Bavaria is home to some of Germany’s most interesting and impressive destinations, and the city of Nuremberg is surely one of them. Its historical center quickly wins visitors over with its quaint character and postcard-worthy scenery. The city is also a good place to learn how the terror of Nazi Germany came to be.
If you’re looking for somewhere to add to your itinerary in southern Germany, Nuremberg should definitely be it. You can reasonably cover the city’s main attractions in just a day, especially if you follow our Nuremberg itinerary, which will show you precisely what to do in Nuremberg in one day.
Best Time to Visit Nuremberg
To get the most from your time in Nuremberg, pay close attention to what the city is like at different times of the year. Like most of Germany, Nuremberg experiences four distinct seasons and vastly different weather in each one. There are also festivals and the tourist high season to consider.
For a good balance of decent weather and fewer tourists, the best time to visit Nuremberg is spring or autumn. From March to May and late October to November, the weather should be quite nice for outdoor sightseeing, while the city shouldn’t be too busy. You might want to avoid coming around Oktoberfest, as there tend to be many local visitors then along with tourists.
Another good time to visit Nuremberg is in late November and December, when you can catch one of Germany’s most famous Christmas markets. While the markets are fun, you should expect accommodations to be more expensive and the city to be much busier. You’re likely to encounter both of these conditions in summer as well, but with hot weather and none of the merry atmosphere that the markets bring.
How to Get Around Nuremberg
When visiting Nuremberg, you’ll naturally want to know the best ways to get around the city. Most of your time in Nuremberg will likely be spent in the Altstadt (Old Town), except for the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds, which is out past the Südstadt district.
You’d think getting around on foot would be your only option in a historic center like Nuremberg’s; however, buses and the metro are available and useful for traveling around inside the Old Town. Beyond the city walls, you also have trams and the S-Bahn urban trains to help you.
Tickets are shared across all the networks and start at €3.20 for a single trip, while ticket types like short-trip and all-day cards are also available. You can buy tickets from the machines at stations and stops or on the VGN app.
Where to Stay in Nuremberg
Working out where to stay is often the most time-intensive part of planning a trip. You’re trying not only to learn the layout of a new city, but also to find somewhere that suits your budget and needs. If you leave it too long, you risk the best places to stay in Nuremberg all being booked.
The good news is that understanding where to stay in Nuremberg is relatively easy. If possible, you’ll want to stay in the Old Town, surrounding yourself with its attractions and restaurants. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to stay as close to the city walls as possible. To make things even easier, we’ve found the best recommendations for Nuremberg – for travelers of any budget.
To treat yourself during your time in Nuremberg, choose the Sheraton Carlton Nuernberg. This five-star hotel is just a block from the city walls and features rooms with classic modern decor, as well as a spa and a rooftop terrace.
If you’d prefer a reasonably priced option that doesn’t sacrifice comfort, look no further than the Nürnberg City Apart. This two-bedroom apartment is an excellent value, thanks to its Old Town location and many amenities, including a fully equipped kitchenette.
For travelers on a tighter budget, Bruderherz is the best option in Nuremberg – one of those German cities that doesn’t really do “budget” accommodation. This clean and modern hotel offers dorm rooms in a great Old Town location near the station.
You should also look at Airbnb if you’re after affordable accommodations in Nuremberg. You’ll often find a wider variety of rental types and price points on this platform than hotels can offer.
For more accommodation options in Nuremberg, check out Booking.com. This site consistently offers the best rates, and its customer service is on point.
The Perfect 1-Day Nuremberg Itinerary
One day in a city like Nuremberg may not feel like enough time. Fortunately, the best of Nuremberg is situated in such a way that you really only need one day in Nuremberg to see what makes it special – as long as you know where you’re going and what you’re looking for, which is where this itinerary comes in. You’ll explore the Old Town and even have time for one of Nuremberg’s outer attractions.
However, before we get to our Nuremberg itinerary, we just wanted to remind you to purchase travel insurance. You never know what will happen and, trust us, you do not want to get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills. As a wise man once said, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.” So don’t leave home without it.
SafetyWing offers travel insurance for only about $10 a week, making it a no-brainer to get. You can get a quick, non-binding quote below:
SafetyWing is, of course, not the only option available. Two other popular alternatives are World Nomads and Heymondo.
Having touched on that always-important advice, let’s get to the Nuremberg travel itinerary, taking a look at how you can fit all the best things to do in Nuremberg in just one day.
Many of the best places to visit in Nuremberg are in its historic center, known simply as the Altstadt. It’s there that you’ll find all manner of landmarks and attractions, each with its own storied past. Interestingly, the Old Town of Nuremberg is divided into two sections by the Pegnitz River. To the south lies Altstadt St. Lorenz, while the northern section is Altstadt St. Sebald.
We’ll cover the main attractions in Altstadt below, but a few deserve special mention. One is the towering Gothic church of St. Lorenz, which looks distinctly medieval despite its heavy restoration after World War II. Another is the street of Weissgerbergasse, which is an absolute delight to walk through, thanks to the vibrant half-timbered houses that flank it. It’s also a good idea to allow a little extra time just to wander around the Altstadt and discover it for yourself.
Recommendation: To learn about the largest German cities at the heart of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in the Middle Ages, consider booking this guided walking tour. You’ll get to explore the romantic Old Town of Nuremberg with a knowledgeable guide and discover the city’s main attractions, such as Albrecht Dürer’s House, Nuremberg Castle, Tiergärtnertorplatz, and the Hauptmarkt with the beautiful fountain and the Frauenkirche. You can book your spot on this tour here.
