Nuremberg is one of those postcard-worthy, authentic German towns. Just an hour north of Munich, a day trip to Nuremberg is a great way to spend a weekend. Drenched in medieval charm that you will fall in love with the minute you get there, with castles fit for a queen, cobblestoned streets, and pretty cathedrals, not to mention good beer and food, Nuremberg is a German city that can’t be missed even if you only one day in Nuremberg.
Nuremberg has a dark past, being the home of the former Nazi Rally parties, and later the Nuremberg trials. Nuremberg paid a big price for being one of the favorite cities of Adolf Hitler himself.
Most of the city was destroyed in 1945, and thousands of lives were lost. But, Nuremberg rebuilt itself from the ashes and stands today as both a beautiful, medieval city, but also a dark reminder of the past.
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Where to stay in Nuremberg
If you are staying the night and looking for nice accommodation, book into the NH Collection Nuremberg City. Just a short 5-minute walk from Nuremberg Central Station, the rooms here are comfortable, with a gym, restaurant, bar, and fabulous breakfast on offer.
If you are looking for a budget backpacker stay, try Five Reasons Backpacker hotel and hostel, which is also centrally located with modern rooms for a great price.
How to spend a day in Nuremberg, Germany
It’s definitely worth a stop on your German itinerary, whether it’s a day trip from Munich or a stop on the way from Frankfurt or Berlin.
So, what can you do on a day trip to Nuremberg? The answer is a whole lot.
This impressive city offers so much, that it can be hard to fit everything in one day. However, you can get a good feel for the culture and sights of the city with a little determination.
Spend the morning at the Documentation Centre
Wake up early to head to the Documentation Centre and Nazi Party rally grounds, a hard but necessary trip that needs to be made when visiting Nuremberg. Nuremberg’s dark history is documented here at the Documentation Centre, set right next to the former Nazi Rally Party grounds.
The exhibition offers audio guides in many languages, so you can make your way through the exhibition which looks at the national socialist regime of terror in-depth, before heading to the rally party grounds.
The easiest way to get to the Documentation Centre is by taking the tram from Nuremberg Central Station, which is conveniently located right inside the center of the city, just in front of the main square and castle walls.
The journey takes about 10 minutes, and the service operates frequently throughout the day. Hop off at the Doko-Zentrum stop, which is right in front of the Documentation Centre.
Lunch with a view at Alex Restaurant
Head back into the city center of Nuremberg by hopping back on the tram, and alight at Nuremberg Central station before crossing the road and heading towards the heart of Nuremberg.
Stop for lunch at Alex Restaurant, which is just a 10-minute walk from the station. With a huge range of cuisines and cocktails on the menu, grab a table and admire the towering views of the St Lorenz Church above you and the main square below.
Afternoon Nuremberg walking tour
One of the great things about it is that most things to do in Nuremberg are located close together in the central area.
So, the perfect way to see everything is to take yourself on a walking tour!
Imperial Castle of Nuremberg
First up is one of the highlights and best things to see, Nuremberg Castle. It’s a short, 10-minute walk from Alex Restaurant (although it is uphill!). The cobblestoned stairs head upwards as the castle towers above you and prepare to be amazed once you get to the top.
The Imperial Castle of Nuremberg has been around since the Middle Ages, an important symbol of the Roman Empire in Germany. Sadly, most of the grounds were ruined during the war in 1945, however, the city banded together, determined to build the castle back to its original state.
It’s almost identical to how it was before it was destroyed, and the medieval feel and views from the top make it a must-visit. Allow some time here to wander the grounds and take some photos from the top.
Head back down the cobblestoned stairs to continue your afternoon walking tour, to wander the colorful houses and cobblestoned streets of the old town, which you would have seen from the top of the castle.
Filled with Instagram worth spots, cute bridges, coffee shops, and ice cream parlors, grab an ice cream before wandering the bridges. Laze in the sun on one of the small islands over the bridges, or shop in the cute boutique shops lining the streets underneath the quaint, colorful houses.
Nuremberg Christmas Market and shop
Head back towards the main square where you had lunch to snap some shots of the St Lorenz Church, and stop by Kathe Wohlfahrt, a beautiful Christmas shop open all year round.
The Bavarian town is known for the fabulous Nuremberg Christmas Market, but the good thing is you can still experience a little bit of the Christmas magic at this incredible shop all year round. Pick up a couple of tree ornaments, the perfect souvenir of your time in Nuremberg.
