Nürnberg Attractions

This is my second post on Nürnberg. For information related to train stations, bus stations, and hostel reviews, check here.

Doku Zentrum (Documentation Center and former Nazi Party rally grounds)

All information related to DZ can be found on the website for Nürnberg museums here. Tickets for adults cost €5,00 and include the audio guide. If you choose to pay an extra €2,50 for the Tagesticket (day ticket), you can visit all local municipal museums free of charge for the duration of that day. However, this concession is not available for holders of the Nuremberg Pass.
You can take the tram#9 from Nürnberg Hbf or tram#6 from Kohlenhof to reach DZ. The Haltestelle is right outside the building.

Courtroom #600

All information related to visiting hours, and admission fee can be found here. This surviving Nazi officials were prosecuted for their war crimes in this courtroom. Their contact details :

Memorium Nuremberg Trials
Bärenschanzstraße 72
90429 Nuremberg, Germany
Tel : +49 (0)911 321 – 79 372
Fax : +49 (0)911 321 – 79 373
Email: memorium@stadt.nuernberg.de

Albrecht Dürer’s House

You’ll probably discover this inconspicuous house as you walk around the town. It is right on A. Dürer Straße if you check your map. Guided tours are available in English at 2 pm on Saturdays. For more information, check here.


Next up: DIY walking tour in Nuremberg

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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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Schloss Neuschwanstein

Another fantastic day trip from München are the two castles of Neuschwanstein (noy-shwan-stein) and Hohenschwangau (ho-hun-schwan-gaau). First things first, reserve your tickets here. If you don’t do that two days before your visit (and before 3 pm), forget about seeing the inside of the castle. For some reason, the website didn’t let me reserve my place – tourist season, I think – and I had to stand in a long line only to find out that the only available tour was after my evening train back to Munich. So, reserve your tour in advance!

Getting There

Purchase a Bayern ticket from the U-Bahn or S-Bahn closest to you. This ticket will cover the U-Bahn ride to the Hbf. The ticket costs €23,00 for 1 passenger with the addition of €5,00 for every extra passenger in a group of up to 4. You can do the math here. Instead of buying two separate tickets as a couple, add the €5,00 and bring down your individual cost from €23,00 to just €14,00! As you can see, the cost reduction is much higher as you add more people.

A kind DB employee printed out a train schedule for me. München – Bochelau – Füssen. Now, your train for Bochelau will leave from one of the platforms on the other side of the Hbf. All the trains to Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest, Paris, etc. leave from the main hall. Walk to the end, go left and you’ll find another hall on the other side. The trains here are smaller. It’s more like an intercity coach. When you get off at Bochelau – a tiny station – take a look at the printed schedules in the glass displays. Take a picture with your smartphone. It will be divided into Füssen – Bochelau and Bochelau – München, vice versa. Go through the timings and figure out what time you need to leave from Füssen to make it back in time to your hostel in Munich.

Run to Bus #78 as soon as you get off. All passengers from the train will be running with you! The bus will drop you off at the base of the hill. There’s a public loo if you’d like to freshen up. Keep those € coins handy. There’s a separate line for collecting tickets. You’ll be immediately glad for not being in the other line. There’s a kiosk next door if you fancy a Käsepretzel and a chilled beer. Walk uphill to catch the bus that takes you to Marienbrücke. Believe me, it is worth the €2,60 return ticket. The view from Marienbrücke is stunning. I’d definitely like to go back in the winter to see the snow covered castle. After the 30 minute tour, walk back to Marienbrücke for the bus back to the ticket center. If you do not wish to take the bus on the way back, buy a single ticket and walk down the path indicated.


I couldn’t help myself! I had to bring this little guy home ♥ There’s a kiosk on the way down with all kinds of gifting material. It was love at first sight. Named after the boy who sat next to me on the bus from Nürnberg to Dresden, Anton went on to become loved by co-passengers, hostel roommates, immigration officials, and airport security personnel.

