Nuremberg sights for independent travellers

What to see in Bavaria Nuremberg

The Bavarian city of Nuremberg is interesting with its medieval architecture, recreated after the war. The main sights of the city.

Carefully reconstructed historic buildings are the main attractions of Nuremberg. This Bavarian city with a population of half a million is also known for its signature sausages, gingerbread and toys.


The first mention of the castle-castle Norenberc dates back to the mid-11th century. Soon the castle became the residence of Germanic kings, and was named Kaiserburg. In the XIII century the posthumous fame of Sebald the Hermit who used to live in the neighborhood contributed to the development of the town. A church was built in his honor. At the beginning of the 16th century the imperial regalia were transferred to Kaiserburg. The next two centuries the city developed and expanded, attracting artists and scientists.

Much less successful for Nuremberg was the 17th century. Payoff from the participation in European Thirty Years’ War significantly shook the financial condition of the city. The period of decline gave way to the industrial boom of the XVIII-XIX centuries. During this period many factories and plants appeared in the city.

The first half of the XX century. – is the darkest page of Nuremberg’s history. It became the center of ideas of Nazism. Nuremberg is notorious for Nazi party congresses and the misanthropic racial laws passed there. The terrible retaliation was the almost total destruction of the city by bombing. After the defeat of Nazism, the Nuremberg trials were held here. It took two post-war decades to rebuild the Old Town.

Historical sights

These include Nuremberg castles, religious buildings and other places of interest:

Imperial Castle (Kaiserburg)

The Imperial Castle is one of the largest in Germany. For 5 centuries it was the imperial residence. As noted above, Kaiserburg played a city-forming role for Nuremberg. The complex, in addition to the palace, includes a chapel, chapel, three watchtowers, service buildings, and a museum. It exhibits weapons, armor, household items, and astronomical instruments. The Emperor’s Castle is open to visitors from 9 to 18 hours from April to September and from 10 to 16 hours from October to March.

Tuchers Castle (Tucherschloss)

This aristocratic summer residence was built in the 16th century. The sandstone building was built in the Renaissance style with Gothic elements and is surrounded by a beautiful park. The exhibition of the museum opened here introduces visitors to the comfortable life of a wealthy German family. The second floor of the building has an impressive ballroom with beautiful stained-glass windows depicting ancient gods and heroes. In the park there is a small one-storey house, famous for the ceiling painting “The Fall of Phaeton”, made by Durer’s pupil Georg Penthey.

To visit the castle preferably on Sunday. Only on this day you can visit the castle with the medieval hostess Katharina Tuscher. The cost of the entrance ticket – 5 EUR.

Church of St. Sebald (Sebalduskirche)

The surviving Sebalduskirche was erected in 1480 to replace the old one. The oldest Gothic church, with later Baroque additions, is dedicated to the hermit Sebald, who lived in the nearby woods in the 8th century. In the 15th century he was canonized and became the town’s patron saint. The interior of the church is highlighted by the sculptural compositions of Peter Fischer – “Madonna in a Wreath of Rays” and the impressive tombstone of the saint Schreier-Landauersche Grabmal. Fischer, originally a master of bronze casting, elevated this craft to the level of art.

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St. Lorenz Cathedral (Kirche St. Lorenz)

The beautiful Gothic cathedral of the Kirche St. Lorenz was built in the middle of the 13th century. The towers of the triple-nave basilica soar to a height of 80 meters. The church bell tower has 16 bells. The most striking feature of the interior is the 20-meter high carved monstrance by the sculptor and architect Adam Kraft. In the choir area is a work by another prominent sculptor, Veit Stoss. In the center of the composition “Annunciation” are the figures of the Virgin Mary and the Archangel Gabriel in a wreath of 55 gilded roses and medallions.

Church of the Virgin Mary (Frauenkirche)

The 14th century Frauenkirche on the market square is not a Lutheran church. The 16th century clock on the front of the church has moving figures of the seven princes who swore an oath before Emperor Charles IV. They can be seen and photographed at noon. Inside the church is an interesting ancient altar Tucheraltar, the sculpture of the Madonna on it, and a 15th-century triptych with scenes from the earthly life of Christ.

