During 2017, I was fortunate to be able to take a number of day trips to various European destinations, courtesy of cheap return fares with Ryanair. One of these trips was to the German city of Nuremberg, famous (infamous?) for its role in the Nazi regime and the post WW2 Nuremberg trials, however as I discovered there is so much more to the city than its 1930s/40s history. Unfortunately, I didn’t write a post about the city at the time and so this blog may be a bit sparse on details as I try to remember the trip almost 2 years later.
Aware that my only knowledge of things to do in the city was limited to WW2 related things, I headed to the Tourist Information Centre to get some ideas of what to do. It turns out that as a transport geek, I had stumbled upon a gem of a city as Nuremberg is home to the national Deutsch Bahn museum (German national railways museum)! With the museum being just the other side of the central station from the Tourist Information Centre, I decided to make this my first stop for the day. Entry to the museum is just €6, however if you have a Deutsch Bahn or VGN (Nuremberg local transport) ticket you get a €1 discount.
The museum has exhibits on the history of the German rail network from the beginnings through to the modern day (and plans for the future) as well as two halls of preserved locomotives and carriages including the luxurious carriage that belonged to Ludwig II of Bavaria. There is also an outside area with more locos, a preserved signal box and a miniature railway that runs during the summer months. Unfortunately, considering my limited knowledge of German, I found that most of the information about the exhibits did not have English translations which limited my enjoyment of the museum somewhat. I definitely need to dedicate more time to learning languages!
After exploring the DB Museum, I headed back into the old town of Nuremberg to join a walking tour that I had seen advertised within the Tourist Information Centre. Starting in the city’s HauptMarkt, the tour lasted about 2 hours and cost around €10 (a quick Google shows this is now €11.5o). The tour covered all of the main sites within the old town including the city’s churches and castle. One thing I found fascinating about Nuremberg is, despite over 90% of the medieval city centre being destroyed in bombing raids during WW2, a majority of the city walls are still intact, and a green space surrounds the old town in place of the filled in moat. There are also various spots along the river that divides the old town that are oases of calm!
With the walking tour finishing in the gardens of Nuremberg Castle, I took the opportunity to have a quick explore. The castle is made up of three sections: the Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle); the Burggrafenburg (former Burgraves Castle); and the Reichsstädtische Bauten (buildings erected by the Imperial City). The castle, combined with the city walls, is considered to be one of Europe’s most formidable medieval fortifications. The castle and gardens are also high above the city and provide an incredible view of the old town and wider Nuremberg area.
Heading back to the airport in the evening, I had a couple of hours until my flight and so decided to use one of my free lounge visits (courtesy of my travel insurance). The Deurer Lounge in Nuremberg Airport is simple but perfectly adequate, however is possibly the smallest airport lounge I have experienced to date. Given that most business travellers at the airport will have access to the Lufthansa lounge, at the time of my visit I was one of three guests in the lounge and so the compact lounge did not feel too cramped. Having also commented to my father prior to my trip about my pessimism regarding interesting AvGeek spots at Nuremberg, I was pleasantly surprised to see both a National Airlines Boeing 757 and a Unite Airlines 747 on the ramp.
Nuremberg is another city that has cemented itself onto my ‘revisit’ list, especially given that I didn’t visit any of the areas relating to the Nuremberg trials during my trip. Nuremberg was a lovely city that was re-built sympathetically following WW2, allowing the old town to retain a large amount of charm and atmosphere.