Situated in the heart of Bavaria, the city of Nuremberg is one of the most important cities in Germany.
This is a city that’s brimming with history, and being the second largest city in Bavaria – after Munich, the Bavarian capital – Nuremberg is a place that has been at the forefront of Germanic events since the days of the Holy Roman Empire over a thousand years ago.
Nuremberg has a beautifully preserved medieval centre, but the city is perhaps best known for hosting Nazi rallies in the 1930s and the infamous Nuremberg Trials at the end of World War II. It’s a fascinating city to explore, and for budget travellers, there’s a lot to do, given the great value entrance fees to museums and historical sights within Nuremberg.
Of course, this is Western Europe though, and budget travel can be difficult when you factor in the relatively high costs for hotels, accommodation or eating or drinking in restaurants and bars. But with a few tips and tricks and a little bit of forward planning, then you can still enjoy the best that Nuremberg has to offer while travelling on a budget.
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How to get around Nuremberg on a Budget
The beautiful yet endearingly ramshackle streets of the Old Town forms the centre of Nuremberg, and if you’re travelling on a budget, then you’ll be happy to know that most of the major historic sights and attractions within this area are all within walking distance of one another.
The city’s main train station is also found just a short walk away from the Old Town of Nuremberg, and so many budget travellers will find it convenient to arrive and depart using the efficient rail system.
You can score cheap train tickets to other cities in Germany, such as Munich or Berlin for instance, by booking advance fares online. The main bus station is located close to the train station, and for real budgeters, this is always the cheapest form of transport to and from Nuremberg.
The city’s airport is connected to the centre on the Subway system, and this is the quickest way to get to and from the departure and arrival terminals. The subway system is the quickest way to get around, with several lines connecting the city and the suburbs. If you’re doing lots of sightseeing, then the best way to save money on transport is to purchase a day pass, which also allows you to travel on the bus and tram network. If you’re just sightseeing in the Old Town though, then it’s not worth the expense. Just walk from point to point, it’s perfectly safe but you might get slightly lost in the maze of alleys and old streets.
The most cost effective way to experience Nuremberg and to travel around the city is to purchase a Nürnberg Card. This handy card gives you access to public transport for 48 hours and gives you free admission to a huge number of museums, many of which are amongst the best things to do in Nuremberg.
Budget things to do in Nuremberg
The Old Town
A highlight of Nuremberg, is of course the Old Town. This is the heart and soul of the city, and the Altstadt straddles both the north and south shores of the River Pegnitz.
The Old Town is home to the city’s historic castle, ancient city walls and medieval churches and cathedrals, and it’s a delight to simply stroll through the historic district, admiring the architecture.
There’s a lot of history here though, so you might want to consider joining a tour to make the most of your time in the Old Town.
Within the historic Old Town, you can find the beautiful fountain which is known as the Schoner Brunnen.
This tall and elegant fountain dates back to the 14th century, and for hundreds of years it’s been a centre point within Nuremberg. It’s a lasting relic of the glory of the Holy Roman Empire, and somehow it managed to survive unscathed, even through heavy bombing in World War II.
One of the best free things to do in Nuremberg is to take a stroll around the Hauptmarkt.
This central market square is found within the Old Town, and it’s surrounded by beautifully historic medieval architecture. This has long been a busy and bustling central point within Nuremberg, and little has changed here in centuries.
Documentation Centre and Nazi Party Rally Grounds
Nuremberg has a more infamous recent history, as the Bavarian city was unfortunately at the heart of the Nazi rise to power in the 20th century.
The Nazis used Nuremberg as a staging ground for huge rallies, and they envisioned the city to be a centre for National Socialism. Within the enormous Congress Hall building, which is where the rally grounds were, you can today find the Documentation Centre.
This is the most fascinating, yet the most moving Nuremberg museum, and inside you can find an exhibition that takes you through the story of the Nazi rise to power, through the eyes of the average German. History is documented and the crimes of the Nazis displayed, so as to never repeat history again.
Nuremberg Trials Memorial
Another must visit museum in Nuremberg, is the Nuremberg Trials Memorial.
It’s here, at the Nuremberg Courthouse, that the Allies held the Nuremberg Trials at the end of World War II. High ranking Nazi officials that had been captured by the allies at the end of the war were put on trial for their crimes, with many receiving the death sentence or life imprisonment. You can learn more at the museum, and if you book in advance you can also visit the courtrooms themselves.
German National Museum
If you’re not through with museums and history yet, then Nuremberg has many excellent institutions to visit. For budget travellers, the city is perfect, because many of the museums offer either cheap entrance or are included with the purchase of the Nürnberg Card.
One of the best museums to visit is the German National Museum, where you can learn about the history and culture of the Germanic people stretching back centuries. There are both ancient and modern exhibits and artefacts, and it’s a truly comprehensive place to explore.
