Germany’s medieval Bavarian town of Nuremberg is home to the world famous Christkindlemarkt, Renaissance genius Albrect Dürer, and one of the most important medieval castles in Euorope — all of which can be found in Old Town. Surrounded by its original medieval wall, Old Town is one of the most historic places in Germany.
The best way to see Old Town is on foot. Walking around the picture-perfect setting, with the pretty Pegnitz River and the castle in the background, it’s hard to believe that 90% of Nuremberg had to be reconstructed post-war. Walk the cobblestone streets, enjoy the atmosphere of timbered architecture and grab some local delicacies, like gingered Nuremberg Lebkuchen and red beer. Here are four things to do in Old Town.
The first organic craft brewery in Germany, Hausbrauerei Altstadthof specializes in delicious red beer. At one point, Nuremberg had more than six acres of underground beer cellars. You can tour the brewery, then enjoy the various craft brews in the copper and wood brewpub. You’ll find a bowl of hops on your table (you can eat it), and get to choose from a variety of beer, but it’s best to get a sampler and try several.
It’s a family friendly pub with a children’s menu and cozy booths. Food specialties include Franconian Potato Soup, salad made with local produce, and heavier typical German fare like Bratwurst. They have bottles to go, so you can buy a few pints to take home. This brewery is located just down the hill from the castle, so it would be a great place to stop after touring the Kaiserburg.
If you are a fan of Albrect Dürer, you will love being able to stand in his kitchen. It’s a thrill to wander around inside his home and imagine him there, and it’s particularly exciting to inhabit his studio. The museum has placed interpretive furniture and supplies in the home to help your imagination. Interactive touch screen displays help make the period come to life, showcasing Dürer’s major works as well as the other famed artists and masterpieces of the time. Sometimes there are printing demonstrations held in the studio. For more Albrect Dürer, head right around the corner to the Albrect Dürer Stube restaurant for some excellent traditional German fare amid Dürer prints and paraphernalia.
The former residence of the Holy Roman Emperor, Nuremberg’s Imperial Castle, aka Kaiserburg, is situated on a hill offering spectacular panoramic views of the city. The Medieval castle is the symbol of the city and was once a popular stopping point for journeying royals. If only the walls could talk.
Built on a beautiful sandstone rock in in the corner of Old Town, the castle was one of the most important structures of the Holy Roman Empire throughout the middle ages. You’ll hear Nuremberg referred to as the unofficial capitol of the Holy Roman Empire for the numerous courts and assemblies that were held at the the castle.
Named for the patron saint of Nuremberg, Sebald Restaurant offers a cozy upscale dining experience in a Mediterranean inspired atmosphere decorated with whimsical artwork. The bright green fresh Pea Soup with lobster is phenomenal and it’s worth visiting Sebald for that alone. Enjoy by candlelight with some local beer or wine, then stroll around the cobbled neighborhood post-dinner.
Images #1, #3 and #4: Shutterstock
Leah DeAngelis is Editor of Best Travel Gear.