Colourful Bavarian buildings, quirky museums, home to the pretzel and Germany's most famous Christmas market, Nuremberg is a wonderful place to visit.
Here's how to see the best of the city in a couple of days:
Just inside the entrance to the old town, right by the train station, is this medieval shopping area. Wander the cobbled streets, look at the delicate window displays and do a bit of shopping (we bought some gingerbread to take home for Christmas).
Coffee at Bergbrand
If the sun is shining, Bergbrand is a good spot to sit outside and people watch. But if not, the inside is lovely too.
Wander down Weißgerbergasse (Leather Craftsmen's Lane) to take photos of this row of medieval artisans' houses. Each building has different coloured timber beams and unique little details.
Continue up the hill to get to Nuremberg Castle, which was built in the middle ages. There’s a museum and you can climb the tower for brilliant views over the city.
Brezen for lunch
Nuremberg is home to the pretzel, and they're the best we've ever had (one day we ate three each, oops). Get them at Brezen Kolb. There are little shops and kiosks all over the city and plenty of fillings to choose from (the traditional one is obatzer, a cheese spread, caraway, onions and sweet pepper). Or just have a plain one, they're soft, chewy and studded with salt.
If you want to learn more about the city, there's an English walking tour that starts at 1pm from the market square (you can get tickets from the tourist information office). It takes around two hours and you'll find out all about the history of Nuremberg and the impact of the war.
Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt is one of the most famous Christmas markets in the world and it's been going for hundreds of years. There's such a lovely atmosphere and lots of traditional food and drinks on offer, like glühwein, sausages and gingerbread. It’s the perfect place to spend an evening in the run up to Christmas.
Breakfast at Café Mainheim
Café Mainheim is one of the best brunch spots in Nuremberg, so if you're visiting on a weekend it's a good idea to book (we arrived shortly after it opened on a Sunday morning and were lucky to get a table). The food and coffee are excellent, and it's got a lovely chilled vibe. There are also lots of independent shops around this area so it’s a nice place to explore afterwards.
The Nazi Party Rally Grounds
Nuremberg has had a difficult and complicated history. The Nazi rallies were held there, the city was heavily bombed during the war, destroying much of the old town, and it's also where the Nazi leaders were tried.
It's something we wanted to find out more about and the Nazi Party Rally Grounds have a very detailed and interesting Documentation Centre. Don't miss the platform where you can step out and look out over the grounds. It's incredibly powerful.
Memorium Nuremberg Trials
The Courthouse is another important place to visit. You can go into Courtroom 600, where the trials took place, and the audio guide allows you to listen to parts of the testimonies. It's a working courtroom and will be closed if it's in use so visit on the weekend if you can.
Sausages at Bratwursthäusle
Our next stop was a late lunch at Bratwursthäusle, a cosy Franconian restaurant that serves up Nuremberg's famous sausages. There’s a brilliant atmosphere, the waiters and waitresses wear traditional clothes and the food is delicious.
The Altstadthof Brewery
Here's one of the interesting things we found out on the walking tour – underneath the city there's a maze-like cellar system, in some places four stories deep. The rock-cut cellars were originally created to store beer, but during the war they were used as bomb shelters. If you want to see them, the Altstadthof Brewery runs a few tours each day. They're in German but you can get an English audioguide from the shop.
Christmas market (again!)
At the end of our second day we couldn’t resist going back to the Christmas market for a final look around (we went every day we were there!).
Thanks to Nürnberg Tourismus for providing us with Nuremberg Cards.