München

When I landed in Munich, I was thoroughly exhausted and almost about to pass out in the airport lobby. I had flown three times in one single day : Bangalore – Mumbai, Mumbai – Paris, and finally Paris – Munich. Phew! I had nearly missed that last connection so my relief on having reached Deutschland was unmatched.

Munich Airport

Flughafen München is the international airport of Munich. I didn’t have to go through immigration because my point of entry into the Schengen Zone was Paris (CDG/Roissy Airport). My passport already stamped and tucked inside my bag, I was ready to embrace Germany – my ultimate love. The terminal I got off at resembled a lowly bus station. The carousels indicators didn’t display flight information and a lot of bags were just lying in a heap on the floor. Thankfully, the WiFi was good. I signed in, while I waited for my bags to arrive, and sent out my “I reached and I am OK” texts to my family. When you get out of the baggage claim area, look out for S-Bahn signs in green. They will take you underground to the train terminus. The Fahrkarten (tickets) can be purchased from the self-help kiosks. Don’t worry if you don’t speak German. They let you choose from 4 or 5 languages and English is one of them 🙂

To reach Meininger Munich, where I was staying, I had to get off at Hackerbrücke Straße. This is also the Busbahnhof and just a stop before the Hauptbahnhof. Don’t worry if you don’t have a map of the train line. All trains have a printed map just above the doors. I recommend keeping a screenshot of Google Maps on your phone / tab before you arrive in the city. Once you have reached your hostel, you can pick up a local map. The U-Bahn in Munich is pretty straightforward. You can also find the map in Google Images.

Hostel Review

I stayed at Meininger Munich which is absolutely fantastic during winter, but definitely not during the summer for the simple reason that it turns into a furnace.
Pros: Linen included, WiFi access, 24 hour reception, Walking Tours and Travel Desk, laundry room, Breakfast (charged separately)
Cons: The windows don’t open. If you are visiting during a heat wave, you will literally melt without air conditioning.

The Meininger chain is pretty famous all over Germany and Austria. I had the most amazing stay at the Meininger near Frankfurt Airport. The City Center hostel has a tiny kitchen and an outdoor terrace. It is centrally located. The bus terminus (for MegaBus, FlixBus, and MeinFernBus) is a short walk away and just next to the U-Bahn line. The München Hauptbahnhof and the city center are further down the road from the hostel. The Augustiner Brauhaus famous for its draft beer is right opposite the hostel. There is also a small bar and restaurant as an extension to the hostel.

I am covering Munich this weekend. Also included are day trips to Dachau and Füssen (Schloss Neuschwanstein). Keep watching this space for more.

Up Next: Munich in a day.

For Vegetarian & Vegan Travellers

Hola! Are you vegetarian or vegan? Does the prospect of travel bring you dietary concerns?Fear not, because I have near perfect solutions for this problem. I grew up vegetarian and was vegan for a while due to health restrictions. I’ll be honest though – I have occasionally eaten meat just to prepare myself for an unpleasant event. But with some careful planning, I assure you that it is very easy to stick to a meatless diet when travelling.

If you are even a half decent cook, hit the supermarket. All hostels have fully equipped kitchens and I advise you to put them to good use. Search for a supermarket in the vicinity of your hostel and pick up some groceries. Here are some of my favourite meal options:

