Nuremberg will charm you from the moment you set eyes on the iconic red roofs of its Altstadt (Old Town). The city is home to a centuries-old tradition for baking delectable sweets and a thriving local food scene for you to sample as you explore. Nuremberg has played a key role in Germany's history, and today emerges as a vibrant modern city.
Nuremberg is a jewel of preserved medieval architecture, from the glorious Imperial Castle (Kaiserburg) that overlooks the old town to the 14th-century Frauenkirche.
The city is a foodies' haven, from the dark-hued traditional Bavarian beers, juicy sausages, and sauerkraut, to high-end fusion fine dining.
The city's famous gingerbread, chocolates, and other sweets deserve a mention all of their own. Called Lebkuchen in German, the spicy gingerbread-like treat dates back to the Middle Ages, and is said to have been a favorite of emperor Friedrich III.
From beer halls to chic lounges, dance clubs to live music venues, you'll find lively crowds and a party-till-you-drop spirit.
Nuremberg and its immediate area is home to the headquarters of many renowned brands like Siemens, Puma, and Adidas, and you'll find factory outlet stores where you can score great deals.
Reckoned by experts to be one of the best-defended medieval fortresses, the Nürnberger Burg (Castle) was constructed by the Holy Roman Empire in the 12th and 13th centuries to symbolize its mighty power. Inside the castle complex you'll find some stunning attractions like the Imperial Chapel that's built on two levels: one for the Emperor and one for the common people. When you wander around the site, it's sobering (and impressive) to remember that it was almost destroyed in World War II before being reconstructed meticulously in the 1950s.
There's no better introduction to German culture than a visit to the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, which is located at the south end of the Old City. First opened in 1852, the museum's collections run from prehistory through the Middle Ages, the Baroque era and the 19th and the 20th centuries, and it features wonderful collections of armor, musical instruments, clothing and toys. But, best of all, it houses a stunning art collection including works by world-famous artists like Cranach the Elder, Durer and a goggle-eyed, eccentric self portrait by Rembrandt. All-in-all, it's a treasure trove for history and art lovers.
Germany's finest railway museum, the DB Museum (DB standing for "Deutsche Bahn") is situated next to Nuremberg's Opera House and Staatstheater, and it's a treat for transportation fans. See the royal train of Bavarian King Ludwig II (famous for his Disney-style castles), steam trains from the 1850s and a massive collection of model trains, villages and landscapes. If you're there, don't miss the talk which takes place every hour and explains everything about how the model and real railways work.
Located on the eastern side of the city's main marketplace, the Frauenkirche is its architectural highlight. Built by the Emperor Charles IV in the 14th century, this Catholic church has a stupendous Gothic exterior and an even more impressive interior. Don't miss the 700-year-old Männleinlaufen: a clock which still chimes midday without fail every day of the week. Make sure to also see the sculptures by medieval master Adam Kraft in the main body of the church. If you have the time, mass is also an enchanting experience, as the Frauenkirche fills with organ music. It's a visual and sonic feast.
Unfortunately, Nuremberg has a dark side. In the 1930s, the Dokumentationszentrum Reichsparteitagsgelände were used by the Nazi Party to host massive rallies to build support and demonize the party's enemies. You may have seen them in footage from the famous Leni Riefenstahl movie Triumph of the Will. Nowadays, the parade grounds are a fascinating place. Areas like the Luitpoldarena have been turned into peaceful gardens, but the Kongresshalle (which Hitler intended to be a national event venue for future rallies) remains intact. Visitors can enter the building and see the Fascination and Terror exhibition, which documents how this intriguing and terrifying place came to be.
With a cool, temperate climate, summer is a popular time for tourist visits. The city is also extremely popular during the Christmas season due to its large Christmas market.
Nuremberg Airport (NUE) lies about 5 miles from the city center. The cheapest way to get there is via the U2 subway line (12 minutes, EUR2.40).
The city is connected to Munich and beyond to most major centers in Bavaria and the rest of Germany via a reliable train service.
Autobahns A3, A6, A73, and A9 connect Nuremberg to the rest of Bavaria and beyond to other regions in the country and the rest of Europe.
Extensive bus service is available to other centers in Germany and the rest of Europe via Eurolines.
The Hotel Elch lets you stay in a 14th-century house near the Kaiserburg, while the Hotel Marienbad offers a convenient location with modern furnishings and facilities.
Altstadt - this is where you'll find many of the city's historic attractions, including the Kaiserburg, and the 13th-century St. Sebalduskirche.
Gostenhof - this district on the outskirts of the city is where you will find the Nicolaus Copernicus Planetarium, along with theater venues like the Gostner Hoftheater.
Knoblauchsland - this district is where you will find the city's famous markets, including farmer's markets and the yearly Christmas market.
The Nuremberg subway covers the city with three different lines, along with a bus and tram service. Fares vary by zone, starting at EUR2.40. A day ticket covers zone A for EUR4.80.
Taxis are plentiful in Nuremberg, with fares starting at EUR3.40, and costing EUR1.75 for each additional 0.6 of a mile.
You'll want to explore most of the city, including the old town, on foot, and parking is scarce in some areas. A compact rental starts at about EUR65, and you'll find Enterprise and Hertz in town.
The city's shopping district is centered around Breite Gasse and Karolinenstraße, where you'll find large department stores and well-known brands. Some outlet stores are located in nearby Herzogenaurach.
REWE and Lidl are just two of the city's many supermarkets. A gallon of milk costs about EUR2.60 and a dozen eggs will set you back around EUR1.80.
The Albrecht Dürer Stube is inspired by the medieval artist who was born in Nuremberg, and offers traditional regional cuisine starting at EUR6 for mains. For sausages grilled to perfection, look to the Bratwursthäusle, where mains start at EUR7.20.