Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Nuremberg City Guide
Art, Archaeology & History

Bavaria’s second largest city has been the centre of historical events in Europe for many hundreds of years. Dominating the skyline is the Nuremberg Castle from where the Holy Roman Empire was administered. This central position in the Middle Ages would go on to shape the city for centuries to come. Cultural developments put Nuremberg at the centre of the German Renaissance. Political history made it a symbolic choice for the Nazi Party and their annual rallies until the start of World War Two. As the ceremonial birthplace of the Nazi Party and the racist Nuremberg Laws, it was a fitting city to host the Nuremberg Trials.

Reasons to Visit Nuremberg

Medieval Architecture,

20th Century History,

The glass façade of the New Museum Nurembrg of Art and Design.

Museums & Art Galleries,

… and the Christkindlesmarkt.

About Our Nuremberg City Guide

Interesting Things to Know About Nuremberg

The first recorded mention of Nuremberg is from 1050, as the location of an Imperial Castle. And for many centuries after this Nuremberg was the symbolic centre of the Holy Roman Empire. From the mid 14th century newly elected rulers were required to hold their first assemblies here. In an age when kings were itinerant, Nuremberg was a popular residence, and it was here that the imperial regalia was kept. The focus in Nuremberg was the Imperial Castle on a rocky outcrop around which the town developed. It was one of the most heavily fortified imperial palaces of the early Holy Roman Empire. Today it is one of the most visited attractions.
On the seventh of December in 1835 the first railway in Germany was inaugurated. It ran alongside the road between Nuremberg and the nearby town of Fürth, which is only 7 km away. At the time, the Nuremberg – Fürth road was the busiest road connection in Bavaria. The first locomotive to offer a commercial service for passengers and goods was a British made steam locomotive named the Adler, German for eagle. Visitors to Nuremberg can visit the DeutscheBahn Museum, one of the oldest technology history museums in Europe, and experience more about the history of railway in Germany.

Nuremberg is also well known for its connection with the Nazi Party. The historical position of the city at the heart of the Holy Roman Empire as well as its strategic position on the German railway network made Nuremberg a ideal location for the party to hold their conventions here, the Nuremberg Rallies. At the 1935 rally Hitler called for, amongst other things, citizenship to be revoked from German Jews. The so-called Nuremberg Laws. Physical signs of the rally grounds still exist. A self guided tour of the various features is possible, as are guided tours. The Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds, housed in the incomplete Congress Hall, documents the history and tyranny of the rallies.

As Nuremberg had developed into one of the most important industrial cities in southern Germany, the manufacture of military armaments, including tank engines, submarines and aircraft, was was carried out here. Not surprising then the city was a high profile target for allied bombing campaigns. During one of these the medieval old town was targeted, where an estimated 90% of the town was destroyed in about an hour. Nuremberg has since undergone significant regeneration and reconstruction and it now has an international airport. This ease of access has made the city and its historic Christmas market a popular destination for tourists. Over two million people visit the city each December.
Partly because of history, but again also for logistical reasons, Nuremberg was chosen for the location of the military tribunals that followed World War II. Nuremberg was thought of as the birthplace of the Nazi Party, a more practical reason for the holding of the trials here, was the size and relatively undamaged state of the Palace of Justice. A permanent exhibition is housed in the Palace of Justice that explores the background and legacy of what went on in Courtroom 600 in 1945. A monumental sculpture in the city centre, the Way of Human Rights, is an attempt to transform the reputation of the city. From one associated with political crimes to one that is closely linked to the valuing of human rights.

Find Places to Visit in Nuremberg

Must See Places in Nuremberg

Albrecht Durer's house at night with empty streets.
Albrecht Dürer’s House

National Museum

Nuremberg Castle view with Sinwell Tower. Landmark in Germany.

Nuremberg Imperial Castle

Entrance to the documentation center of Reichsparteitagsgelände in Nurnberg, Germany

Documentation Center

The colourful Gothic fountain on the Market Square in Nuremberg.

Gothic Fountain

Inspiration & Itineraries


Some think that Nuremberg’s Christmas Market is the oldest in Germany. Who knows whether this is true or not, but it is certainly one of the most popular. Over two million people visit Nuremberg during December, from all over the world. Standing in the picturesque Hauptmarkt Square, while savouring the aroma of local gingerbread, bratwurst and glühwein it is not difficult to understand why. The city is also steeped in history, from early in the Medieval to the 20th century. If this is the childrens’ Christmas market, Nuremberg is also the history lovers destination.

Explore Nuremberg more deeply

What to See in Nuremberg

Albrecht Dürer's House

From 1509, this is where one of Germany’s most celebrated artists, Albrecht Dürer, lived for 20 years. And where he made some of his most celebrated paintings. Now open to the public, with optional guided tours lead by an actress in the part of Dürer’s wife. The beautiful half timbered house is not only one of a few remaining houses from Nuremberg’s golden age,  it is also the only surviving house of a 15th century artist in northern Europe. Temporary exhibitions make use of the city’s important art collection, and often include examples of Dürer’s own paintings.

Documentation Center at Nazi Party Rally Grounds

In the north wing of the unfinished Nazi Congress Hall is the Documentation Centre, a museum that explores the history of the National Socialist’s part rallies held in Nuremberg from 1933 to 1938. The exhibition “Fascination and Terror”, which opened in 2001, closed at the end of 2020 and a new permanent exhibition is currently being constructed. While the Documentation Centre is undergoing refurbishment an interim exhibition has been staged: “Nuremberg – Site of the Nazi Party Rallies”. The remodelled museum is expected to open in 2025.

Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg

With 26 different collection areas, all represented in the permanent display, this is the largest museum of culture history in the German speaking region. Displays range from early Stone Age artefacts to the art of 20th century – with an impressive set of the so-called ‘degenerate artists’. There are an estimated 25,000 artefacts on permanent display. Some of these are of international significance. For example, the Behaim Globe made in 1492 is the oldest surviving terrestrial globe in the world. Other objects of note include the Bronze Age gold cone from Ezelsdorf-Buch and the exquisite Roman parade helmet found in Middle Franconia.

Nazi Party Rally Grounds

For both symbolic and logistic reasons Nuremburg was chosen by the Nazis as the venue for their part rallies. A total of six rallies were held between 1933 and 1938. The site covered an area of 11 square km and vast structures were specifically build to glorify the leadership and the party. Some of these, such as the Congress Hall, were never completed before the war, others were damaged. But a number of landmarks remain. Part of the Congress Hall houses the Documentation Centre. From where it possible to start a self guided tour of the party grounds.

Nuremberg Imperial Castle

The castle in Nuremberg comprises a series of fortified buildings and a city wall. Together they are one of the most formidable medieval fortresses in Europe. Earliest mention of the castle dates back to the mid 11th century. The castle was one of the Imperial residences of German kings as Holy Roman Emperors, as they moved about their realm. And it was here that they held their Court assemblies and Imperial diets. During WWII the castle suffered considerable damage, taking 30 years to fully restore. Exhibitions in the castle, designed to appeal to all ages, outline the historical context of the fortress, as well as the role of Nuremberg in the Holy Roman Empire.

More Sites & Museums in Bavaria

Although many people base themselves in Munich and take a day trip to Nuremberg, there is no reason why Nuremberg can’t be a base to explore other parts of Bavaria, and take a day trip to Munich. For example, the Dachau Memorial site is just over an hour by train. If you have your own transport there are many villages and towns with medieval timber-framed architecture the region is so well known for. The UNESCO listed city of Bamberg, sometimes called the Franconian Rome, is under an hour by car from Nuremberg and even less by train.

Plan Your Trip to Nuremberg

Nuremberg Travel Planner

How to Get to Nuremberg

Tips for Sightseeing in Nuremberg

When is the best time to visit Nuremberg
Nuremberg is a popular destination throughout the year, but if you want to visit a Christmas market, save your trip for December. The Christkindlesmarkt is one of the oldest and best known Christmas markets in the world. The oldest date on record is 1628. Each year over two million people visit Nuremberg, with the opening festivities on the Friday evening before the first Sunday of Advent. The market closes on 24 December. As long as you are prepared for winter weather, including snow, visiting in December should not prevent you from seeing the main sights in the city.

How much time should I spend in Nuremberg?
Two or three days is more than enough to see most of the attractions in Nuremberg. This is certainly the case in winter, whereas in summer Nuremberg is a good lace to base yourself to explore a bit further afield in this part of Germany with a few day trips. Make good use of your time in the city by taking one or two walking tour. You can either take a general tour that covers a little bit of everything, or take a couple of tours that focus on different aspects of the city’s history.

Is Nuremberg worth visiting?
Bavaria’s second largest city, Nuremberg has a long an complex history. For a long time Nuremberg was an Imperial City for the Holy Roman Empire. This was one of the reasons the National Socialists chose Nuremberg to hold their rallies. Another reason was a purely practical one. As this was where the German railway was inaugurated in the early 19th century, Nuremberg had very good public transport links to other parts of Germany.

Visiting the Nuremberg Imperial Castle is a must. The oldest part dates to around 1000 AD, and together with the city walls, still standing in some places, this is considered one of the most formidable fortifications from medieval Europe. Away from the Altstadt, there are a number of features of the rally grounds that have survived.

And there are a number of exceptional museums and art galleries in Nuremberg, including the Germanisches National Museum and the Deutsche Bahn Transport Museum.

A restaurant in the basement of the Mauthalle in Nuremberg.

The Mautkeller

A piece of pork shoulder and a dumpling in gravy - Schäufele, a typical dish in Nuremberg.


The Burgwächter restaurant built up against the castle wall.
Restaurant Burgwächter

Staying in Nuremberg

What food is Nuremberg famous for?
Nuremberg is located in a historic region of Germany known as Franconia. An area that is known for many culinary delights. During In spring it is officially spargelzeit, you can not miss the Franconian asparagus season. December, especially for Christmas, brings Nuremberg Lebkuchen; a traditional gingerbread that has a closely guarded recipe including nuts, honey and a mix of different spices such as cinnamon, clove and cardamom. On offer throughout the year is the Nuremberg Bratwurst. A few euros will get you three on a bread roll. For something more substantial, try Schäufele, a typical regional dish of roasted pork shoulder served with dumplings and sometimes red cabbage.

The restaurant in the Mautkeller serves great beer and that is where I had Schäufele. Another restaurant serving typical Bavarian dishes that gets good reviews is the Burgwächter, set right up against the castle walls. I spent several hours in the Germanisches National Museum. For lunch I stayed in the museum and had a hearty meal at the onsite Café.

Nuremberg Walking Tours & Day Trips

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