 90403 Nuremberg, Germany. 


8. Nassauer House in Nuremberg

In the centre of the old town, opposite St Lorenz Church, stands the only surviving medieval tower. The red sandstone building was likely built as a residential tower. Its battlements and corner towers made it appear to be a defense structure but were most likely only added for show. It is one of the few examples of Romanesque architecture in town. Don't forget to look up. The upper floors which date back to the 15th century, also have lots of Gohic details, such as the four bay towers under the roof or the stone balustrade with the coat of arms frieze.

The vaulted cellars of the Nassauer House are 800 years old. Climb down to devour Franconian specialties and wines in the restaurant it houses these days. The two lower floors of the restaurant showcase the Romanesque architecture of Nuremberg in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Only a few historical buildings in Nuremberg's old town were not completely destroyed in the Second World War. The Nassauer House is one example.

A sundial painted in white on a medieval stone tower that has the stone statue of an angel on its corner..

Information: Nassauer House, Karolinenestrasse 2, 90403 Nuremberg, Germany.

9. St Elisabeth Church

The classicist building with the impressive dome was consecrated as recently as 1905. The architecture of this church is all about its simple geometry. The Catholic Elisabeth Church is one of the few classicist buildings in Nuremberg. Look up to marvel at the 40 marble, red columns that support the rotunda and the entrance area. The 50-metre-high dome above the rotunda is dominated by twelve monumental apostle statues, arranged in groups of three.

The ceiling of a light yellow coloured giant sized rotunda decorated with stone statues.

Information St Elisabeth Church, Jakobsplatz, 90402 Nürnberg. Hours: Monday to Saturday 9am to 4.30pm, Sunday 1pm to 6pm. Tickets: Free.

10. Memorium Nuremberg Trials

In Nuremberg, only a few stops by tube from the main central station, you can visit the "Memorium Nuremberg Trials". The museum is at its original historical location in the Nuremberg borough of Bärenschanze in Gostenhof. It is good to know as much as we can about history.

From 20 November 1945 to 1 October 1946, 21 surviving figures of the National Socialist regime stood trial at the international court in room 600 in the Nuremberg Court of Justice. They all had committed crimes against peace, and/or war crimes, crimes against humanity, conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes.

With film and sound recordings, you get to see the serious human rights violations and war crimes carried out by Germans in WW2 in explicit detail. The images of the torture and murder are so horribly brutal and disturbing that it is better not to describe them here.

In a cowardly act, many of the National Socialist leaders committed suicide at the end of WW2. They were responsible for what happened but could not be sentenced by the International Military Tribunal.

In 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague was established to prosecute war criminals. At the Memorium Nuremberg Trials, it will instantly become crystal clear to you why international law is of utmost importance. 

A sign in German language stating Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse next to two stone sculptures sitting atop the dark wooden entrance door of a stone grey period property.

A few individual people sitting on six rows of dark wooden benches in a courtroom with dark wooden walls and ceiling, a giant wooden cross at the facing wall.

Info: Memorium Nuremberg Trials. Bärenschanzstraße 72. 90429 Nuremberg, Germany. Take U1 from Nuremberg Hauptbahnhof, get off at Bärenschanze stop. Tickets: Adults EUR 7.50.

11. Breakfast or lunch or dinner in Nuremberg

-Il Disperato Weinbar-

Stop for a break at Italian style Il Disperato Weinbar and have a glass of wine or some cheese, or bruschetta. Fantastic place. Il Disperato Weinbar. Burgstraße 11, 90403 Nuremberg, Germany.

-Alte Küch'n-

Suitable for vegetarians. In late summer or autumn, try one of their chanterelle dishes. The place is decorated in traditional style with rocking horses and beautiful blue and white tiles. Alte Küch'n. Albrecht-Dürer-Straße 3, 90403 Nuremberg, Germany.

-Goldenes Posthorn-

I visit every time I am in Nuremberg. The vegetarian food is delicious, the location and interior are pretty, and I am sad to say that every time I visit the service borders on bad though (please ignore). Goldenes Posthorn. Glöckleinsgasse 2, 90403 Nuremberg, Germany.

Flowers in glass vases on a glass tabletop and a long row of red-, rose- and white wine bottles on a shelf under a wall with framed black and white photos in a room with welcoming cosy light.

Top tip Nuremberg

Try to visit on the weekend of the Bard-Meeting (Bardentreffen). It usually takes places at the height of summer, usually end of July, or on the first weekend in August. All over the old town are band stands with free for all concerts, about 90 concerts in total, and stalls selling food and drinks. There are also many street buskers entertaining crowds at every corner. Expect a vibrant atmosphere. All performances are free for all. 

A little stone statue of a knight on the facade of a stone cathedral.


Travel Information Nuremberg


Visa requirements for Germany

You can apply for the German Schengen Visa, as a Member State of the EU Germany is a member state of the Schengen Area. Visitors from the Schengen countries do not need a passport or visa, only a valid ID-card or passport. Visit this website of the Federal Foreign Office to see whether you need a Visa to visit Germany.


How to get to Nuremberg

-By train: Take the train to the central station, in the centre of Nuremberg.

-By plane: Most European airports offer direct flights to Albrecht Dürer Airport in Nuremberg, the second largest airport in Bavaria. The U2 tube/subway/metro runs from Nuremberg central station to the airport in twelve minutes. Please do not fly short-haul and check whether a train connection is available.


Best time to visit Nuremberg

Temperatures in Nuremberg are lovely in summer and rarely rise above 30 degrees Celsius (June, July, and August). Autumns can be wet and grey. It can get chilly and freezing in winter, with snowfall and temperatures well below zero degrees Celsius. Bring warm clothes (beanie, scarf, gloves, thick winter coat, thick boots) if you decide to visit in the autumn and winter months. 


Germany – Currency and how to pay

Germany is a member of the European Union. The official currency in Germany is the Euro. Exchange money on arrival at the airport, or get some cash at an ATM. You can pay in cash still almost everywhere (to be precise do not be surprised that many shops/restaurants/cafes will only accept cash). Credit cards are not always accepted in Germany.


What language do they speak in Germany?

The official language in Germany is German. You can get by with English in most situations.


Wi-Fi in Nuremberg

Free Wi-Fi is available in most places like hotels, restaurants, cafes, public transport, and museums.

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