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9 Instagram-mable spots & (free) things to do in Nuremberg - capturing the heritage of Germany

Nuremberg, also known as Nürnberg in German, is not only an interesting city in Germany, full of history and heritage, and many photogenic, or Instagram-mable, spots and fun (free) things to do, as I found out during my first ever visit last week.

View upon the quaint Tiergärtnertorplatz - Nuremberg, Germany
View upon the quaint Tiergärtnertorplatz

It’s the second largest city in the south German state of Bavaria and an important trade and cultural center since the Middle Ages.

How to get to Nuremberg?

We visited the city for 4 days, on a road trip through Bavaria, and couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. We drove there from The Hague in about 7 hours, without traffic jams.

However, Nürnberg is also easy to reach by plane, with direct flights, less than 1,5 hours from Amsterdam airport. Or by train in about 7-8 hours, quite directly.

Nuremberg's Old Town architecture - Germany

The well-preserved medieval architecture gives the city a distinctive and charming character. Here you can still explore narrow cobbled streets, half-timbered houses, miles of city walls and majestic Gothic churches, transporting you back in time.

Nuremberg's Old Town - Bavaria Germany

What makes Nürnberg so unique?

Even though I didn’t know much about Nuremberg and highly underestimated its beauty, I found it surprisingly appealing and diverse. To learn more about Nürnberg I would recommend doing a city tour with a guide, like we did with Claudia Radtke.

Nuremberg's Old Town's bridges - Germany
Bridges of Nuremberg's Old Town

A few remarkable things that make Nuremberg so unique:

  • Nürnberg is one of the few German cities that has an imperial castle (Kaiserburg) within its walls.

  • It’s one of the biggest cities in Europe with its medieval city walls still intact. A total of 4 kms encircling the city, well preserved and restored after the bombings.

Nürnberg's historical city walls - Germany
Nürnberg's historical city walls
  • Nuremberg has the oldest and largest pedestrian area of Europe in its Old Town, making it easy to explore on foot. It also has an extensive path along the city walls in the old city moats.

  • This city played a crucial role in shaping German history, serving as an important trade and cultural center.

Nürnberg's Old Town squares - Germany
Nürnberg's Old Town squares
  • Nürnberg is also home to numerous innovative companies and institutions, particularly in the fields of engineering, electronics and IT.

  • And it has a thriving arts and cultural scene, with museums, galleries and theaters. It was a hub for famous artists like Albrecht Dürer, whose works are still exhibited in the city.

Albrecht Dürer's house in Nuremberg - Germany

All this shaped Nürnberg into the buzzing historic city it currently is, offering a unique blend of medieval architecture and modern structures.

In this blog I will share 9 of my favourite (photogenic) spots in Nuremberg city center with you, which are, in my opinion, highly Instagram-mable. As well as several fun things to do, most free of charge!

Instagram-mable spots in Nuremberg city - Germany

Capturing the heritage of Nuremberg

If you truly want to capture the heritage of Nuremberg, the best thing to do is wander around the Old Town, while taking pictures and soaking in that authentic atmosphere.

I really enjoyed admiring the historic buildings and many bridges, statues, churches and fountains, while creating content at those Instagram-mable spots, as you can see in this gallery:

Luckily most sites and activities in Nürnberg are free and there's much to see all around the city center.

If you do want to visit more museums and historic sites, I would recommend buying the Nürnberg city card. This will save you money on visiting more than 30 museums, attractions and free public transport for 48 hours in and around Nuremberg: Nuremberg city card.

View over Nuremberg city from the Sinwell Tower - Germany
View over Nuremberg city from the Sinwell Tower

When exploring the diverse Nuremberg neighborhoods it can be very convenient to use the app to discover the best spots on location, find historical facts, insider tips, discount coupons and more. And also useful as inspiration when planning your trip to the city: Quartiere Nuernberg app.

From the imposing Nuremberg Castle to the vibrant Tiergärtnertorplatz, the authentic Craftsmen's Courtyard and modern Augustinerhof area, I’ll happily explore Nuremberg with you on foot in this blog.

I will share my favourite photogenic spots and things to do through many of my own pictures (as always), from the top of the city to the south of Old Town:.

