We decided to visit Nuremberg because of an invitation by the city’s tourism board. We were invited on a trip which included both the city of Nuremberg and the Franconian Switzerland region.
Due to a tight schedule, we only visited for four days, spending a day and a half (Two nights) in Nuremberg. We arrived in the afternoon by a Germania Airlines flight and traveled on to Franconian Switzerland in the morning, two days later.
We stayed at Melter hotel & Apartments. An excellent 4-star hotel in a central location in the center of the old town. The apartment we got was large, clean and had a modern design. Adjacent to the hotel is the Mondo restaurant, which serves a great breakfast buffet. Hotel price comparison and additional reviews.
The route I’ve described here is a 3-day itinerary, although we did it in a day and a half. Since I’m in favor of taking your time and not hurrying from place to place, I’ve spaced the itinerary out for you, this way you may enjoy the town in peace and quiet. We chose to do as much as possible in a short amount of time to provide content for the blog and present as many options of activities in Nuremberg as possible.
3-day itinerary in Nuremberg
Day 1 – Arrival in Nuremberg, hotel check-in, stroll around town, shopping, modern local restaurant and bar
Arrival at Nuremberg in the afternoon (Landing at 4pm), collecting a rental car we pre-ordered through the Rentalcars website (A car isn’t required in Nuremberg, but since we were planning to travel Franconian Switzerland later, we preferred to rent the car in advance at the airport and return it there before our flight back). You can reach the town center by subway from the airport (Metro).
Check-in to Melter hotel & Apartments
Strolling around town and trying the street food
Coming out of the hotel and turning to the right, you’ll reach a street stalls area within two minutes. Nuremberg’s sausages are especially worth a try. They serve three small sausages in a bun.
The whole area surrounding the hotel has many shopping streets. There are known brands like Zara, Mango, etc, as well as local brands.
Dinner at Restaurant Etzerdla
We met Sarah and Johanna at this restaurant (Representatives of the Nuremberg office of tourism, with whom we’ve constructed the itinerary). The restaurant was a 12-minute walk from our hotel. Etzerdla restaurant (Map).
The restaurant has great reviews and is very popular with the locals, which is a sure sign that it serves good local food.
The restaurant has a beautiful, modern design and the menu is based on the local produce, therefore it changes according to the season and the available fresh ingredients.
We asked Sarah to explain the menu to us a bit, and eventually decided on two starter dishes, two mains and a dessert. For starters we ordered spiced cheese, served with bread and both regular and spring onions and a sausage dish served in vinegar. For mains we ordered the flag dish, a pork shoulder (Slowly cooked) and a dish of Nuremberg sausages with a side of slaw and potato salad.
All the dishes were successful and tasty. I usually don’t like pork as much, but the dish was crunchy and well made. Despite that, Roman had obliterated most of the dish while I had more of the sausages. The cheese starter was unique, and I enjoyed the cheese’s seasoning. The sausage in vinegar was less to my tastes, but Roman liked it a lot. For dessert we had potato pancakes and fresh apple purée. The pancakes weren’t sweet, and Sarah told us they’re used for savory dishes with ham and eggs, as well. I really liked the apple purée, it was honestly a light, delicious dessert. We also ordered an amber beer and Roman had a dark beer.
To top off the night we decided to go to a local bar right by our hotel. The Hannemann bar (Map). It’s a bar designed like a living room with a fun, light atmosphere. Most people there are locals and it feels like sitting at a friend’s house. The place isn’t too big and is usually crowded, so you should visit as early as possible.
Day 2 – Train museum, Walking tour of the city, Castle and local bar
Tip: It’s recommended to buy the Nuremberg card for two days, which will allow you free entrance to all the places I’ll list here for free (Excluding the city tour). The card can be pre-ordered and collected at the information desk in the airport or the tourist information stations around town.