  1. Sandwiches: The easiest quick-fix meal and they are great to carry around.
  2. Salad: I tend to carry small plastic containers for salad. Just in case I can’t find a deli, these quick fix meals come handy. Also, supermarkets have single use salad dressings in plastic cups. This means you don’t have to carry around a bottle of dressing from one town to another!
  3. Veggies and Rice: I learned to make risotto when I lived in Paris and I was quite proud of my skills (having acquired them from Google). I understand that you can’t hog kitchen space and time to whip out a gourmet meal. So, buy some Thai or Chinese rice that is round and soft. This one usually comes out sticky and cooks pretty quickly. In France, Mono Prix has small blue packets of Thai rice. Boil some vegetables on the side and add them to your rice. Since you’re travelling, I assume you won’t have access to sauces. Just add in some onions and garlic for taste. It should do just fine.
  4. Frozen Meals: Ok, this one I do NOT recommend for the simple reason that they are expensive and also don’t taste too good. If you’re desperate, but do not wish to spend on a restaurant meal, head over to Marks and Spencer. I found an entire section of Indian meals in France. They have everything from pakodas to biryani. If you’re travelling in a group, get some frozen pizza. They are available in all supermarkets. The most common ones (in non-meat) are Margherita and 4Fromages (fromage = cheese).
  5. Cookies: This is a cheat-eat. My favourite cookies in the whole wide world are Milka Choco Pause. And before you think about all that dairy, remember that not all cookies have milk. Oreos have soy lechtin! Hide n Seek, in India, also contains soy and is perfectly vegan 🙂

If you’re worried about recipes, try out Yummly. This fantastic website is also available as an app on Apple and PlayStore.

If all else fails, and you decide to eat out, check out HappyCow for vegan and vegetarian dining options near you. This website helps you find vegan and vegetarian restaurants, delis, and supermarkets based on your location! It also lets you key in a city / town so that you can look up dining options before you arrive. How perfect is that?

Benaras: Sunset and Sunrise on the Ghats

When my sister had to convince me to join them on this trip, all she said to me was – Laaga Chunari Mein Daag. I wasn’t sure why she said that cause it remains the worst movie we’ve watched together. “The Ghats, Di!” she squealed in delight. “Don’t you want to see them?” To be honest, I didn’t because of the overly zealous religious rites that happen to be their main attraction. But a few hours later I was holding an electronic ticket to Varanasi.

In my last post, I talked about my first impressions of Benaras. The ghats are a whole different deal. A ‘ghat’ is a set of steps leading to the banks of a river; in the case of Varanasi, it is the holy river Ganga. There are a total of 87 ghats in Benaras – most of them are for bathing and worship, and a few exclusively for cremation rites. While some are privately owned, there are others owned by Marathas, Holkars, Scindias, and the likes. If you take a boat ride, you can see all their names painted on the walls at the top of the steps.

Dashashwamedh Ghat which is next to Meer Ghat (where we stayed) is closest to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Every evening at about 6:30, the pandits offer a prayer to Lord Shiva, the river Ganga, and the Universe. It is a spectacular sight to behold. Manikarnika Ghat and Harishchandra Ghat are the two cremation sites. Many Hindus believe that the soul will obtain salvation if they are cremated here. As many as 80 bodies are cremated here every day. As per Hindu code, sadhus (holy men) are neither buried nor cremated. Their bodies are usually let into the river. This is why you may occasionally see floating corpses in the river Ganga.

Don’t be alarmed by all this information. I was bit overwhelmed too. But once you get there, you’ll see that it is not all bad. It is totally worthwhile to take a boat ride at sunrise or sunset for beautiful photo opportunities. It costs about Rs.150 per person. There were five of us and the hotel arranged an exclusive motorboat for us at Rs. 600. The boatman will give you sparse information about the ghats. It doesn’t take very long to cover them all. An hour should be plenty of time for a round and a half. Be sure to catch the evening Ganga Arati from the boats to avoid the crowd on the ghat. In the morning, the ghats are empty and you can most definitely take a walk (if not a boat ride). The chai (tea) at Dashashwamedh ghat is quite delicious.

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Schloss Neuschwanstein.

I didn’t get much sleep last night. It is 35 degrees during the day and cools down to 29 degrees at night. There are 6 of us in a room with two windows that openly only about 15 degrees. You can’t imagine the rest.

I woke up at 6 and decided to get the laundry done while having breakfast. I knew there wasn’t enough time if I had to take the 9:52 train to Fuessen. But the clothes had to be done. I haven’t had a sip of alcohol since that glass of white wine on the plane. Sadly, it had not done its job of making me comfortable and helping me sleep. I fell in love with beer when I tasted Koelsch last February. You have to try it if you ever visit Cologne. Go to the Frueh Brauhaus next to the Dom and drink a lot! But yes, I cannot exit Bavaria without a drink or two. So I have decided to attend to this detail today. So I got the laundry out of the way to make some time for a cultural drinking experience. Dark beer it is.