9 Instagram-mable spots & (free) things to do in Nuremberg

1. Kaiserburg Castle & Gardens

Perched majestically on a hill atop the city, Nuremberg’s imperial castle forms an iconic symbol of the city's medieval grandeur. It served as the residence of the Holy Roman Emperors during their visits to the city, adding to its historical significance.

Nuremberg Castle courtyard - Germany
Kaiserburg Castle of Nuremberg - Germany

You can visit the surroundings of the castle and the gardens for free, offering panoramic views of Nuremberg's rooftops and spires from several vantage points.

Strolling through the castle gardens, along the city walls, all the way down, was a true delight. A tranquil historic pathway with beautiful views all around.

Nuremberg Imperial Castle gardens - Germany

The inside of the castle and the Sinwell Tower are accessible for a fee or with the Nürnberg Card. Certainly was worth the climb for views like this:

Sinwell Tower staircase of Nuremberg Castle - Germany

And the castle interiors and museum, from the Knight's Hall to the deep well, tell the tales of the past so well.

2. Tiergärtnertorplatz

Descending from the castle you will get to this vibrant square in Nuremberg Old Town. Here charming historic buildings with their colorful facades create a captivating backdrop.

Tiergärtnertorplatz view in Nuremberg Old Town - Germany

Albrecht Dürer’s House is also located here, an architectural landmark. As well as the popular Café Bar Wanderer, where locals meet for drinks and sunset views, surrounded by photogenic half-timbered houses and terraces.

Cafe Bar Wanderer Nuremberg Old Town - Germany

You can also do a tour of the historic rock-cut cellars and tunnels here, certainly something I would come back for too!

3. St. Sebaldus & St. Lorenz church + paid tower tour

Amidst the cityscape stand these 2 medieval churches, true masterpieces of Gothic architecture. As sunlight filters through their high stained-glass windows, it creates a serene ambiance and the perfect setting to capture the ethereal beauty of their unique architectural details.

Angel Choir view in St.Sebaldus Church of Nuremberg Old Town - Germany

Visiting the churches is free, but I can highly recommend doing a paid tower tour with a private guide as well, bookable in advance at both churches.

Our friendly guide took us up to the Angle Choir, atop the St. Sebaldus church, past the imposing church bell and 250 steps all the way up the tower for impressive views over Nuremberg.

In my opinion certainly worth the low fee of less than €10 p.p., depending on the size of the group.

4. Daily market & Christkindlesmarkt

One of the most famous Christmas markets in the world is held on the market square in Nürnberg’s city center every year. This traditional market has been held for centuries and attracts millions of visitors each year, making it a unique experience, open from 1 - 24 December.

Hauptmarkt of Nuremberg - Bavaria, Germany

The rest of the year you will find a daily farmers market and many stalls on this main square and around the St. Lorenz church, worth checking out too.

Market at St. Lorenz church of Nuremberg - Bavaria, Germany

5. City Festivals

Throughout the year Nuremberg hosts various festivals, markets and events that celebrate its traditions, arts and culture. During the weekend we were there the Bardentreffen music festival was held on different stages in the city center, with live street performances all around too.

Bardentreffen music festival on the Hauptmarkt of Nuremberg - Germany
Bardentreffen music festival at St.Sebaldus church square of Nuremberg - Germany

Most festivals are free and held year round for several days. Just take your pick and see all of them here: Nuremberg city events & festivals.

6. Augustinerhof Area

In the heart of Nuremberg's historic center, the Augustinerhof area offers a nice fusion of history and modernity, making it an ideal spot to capture and socak in the evolving spirit of the city.

Augustinerhof area Nuremberg - Germany

There are many nice restaurants, bars and cafés here as well, like Tafelzier and Bon Bon Ice Cream Bar, about which you will find more info at the end of this blog.

Bon Bon Ice Cream Bar in Augustinerhof Nuremberg - Germany

7. Weissbergergasse

The most photogenic street of Nürnberg. The place to be for traditional German architecture, cute bars and perfect to take Instagram-mable shots with those typical half-timbered houses!

