Nuremberg (Nürnberg)

In 5 words: Charming and quaint Franconian capital.
For your visit you likely need more than a day to be able to see most of what Nürnberg has to offer while keeping pleasantly unhurried pace.
Distances are walkable in all cases in historic city center.
Love its multi-storey roofs.
Worthy attractions: Frauenkirche; St Lorenz-Kirche.
Left for another visit: Mauthalle; Spielzeugmuseum; Kirche St Sebaldus; Kaiserburg [only looked on the city from its ramparts]; Albrecht-Dürer-Haus; Germanisches Nationalmuseum.
Last visit: May 2005.


Our 24-hour stay in Nürnberg was spent on seeing old friends more than it was on sightseeing. We took a couple of leisurely strolls through the historic center of town, but left out in-depth visits practically to all of the important sights. Nonetheless, we were left with a very pleasant impression of the town.

We started with walking up to Kaiserburg ♥ for panoramic views over the rooftops of Nürnberg. The complex of three castles has some interesting buildings, which we did not go to visit.

We then walked to the atmospheric Hauptmarkt ♥♥♥, presided over by the grand Frauenkirche ♥♥, which was the rare attraction that we explored more than just in passing. The clock in its gable dates from 1509 and displays a procession of Electors paying homage to the Emperor each day at noon.

There on the square is the town’s star attraction, Schöner Brunnen ♥♥, a fountain very deserving of its name. It is surrounded by a Renaissance grille that includes the famous golden ring that needs to be turned three times for your wishes to come true. As our friends who live in Nürnberg showed us, there are actually two rings: One that all the tourists touch (gleaming gold) and one that locals know to be the real one (considerably less obvious).

We continued over and around the banks of the river Pegnitz, getting a good look at the fine building of Heilig-Geist-Spital ♥, with its wing spanning the river. The former hospital is now part a nursing home and part a restaurant, rather than a touring sight.

We ended our walk at Lorenzer Platz ♥, where the Gothic St Lorenz-Kirche ♥ stands. There is quite a number of interesting artifacts inside, including some great stained-glass windows. Outside the church is the Fountain of the Virtues ♥ and not far is also the Fountain of the Sins ♥. I actually found the latter more evocative.

There are several other places worth looking into in Nürnberg , among them Kirche St Sebaldus, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, reputedly delightful Spielzeugmuseum and the house of the native son Albrecht Dürer.

One of the defining features of Nürnberg is the prevalence of multi-storey roofs ♥♥. You will see them everywhere in the historic center. Their origin comes from the method of real-estate taxation adopted in Franconia in the Medieval times: The tax took into account the number of house floors. Roof and attic were exempted from the tax, so it is no surprise that people started building multiple floors into the attic parts of the buildings.

Places to Eat

Our friends took us for a hearty lunch to Hutt’n ♥♥♥ on Burgstraße, a small typically Franconian bar that serves excellent traditional food and has a great selection of beers, including our favorite kellerbier.

Other notes for Germany