|| Bavaria | bavaria north
|Nuremberg has a history of about 1,000 years and was a busy trade center in Medieval Europe. From May to September there are over 200 festivals and concerts here, celebrating music, dance, art and crafts. If you're here in December, the square hosts a big Christmas market all month long you'll find crafts, toys, ornaments, and seasonal treats.
|The Main Market (Hauptmarkt) is a good place to start your tour of the city a tour that's best done on foot because many streets are pedestrian-only.
|The market is great place to come for lunch time picnic supplies, or a to grab a snack. This is the city's farmer's market with fresh produce all year long.
|Built in what was once the Jewish quarter, the "Our Lady" church sits on the foundations of a medieval synagogue. Come here to watch the "Männleinlaufen" figures of the enormous clock that faces the square. Every day at noon, the 400 year old clock's moving figures show the seven Electors of the city doing homage to Kaiser Karl IV.
|Stop at the "Schöner Brunnen" fountain, beautifully ornate, where you'll find the "lucky ring" turn it for good luck.
|Kaiserburg Castle Check out the Kaiserburg Castle which sits over the old town. The castle has all the stark simplicity of the medieval era: it's easy to imagine soldiers in chain mail clanking through these barren rooms. The exhibits are all about the 12th-16th centuries (Nuremberg's "golden age"). The Doppelkapelle (Double Chapel) is a reminder of times when your station in life meant everything royalty sat above and the hoi polloi below. From the castle you'll have one of the best views of the city all the way to the Emperor's Forest.
|Albrecht Dürer House Near the castle you'll find the Albrecht Dürer House where Dürer lived and worked from 1509 until 1528. Kids really love his beautifully drawn optical illusions. In addition to seeing both originals and copies of his work, the house itself is great furnished completely with period pieces.
Take a stroll along the Pegnitz Not quite a river, it meanders through the city in a magical way. There are nine bridges so you can criss-cross the river when ever the mood strikes you. By the "Hangman's Bridge" you'll find a cluster of weeping willows and a nice place to stretch out and watch the water roll by.
|Hit the Museums There are some great ones for kids here:
|Hands down the most popular museum for kids is the Toy Museum (Spielzeugmuseum), located in a grand house on Karlstrasse. You'll see mechanical toys, wooden and paper and tin toys, dolls and doll houses, and a collection of children's books that date back hundreds of years.
|The Germanic National Museum (Germanisches National Museum) is a cluster of buildings, from a 13th century monastery to one built in 1993 by Israeli architect Dani Karavan. This is a private museums celebrating the culture, technology and crafts of Germany from prehistoric times through to the present, it boasts a million exhibits. You'll find the local boys Dürer, Vischer, and Stoss here, along with medieval armor and musical instruments. It's huge best to get a list of exhibits and pick the ones you know your family will enjoy most.
|At the Museum of Transportation (Verkehrsmuseum) you'll find a scale, working model of the "Adler" Europe's first train circa 1835, and some of the track it once ran on. There are also wonderful train coaches here as well.
|The Rail and Post Museum (Deutsche Bahn und Post Museum) inside the Verkehrsmuseum has a terrific stamp collection (over 200,000 from all over the world) for avid collectors.
|The medieval Town Hall is worth a pause especially for all those wonderful ghastly dungeons below.
|Do a little church-hopping St. Sebald's Church, a few blocks from the Durer house, named for the city's patron saint, is filled with works by Nuremberg artists, including St. Sebald's bronze tomb sculpted by Peter Vischer's in 1519. Or head over to St. Lawrence's, with its beautiful stained glass rosette in the nave and the wood carving by Stoss "Angelic Salutation" which hangs from the vaulted ceiling. Over by the Handwerkerhof you can see more beautiful stained glass windows in St. Martha's Church. Or check out the burial sites of Durer, Sachs, and other famous locals in the cemeteries of St. Johannis and St. Rochus.
|Get into nature in the city:
|Right in the heart of the city you'll find the Stadtpark, a greenbelt along the river Pegnitz that makes for a pleasant stroll or picnic.
|The Tiergarten is a beautifully landscaped zoo in the eastern area of the city. The most popular attraction is the dolphin show, but there's also a steam engine train and a petting zoo. Reach the zoo by bus or subway from anywhere in the city.
Canal cruise Take a load off little feet after a long morning of sight-seeing by taking a canal cruise. They run during the warm months in mid-afternoon.
|Cramer-Klett Park In Cramer-Klett Park in the eastern section of Nuremberg you'll find the Nürnberger Marionetten-Theater at the Apollotempel where you can watch puppet shows.
|Former Nazi Party Rally Grounds For a taste of more recent history, head for Zeppelin Field, site of the Nazi Rallies you've seen in WWII news reels. While most of the structure is gone, the massive platforms still stand where Hitler once spoke before tens of thousands.
|Nuremberg Day Trips There are several towns close by Nuremberg that can be easily reached by public transportation:
|Bamberg Visit the beautiful Old Town Hall with its historic murals and check out the museum inside. Bamberg was ruled by a Bishop until Napoleonic times so it's not surprising the "Dom" is the center of town. There are beautifully carved facades on many of the religious buildings here, and Michaelsberg (a monastery) houses a beer museum that shows all the kinds of equipment used over the centuries to create beer.
|Erlangen Start with a trip to the tourism office in the Town Hall, then ride the elevator up to the 14 floor for a great view. Erlangen has a lovely Old Town (Altstadt) marketplace and St. Martinskirche, a 13th century church with a 15th century wooden statue of St. Martin on horseback. Take in the palace gardens and the 18th century Kitzmann brewery.
Bratwürste are small pork sausages sold from booths everywhere: they broil them on charcoal grills so the smell wafts deliciously around town. Grab a dozen, some of the wonderful thick dark local bread and you have a great snack to get you through your next hike around town.
Liebkuchen ("loving cookies") are wonderful treats and a nice gift for someone back home the cookies are made with honey and sugar and spices, then iced and stamped with little images.
Head for the Handwerkerhof (Crafts Court) where you'll find shops built in the medieval style of half-timbered houses and a fascinating display of craftsmen at work on traditional crafts: wooden toys, stained glass, pewter-casting, leatherwork, etc. This is a great place to spend an afternoon, kids will love watching the craftsmen at work. They'll really appreciate a souvenir they saw being made...(show and tell?)