Weissbergergasse - most photogenic street of Nürnberg - Germany
Bar in Weissbergergasse - Instagram-mable street of Nürnberg - Germany

8. Hangman's (Henkersteg) & other bridges

Over the Pegnitz River stands Hangman's Bridge, a.k.a. Henkersteg. A historic pedestrian crossing that unites the old and new Nürnberg. The sight of the ancient towers and red roofs with the modern city skyline in the background, symbolizes Nuremberg's evolving story so well.

Hangman's Bridge, or Henkersteg - historic bridge of Nuremberg - Germany

I actually found the view upon it from the Maxbrücke nice to both sides, looking out on 2 historic bridges. But there are several photogenic sights in this area, all very Instagram-mable, don’t you agree?

Instagram-mable bridges of Nuremberg - Germany

9. Craftsmen's Courtyard

More in the south of Nürnberg's Old Town, behind the train station and just next to our hotel, skilled craftsmen still practice their authentic trades. Although a bit touristic, it's the perfect area to immerse yourself in Nuremberg's heritage and rustic charm.

Crafmen's Courtyard of Nuremberg - Bavaria, Germany

This courtyard with cobbled pathways and half-timbered workshops, provides an enchanting setting, with several traditional restaurants and solely shops of real artisans.

Authentic restaurants in the Crafmen's Courtyard of Nuremberg - Germany

Right across from it you will find the New Museum of Art and Design, displaying the beautiful contrast of modern and historic this city is known for.

New Museum of Art and Design Nuremberg - Germany

Where to eat in Nuremberg?

Nürnberg is famous for its culinary delights, particularly its gingerbread cookies (Lebkuchen) and trademark Nuremberg sausages. These traditional treats are an essential part of the city's culinary heritage and popular souvenirs.

Traditional bakery in Nuremberg - Germany

The city also has a big array of restaurants, terraces, bars and cafés to choose from.

The ones we sampled were:

  • Zeit & Raum - delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes, jummy flammkuchen on a great location by the water.

  • Dürrer Hase - the best flammkuchen and steaks, served in a cozy restaurant in the Castle District.

  • Bon Bon Ice Cream Bar - home-made ice cream with excellent waffles, in a 80’s vibe in the Augustinerhof area.

  • Tafelzier – coffee, macarons and classy pastries (to go), served in a modern setting.

  • Bocksbeutel Stube & Pillhofer restaurant - traditional Franconian dishes, served in the Stube or on the big outdoor terrace.

Get an impression in this gallery & don't forget to click on the pictures to see them full size:

Where to stay?

Our hotel was perfect for an overnight stay with delicious breakfast and located centrally in Nuremberg. Hotel Victoria is situated at the beginning of the Old Town, within walking distance of all the sites, just behind the train station and right next to 1 of the 4 imposing city wall towers.

Book your own stay at Hotel Victoria here.

For more unique hotels here check this Nuremberg hotels page or the Bavaria region page. And for extra Germany trip inspiration go to this page of my website.

City wall & tower next to Victoria Hotel in Nuremberg - Germany

The hotel is set in a 19th century building, is small-scale and privately run, with all the comfort and amenities you can expect from a 4 star city hotel. And even has a convenient parking garage right behind the hotel.

Victoria Hotel facade Nuremberg - Bavaria, Germany

This unique blend of Nuremberg’s history and heritage with its modern elements and character, sets it apart and certainly make it a city worth visiting. Not just for a 1 day stop-over on your way to Austria or Italy, but also for a weekend stay or longer vacation in the Bavaria region of Germany.

In my opinion Nürnberg has a big range of scenic and photogenic spots for photographers and travelers alike. Its historical significance, well-preserved medieval charm, cultural treasures, and culinary heritage make it really unique, but do find out for yourself, you won’t regret it!

Nuremberg's Old Town city hall - Germany

For even more Instagram-mable spots & free things to do in Nuremberg and to optimally plan your own visit, check the Nuernberg Tourism site with everything you need to know.

Check out my next blog for a unique Bavaria road trip combination to Nuremberg and 2 other hidden gems nearby! And do follow me on social media with daily inspiration for this beautiful German region!


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