Way of Human Rights
The last stop on your walking tour of central Nuremberg is the Way of Human rights. A walkway is located just around the corner from Nuremberg’s main shopping area and just a 5-minute walk from the main square.
The walkway was built by the city in the hope to move away from its dark past and celebrating equal rights for everyone. Each pillar along the walkway is engraved with a snippet of the human rights declaration.
If you still have time afterward, this area is the perfect spot for some shopping, with everything from high market fashion stores to boutique souvenir shops.
Or, you can stop by at one of the outdoor terrace bars lining the street to have a traditional German beer and people watch in the bustling yet beautiful area.
Traditional German dinner and drinks
Time for dinner! The best way to get a feel for traditional, medieval Nuremberg is to have dinner at Albrecht Durer Stube, a traditional restaurant located close to the castle and main square.
The family-owned restaurant is as traditional as it gets, and the medieval charm is amazing. Pick from the authentic German menu and truly take in the authentic charm.
If you are still up for more after dinner, head to Vintage Bar. A popular spot among locals (and now tourists), Vintage Bar serves up world-class, traditional cocktails, and a welcoming vibe.
Seasonal events in Nuremberg
There’s always something happening in Nuremberg, so it’s worth checking if there is anything on at the time you are going to be there.
The famous Nuremberg Christmas Market can’t be missed if you are in the area in December.
And during the summer months, the city has events such as Summer in der City, where pop-up bars, sand and pools and put in the center of the city by the river, which feels like a beach party.
Making your way for a day trip to Nuremberg
Nuremberg is just one hour North of Munich by train, which is by far the easiest way to travel in Germany. It’s also just 2 hours from Frankfurt, and 5 hours from Berlin, so there’s really no excuse to not visit. Planning a day trip to Nuremberg couldn’t be easier.
The Deutsche Bahn is Germany’s most popular train carrier for long-distance train rides, and it’s easy to book trains online in advance. If you don’t have much time and are staying in Munich you can take a day trip from Munich to Nuremberg.
If you are flying internationally, there is Nuremberg International Airport, and also Munich Airport which is only an hour away, and you can easily fly to either airport.
An organized tour
Here are some ideas for a day trip to Nuremberg you could have in mind:
Best time to visit Nuremberg, Germany
Because of the weather in Germany, the timeframe for a perfect one-day trip to Nuremberg can be rather extended. Thus starting with somewhere around April, and going all the way to November I think the weather is just fine for you to make the best out of the escape.
However, through August can have pretty nice summer weather, without the high temperatures, it is still a tourist month in Europe. Which means crowds, high prices, and all that comes along.
Also, December could be an option when you are looking to see one of the prettiest Christmas Marker in Germany.
Don’t miss out on all the places to visit in Nuremberg by skipping it when in Germany! You will be amazed by the castles, the medieval feel, and the authentic, cobblestoned streets.
Local cuisine/ what to eat in Nuremberg
You cannot leave Nuremberg without trying a traditional Nuremberg sausage. They’re usually done on the grill, long and slim, served with a potato salad, or even sauerkraut.
Very traditional and specific to Nuremberg is the Drei im Weggla – 3 small sausages in a bun of bread with mustard on top.
My favorite snack, whenever I go back to Germany, is the bretzel. Small and simple, with butter, or the huge one you can get from beer gardens, the local pretzel is delicious and a perfect perfect snack to go along with a cold beer.
The last thing, don’t leave without a good gingerbread slice and some roasted almonds. Especially when you visit for Christmas Market.
Getting around for a day
Since Nuremberg is not a huge town, it is rather easy to get around mainly on food. But there’s always the option to take the bus whenever you want to move faster between attractions.
Is the Nuremberg Card worth it for one day? I always say that depends a lot on how many paid attractions you have on your lits of things to see in Nuremberg in one day. Thus, whenever you want to see more, it is worth buying the card. But when you simply want to explore the town and see one or 2 attractions, it might not make sense.
The people are welcoming and the food is world-class. There’s a reason it is considered one of Germany’s best cities, and this is why!
Written by Emma Erichsen at Emma Adventures, a 20-something travel blogger from the Central Coast, Australia – passionate traveller, strength and conditioning coach and wannabe mountaineer, travelling at any chance she gets. Go follow her on her journey on Instagram.
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