We arrived in the morning to Nuremberg on our last day of our Danube Cruise and organized a taxi ride from port to our hotel in Old Town for around 20 euro.
Where to Stay in Nuremberg
Our hotel, Gideon Designhotel, was in the Old Town of Nuremberg’s southeast corner. The hotel was conveniently located near a variety of restaurants, the pedestrian area, as well as the train and bus station. We really liked the location.
The entrance to the hotel and the lobby are rather non-descript, but perhaps that is why we got a large, modern room for European standards in a great location for only 165 euros. My favorite convenience was the charging stations on the side of the bed headboards. Brilliant!
Where to Eat
Having generally walked over six miles every day and sometimes up to twelve, our tired feet kept us from straying far for food. We enjoyed several great meals at restaurants nearby our hotel.
We sat down for lunch at Pfefferstube, a traditional restaurant located inside the Pillhofer Hotel. The restaurant uses Saffron and pepper in Franconian cuisine honoring Nuremberg’s importance as the center of the spice route in the middle ages. The dark restaurant with shared seating delivers a rustic atmosphere with friendly service. With its outdoor patio, I can only imagine its popularity for happy hour on a nice day.
I ordered a cup of goulash whose recipe dates back to 1889. Expecting the cup to be small, I also selected some baked brie with a pretzel. The portions were huge, and I did not need the cheese, but I couldn’t resist the novelty of baked brie being served with a pretzel! If had to order over again, however, I would order the pretzel dumplings in mushroom sauce like Kristin did. I had a difficult time imagining what that what be like. It was basically slices of pretzel bread drenched in an AMAZING mushroom cream sauce.
Also, only steps from our hotel, is Barfüsser, located in the basement of the Nuremberg Mauthalle. We tried this underground brewery for dinner and descended the stairs to a small waiting area where a group of people hovered around while looking for tables. No hostess was there to organize the seating… so it was a fend for yourself atmosphere.
We didn’t see an available table this busy Saturday night, so we found a bar ledge next to the copper containers for brewing beer. We stood at the bar and tried their brewed beer. It was the only option written in English (
“homemade beer”) on the alcohol menu that was otherwise in German. Fortunately, the food menu included translations. Neither one of us were too hungry so I just ordered a bowl of broth with onions which was fine. In the bustling atmosphere, we watched the efficient wait staff darting back and forth serving giant portions of pork and beer to patrons.
The next morning, we enjoyed a lovely brunch at Mondo. Since we don’t eat huge meals or drink alcohol at breakfast, we likely didn’t our money’s worth, but I can think of many people who would. The food selection and flavors were excellent; eggs, meats, cheeses, yogurts, oatmeal, salads, fruit, pancakes and Champagne, just to name a few. I would highly recommend Mondo for anyone looking for a leisurely brunch. It was outstanding!
The central train station is also known for its selection of restaurants. It is easy to get a quick bite at Rubenbauer. I grabbed a tomato a cheese sandwich on pretzel bun for our bus ride to Prague (it’s faster to go by bus than train from Nuremberg).
Top Places to See in Nuremberg
While in Nuremberg, I spent the morning walking around Old Town. Nuremberg’s Old Town is a great size and easily walkable, though it would take at least a full day to walk every street. Our hotel was located just around the corner from one of the main pedestrian streets, Königstrasse, which I followed north to Lorenzer Platz and Lorenzkirche. The Gothic structure which boasts glorious stained-glass windows is one of the most important churches in Nuremberg.
Continuing north and crossing the Pegnitz river, in a few minutes I arrived in Hauptmarkt square. The main market square hosts Nuremberg’s world-famous Christmas Market, Christkindlesmarkt. I recommend attending the market at 10am when it opens in order to browse the stalls sans crowds. At night, plan on joining the masses. To avoid being a fish trying to swim upstream, just step into the pace and flow of traffic. The Christmas market in Nuremberg was by far the most crowded of any we visited over the past week.
There are other markets very close by, including a market with the world’s largest punch bowl as well as the children’s Christmas market which was actually very nice to visit
The Church of Our Lady
The Church of Our Lady flanks Hauptmarkt’s eastern edge. Its clock, which dates back to 1509, displays the seven Imperial Electors filing past the Emperor at noon.
On the other side of the square is the Beautiful Fountain. The spire-like, ornamental structure constructed in 1390 includes 40 colorful figurines that represent the world view of the Holy Roman Empire. The original was removed over a century ago and a replica has taken its place.
St. Sebaldus Church
Passing through Hauptmarkt and walking just another block, I arrived at St. Sebaldus Church, a splendid 14th century structure featuring a magnificent crucifix on its southern façade. The church is named after the 8th-century hermit, missionary and patron saint of Nuremberg, Sebaldus.
Fembo House City Museum
I continued on, passing the City Museum located in the Fembo House, before ultimately reaching the Nuremberg Castle upon the hill overlooking Nuremberg’s Old Town from its northern border. The Fembo House is
Nuremberg’s only surviving Renassaince merchant house.
Nuremberg Castle comprises the Imperial Castle, the Burgraves’ Castle and buildings erected by the Imperial City. The first fortified buildings were constructed around 1,000 and the castles were added over the next two centuries.
In the Middle Ages, German kings did not have a capital so they roamed from castle to castle and as such all the kings and emperors stayed in Nuremberg Castle. The castle lost its importance after the Thirty Year’s War and it wasn’t returned to its original state until the rallies were held in Nuremberg. A few years later, during World War II, the castle was heavily bombed and it took thirty years to restore.
From the castle, I weaved around the northern section of Old Town before eventually ending up back by the river on the west side. This section of Old Town might have been the prettiest to me. The light falling snow which dusted the Trödel Markt created an idyllic winter scene.
Hangman’s Bridge and the Executioners House
Just west of Trödel Markt is Hangman’s Bridge and the Executioners House. A walk across the bridge and around this area for a view of all the bridges is truly a pleasure.
St. Elizabeth’s Church
From the river, I turned south toward Weisser Turm. Believe it or not, this beautiful tower is a U-bahn Station. Next to Weisser Turm is St. Elizabeth’s Church. Based on its structure, I thought it was a government building. I was surprised to find out that the building was a church and after the Reformation, St. Elizabeth’s Church was the only Roman Catholic Church in Nuremberg.
The Red Light District
By this point, I was near the end of my three-hour stroll. I mistakenly detoured into the red-light district! It was a surprise to find Topless Bars in Old Town, though being Sunday morning, it was rather quiet.
I ended my walk at the Handwerkerhof Nuremberg, a cute craftsman market tucked into half-timbered houses and narrow streets within Nuremberg’s protective walls. The cute shopping area offers a variety of handmade crafts for sale. It was a great way to end my time strolling the city before I headed off to Prague with my friend Kristin. ETB
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