Nürnberg

Nürnberg or Nuremberg, in the German state of Bavaria is best known for the post WW2 trials. This city had also been the location of Nazi party rallies and laws stripping Jews of their citizenship were passed here. There was symbolic value in making it the place of Nazi demise. If you have visited Dachau or any other CC, this is where you get your closure. This stop, I believe, is a must for every student for the simple reason that Nuremberg is home to the Doku Zentrum (Documentation Center) – the former Nazi Party rally ground. Apart from the famous courtroom #600, the town offers a fort (which makes for a pleasant morning hike and breakfast spot), the house of Abrecht Dürer, and a toy museum.

Getting There:

  • Nürnberg Hbf – The central station is located just off Bahnhofstraße (A&O Nürnberg Hbf) and easily connects to Königstraße, Allerbergerstraße (Novotel), and Frauentormauer (Five Reasons Hostel). Grab a map before you exit or look up the directions to your hostel using the station WiFi.
  • Nürnberg ZOB – If you are arriving by MegaBus, MeinFernBus or Flixbus, this is where you’ll get off. Look for a bright yellow neon sign POST on an ancient building. The ZOB, Bahnhofstraße is just around the corner from the post office.

That said, I definitely recommend Megabus. Have a look at my post about planning a holiday here. MeinFernbus (merged with FlixBus) is way more expensive. My ticket from Munich to Nürnberg cost me just £1,20 and the WiFi in the bus actually worked!

Hostel Review:

I stayed at The Five Reasons Hostel on Frauentormauer. This place holds a 9.2 rating on HostelWorld and I thoroughly endorse it! The location is perfect, the staff is super friendly, the kitchen is squeaky clean and well equipped, there’s a garden in the back, the rooms are spacious with large windows, and don’t even get me started on the bathrooms ♥ It’s the complete luxury experience for a minuscule fraction of the cost. They actually have paintings and rugs in the bathrooms. Can you beat that? Also, the reception is equipped with iPads for your ease of access GoogleMaps, tours, etc. They also have a Polaroid Wall in the foyer that you can contribute to by sending them pictures of your stay.

Transport:

You can pick from the regular options – UBahn, SBahn, buses, and trams. For the most part, the town is accessible on foot. It’s really not that big. The only time you’d need to take the tram is to reach the Doku Zentrum. But more about that in my next post!

Attractions:

  1. Nuremberg Fort : At the far end of the town – way past the local market, museums, and churches – this is a short hike. You can drive up to the base. There is parking available. There isn’t much to see on the fort. It’s basically a ruin. But it’s a great place for a picnic, or a photoshoot. The top of the fort offers a beautiful panoramic view of the town.

2. Germanisches Nationalmuseum : Founded in 1852, it is home to a large collection of items relating to German culture and art.

3. House of Albert Dürer : This was the workshop of Albert Dürer, who was a Renaissance artist.

4. Neues Museum : This is the museum of modern and contemporary art.

5. Nürnberg Toy Museum : Founded in 1971, it is considered one of the most well known toy museums in the world. It is also called the Lydia Bayer Museum.

6. Doku Zentrum : What was earlier the rally ground of Nazi Party, is now a fantastic museum that chronicles the rise and fall of Nazi Germany. It is also, I believe, the only standing structure of that period associated with the Nazi rule.

Next Up: Nürnberg Attractions


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Doremifasolati-do! so! do!

I am well rested and super excited !! Becauseeeee I am off to Salzburg for the day ! There is one and only one motive here – The Sound of Music. Keep reading to find out about my DIY tour of the classic.

Planning a Holiday 101

It takes a bit of effort and a fair deal of research to plan a good holiday. Be prepared to spend a decent amount of time flipping through the pages of Lonely Planet and looking up travel itineraries on Google. Here’s my absolute must do when I start planning a trip.

  • Lonely Planet Guidebook
  • Hostel World app
  • Fodor / Frommer’s Itineraries

Here’s how and why these are an excellent base to plan a trip. Lonely Planet is fantastic when it comes to detail and gives you a lot of information on city passes, timings and cost of tickets to museums, palaces, etc. Frommer’s gives you draft itineraries for your chosen destination. You don’t have to follow any of these, but you now have an inkling of what is doable in a given span of time. When you have decided which cities to visit, you should have a map that looks something like this:

Germany-Austria-Czech

Decide the direction of your trip along with the starting point. For example, it will never make sense to start from Berlin if you are travelling from India. There aren’t any direct flights. Essentially, you will stop over at Munich or Frankfurt. So, it would be better to get off at either and do a full circle to the other city. Now, the next important part is looking up suitable connections between the cities. This will also help you determine how many nights you will spend in a particular town before moving to the next one. Don’t book any hostel beds until you have sorted out inter-city travel! Remember this mantra: there is always a way to travel cheap. If you are in France, I suggest you familiarize yourself with SNCF. It is expensive but you can get some fabulous discounts with a Carte Jeune. Travelling by TGV is an experience you don’t want to miss out on! The SNCF card works in France, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium from what I remember. But of course, there are much cheaper ways of inter-country travel. My ultimate favorite is MegaBus. The buses are never late, have WiFi, a super tiny cramped WC, comfortable seats and charging points! What more do you need, eh? The best part, unlike SNCF, is that MegaBus website is available in English (so is SNCF, but I will tell you why you shouldn’t use it in a separate post). Similar to Megabus, you have MeinFernBus and FlixBus in Germany. The tickets come with printable luggage tags! For those travelling in groups, it might be worthwhile to opt for carpooling. BlaBla Car and Mitfahrgelegenheit are your best options. Remember that there can be baggage restrictions in these cases and you will need a functional cell phone number to get in touch with the car owner. What about air travel? Sure, there are a lot of low cost airlines operating in Europe that actually fly ok. Ryan Air, if you ask me, is pretty shitty in terms of travel quality. But hey, it is cheap and efficient travel. And for that, I love them!

Look up travel time, cost and ease of travel before you make your decision. Take into account connectivity to the bus/train station or airport before you finalize anything. In Frankfurt, Berlin, Rome, and Barcelona, the airports are connected by train and bus. In Rome and Barcelona, you will get bus information at the airport Tourism office. In Frankfurt and Berlin, you can take the U-Bahn to wherever you are staying in town.

Once you have figured out inter-city travel options, make a list of your preferences with the details of bus / train stations or airport details. This is where you need Google Maps. Fire up the search engine on Hostel World and start looking at your options. There are a lot of factors you need to consider when booking your accommodation. I will write a more detailed note on that later. If you are travelling in a group of 3 or more, it might be worth your while to book a private room. If you are a solo traveler, depending on what you are comfortable with, you can pick a gender specific / mixed dorm. Make sure you check the hostel address on Google Maps to ensure accessibility to the train / bus stations. It will be a rubbish choice to stay far away from the main city because you would end up spending on train / tram tickets to see anything worthwhile. Most European towns can be covered on foot and I highly recommend this.

Okay, so we are almost done. Put all this together and you will have a holiday plan complete with draft itineraries, intercity / inter-country travel bookings, and accommodation!