Breakfast at a restaurant adjacent to the hotel
We had a buffet breakfast for 12 euros at the Mondo restaurant (Map), which is adjacent to the hotel we stayed at. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you can visit this restaurant for their breakfast. The price is totally worth it, as it is a high-class buffet meal with hard cheeses, sausages, vegetables, breads, pancakes with berries and more. The meal also includes hot beverages like Cappuccinos, Lattes and more.
The train museum (Map) is an impressive and fascinating museum. The entrance s free with a Nuremberg card and for an additional euro you receive an audio player which explains the museum exhibits by number (It’s recommended to opt for the audio).
The museum has two rather large floors. At first, you’re greeted by exhibits of old train cars, the oldest ones in Germany. There are then full-sized steam trains, one of which you may climb and see the engine room and how it used to be operated.
On the second floor is a Nazi Germany exhibit with trains from that era. There’s also an interesting show of a full miniature train system operated by a controller.
There’s another part with several train and ship exhibits, as well as retro suitcases.
There’s a souvenir shop outside of the museum. We were only there for about an hour but it’s definitely a museum that’s worth a visit.
City tour at 13:00
At every city we visit, we go on a guided tour of the city, usually a free (tip based) tour – which are a great way to learn about the city’s history, as well as discover the city’s major landmarks. The office of tourism offered us to join a tour by them which costs 10 euros a person, which is the tip we usually end up leaving the tour guide on the free tours anyway, so we joined the Tourism office tour (I recommend doing such a tour, so you can take one through the office of tourism or go on the tip based one).
We were a small, 8-person group (From Canada and the US) and our guide, Renate, who spoke excellent English. This tour is 90 minutes. The meeting point was at the tourist information by the fountain (Map). On the tour we passed major landmarks in the city.
During the tour we stopped by a local bakery which makes gingerbread (A kind of local cookie you’ve got to try). Renate managed to bring us a tasting platter to try. This is a recommended place, they make everything themselves.
A nice story Renate told us is about why they say “Everything’s butter”, meaning everything is good (Like we say “Everything’s honey”). As the story goes, they used to bring glassware from far away places, and to keep them safe, they would melt butter and keep the glass in the butter to protect it. Afterwards, they would melt the butter and take the glassware out. When the provider received them and was asked how they are, he would answer that everything’s butter.
We finished the tour by the Imperial castle, then proceeded to it on our own.
Before reaching the castle, there is a nice vantage point over the city which you can visit any hour of the day (Map). The castle area is very pretty and well taken care of, and there is also the well show. At every turning of the hour there is a short, 10-minute show, at a 50-meter-deep well which took 10 years to dig manually. The show is really cute and worth visiting if you’re in the area.
The castle has a museum and gardens as well.
Entrance to the gardens is around the castle and is always open. (Map to the gardens). The museum itself opens at 10am.
The gardens are beautiful and have benches where you can just sit and enjoy the view of the city and the vegetation.
Kater Murr, local bar
Another local bar in walking distance of our hotel (Melter hotel). This is a very nice local bar with good music and a light atmosphere. We sat at the bar. Honestly, we were exhausted from the long day and didn’t feel like having alcohol, so we ordered passion fruit juice mixed with soda and relaxed. This bar also serves a mostly local crowd. Map.
Day 3 – Tour of dungeons used as a beer brewery, toy museum, Nazi party museum, lake and trendy neighborhood
Breakfast at the Mondo restaurant adjacent to Melter hotel
Tour of cellars which used to be a beer brewery
On Saturdays and Sundays there are tours in the English language at 11:15am. We went on a Friday and so had to take the German tour, we did however have English audio (You press a number according to the exhibit), and despite the tour being in German, the guide speaks English as well and can be asked questions, which makes the experience just fine. The tour was about 75 minutes long.
The first stop is the entrance to the cellar, from which you go down and enter a 68-meter tunnel that is only 1.65m in height, so you have to walk slouched (Especially Roman since he’s really tall :)).
