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Nuremberg as a base ideas

Hi All,

I've posted here before and got amazing feedback from a lot of people, I'm narrowing down my itinerary by smaller chunks so it's easier to get more precise advice.

Me, my wife and our 20 month old daughter are planning a month long trip to Germany. We're planning to stay use Nuremberg as a base for part of the trip arriving from Prague on Sept 5th for 5 nights. We're planning to use 2 of those full days to visit Nuremberg and day trips to Rothenburg, Bamberg, and maybe Wurzburg (I might need to add one night and take it from Munich)

A couple of questions.

Given that our interests are picturesque towns, photography, and unique experiences which day trips would you recommend? (already visiting Prague, Munich, and Berlin) Would you replace any of the 3 I mentioned?

One of the things I've heard is that Rothenburg is the pretties at night, so I'm planning to either leave 80% of the luggage at Nuremberg (either at a locker room or at the hotel) and spend the night at Rothenburg

Nuremberg Germany museum looks great, how is it compared to the one in Berlin? Are they very different? Which one would you choose?

Train should be the best option for the day trips, right?

Any photography recommendations?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by
5065 posts

"Given that our interests are picturesque towns, photography, and unique experiences which day trips would you recommend? (already visiting Prague, Munich, and Berlin) Would you replace any of the 3 I mentioned?"

I'm sure others will share their disagreement with me on this, but with your stated interests, I'd drop Munich.

I would add some time to see other places that are more unique and more picturesque.

Wine/art town of Iphofen (easy day or half-day trip by direct train from Nuremberg)

Bad Windsheim's outdoor cultural/historical museum (Freilandmuseum) (ditto, easy train trip from N'berg)

If you have something specific you want to see in Munich, and if your plan includes flying out of MUC airport, you might want to spend your last night on the ground in an airport-area hotel after your sightseeing in Munich.

A train leaves Rothenburg at 22:06 and puts you back in Nuremberg at 23:20. That's a good way to see it at night and still avoid the packing/unpacking/check-in routine.

What Nuremberg, Germany museum are you referring to? Nuremberg has many.

Posted by
6494 posts

Ditto, drop Munich; it is not picturesque at all. I did not take any pictures there 3 nights. I did take pictures in Nuremburg, Bamberg, Rothenburg ob de Tauber, Wurzburg and Salzburg, Austria. I have also been to Berlin, Bremen, Lubeck on one trip and, Koln and Aagen from Frankfurt on another trip. All of those I took pictures in and enjoyed more than Munich.

Posted by
5065 posts

No info in this thread about the # of days you had set aside for Munich - so I checked your old posts. If you still have several days you could indeed spend them in the Salzburg / Berchtesgaden / Königssee area instead of Munich. Truly beautiful and up your alley.

Posted by
30 posts

@russ, thanks so much again for the input! I'll definitely look into Iphofen and Wimpfen. Both for day trips, right? Compared to Bamberg or Wuzburg? Unfortunately we're gonna be with the baby so taking a late train is not an option since she'll be sleeping by 8pm (would love to hear thoughts about this from other parents?) We're planning to be in Munich for the first 2 days of Oktoberfest before going home, but planning to use Munich as a base to visit Salzburg and other areas around. (i'll ask for critique at a separate post)

@wally, yes no car. From most of the people I've heard trains and buses are the best except for the romantic road, is it not true? I'm definitely interested in seeing the rally grounds, walking around the town and seeing the architecture.

@Jazz+Travels thanks, as stated above planning to see Munich for Oktoberfest daytrips and maybe a day for sithseeing.

@russ i left my Munich nights open, right now 8 nights that I can borrow for other places, for example 2 more for Nuremberg and a couple for the Bavarian Alps (4 nights currently) I know 8 nights is way too much, but I want to see how many days I need in each of the other cities to borrow nights from Munich and even stay at an extra stop if necessary.