Church of St. Clara (Klarakirche)

The church was built in the 13th century and functioned as a nunnery for the first two centuries. It became a Catholic parish church in the middle of the 19th century. In the interior two altars of the Cross and Mary and a wooden sculpture of the Virgin Mary attract attention. In front of the church stands a bronze statue of the biblical righteous man Job who lost everything in life but remained faithful to God.

Church of St. Martha (MarthaKirche)

The Gothic Church of St. Martha was built at the end of the 14th century. Its three altars are dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Holy Trinity and the 12 Apostles. It was at that time that the stained-glass windows preserved until today were created. During the Reformation and the persecution of Catholicism, the church was closed and turned over to the Meistersingers (poet-singers) for rehearsals. Services were not resumed until a century later. Now MarthaKirche operates as an evangelical church.

Fountain (Schöner Brunnen)

The mediaeval “Beautiful Fountain” in the form of a Gothic spire was already built in the 14th century. Master Heinrich Bechheim carved a series of biblical and historical figures on four levels.

  • Moses surrounded by 7 prophets of the Old Testament;
  • 7 Curfews and 3 heroes of antiquity (Caesar and Alexander the Great among them), Judaism (King David) and Christianity (King Arthur and Charlemagne);
  • 4 evangelists and 4 Church Fathers;
  • 8 representatives of philosophy (Socrates) and 7 medieval school subjects – music (Pythagoras figure), geometry (Euclid), astronomy (Ptolemy), arithmetic, logic (Aristotle), oratory (Cicero), grammar.

The figures of wiggling devils below, according to tradition, were supposed to scare away unclean forces.

Almost all tourists spin a bronze ring, which, according to belief, fulfills a wish. However, it is not this ring that locals consider miraculous, but an inconspicuous iron ring located on the opposite side of the fountain.

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Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus)

From the former Gothic building of the XIV century, the Great Town Hall remains. In the 17th century, the town hall was rebuilt in the Italian Renaissance style. In the Middle Ages there was a prison in the cellars. Now they are home to the original Museum of Torture.

the city walls (Stadtmauer)

The powerful defensive buildings, encircling the Old Town, have been known since the 11th century. Thanks to them Nuremberg was not taken until 1945. In the corners of the walls surrounded by a moat there were four massive towers. Several gates and pedestrian passages led to the medieval city that were closed at night.

All of the listed sights can be visited on the very convenient Nuremberg City Tour “Historical Mile”. This route, which includes a tour of 35 major sights in the city center, is especially convenient for tourists with a short stay in Nuremberg.

What museums to visit

What else is there to see and do in Nuremberg? There are several interesting museums in the city.

Dürer Museum (Albrecht Dürer Haus)

The city is the birthplace of the outstanding Renaissance painter and graphic artist Albrecht Dürer. Interesting is a four-storey medieval building from the 15th century in Albrecht Dürer Strasse 39, where he lived. The first two floors are of sandstone and the top two are half-timbered. The building was almost unscathed by the bombing. There is now a Dürer museum and an art exhibition here. Demonstrates the techniques of woodcuts (engravings on wood), which the artist raised to the level of real art.

To visit the Dürer Museum, located near Kaiserburg, you can every day from 10 am to 5 pm except Mondays for 5 EUR. There is also an audio guide in Russian. Opposite the museum is a gift store, where everyone who shows a ticket to the museum will be rewarded with a small gift.

German National Museum (Germanisches National-Museum)

German National Museum is the largest museum in the country. Its exhibits cover the period from prehistoric times to the late Middle Ages. Products of modern craftsmen are also represented. Dürer’s original paintings, prints and sketches are kept here. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 to 18 hours and on Wednesday until 21.

Toy Museum (Spielzeugmuseum)

The Toy Museum shows hundreds of toys from the 18th to 20th centuries. Among them are unique exhibits such as an antique bronze cube and a Peruvian doll. The pride of the collection is the miniature railroad placed by local craftsmen on 30 m 2. Days and opening times are Tuesday to Friday from 10 to 17, and Saturday and Sunday – until 18 o’clock.

Information for tourists

The Tourist Information Centers are located at the addresses:

  • Königstraße 93 90402 (opposite the railway station), opening hours from 9 to 19 (Sunday 10-16);
  • Hauptmarkt 18 90403 (in the market square), from 9 to 18-19 hours.

