Taking a river cruise to Nuremberg, Germany gives travelers a glimpse into the daily life, culture, art, and history of one of Germany’ most storied cities. Nuremberg has a number of museums and historical landmarks. It is perhaps most well known for its occupation of and use by Germany’s Nazi party during the World War II era. Though the city still pays homage to its sad past, it has metaphorically risen from the ashes and morphed into a modern city with tons of exciting things to get into.
Besides history and museums, the city has a lot to offer. Located in the state of Bavaria in Germany, Nuremberg is the state’s second largest city. The capitol and largest city of Bavaria is Munich, just a two hour train ride away. Due to their proximity, several Munich river cruises also stop by Nuremberg. Though Nuremberg isn’t quite as large as its Bavarian counterpart and is primarily a city for history lovers, it still has several events, art galleries, and other forms of entertainment -- especially in its beautiful Old Town district.
Visit historical Nuremberg on a river cruise
Nuremberg’s past occupation by the Nazi party still plays a large role in what it is today. In the present, the city features many tributes to the party’s victims. Nuremberg has also preserved several sites used during World War II, turning them into museums and other educational attractions.
One of the most well-known events of the historical era was the Nuremberg Trials, where Nazi officials and soldiers were tried and sentenced for their war crimes. Today, the Palace of Justice, where the trials happened is still a functioning courthouse, but the building’s top floor has been converted into a museum. Tours of the courtroom are still available, but do depend on whether or not court’s in session.
There are a number of other homages to World War II-era Nuremberg. Though the Nuremberg Trials’ courtroom and museum is undoubtedly the most famous, each of the others are also incredibly important. Here, we’ve made a list of our favorite Nuremberg World War II historical sites.
- Documentation Center. This building was once a documentation center during World War II. Now a museum, it details the rise and fall of the Nazi party in Nuremberg in a variety of mediums.
- Nuremberg Castle. Dating back much farther than the Second World War, the medieval Nuremberg Castle was rebuilt and used as a symbol of Nazi power during that time. Today, it houses a museum featuring artifacts and art dating back to Germany’s early years.
- Nuremberg Tunnels. These again were in use far before WWII, but saw use as bunkers and storage for goods and art when bombs fell on Nuremberg. Tours are available of the intricate tunnel system today for those comfortable with a decent amount of walking.
- Nazi Party Rally Grounds. This large area was designed in an arena style to fit hundreds of thousands. Featured in films before and after the war, this building has always been a prominent landmark for historians. The Documentation Center museum is a part of the massive structure, making it easy to fit two spots into one trip.
Cruise by Nuremberg, Germany on Europe’s rivers
Nuremberg itself lies on the Pegnitz River, a small river often used for trade and leisure. The Pegnitz itself is a tributary of the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. Nuremberg’s proximity to three of Europe’s largest rivers has helped to grow it into the city it is today, giving the city easy access to a number of other cities to trade with.
Preparing for a voyage to Nuremberg, Germany
We believe it’s always best to know about the places your European river cruise will be visiting. If your European river cruise stops in Nuremberg, Germany, you can expect friendly faces and a population of German and English speaking peoples.
Nuremberg has a mostly warm climate during the Spring through Fall months, making it perfect for visiting during most river cruise seasons. In the Winter, the city can get quite cold, with snow falling often. If you do manage to visit during Winter, be sure to check out the city’s Christmas Market -- they truly love the holidays in Nuremberg.
With easy access to three of Europe’s most popular river cruise waterways, Nuremberg is an easy choice for those interested in history, German culture, and the arts.