Walking Tour: Nuremberg Altstadt

  • Start Hauptmarkt
  • Finish Hauptmarkt
  • Length 2.5km, two hours

This leisurely circuit covers the historic centre’s key sights. With visits to all the museums and attractions listed, it could take the best part of two days.

The tour starts at the Hauptmarkt, the main square. At the eastern end is the ornate Gothic Pfarrkirche Unsere Liebe Frau, also called the Frauenkirche. The church's clock’s figures spring into action every day at noon. Also in the Hauptmarkt, the Schöner Brunnen rises up from the cobblestones like a buried cathedral. Walk north to the Altes Rathaus, the old town hall, with its Lochgefängnisse (medieval dungeons). Opposite stands the 13th-century St Sebalduskirche, with an exterior smothered in religious sculptures and the bronze shrine of St Sebald inside. Just up Burgstrasse, the Stadtmuseum Fembohaus covers the highs and lows of Nuremberg’s past with a multimedia show. Backtrack south to Halbwachsengässchen and turn right into Albrecht-Dürer-Platz, with a dignified statue of the great painter, the Albrecht Dürer Monument. Directly beneath are the Felsengänge, tunnels once used as an old beer cellar and an air-raid shelter.

Moving up Bergstrasse, you’ll reach the massive Tiergärtnertor, a 16th-century tower. Nearby is the comely, half-timbered Pilatushaus and a strange, glassy-eyed hare dedicated to Dürer. A few steps east is the Historischer Kunstbunker where precious art was stored in WWII. Looming over the scene is the Kaiserburg, the castle of medieval knights with imperial chambers. Go south to the Albrecht-Dürer-Haus, where the Renaissance genius lived and worked. Continue south along Albrecht-Dürer-Strasse, turn left on Füll and skirt the back of Sebalduskirche to Karlsstrasse, where you’ll reach the Spielzeugmuseum, with generations of nostalgia-inducing playthings.

Cross the Karlsbrücke to enjoy a view of the Weinstadl, an old wine depot overlooking the river. Continue across the Henkersteg (Hangman’s Bridge) and wend your way south to Vordere Ledergasse, which leads west to the amazing Ehekarussell Brunnen, with its shocking images of married life. Head east on Ludwigplatz past the Peter-Henlein-Brunnen, with a statue of the first watchmaker, and proceed along Karolinenstrasse to reach the city’s oldest house, Nassauer Haus, at No 2, and the massive Lorenzkirche, with a 15th-century tabernacle with a suspended carving of the Annunciation. The Tugendbrunnen (Fountain of the Seven Virtues) is on the northern side of the church.

Continuing north up Königstrasse will return you to the Hauptmarkt, your starting point.