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From: Emerald Waterways cruise review: Nuremberg-Trier

Pre-cruise stay: Nuremberg

Tourist takes selfie by Nuremberg Castle

ABOVE: A tourist takes a selfie beneath the walls of Nuremberg's Imperial Castle.

Nuremberg is a city of 495,000 people in Franconia, a region of Germany that has been part of Bavaria since 1803. It's also a busy port for river cruising (see our Nuremberg Port Guide), both for cruises heading east to the Danube and west toward the Rhine.

We arrived at Nuremberg Airport and later spent several days in the city before an Emerald Waterways river cruise from Nuremberg to Trier via the Main-Danube Canal and the rivers Main, Rhine, and Moselle. (We also spent time in nearby Erlangen, where Cheryl lived when she was in third and fourth grade.)

  • Tip: If you're cruising to or from Nuremberg, we strongly recommend that you spend at least a couple of nights in the city center. There's a lot to see, and the few sights that aren't within the old city walls are easy to reach by public transportation.

Hauptbahnhof, Nuremberg

We arrived at Nuremberg's Hauptbahnhof (the city's main railway station), which is easy to reach from the airport by U-Bahn or from Erlangen, where we'd spent several nights, by regional train or S-Bahn.

Konigstrasse street sign, Nuremberg

From the station's lower level, we followed the signs for Tourist Information to the Altstadt, or Old City, where we found the Königstrasse just inside the city walls.

Hotel Drei Raben, Nuremberg

It was only about five minutes (at most) to the Hotel Drei Raben, a four-star boutique hotel where we'd made reservations through our hotel partner,

Welcome to Hotel Drei Raben, Nuremberg

We were welcomed to our room with a message on a blackboard and cookies in the shape of ravens (Raben).

Raven sculpture in Hotel Drei Raben, Nuremberg

A sculpture on the windowsill featured the hotel's mascot(s).

Hotel Drei Raben wall graphic

Every room at the Hotel Drei Raben has a different theme. Our room's wall graphic honored the steam locomotive Adler ("Eagle") and the Gesellschaft zur Errichtung einer Eisenbahn mit Dampffahrt zwischen Nürnberg und Fürth, which was the first railroad in Germany when it opened on December 7, 1835.

View from window of Hotel Drei Raben

From our windows, we could see the Königstrasse and a traditional-looking building next door.

Bavarian group in Nuremberg

After unpacking, we went for a long walk in Nuremberg's Altstadt, which had changed quite a bit since Cheryl had visited regularly from her home in Erlangen during the late 1950s.

AA block or two from our hotel, we saw a brass band performing on a square.

People in Trachten in Nuremberg

Groups of people in Trachten, or traditional costume, from towns throughout Franconia stood by as the band played.

Nuremberg crowd

When the band had finished, spectactators waited patiently as local civic and church officials took turns giving speeches.

Bavarian and Franconian groups in Nuremberg Altstadt

Nuremberg procession

We never did figure out what the event was, but when the speeches and music were over, the crowd formed a procession and marched toward the center of the Altstadt.

Church of Our Lady, Nuremberg (Frauenkirche)

We went on a procession of our own, passing the Hauptmarkt and the Frauenkirche (a.k.a. Church of Our Lady).

GPS reference point in Nuremberg

A manhole cover identified our location as the GPS reference point for the city of Nuremberg.

Hauptmarkt Nuremberg

Gluten-free Lubkuchen in Nuremberg

On the Hauptmarkt, vendors were selling produce and other edibles that ranged from oversize cherries to gluten-free Lebkuchen.

Busker in Nuremberg

Just up the street, a busker performed on the Rathausplatz in front of City Hall.

WC in Nuremberg Rathaus or Town Hall

The Rathaus had a typically German concession to practicality: a public lavatory facing the street, with a modest admission fee of €0,50.

MyMuesli shop in Nuremberg

Even though it was a Sunday, many people were window-shopping in the city center, which had a wide range of shops and department stores. If we'd been hungry, we could have come back on Monday to buy custom-formulated Muesli.