Posted by
452 posts

We go over to that area every other year for the Christmas Markets and LOVE Nuremburg! We stay at Hotel Victoria which is right across the street from the train station - you actually walk UNDERground to get to it. It is right at the Handmade Market and very close to the OldTown area and the 2 gorgeous cathedrals. We love walking all the bridges! I agree about Munich, we take the train to Munich to fly home, but we don't spend much time there. Now, you can do a day trip to Regensburg from Munich - we've done it with Rick Steves recommended Radius Tours, but with a baby, may be best to do it on your own - but we learned so much and loved the town. We also did a day trip with them to Dachau Concentration Camp. We love Salzburg too. Passau is another quaint, old town we love and an easy day trip from Nuremburg. Just know at this point, Germany isn't sure we will be getting in till LATE Fall - our hotels we had booked for NOV/DEC 2021 sent us a lengthy email last week and we went ahead and canceled our whole trip and postponed to Dec 2022. Don't book anything that won't give you a full refund. It's a wonderful area - have a great time and happy planning.

Posted by
364 posts

One thing about Munich is its pretty well located for day trips beyond the obvious ones which wont be neccessary if you are staying in the Bavarian Alps anyway. Places like Augsburg, or Tegernsee or Chiemsee. I actually found alot of intresting architecture to take photos of in Munich, a lot in the two areas straddling the Englischer Garten area, Bogenhaus to the east and Schwabing to the west. I loved the area right along the park in Bogenhaus, but I seem to have a thing for European urban elegant neighborhoods.

Posted by
1084 posts

I like all the places you mention in Germany above (haven't been to Berlin). It seems I'm in the minority when it comes to Munich. I ditto what Rob says. I like the downtown core. Parks abound, there are plenty of museums (including a BMW one, if that is of any interest to you). We spent almost a whole day at Nymphenburg and its grounds.

To add to Rob's list, within an hour or so by train are Ulm and the attractive towns of Landsberg, Murnau and Bad Tolz. The latter two give you a good taste of the Alps and some decent, fairly easy hiking opportunities.

Posted by
5065 posts

"...planning to use Munich as a base to visit Salzburg and other areas around."

Might not be on that future thread... I disagree with this strategy. Stay in Munich to see Munich if you wish. Salzburg has a lot of charm and a lot to see and do, both in town and outside of town - definitely not a 1/2-day or 3/4-day destination IMHO - it's time consuming to get there and back - and probably even more time consuming to get around in town with a child - and you will ultimately shortchange yourselves. Instead, use it much as a base town. Day trips from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden/Königssee, to the salt mines, and to the sights near Werfen are doable can be very nice.

"We're planning to be in Munich for the first 2 days of Oktoberfest before going home..."

An expensive choice to make when visitor numbers reach their zenith. If you are going to be true O'fest participants, that's one thing, but if it's seeing Munich that matters to you, try to pick some different days.

Like Bamberg, Iphofen and Bad Wimpfen are outings from Nuremberg, but these are not comparable places - each is a "unique experience" - and worth some extra time in your Nuremberg base.

Posted by
30 posts

@chinalake67, that's amazing, i've been actually looking at that hotel. Thanks for the recommendations about those 2 places. Yes! the cancelations are very important. Thankfully my credit card allows me to cancel any reservations

@wally, thanks I'll take the car into consideration. Yes, definitely know that this might now happen.

@rob, I will definitely look into those. Thank you!

@Gundersen, yes I definitely want to see the BMW museum.

@russ. Thanks so much! I'll post about Munich in a different thread including the Bavarian Alps to not hijack this post. I would love some feedback on it.
Yes, we are planning to meet up with friends for Oktoberfest and take part of it for 2 days .
If I understand correctly Bamberg, Iphofen and Bad Wipfen are unique experience on their own and not comparable amongst them? Do you think a day trip to each would be enough?

So far I think i can add an extra night here and make it so.

1 night in rothenburg arriving from Prague and leaving luggage in Nuremberg
5 nights in Nuremberg including
2 days in Nuremberg
day trip to Bamberg
day trip to Iphofen
day trip to Bad Wimpfen or Wurzburg

Posted by
1084 posts

I always rent a car and stay in villages or small towns. I wouldn't rent a car if using bases like Berlin, Nuremberg and Munich. Nuremberg 2, Bamberg1, Wurzburg 1 sounds good.