Every city in Germany has a main square. In Nuremberg, that square is the Hauptmarkt. One of the square’s two major attractions is Schöner Brunnen, a glorious golden fountain. This gilded Gothic monument dates all the way back to the 14th century. The other noteworthy landmark is the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), which dates from the same time and has art from the Middle Ages inside. Hauptmarkt is also where you’ll find the city’s iconic Christmas market.
Carving its way through the middle of Nuremberg is the Pegnitz, creating pretty scenery wherever it goes. You’ll definitely want to walk along the river to see it all, crisscrossing from one bank to the other.
As you go, you’ll cross an interesting variety of old bridges, each highlighting a different period in the city’s history. For instance, the 16th-century Fleischbrücke looks quite elegant with its Renaissance stone design, while the Henkerbrücke is full of medieval charm. You’ll know you’ve hit the end of the riverfront when you hit the Schlayerturm, part of the city’s fortifications.
Walking deeper into the Old Town, you’ll want to find your way to Tiergärtnertorplatz. This square in the Altstadt’s northeast corner sits just outside the Tiergärtnertor, one of the most impressive city gates.
But the gate is just one of many fascinating sights that surround this square. You’ll see a variety of half-timbered homes, plus the city walls and the castle looming over the plaza. This is also where you’ll discover Albrecht Dürer’s House, where the renowned Renaissance artist once lived, now serving as a museum of his life’s work.
Imperial Castle of Nuremberg
Covering the hill at the northern end of the Old Town is the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg, the most important historic attraction in the city. The complex was once a residence for the Holy Roman emperors, and today you can explore its courtyards, terraces, and castle museum, which has a permanent exhibition detailing the importance of the Holy Roman Empire and Nuremberg’s place in it. You can also enjoy some spectacular views out over the city from the castle.
Though you’ll have encountered them at least once already, it’s time to take a closer look at the city walls of Nuremberg. Directly below the castle you’ll find the Burggarten, peaceful gardens sitting atop a section of the walls. While up there, you can enjoy various views along the city walls on this side of the Old Town. It’s also possible to walk along a section of the walls that directly look down on Tiergärtnertorplatz. Otherwise, just go for a stroll weaving in and out of the walls, and admire them on your way.
Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds
Leaving the city center behind, head several kilometers southeast to the museum at the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds. This area was once the designated rallying place for the Nazi Party and an unfinished congress hall that was built there during the same time. It now houses the museum in its north wing. The museum’s permanent exhibition, “Fascination and Terror,” focuses on the rise and destruction of the Nazi Party and the influence its rallies had.
Have More Than 24 Hours in Nuremberg?
Now that you’ve spent your first 24 hours in Nuremberg seeing the main sights, you should explore further with whatever time you have left. While you’ll certainly find other things to do around the city, another option is to go out and see what else this corner of Germany has to offer. To give you some ideas, here are some day trips from Nuremberg worth the journey.
One of the most popular places to visit from Nuremberg is the town of Bamberg. Lying not far to the north of Nuremberg, Bamberg has a gorgeous Old Town that rivals Nuremberg’s while still feeling vastly different.
When you arrive in Bamberg, head straight to the iconic Old Town Hall, perched precariously on an island in the Regnitz River. One end of the building is covered in incredible murals, while the other looks like a half-timbered house. The bridge through the Town Hall will bring you into Bamberg Old Town, which has earned UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Finding your way back to the riverfront, you’ll be rewarded with a view of Bamberg’s Little Venice, with a row of traditional houses along the water. On the hills behind the Old Town sits a fantastic collection of landmarks to explore, including Bamberg Cathedral, the New Residence palace, and Michaelsberg Abbey.
Another Bavarian city that delights visitors with its medieval charms is Regensburg. Resting on the banks of the Danube, the city is a popular stop for river cruises and makes a great day trip from Nuremberg.
Begin your visit with a gentle walk along the waterfront of the Danube, then venture out onto the iconic Stone Bridge. From this 12th-century bridge, you can admire the city’s skyline and the various towers that break free from its rooftops. Walking back under the Brückturm (Bridge Tower), you’ll enter Regensburg Old Town, which is full of medieval landmarks like the Old Town Hall.
As with many German cities, there’s no end to the churches you’ll come across in Regensburg. The Gothic Regensburg Cathedral is the highlight, but the extravagant rococo interior of the Alten Kapelle is worth seeing as well.
3. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Sitting on the famous Romantic Road, the picturesque town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is one of Germany’s most frequently photographed destinations. With a quaint medieval scene around every corner, it’s easy to see why.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is quite a small town – the perfect size to cover with a day trip. To explore its well-preserved medieval center, you’ll need to pass through one of the mighty gates along its fantastic town walls. After climbing up the walls and taking a walk along them, make your way to the town’s central square, Marktplatz. There you’ll find the wonderful Town Hall Tower and the intricate St. George’s Fountain.
Just a short walk away is Plönlein, Rothenburg’s most iconic spot. Fight your way past the other tourists to see this picturesque street corner surrounded by gorgeous buildings and gate towers. Before leaving, take in the view from the Castle Garden of the town vineyards leading down to the River Tauber.
And there you have it – the ultimate Nuremberg itinerary with everything you need to know to properly experience Nuremberg in one day. Following this advice, you should have a great visit to this charming old city.
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