Travel after lockdown: Nuremberg
Updated: Aug 8, 2020
From north German Hanseatic cities to small, southern Bavarian towns, there are certain places in Germany we can’t wait to visit or re-visit now that travel restrictions are easing. This week’s recommendation is Nuremberg.
Nuremberg (Nürnberg) is a historically and culturally rich city, located in the picturesque region of Franconia, Bavaria. It’s the second-largest Bavarian city, often overshadowed by nearby Munich (München), the largest city in the region and a beloved tourist destination.
Despite Munich’s clear charm, Nuremberg has a lot to offer; from its charming old town lined with colourful, half-timbered houses encircled by a medieval town wall, to its thought-provoking and sometimes dark history, as well as stunning medieval and gothic architecture.
After short stroll from Nuremberg’s Hauptbahnhof, you find Königstraße, home to countless shops and restaurants, as well as the towering Gothic-style Lorenzkirche and Handwerkerhof Nürnberg. Handwerkerhof Nürnberg is a unique, medieval shopping area, filled with small stores selling traditional crafts and treats, such as Nuremberg’s famous Lebkuchen, Franconian beer and Nürnberger Bratwurst. St Elisabethkirche, a Roman Catholic church with a visually intriguing structure, and the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, a museum dedicated to culture and art, are only a ten-minute walk from the Handwerkerhof.
Two waterways, the Pegnitz River and Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, flow through Nuremberg, under architecturally impressive bridges such as the late Renaissance Fleischbrücke, which links Nuremberg’s two old town districts: St. Sebald and St. Lorenz. Nuremberg’s lively Hauptmarkt is home to various stalls, as well as the unique Gothic Frauenkirche and the gold Schöner Brunnen. In the early winter, Nuremberg’s marketplace is taken over by its wonderful, world-renowned Christmas market.
On the north side of Nuremberg’s Altstadt lies Albrecht-Dürer-Platz, home to the medieval St Sebalduskirche, Tiergärtnertor and Albrecht-Dürer-Haus, the former home of renowned German Renaissance artist, Albrecht Dürer. Nearby, you can also find Nuremberg’s famous Spielzeugmuseum.
A little further along the cobblestone streets, at the top of the steep sandstone cliffs, lies Kaiserburg: a striking, medieval castle, which carried much power and importance during the Holy Roman Empire. It’s a must-see for history enthusiasts, as well as for sightseers, who can marvel at the spectacular views of the city from the castle’s observation platform.
Last but not least, a visit to the exhibition at the Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds provides a comprehensive and educational insight into the party’s mass rallies in the south-eastern part of the city and Nuremberg’s darker historical legacy as a city associated with the crimes of the Nazis. You may need to set aside up to 2-3 hours to take in the whole exhibition.
This charming city is great for a weekend trip, as it has many beautiful sights to see, as well as historically significant and educational sites to explore.