Which routes do you use to get to the city?

Nuremberg International Airport receives flights from major European and Russian cities. AirBerlin, SwissAir, and Lufthansa airlines fly here, with quick connections in Dusseldorf, Berlin, Vienna, or Zurich. Approximate cost of the flight is 250 EUR. Nuremberg Airport is located almost in the city limits. The center of the old city on the subway line U2 can be reached in 15 minutes. An alternative – a cab for 15 EUR.

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In summer you can save money by taking a ticket to Munich with substantial discounts from Aeroflot, AirBerln, and Austrian Airlines. From there you can get to Nuremberg by express trains ICE (1 hour, 50 EUR) or regional RE (about 2 hours, 30 EUR).

The trains run from the cities:

  • Berlin (about 5 hours, from 80 EUR to 120 EUR)
  • Frankfurt (2 hours, from 40 EUR to 64 EUR)
  • Vienna (4 hours 40 min, from 85 EUR to 130 EUR)
  • Prague (about 6 hours, from 32 EUR to 50 EUR).

And buses to the city from the main railway station of Berlin take 6 hours and cost from 17 EUR to 21 EUR.

Intercity transport

The preferred way to get around the historic city center is on foot. For EUR 18 per day you can rent a bicycle from numerous rental stations.

The city has three subway lines (U-Bahn and S-Bahn), six streetcars (Tram) and dozens of bus lines. There is a convenient way to buy a universal ticket for all these forms of urban transport. It can be done at VAG/VGN vending machines. The cost is 1.6 EUR for travel within one fare zone. Inside the city tourists can go to zone K-2.

What else can you do in the city

If you have time, you can combine your stay in the city with a visit to interesting places, located relatively close to the city. First of all Regensburg and Munich. The magnificent Bavarian castle Neuschwanstein is a bit further. But it is recommended to go to him from Nuremberg.

What to buy as a gift? The rare tourist will leave without its famous edible souvenir – honey gingerbread Lebkuchen, flavored with nuts, candied fruits and ginger. They are sold in different versions everywhere. Another original souvenir is an inconspicuous black mug. When it’s filled with hot liquid you can see a colorful panorama of the city on its sides. You can buy the mug in the bookstore at Karolinenstraße, 53 for 13 EUR. Local craftsmen are also famous for very beautiful and varied Christmas decorations.

An indispensable attribute of a visit to Nuremberg are Bratwürste fried sausages. They are served with a variety of side dishes. In most cases it is sauerkraut or mashed potatoes. In high-end establishments (such as the Bratwursthäusle on Rathausplatz), Bratwürste are framed by onion and horseradish sauce. And in the street vendors, the sausages are simply wrapped in rolls.

What to see in Nuremberg?

Nuremberg, Germany

What to see in Nuremberg in 1-2 days on your own? Walking itinerary, sightseeing descriptions, ticket prices 2022. And also: where to stay in Nuremberg – in this article.

Nuremberg is the second largest city in Bavaria. In addition, this is where, as everyone knows, the famous post-war tribunal for Nazi criminals was held. Obviously, these two qualities are already beckoning to the tourist!

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If you add to this lovingly restored after the war ancient buildings, we have to admit – to see Nuremberg is a must. Apparently, right after a visit to Munich and the main castle of all Germany, Neuschwanstein.

Curiously, recognizing the importance and intimate beauty of the Bavarian city, tourists rarely take more than 1 day to explore Nuremberg. Everyone is in a hurry: to the “Romantic Road”, Augsburg, back to Munich or in general – to the Alps.

Unfair? Absolutely not! But how else can you see Bavaria during your standard two vacation weeks?

View of Nuremberg from the castle

Nuremberg – Day 1

You can get down to business as soon as you step outside the city train station. Even though the main local attraction, Nuremberg Castle, is a mile and a half from the station, you won’t feel the lack of sights.

Note that in the shopping center adjacent to the station there is a city tourist center, which provides a free map. And also stores and catering establishments that reinforce the strength before the hike.

Literally the first thing that catches your eye upon entering the street is the smoky cylinder of the Frauentor and the adjoining piece of fortress wall. One shouldn’t miss it, because the courtyard is home to the Handwerkerhof, the craftsman’s quarter. Where they make and sell handmade souvenirs. Believe me – to bring such a souvenir is much nicer than the Chinese magnet.

