Forget Dürer and wartime rallies, Nuremberg is a railway town at heart. Germany's first passenger trains ran between here and Fürth, a fact reflected in the unmissable German Railways Museum. which explores the history of Germany's legendary rail system. The huge exhibition that continues across the road is one of Nuremberg's top sights, especially if you have a soft spot for things that run on rails.
If you have tots aboard, head straight for KIBALA (Kinder-Bahnland – Children's Railway World), a section of the museum where lots of hands-on, interactive choo-choo-themed attractions await. There's also a huge model railway, one of Germany's largest, set in motion every hour by a uniformed controller.
The main exhibition charting almost two centuries of rail history starts on the ground floor and continues with more recent exhibits on the first. Passing quickly through the historically inaccurate beginning (as every rail buff knows, the world's first railway was the Stockton–Darlington, not the Liverpool–Manchester), highlights include Germany's oldest railway carriage dating from 1835 and lots of interesting Deutsche Reichsbahn paraphernalia from the former East Germany.
However, the real meat of the show is the two halls of locos and rolling stock. The first hall contains Ludwig II's incredible rococo rail carriage, dubbed the 'Versailles of the rails', as well as Bismarck's considerably less ostentatious means of transport. There's also Germany's most famous steam loco, the Adler, built by the Stephensons in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for the Nuremberg–Fürth line. The second hall across the road from the main building houses some mammoth engines, some with their Nazi or Deutsche Reichsbahn insignia still in place.