Munich v. Nuremberg

My husband and I are traveling through Germany and will be attempting to see as much of the country as possible. I've already allocated time to spend in the Black Forest and Baden Wine Region. We have one day to spend in either Munich or Nuremberg before traveling to Vilsofen for a river cruise. My friends seem split on weather we should visit Nuremberg or Munich.

A little about our likes and dislikes:

We want to get a good feel for German Beer, food and tradition.

Overall, we prefer scenic countryside over big cities however, we are spending several days in the Black Forest region so we are getting a good dose of rural life on this trip.

We aren't very into visiting museums but, we do like a little bit of history in the form of castles and outdoor exhibits.

Any recommendations on which city we should visit is greatly appreciated!

Posted by Gary Mc
Salt Lake City
832 posts

Both cities were destroyed in WWII. I have the impression that Nürnberg has made the greater effort to build back its historical center, including its castle.

Munich has a couple of my favorite beers (Augustiner and Paulaner) but Nürnberg also has good breweries in the area. Kulmbach has many beers for sale there.

Given this choice, I think I would opt for Nürnberg as München (Munich) is really tough to get to know in a one day time frame. I think a day in Nürnberg would give you a decent feeling for the old center of town.

Posted by Robert
Happy Valley, PA
256 posts

Well, if you're into history and only have one day, then Nuremberg would fit the bill nicely. The Nazi Party Rally Grounds, the Palace of Justice (Nuremberg Trials), and a walk up Konigstrasse to the Castle could be done in one very long day or part of two days, depending when you arrived and departed. If you do this, suggest staying in a hotel near the Hauptbahnhof (main train station); Konigstrasse has a lot of them, many in the RS guide. Food-wise, you could also enjoy some "Nurnbergers" (small, uber-tasty bratwursts) for lunch or dinner. see link.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
8675 posts

I don't think you can go wrong with either city. Munich has more museums for the museum-lover, but that's not you.

Posted by Lo
Tucson
1458 posts

I just gotta jump in here. By all means, go to Nürnberg and spend the night inside the walls of the Altstadt. You won't have a lot of time for touristy things, but the area is pretty compact and you will be able to walk around and get a good taste (literally and figuratively) of this lovely walled city.

This Wikipedia article is pretty good -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg, as is the list of things to see and do on Trip Advisor. The hard part will be picking which. I would pick the castle and/or Albrecht Dürer's house and one significant WWII site.

I lived in Nürnberg for 3 years back in the early 80's. I went back for a day trip from Munich in 2009. It wasn't nearly enough time to show my husband what I wanted to show him or to eat what I wanted to eat.

Nürnberg did rebuild after WWII. There is a great book that I bought while there, Nürnberg damals -- heute, by Ray D'Addario. It consists of photographs of locations after the war and later, after the rebuilding, taken from the same spot. The destruction was incredible, but so was the rebuild. If you can find it in a library before you go, it will be well worth the effort.

I'm sure others will recommend other places, but with a short time there, I would go to the Bratwursthäusle (Bratwurst House) -- http://die-nuernberger-bratwurst.de/index.php?id=3821 -- for Nürnberger bratwürst. Here you can choose how many you want and with what sides. They cook them over a grill inside. It is just off the main (Hauptmarkt) square.

The other franconian dish I fell in love with when I lived there was Schäufele (cut from the shoulder of pork, served with potato dumpling and franconian beer sauce). Beware, most places serve huge portions of this. Some places have it only on certain days. Ask your hotel staff for a good place to go for it. I've never had a bad Schäufele, but I'm sure it's possible.

We went to Der Barfüsser (http://www.barfuesser-nuernberg.de/english.html) , even though it has uneven reviews on Trip Advisor. I don't drink, but they brew their own beer and my husband thought it was good. He definitely agreed that the Schäufele there was great. Click on the English option and on the various menus under Speisen and Getränke. There are lots of good pictures under Galerie.

Posted by Bob F.
PA
5 posts

I would pick Nuremberg based on your description. It is a relatively big city but with a very small feel. The old Nazi rally grounds can be done on a nice outdoor walk and has great history. Even though museums may not be your thing, the Documentation Center at the Nazi Rally grounds is excellent and there are English audio guides.

You can't go wrong with beer in Nuremberg either. A great hangout it the Altstadt Brauerei near Albrect Durer Platz. It is also the "home base" for city underground tours. A different experience to see the beer cellars and old bomb shelters under the city. Some tours are German and some are English so be sure to check out a schedule.

In addition, the old city of Nuremberg is just a great place to walk around and explore. Great food, great beer, and nice people.

Posted by Jennifer
Prague
18 posts

I think if you only have one day, Nuremberg would be easier to navigate. However…I just returned from Bamberg and loved it. It was not destroyed in the war, it's very quaint, easy to get around the Alstadt and has a ridiculous number of breweries in the region. You can also find the special smoked beer there. There isn't much to do in Bamberg but people are friendly and it's not overrun with tourists. It's about 30 minutes by train from Nuremberg.

Posted by melissa
Austin
826 posts

Either city is terrific, so don't worry about your choice. I have to agree that one day in Nuremburg will feel like you can see almost everything, which would not be the case in Munich. Really like Munich but it needs more time, if you can live with only a short visit.
Those finger sized Nuremberg sausages served on a fresh roll are the best!