I finished laundry at 10:15 and walked to the Hauptbahnhof. The Bayern ticket for one day costs €23,00 and covers the U-Bahnhof / S-Bahn ride to the Hbf. I could have picked up the tickets at Hackerbruecke but I don’t like that station much. I reached at 10:30 to find out that the next train was leaving at 10:41 from Gleis 30. There was no display so the DB attendant printed a Reiseplan for me. Looks like it was the last train to Fuessen for the day. I had to change the train at Bochelau and board another one. Here’s the fantastic thing about Europe travel. They have some fantastic discounts and offers.  Get a Bayern information brochure before you book the tickets. There are multiple options to choose from. Also check the information boards on platforms whenever you travel. These are mostly regular trains and all timings are printed and put up with the stops. So you know you have multiple return timings to choose from.

I reached Fuessen a little past one. It’s a small station and on the right are the buses waiting to take you to the ticket Center. You don’t need to buy bus tickets if you have Bayern fahrkarte. There are restrooms and information Center where the bus drops you off. The ticket Center is a little up ahead on your right. If you have reserved tickets, it will be quicker for you. The reservation didn’t work for me and the only tours available were for 7pm and onwards. The last train to Munich left at 6 so I decided to see just the courtyard. It was too hot to be bearable. I finally gave in and ate a kaesebruzel with a chilled bottle of Desperados. The bus to the top is on the left as you move up. Single trip costs €1,80 while the return is €2,60. After waiting in the line for 45 minutes, I decided to walk down. The bus leaves you at Marienbrucke or Mary’s bridge. It’s temporarily closed for repairs. From there it is a short hike down to the castle. I see why they call it Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Here, have a look:

Schloss Neuschwanstein

It started raining after that picture was taken. The rain was a blessing from the heavens and made my day slightly better. The return bus to Fuessen station leaves from right where it drops you off. It’s a short few km drive but we were stuck in a slow moving lane and nearly missed the 5:05 PM train. ThankfulLy, the train was late as well!

It was already 7:30 pm when we pulled into Munich. I am moving to Nuremberg in the morning so I wanted to rest up. But my Bavarian beer experience was pending. So, I dropped in at the old Augustiner. This is an Augustiner Hell vom Fass. I chugged half a litre easily but then again the minimum standard here is 1.5 litres.

Augustiner

Nuremberg.

hello! I moved to Nuremberg this morning. I had a nice paced out start to my day because the Munich ZOB is just 400m from Meininger City Hostel. It is right next to Hackerbruecke train station. You have to enter the mall from the bridge and take the loft down to the bus station. I travelled with MegaBus after nearly 4 months and I was super excited because this is the first time I got to travel during the day. It feels like a total Yun Hi Chala Chal Rahi set up from Swades. In case you need help, there’s an information point at the end. Don’t worry about all the FlixBus banners. The information point caters to all bus companies.

I arrived in Nuremberg a little past noon. After a quick stop for Pommes and Cola, I decided to look for the hostel. So, you go right from the ZOB on the Bahnhofstrasse and reach a Nieemberg Tourist info point. Fro, there on, take the Koenigstrasse for the main city highlights. I had to take a left to Frauentormauer. It’s maybe 500m from the ZOB. Fabulous hostel! I am in love with the facility.

The people here are super nice. I have 4 Chinese roommates who are super giggly and very smiley. I like them. I set out at 2 to walk around the town. It is not big. Twenty minutes from the beginning of Koenigstrasse will get you to the fort. I covered the St. Lawrence church, the Holocaust memorial,Hauptmarket, the Rathaus and the Toy Museum. I couldn’t find the Documentation centre. I will try again tomorrow morning. I found a fabulous Comic store btw. They have awesome stuff.

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.