Hunde Eis in Nuremberg, Germany

Or, if we'd been from the Internet (where nobody knows you're a dog), we could have shopped for canine ice cream.

Bohne & Kleid store, Nuremberg

This store sign literally means "Bean and Dress." Obviously, the owner of the clothing and accessory shop couldn't resist the play on words.

Imperial Castle, Nuremberg, Germany

We continued walking until we reached the Kaiserburg, or Imperial Castle, at the northern end of the walled Altstadt.

The castle is Nuremberg's premier tourist attraction, and it's open daily year-round.

Panoramic view from Imperial Castle, Nuremberg

We were too jet-lagged to enjoy a museum visit or guided tour, so we simply went into the Castle Gardens (free admission) to enjoy a panoramic view of Nuremberg's rooftops.

Click here and maximize your browser window for a larger panoramic image.

Maria Sibylla Merian Garden, Imperial Castle of Nuremberg

Cherries ripening in Maria Sibylla Merian Garden, Kaiserburg Nuremberg

The adjoining Maria Sibylla Merian Garden was a pleasant walled garden with a lawn, benches, and a variety of plantings--including this cherry tree, which was heavy with fruit.

  • Note: Admission to the Maria Sibylla Merian-Garten is free, but the garden is open to the public only on Sunday and Monday afternoons from April to October.

Well House and Sinwell Tower, Imperial Castle of Nuremberg

The Well House and Sinwell Tower are in the castle bailey. Visitors can climb up to a platform inside the tower for a bird's-eye view of the Altstadt.

Kaiserburg Nuernberg

Imperial Castle Nuremberg

After we'd had our fill of high-altitude Nuremberg, we walked down the steep cobblestoned path to the exit. (See castle map.)

Imperial Castle Nuremberg - gate

Foundations of Imperial Castle, Nuremberg

The lower gate led us outside the castle, where we could see the Kaiserburg&'s massive foundations.

Tiergartenplatz, Nuremberg

Instead of retracing our route, we bore right as we left the castle and followed the city's medieval walls dowhill.We soon reached the Tiergartenplatz.

Tiergartentor tunnel, Nuremberg

The Tiergartentor, or Zoo Gate, led to neighborhoods outside the Old City's walls.

Neutor, Nuremberg

Continuing downhill, we reached the Neutor, or New Gate.


A flight of stone steps took us to a park on top of the massive walls. 

Apartment in Nuremberg city walls

WC in Nuremberg city walls

Nuremberg's fortified walls are occupied by apartments, businesses, and at least one public WC.

Heart-shaped lock in Nuremberg's city walls

"I ❤ Nuremberg" may be a concept that predates bumper stickers and t-shirts: We saw this heart-shaped lock on an old wooden door in the city walls.

Nuremberg bicyclists and St. Sebald Church

Later, after further explorations of the Altstadt and a free glass of wine at our hotel, we walked to dinner near the Sebalduskirche (St. Sebald Church), passing bicyclists along the way.

Goldenes Posthorn sign, Nuremberg

We ate at the Goldenes Posthorn, a traditional restaurant with outdoor tables and a menu of stick-to-your-ribs Franconian food.

Heart-shaped platter with Nuernberger sausages

What could have been more appropriate for a romantic dinner in Nürnberg than a heart-shaped platter of Nürnberger sausages?

Hotel Drei Raben, Nuremberg

After a long day, we were happy to return to the Hotel Drei Raben, where a comfortable bed awaited us.

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Emerald Star day-by-day photo diary:
Day 1: Departure (Nuremberg)
Day 2: Bamberg
Day 3: Wurzburg
Day 4: Wertheim & Mittenberg
Day 5: Rhine & Koblenz
Day 6: Moselle & Bernkastel
Day 7: Trier
Day 8: Disembarkation (Trier)

Also see:
Pre-cruise stay: Erlangen
Pre-cruise stay: Nuremberg
Emerald Waterways cruise review: Nuremberg to Trier