The cellar has four floors, the first being the oldest and the fourth being the newest. The further down you go, the higher the ceilings are. The first floor doesn’t exist anymore, since a parking lot was built in its stead.
The place was established about 700 years ago to prepare and cool beers. They made very large quantities of beer, since people used to only drink beer (The water was contaminated). During the second world war the cellars served as a shelter from the bombings (Most of Nuremberg’s structures were destroyed during the bombings). People hid in basements contacted by tunnels which allowed escape in case of a fire.
The cellars were active until about 100 years ago, when modern refrigeration for beers was invented. The cellars were used to make pickles for a while, but that was stopped as well. Today the cellars don’t see much use, besides a boutique company which smokes Schnapps there, but at small amounts – so today the cellars are mostly touristic.
At the end there are also beer and whiskey tastings (First beer tasting is free). Roman liked the whiskey there a lot and decided to buy a bottle to bring back home with two fancy glasses.
Shortly put, we enjoyed the tour a lot and I found it light and interesting.
This is a charming museum suitable for both kids and adults. There is also audio in English explaining every exhibition.
The toy museum has three floors. You start on the third floor, where there’s a board games for kids area. You then see toys sorted by decade, from the 20’s, 30’s, 30’s and so on.
We liked seeing the toys from our childhood (The 80’s-90’s). We saw toys we used to have, which was a nice, nostalgic experience – Like a troll doll and Furby toys. In essence, people of all ages can find the toys from their childhood there.
On the other floors there are many dollhouses from 1800-1900 which is really cool, as you can learn a lot about the period. How houses looked, the tools they used, the attire and so forth. There are miniature train models and larger dolls.
It’s a very nice museum which takes you back to your childhood, as well as allowing you to learn more about the past through toys. Map.
Lunch at a traditional, local restaurant
Bratwursthäusle restaurant. A recommended restaurant in the old town which delicious Nuremberg sausages (As you can see, I’ve become addicted to those :)). The restaurant is very popular with locals as well as tourists and is full most of the time (We joined a table with another couple, as there were not empty spaces). We ordered two dishes of 6 sausages with potato salad (Roman regretted not ordering a dish of 12, as he was really hungry, and they were delicious). We also ordered beer and received breads and bagels with them. The service is good and fast, and the atmosphere is fun and jovial. Map.
Nazi party museum
This museum is outside the old town and can be reached by bus.
It’s a museum teaching the history of the Nazi party. How it came to power and why people followed it so blindly and admiringly (Museum website).
There’s an option for audio in English (Recommended).
Tip: If there’s a long line waiting for the cashier and you have the Nuremberg card, you can simply go straight to the audio station and show them the card to get the audio without waiting in line.
I think it’s important to visit this museum even if you’re only visiting for a little while, as it’s a part of our history. One of the things I connected to the most in this museum was an exhibit regarding the holocaust. There is a train track with 60 thousand notes, each note with a name of a Jewish person murdered in the war, along with his information. Each such person represents 100 more who were murdered, since a 6 million note exhibit would require a 4km track!
By the way, near the museum is a beautiful lake where you can rent a pedal boat, go on a hike or sit on the benches by the lake (As a break from the museum).
A trendy neighborhood with cafés and cool store (The stores close at 7pm, so it’s recommended to arrive before that). Unfortunately, we arrived quite late and didn’t get to go in the shops, but we went to a nice café called Salon Regina (Map).
It was a bit chilly, so I decided to get a ginger, lemon and honey tea and Roman had bubbling pear juice. We also ordered Currywurst. (I’ve had enough sausage in Nuremberg to last me for the next couple of months). The dish came with a tasty salad and a bun.
The atmosphere at the café was very nice, it was constantly full of people and some even come in alone to have some coffee or work with their laptops.
To summarize, our experience in Nuremberg was really good, full of activities and too short 🙂 I’ve no doubt we’ll be going back there, for a longer stay this time. Other than that, the area itself is gorgeous!