German National Railways Museum
And yet another excellent museum to visit in Nuremberg, is the German National Railways Museum.
Germany is synonymous with railways and efficiency, and as Nuremberg was the site of the first ever German railway line, there’s no better place to delve into transport history than here.
Nuremberg Germany is famed for its Christmas Markets, but of course, you need to be here at the right time of the year to experience them.
This is one of the most iconic Christmas Markets in Germany, and it’s held in true Bavarian fashion. It’s always busy and bustling and the stalls stay open into the late evening over the festive period, making this one of the best things to do in Nuremberg at night on a budget when the market is open.
You’ll find carol singing, stalls selling German style food and mulled wine and plenty of great Christmas presents to take home with you.
Where to stay in Nuremberg on a Budget
Nuremberg, as the second largest city in Bavaria, and regional transport and tourism hub, has a wide range of accommodation, and budget travellers will be able to find suitable lodgings for their stay.
This is Germany though, so the prices are always relative here, and most budget travellers will find that they will need to stay in hostels in order to make their money go further.
Budget dormitories start from as little as 10 euros a night, but only during the off season. In summer and during the Christmas Markets these prices can rise exponentially, so always book in advance when travelling in high season to get the best deals on accommodation in the city.
You can also have a look on AirBnB, either for longer term stays or if you’re travelling in a group and would like budget, local apartments to rent. Make sure to search outside of the Old Town and the city centre for the best prices though.
If you have a little more money to spend, then you will find some international hotel brands offer quality rooms at good prices too, but also outside of the city centre. The best chain to look at is usually NH Hotels.
Budget eats in Nuremberg
Nuremberg is well known for its hearty Cuisine, and if you find Bavarian food to be particularly delectable, then you’re in for a treat when you visit the city.
The city’s signature dish is the famed Bratwurst, and the local Nürnberger Bratwurst is protected by law, given its historical significance. You can only find true Nürnberger Bratwurst within the city itself. The bratwurst can be found across Nuremberg, and they are usually served with large portions of potato salad or sauerkraut on the side.
But of course, Nuremberg can be a touristy affair, and if you’re travelling on a budget then you’ll want to avoid eating in the Old Town, where restaurant prices can be magnified. Instead, head out into the suburbs, or even simply take a walk over to the train station, where you’ll find much more reasonable prices.
If you really need to save money though, then you’ll find that the best options aren’t the healthiest, and you’ll be snacking on lots of takeaway sausages and diner kebabs during your stay in Nuremberg. In this case, you might find it nicer to book into a hostel or AirBnB with kitchen facilities, and to visit the local supermarket for cheap supplies.
Cheap tours to do in Nuremberg on a budget
Free Walking Tour
For budget travellers, a free walking tour is one of the best things to do in Nuremberg. Not only do you save money in comparison to traditional guided tours, but you get to enjoy the expertise and knowledge of locals too.
In Nuremberg, free walking tours can take you on a journey through the city’s best sights and attractions, from the history of the Old Town to the culture or cuisine of Bavaria as a whole.
At the end of the tour, you pay however much you feel the tour was worth, and you know all the way through that the guide has to really work for their tips, and will always be putting on a good show.
World War II History Tours
Nuremberg is unfortunately inseparable from World War II, but if you’re interested in history, then this will always be one of the best cities to visit in Germany.
Budget travellers with an interest in World War II history might want to consider paying a little more to enjoy the knowledge of a local historian, as you’re taken on a journey through the city’s most infamous war related sights.
Learn about everything from the rise of Nazism in Bavaria and its spread across Germany, to the concentration camps, the war and then finally, the Nuremberg Trials and then the reconstruction of the city in the wake of the conflict.
Nuremberg’s Underworld Tour
For a truly unique perspective of the city, then take a tour underground, as you enter the lost caverns and tunnels of the Nuremberg Underworld.
Unknown to most locals and tourists, is the vast labyrinth of tunnels that have been constructed below Nuremberg, and which covers an extensive portion of the city beneath everyone’s feet.
You can join local enthusiasts to explore the most intriguing – and the safest – parts of this hidden underworld.
The most intriguing tunnels are found directly below the old town, and many were built centuries ago. They were used as shelters during World War II, while in true Bavarian fashion, underworld tours start and end at the local brewery, which uses many of the caverns as beer cellars.
Recommended budget tours in Nuremberg
- Private Tour: Nuremberg Medieval Old Town and Nazi Rally Grounds Walking Tour
- Nuremberg Old Town and Nazi Party Rally Grounds Walking Tour
- Franconian Beer Hike in Nuremberg
- Nuremberg Christmas Market, Culinary and Tradition
- Nuernberg City Groove To the Bardentreffen
- Nuremberg Self-Guided Audio Tour
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