We are very slow travellers who do a lot of walking, and would sooner visit Iphofen and Bad Wimpfen before any of the larger destinations, but they might not be enough for a full day trip for you. If you like to walk, and usually take a long lunch, Iphofen can be combined with the outdoor museum at Bad Windsheim, mentioned above. Bad Wimpfen can be combined with a prior visit to the saltworks at Bad Friedrichshall. Both Iphofen and Bad Wimpfen are great little places, and once I actually stayed in Iphofen for 10 or 11 nights. I don't know how easy/fast it is to reach them by public transport.

Also take into account that you have five nights in Nuremberg, which does not equate to five full days of sightseeing.

Oh, Regensburg is less than an hour by train from Nuremberg. I've always wanted to visit and have read very good things about it.

Posted by
747 posts

I'm always surprised when people suggest dropping Munich from a trip to Germany. That may be because Munich is a lot like many American big cities, plus it's in flat land and spread out. Most tourists only see the small old city center, maybe the museum district, and, in season, the festival grounds. That's too bad, because Munich is a great city.

But you're asking about Nuremberg, and the surrounding "day trips". Well, lets start with those. Rothenberg is, in my mind, best first thing in the morning. It's okay at night (but nowhere near as good as Prague after the sun goes down), but on a sunny morning when the mustard is in bloom it's fantastic. Tourists don't usually arrive before 10am, and that gives you time to get a fresh pastry and coffee, walk the walls almost alone, and get your pictures before you have to fight the crowds.

If you want something unique, consider staying at Castle Colmberg instead of in the city. It's about a 15 minute taxi ride from the Rothenberg Train Station.

Bamberg is nice, and the walk along the river is very picturesque. And Wurzburg is also a good city to spend some time in, especially if you like wine and are visiting in the fall. But frankly from Nuremberg the place to go is Regensburg, because you can actually walk the old town in a day, and it's quite pleasant. Wurzburg is too big for a "day", especially if you try to hit a vineyard or two. And Bamberg isn't as nice as Regensburg (in my opinion). If you want someplace not on all the tourist stops, consider Amberg (east of Nuremberg), or Ansbach (to the Southwest) both of which are very pretty small towns well worth visiting.

There's just so much to do in and around Nuremberg that it's hard to know where to start. For hotels I like Le Meridian. The Victoria is good also. I've also used the Ringhotel Loew's Merkur, which is on the other side of the Bahnhof. If you want American amenities the Sheraton is just a block away.

My basic list of things to do in Nuremberg is as follows:

The Train Museum
The Toy Museum
The Kunst Quarter
The Stadtpark
Westfriedhof - Cemetary
Johannis Friedhof – Tomb of Albrect Durer
The Cupernicus Planetarium
Trodelmarkt
Tucherschloss
The Tiergarten
Kristall Palm Beach (not really in your focus, but a lot of fun...)
The Water Gate
Imperial Castle & Gardens
National Germanic Museum
City Walls
Lorenzkirche
Hauptmarkt
Beautiful Fountain (Schonnebrunnen)
Gansemannchen Fountain
St. Giles Church Frauenkirche
Albert Durer House
City Museum (Fembo House)
Tiergarten Tor - Medieval Square Frauntorturn District - half timbered houses
Weibergasse Street
Weinstadel House
Zum Guldenen Stern
Nassauer House
Tugenbrunnen Fountain
Museum Bridge
St Sebaldus Kirche
You might also want to check the calendar for the Messecentrum and see if they have a show going on while you are planning on being there. First, because that affects hotel availability and pricing, and second in case it's something you're interested in.

If you only have two days you'll have to pick and choose. Note this does not include any of the WWII places, which could easy make another list.

The popular walks in the evening are those along the Pegnitz river, which flows east to west thru the old city. The other is the red light district, which is along the old wall moat between farberstrasse and the Spittaltor (tower gate) in the south west corner of the city wall.

Posted by
747 posts

More for Nuremberg:

The main thoroughfare is KonigsStrasse (the Kings Way), which runs north/south to the castle. There’s a lot of Americanized stuff just inside the wall across from the Bahnhof. A couple blocks up is a small place on kind of a pedestal (if you see it you’ll know what I mean). It’s a local landmark, and famous for the sausage. Nuremberg bratwurst are smaller than most places, but spicier and they serve 3-4 on a roll. Everyone eats 4-8 “stuck” (pieces) at a time. With “senf” (mustard), “kraut” (cabbage), or “kartofflen” (potatoes). The place is usually full (it’s small) and not many tourists.