Then we go on Konigstrasse in the direction of the church of St. Lawrence. But don’t forget to look around. Don’t miss the recently restored Protestant church of St. Martha, hidden in a dead end on the right. And St. Clara’s Catholic Church on the left hand side.

St. Lawrence Church

Nuremberg’s Lorenzkirche is a Lutheran church set within a Gothic Catholic cathedral. Unlike most of its brethren, even after the Reformation it retained much of the opulent decoration of its predecessor:

In this way it can be regarded as a museum of religious art. Which further strengthens the intention to go inside, even if for a fee.

On the other side of the street stands Nassauer Haus. A unique example of 16th century residential architecture, for good reason enclosed in a tower shell.

We continue exploring Nuremberg and walk to the Museumsbrücke across the Pegnitz River. This is where the most famous view of the city comes from: the former Holy Spirit Hospital (Heilig-Geist-Spital), built in the 14th century. Once Germany’s largest hospital and care home, it now retains only one of its functions as a nursing home for the elderly.

Former St. Spirit Hospital in Nuremberg, Germany


The main, aka Market Square, is the largest square in the city. Here rises the graceful Church of Our Lady, Frauenkirche, built in the 14th century. And the famous Schöner Brunen is arranged. Fountain, which is believed to have a remarkable property. If you spin the bronze (for tourists) or metal (for locals) ring on the fence, a wish will certainly come true.

Do not be late for the ride! At noon, the clock on the main facade, Männleinlaufen, starts a costume show on the theme of the Golden Bull, which gave the German principalities their sovereignty in the 14th century.

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Christmas market in Nuremberg

It is on the Hauptmarkt that Nuremberg’s largest and most colorful Christmas market opens in winter.

Before you reach the fortress, cast a glance (or better yet, walk in) at the ancient church of St. Sebald, with exceptional energy inside.

Nuremberg Fortress

As it should be, it stands on a hill. Not so high that you could enjoy a bird’s eye view. But enough to look over the rooftops. Previously, panorama lovers climbed Silverthurm, the tallest tower.

Nuremberg Castle, view from Silverthurm

For information about the cost of admission to all the rooms, including the well, click here:

At the foot of the fortress is the Albrecht Dürer House Museum. A beautiful building in the half-timbered style – inside there is an exhibition devoted not so much to the famous artist as to his era. For a more complete immersion in the Middle Ages there are guided tours.

Where to Stay

We recommend the Centr Apartments Nürnberg in the center, a short walk from the Lorenzkirche. It can comfortably accommodate from 3 to 6 guests. The slightly more expensive Nürnberg City Apart is also worth considering.

The cozy 3-star Burghotel Nürnberg is a 5-minute walk from the castle, in the old “Sebald Side”. The price includes a swimming pool and sauna, and guests who have a car will enjoy a discount for the adjacent parking.

Day 2

On the second day in Nuremberg we suggest seeing the beautiful Weissgerbergasse with its nice half-timbered houses. And then pay a little attention to the local museums.

Half-timbered street, Nuremberg

For example, toys, housed in an old 16th century house on Karlstraße 13-15. The city has been the center of puppet production in Europe for centuries, and the collection of this museum is unique in every way. The 6€ (children 4-18: 1.5€) that you pay for a ticket definitely doesn’t go to waste: There is an audio guide in Russian – you won’t be left in the dark!

We also recommend the museum in the Fembo House, which tells the story of the city. Rich exposition, beautiful interiors, and an excellent wooden model of the Altstadt. Prices are similar. But if you pay only 3 € extra, you can visit the Fembo House with a ticket to the Toy Museum.

Outside of the old city it is worth paying attention to the art German National Museum, which has a nice collection of classical paintings and prints. And – for those interested – the Transportation Museum with a rich exhibition depicting the development of railroads in Germany.

The Documentation Center of the NSDAP party congresses, housed in a huge, gruff Nazi-era building, immerses visitors in not the happiest pages of Nuremberg’s history. Hitler’s favorite city, and the place where the Nazi party congresses were held. It is located at a distance from the old city. And not every traveler will be motivated to get there.


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