This past weekend I finally made it to Deutschland for the first time, landing in Nuremberg (German: Nürnberg) to attend a friend’s wedding in the countryside an hour and a half outside of the city. I didn’t know anyone at all, let alone anyone who looked like me, who had been there so I had struggled to find any information on the city I could relate to. But since I’ve been, I can say hand on heart that I loved my short weekend trip overall, and thought it was the perfect place to experience Germany for a first time visit!
If you’re considering a trip to Nuremberg, here are six things you should know:
1. Nuremberg was handpicked as the Nazi Party’s HQNuremberg was home to the Nazi Party’s former rally grounds which includes the Documentation Centre (Doku-zentrum), the incomplete Congress Hall, and several other points of interest. If you’re keen on history, look up the Nuremberg Trials. I would be lying if I didn’t say I had been hesitant to visit Germany because of it’s past, and if I hadn’t visited for this wedding I may not have visited for several more years… if at all. My takeaways from this trip are:
- I like that Germany owns its history (not celebrates) and has not tried to erase the part it played during Hitler’s reign. And from what I’ve seen, nor do they continue to celebrate people who were incorrectly considered heroes with statues and flags (looking at you, USA). They really could have demolished the rally grounds and repurposed it, but it’s preservation serves as ownership of wrongdoing and educates all who visit about what took place at that time.
- It was necessary to put my preconceptions aside and arrive in Nuremberg expecting that I would meet a population just as warm and loving as my friend, the bride, is – and I did! The Germans are a hospitable, curious and engaging people; I’ve now made friends with the bride’s friends and hope to visit again but this time to Munich!
2. Albrecht Dürer is the City’s Superstar
One thing I love about visiting somewhere new, is finding out that somebody famous is from there. Albrecht Dürer was a German Renaissance artist known for producing one of the early maps of the stars. Dürer is kind of like the Biggie Smalls to your Brooklyn and here’s a fun fact; Biggie Smalls and Albrecht Dürer share the same birthday, but Dürer was born in 1471. Dürer’s house is located at the base of Nuremberg Castle and this whole street has a number of museums, shops and restaurants in his name. You’ll find his name almost everywhere in Nuremberg and while it is understandable if you didn’t know his name before you get there, it would be highly embarrassing if you left without knowing about him at all. The city’s international airport also bears his name: Albrecht Dürer Flughafen Nürnberg.
3. The Nürnberger bratwurst is what you’re looking for
The city is known for its skinny roasted sausages or “bratwurst” (“rostbratwurst” if cooked on an open grill); the Nürnberg bratwurst is a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and can only be produced in the city. If you’re after a traditional dish in the city, make sure you ask for this! You’ll be offered a plate with a range of different quantities of sausages and it is often served with cabbage (sauerkraut) and a potato salad. A common side is also horseradish, so as someone who loves mayonnaise very much, you can imagine this burned me too many times to not warn others. I had a traditional meal at Bratwurst Roselein however you could try the oldest restaurant (600 years!) in the city – Zum Gulden Stern.
4. No Uber needed in Nürnberg, and that’s wünderbar
Uber doesn’t operate in Nuremberg, which is completely fine as it is an incredibly walkable city (though admittedly not the most accessible of places). Bikes rule the pavement and essentially much of the centre of the city is pedestrianised. The subway to the airport literally takes 20 minutes from Hauptenbanhof and the furthest sight to see – the rally grounds, in the south east of the outer city, takes around the same amount of time on the tram. No Uber, no problem.
5. So. Many. Churches. And. Cathedrals.
6. There are SO many Nürnberger folklores
Like the reason why the sausages are so small is because an imprisoned man couldn’t do without them. Instead of his friends sitting at home tweeting “free my guy”, they were useful people who made the sausages small enough to pass to him through the keyhole of his cell. This is the truth, and it is nothing to do with stretching profits… am I right!?
Another story was one about the architect of the Schöner Brunnen (‘beautiful fountain’) in Nuremberg’s main market square. The architect wanted to marry a nobleman’s daughter, however the father did not approve of the match and thought the architect to be below him and his daughter. The architect then featured a gold ring in the gothic fencing that can be spun for good luck and this was thought of as a grand architectural accomplishment. All of a sudden, the architect was marriage material for the nobleman’s daughter! See what having fountain-building skills can do for your life?
Have you been to Nuremberg, or any other German city? How did you find it? Let us know!