Just past there is the old city hall. In the basement is a fairly new (15-20 years) beer hall called “Barfusser”. It’s a popular local hangout with good food.

Just past this place you start to hit the shopping district (which runs down to the river). If you need anything there’s a huge supermarket called “KaufHaus” that takes up a city block and is several stories tall. I tend to go in and buy my clothes here when I’m traveling light. Think German WalMart.

After you pass St Lorenz Church (on the right) you’ll cross over the river. To the right is the old hospital; to the left is the really fancy part of the shopping district, along the water. Just over the bridge is the main market square. I usually pick up something in the market, but if you pass on that just grab lunch from an “Imbiss” (snack stand).
From here it’s all up hill to the castle. Nurnberg castle’s kind of cool, great rose gardens, but there’s not much else up there. Everything’s in the streets below. You may want to visit Albrecht Durer’s Haus (he was a famous artist in the middle ages). You can’t miss the big (kind of ugly) rabbit statue just outside.

You could also visit the Deutsche Stadium or Nazi Party Rally Grounds. They are southeast of the old city and easy to reach by U-Bahn. If you get off the train at the Frankenstadion stop they’re about a 5 minute walk. You could drive, and then visit the park to the west; on sunny days you can sit there and watch all the people from the local business towers come out for lunch. Good people watching.

As you walk around (if you look) you’ll see a lot of monuments to St George, he’s one of the city’s patron saints.

Posted by
24559 posts

I usually base just south of Nuremberg for nearly a week. I've been going there for years. Never run out of things to do.

Posted by
5487 posts

Another lodging suggestion for Nuremberg is PrivatHotel Probst -- small, family-run place close to the train station, recommended in RS book. We were there December 2019 for Christmas markets and loved the location and the breakfasts. About €90 per night for two.

Posted by
30 posts

@Gundersen, thanks. Yes, I was looking into Resenburg as well.

@KGC. Thanks. We won't skip Munich with the time we have, we might cut it a couple of days. Thanks about the Rosenburg tip, I'm looking forward to seeing the morning light. That's exactly what I was thinking about Wurzburg being too big. Do you feel Resenberg and Bamberg are different between each other? I'll look into Amberg and Ambash. Thanks for the list of sights as well! 2 days might not be enough just for Nuremberg?

Thanks @nigel

@laura b. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take the hotel into consideration

Posted by
24559 posts

Bamberg and Regensburg are quite different from each other. (by the way, be careful with spelling when you look things up... Regensburg with a "u" is where we are talking about, a beautiful town with loads to do on the Danube in southeastern Bavaria; Regensberg with an "e" is in Switzerland and not our topic today).

The ambiance, the food and drink, the architecture and culture, the sub-region within Bavaria, are all very different. Germany is very regional and that is borne out very much in their differences. In two different directions, and I love them both.

If you had time left over in Bamberg and a desire to see the huge castle where Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria, came from, Coburg is not too much further north from Bamberg. One of my favourite castles, and the public areas are excellent.

Back when folks wrote with quill pens I stayed at the Nuremberg Castle stables which was a Youth Hostel. Loved it. As I said, O never run out of things to do in and around Nuremberg.

I've been going there for 50 years (exactly 50, this year) and love the area. Haven't made it to the nazi sites yet though....

Posted by
122 posts

Russ mistook Bad Wimpfen for Bad Windsheim. There is no Freilandmuseum (open air museum) in Bad Wimpfen. Both are nice places, but Bad Windsheim is much easier to reach from Nürnberg (Nuremberg). To the OP: Bad means bath=spa in German.

Posted by
5065 posts

dsauna, demag: You're right, demag! It's Bad Windsheim, of course. My apologies for the confusion. Bad Wimpfen too is nice but way too many miles from Nuremberg for a day trip.

Here's a map that shows the train lines shooting out from Nuremberg. Bad Windsheim is on the route to Rothenburg - look to the far left side of the map to find its location.

https://www.vgn.de/media/schienennetz-gesamtraum-vgn.pdf

Posted by
24559 posts

One reason I nixed the idea of Munich for the OP: he will have a toddler in tow, and his trip is in September...umm, Oktoberfest, anyone? I personally would not schedule a visit to Munich during Oktoberfest even if I had no small children under foot..

