Panorama skyline of Nuremberg in the winter

Your Trip to Nuremberg: The Complete Guide

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Nuremberg (Nürnberg in German) is a small city that’s nevertheless borne witness to many of history’s big moments: It was once known as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire; the 20th century saw it host the Nuremberg Trials after WWII, and it now ranks as Bavaria’s second-largest city. Visitors come for the history, its romantic annual Christmas market with spiced lebkuchen (gingerbread), and local brews—as well as plenty of nature to enjoy and day trips to take outside of the city as well. 

In our city guide to Nuremberg, we’ve covered the basics—and the best—of planning your trip to the Bavarian city. Read on for information about where to say, things to do, and where to eat and drink in Nuremberg.

Planning Your Trip 

  • Best Time to Visit: For the best weather, come from May to September: The skies are fairly dry and the sun is out—the perfect weather for days spent wandering Nuremberg’s picturesque Old Town and checking out the nature in the region. 
  • Language: German is, of course, the main language spoken here, and there are three main dialects spoken in the Bavaria region. However, many Germans speak some English or other foreign languages. 
  • Currency: The euro
  • Getting Around: While Nuremberg’s Old Town is easily walkable (and, chances are, that’s where much of your visit might be centered), if you want to get around to the outer stretches of the cities it’s best to utilize the easily navigable VGN transit system. You can use day tickets on any mode of public transport in the city and even to towns and areas beyond city limits. 

Things to Do 

Visitors to Nuremberg should be sure to take in the city’s history by visiting some key historic sites, sample the town’s legendary local food and beers, and—if it’s the season—head to its famous Christmas market. 

  • Visit historic sites: Definitely make time to check out the city’s Kaiserburg castle, where German kings lived for around 500 years between 1000 and 1600, and visit the home of Albrecht Dürer, an important figure during the Northern Renaissance of the late 1400s and 1500s. Then tackle a more tragic portion of history with a visit to the half-finished Nazi party rally grounds and the Nuremberg Trials museum in the east wing of the city’s Palace of Justice (Justizpalast). 
  • Sample local food and beers: Eating and drinking should rightfully be a big part of your visit to Nuremberg—this is a city of hearty local specialities. For carnivores, a trip isn’t a trip without trying the local Nürnberger Rostbratwurst, or Nuremberg sausages, whose production is protected by regulations since the Middle Ages—head to Behringer's Bratwurstglöcklein and Bratwursthäusle for some of the best. Then, wash them down with a beer on the steps of Wanderer, which has one of the biggest selections of local beers, a Bavarian tradition. 
  • Visit the Christmas Market: Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt is one of the most romantic (and best) in Europe. Come for the glühwein and shopping artisan products, stay for treats like lebkuchen (gingerbread) and, of course, more sausages.  

For more ideas on what to do in Nuremberg, check out our list of the top historical sites, guide to local nightlife, and a handy rundown of our top 12 ideas for your trip to town.  

What to Eat and Drink

For visitors who love the idea of tucking into pewter platters of hearty Bavarian food washed down with a traditional German beer, Nuremberg will deliver. Local and regional specialities abound on each menu, and you’ll want to be sure to try them all before you leave. Nürnberg Rostbratwurst is the standout local dish, and you can find these centuries-old sausages served at many restaurants in town—many of which date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. Other dishes to tuck into include Schäuferle, pork shoulder cooked until it falls off the bone, and, of course, soft, buttery pretzels. If you’re coming to the city during the festive season, don’t miss lebkuchen, or the traditional gingerbread beloved in the town. 

If you drink alcohol, beer is the name of the game in Nuremberg when it comes to what you pair with your meals. Hausbrauerei Altstadthof brews the original red beer that’s a local speciality, and Schanzenbräu, located in the Gostenhof neighborhood, is a great pub to pop into for a locals’ vibe. 

See our top five foods to try in Nuremberg here—and read up more on the fascinating background of the town’s famous sausages

Where to Stay 

Sebalder Altstadt—the city’s Old Town—is the most ideal spot for your first stay in Nuremberg. It’s located north of the river and is on the quieter side, making it an ideal base for the day and retreat at night. That being said, it’s definitely touristy because of its proximity—the Christmas Market is located in the neighborhood, as is the castle and some of the more popular restaurants and breweries in town. While staying here definitely makes sightseeing easy, definitely be sure to book stays in this neighborhood early as Nuremberg is a popular destination for tourists from Germany and abroad.  

Getting There 

The easiest way to get to Nuremberg is to fly: Nuremberg airport (NUE) is only Europe’s 10th largest but has connections to many European hubs via Ryanair, Lufthansa, Corendon Airlines, Eurowing, Wizz, KLM, Vueling, Turkish Airlines, TUI, Swiss Air, and Air France. It’s super-convenient, too: From your gate, it’s only 3 miles to city center. 

Culture and Customs 

Like in the rest of Germany, tipping is optional but customary. Keep in mind German service is less hands-on and more direct than American service—and that the customer isn’t always right here (especially if the customer isn’t, in fact, right). Expect to flag down your server for requests or to pay. For tipping, the rule of thumb is to round up to the nearest euro and leave a bit of change if you get some back. Around 10 percent is standard for very good service (again, keeping cultural differences in mind), with 15 percent being for a quite exceptional experience. 

Money Saving Tips 

  • For heavy sight-seeing days, a day ticket will likely be your best-value way to get around—solo riders pay 8.30 euros to access any transit all day, and with the Plus version, you can take up to six people for 12.30 euros. 
  • Imbisses are small, no-frills restaurants or stands that serve inexpensive food like sausages and fries and make for a great meal on the go (several in town serve up the Nuremberg bratwurst as well). 
  • Drinking beer in public is extremely common—and a bottle of local brew makes a nice accompaniment to afternoons spent wandering the old town (just don’t get too sauced and become an annoyance). 
Article Sources
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  1. WorldAtlas. "The Largest Cities In Bavaria." Dec. 6, 2019

  2. Bavaria Tourism. "Bavarian Language."

  3. Nuremberg Convention and Tourist Office. "Nuremberg Sausage Protection Association: All About Nuremberg Bratwurst."