Wally, up the top, 5 messages down, the OP said they were going to Munich for the first 2 days of Oktoberfest. Fair enough that you don't like it, but that's the reason they want to go there...

Posted by
809 posts

I love Rothenburg, especially the evenings and mornings. Spending at least a night there is magical, imho. The Night Watchman's Tour [early evening] is delightful; and mornings walking the Town Wall are memorable. Perhaps you can alternate and climb the steps of the Town Hall for a panorama view [couldn't get a child up the last dozen "steps", which is more like using a ladder.]

Safe travels!

Posted by
684 posts

If you drive to Iphofen there are other picturesque small towns in this Franken Wein region: Dettelbach, Prichsenstadt, Volkach etc. Vogelsburg has a great view of the Main River and vinyards. Your practically in Würzburg too. Maybe combine them into a day, then see Regensburg. With some time from Regensburg you could go to Kelheim and take the boat through the Danube Rock Gorge to the Weltenburg Abbey and back.

Posted by
122 posts

"Nuremberg Germany museum looks great, how is it compared to the one in Berlin? Are they very different?" You probably mean the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg. The name of the museum in Berlin is Deutsches Historisches Museum. The two museums are very different. The emphasis of the one in Nuremberg is on cultural history, whereas the emphasis of the one in Berlin is on political history. So it depends on your interests where to go. Both take you at least a whole day.

Posted by
602 posts

As long as your kid is backpack trained you can go go most anywhere you want - get started on that training early. An umbrella stroller to give your back a break, or to roll the real backpack in will also be useful too.

Here is the Nuremberg Municipal Museum Website in English for your reference - browse a bit.

https://museums.nuernberg.de/nuremberg-municipal-museums/

I find that the "Nuremberger Process"/trial courtroom is much more interesting than the Rally Grounds, although the Documentation Center is out near the Rally Grounds too. The Rally Grounds and the Documentation Center are easily and quickly reachable by S-Bahn trams. The Trial Courtroom and the museum of the trials above it in the Judicial Building are easily reachable by the U-Bahn going west from the main train station . Note that 2020 is the 75th Anniversary of the beginning of the Nuremberg Trials (which is discussed on the Museum website). The events seem later than when you will be there, but I am sure there will be run up events. Note that the Trial Courtroom itself is still in use as a judicial court so it is only available for a visitor weekends.

Posted by
2895 posts

There are photography opportunities everywhere, but you know best what you like to photograph. I’ll only add that Rothenburg ob der Tauber is best seen either before the day trippers arrive or after they depart. The rest of the day it’s jammed full of tourists. When we were there in 2012 we stayed a night at hotel Burg Gartenpalais and enjoyed our stay there. It’s restaurant had good food and was reasonably priced.

Posted by
719 posts

We based in Nuremburg for day trips to Bamberg and Regensburg and then moved on to Rothenburg to spend a night to avoid crowds. Highly recommend spending the night - it was a totally different place after 4 and before 10 the next morning. I thought Nuremburg was a great base. We originally just planned to use it as a base but turned out it was just as interesting and photogenic as the others. I'm also very glad a spent a few days in Munich and have no idea why some people suggested you drop it.

Here are my photos of all those towns - https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/f88619690

Posted by
30 posts

@NickB definitely looking at the honeyroo for baby carrier and the yoyo babyzen for a lightway stroller where she can also sleep. I'll be getting it soon so she gets used to it. Intersting to know about the trials, I'll do some more research.

@jaimeelsabio Mainly a landscape photographer, but also doing some street photography. Feel like photographing Rothenburg at night it's going to be amazing. Planning to keep my hotel in Nuremberg to leave most of our stuff and getting a hotel in Rothenburg as well. I'll look into the Burg Gartenpalais. Thank you. Off topic, but 2 places I'm looking forward to photograph are the devil's bridge (seems not possible this time) and Saxon Switzerland, I might need to spend a night in Dresden to photograph it for sunset and night (or sunrise and before)

@isabel, amazing photos! getting really hiped for the trip. Definitely not dropping Munich, but maybe spending a little less time.