Nuremberg: Great place. So what’s up with the locals?

Nuremberg is  one of my favourite destinations in Germany so far. Yes I know I raved about Regensburg. And I haven’t been to Berlin yet. But read on and you’ll see why Nuremberg must surely be one of the top places to visit in Deutschland. DESPITE THE AWFUL PEOPLE. More about them later.

Nuremberg is Bavaria’s second largest city behind Munich. But I love it so much more. According to a friend of mine, Nuremberg has a higher unemployment rate and more druggies than Munich. Great! This means it is far grittier and therefore more interesting than nice but dull Munich.

But please don’t think that because of that Nuremberg is some hell-hole full of pick-pockets. Far from it. Its centre is a beautifully restored medieval marvel, full of ye-olde-worlde buildings and airy cobbled streets. It is where one of Germany’s most famous Christmas markets is held. Its history is simply fascinating, and can easily be recaptured through the dozens of museums and sights on offer. But it is also lots of fun, with cool clubs, bars and a thriving student scene. It seems to be pretty popular with stag parties too (that’s bachelor parties for you Yanks), as Nuremberg is surrounded by hundreds of breweries, and has a number of brothels. Class!

One of Nuremberg’s most interesting sights has to be the dungeons underneath the Rathaus. That’s the local town hall, not a house for rats. You can take a tour of the old prison, built between 1334 and 1340, and imagine the absolute horror the inmates went through there. The cells were small, cold, stone-walled, and completely devoid of daylight. A pail served as the toilet and the table. Some people were tortured as a way of making them confess to crimes they may or may not have committed, and you can still see these torture devices  today. Some inmates were subsequently sentenced to death by hanging, beheading, burning or burying alive. Don’t go on a hangover, like we did.

In stark contrast to the dungeons was my next favourite attraction – the gardens at the Kaiserburg. The castle’s grounds are a perfect place to catch rooftop views of the city and to laze around surrounded by the wonderful flowers.

Another great aspect of Nuremberg is its fascinating yet harrowing Nazi legacy. It was here that Hitler held his mass party rallies and stripped the Jewish of their German citizenship in 1935. Bastard! More than 6, 000 people were killed and 90% of the centre destroyed during the war. But many of the ruined buildings were rebuilt using the original stone, which is why you can still see most of the old town today. Nice.

A must-see is The Reichsparteitagsgelande (pronounced ri -chhhhhhhhccccchhhhhhrrrrrrr flemmy flemmy spit spit schpart tie tag schhhhcccclrrr geland – e), or more easily known as The Nazi Party Rally Grounds. A visit here is a great way to comprehend the scale of Hitler’s support in Nuremberg back in the 1930s. This was where he held his huge rallies to thousands at the Zeppelinfeld. Today the grounds are used for sports and music events, but you can still tour the old grandstand, and literally stand where Hitler did to address the mammoth crowds. Standing in the footsteps of one of the most evil men in history feels eerie to say the least.

In Hitler's footsteps at the Nazi Rally grounds

In Hitler’s footsteps at the Nazi Rally grounds

Despite its shady past, Nuremberg is now a young, multi-cultural, buzzy place, known as the “City of Human Rights”. We loved strolling down the Way of Human Rights, a symbolic row of 29 pillars and one oak tree bearing the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. No I don’t know what that is either, but it sounds like a very good deal.

Way of Human Rights

Way of Human Rights

So, if Nuremberg is such a gorgeous place, what the hell is wrong with the locals? We couldn’t help but notice that almost everyone we dared to have a conversation with in the city was miserable, unwelcoming and completely stand-offish. Yes, I know they are German. But still. In Nuremberg they take it to a whole new level. Here I am with one of them.

A Nuremberger and I

A Nuremberger and I

Our first run-in with an unfriendly local was at a sausage cafe, where I was loudly told off by a butch looking waitress in a dirndl for giving some of my bread crumbs to a malnourished pigeon. Yes I know it encourages more of them, but there are polite ways of addressing these things. Then I was accosted by a market stall seller for daring to take photographs of Nuremberg’s famous ginger-bread cookies. But I got a picture anyway bitch, and here they are:

Gingerbread

Gingerbread

We were also made to feel extremely uncomfortable in a cafe where the witch ahem waitress serving us was extremely curt and awful. We almost felt guilty for daring to order a large breakfast each, and spending our Euros there. Mrs Awful then told another member of staff off for a good ten minutes in full view of all of the customers, saying how crap she was at HER job. Professional!

On a night out during our trip, I had a very insightful conversation with one of the lovely Nurembergers.

Him: “Where are you from?”

Me: “England, but we live in the south of Bavaria.”

Him: “Most people who come to Nuremberg from the south of Bavaria never admit it. We hate each other.”

Me: “Oh.”

Man gets up and leaves.

I then had a rather unpleasant run-in with a really cheesed off toilet attendant in a nightclub. I could tell something was wrong when I was sat on the loo doing a number two, and someone started spraying air freshener under the door. Blaming it on a slight drunken haze, I thought nothing of it until I left the said stinky toilet.

Cheesed-off toilet attendant: “Hast du kacka gemacht?” (Did you do a poo-poo?)

Me, pleased that I had finally understood a German speaking German: “Ja!” (Yes!)

Cheesed off attendant, spraying furiously: “Du Schwein! Nein!” (You pig! No!)

I had never been told off for using a toilet as a toilet before. Somewhat surprised, I looked at crazy spray lady as if she was crazy, washed my hands and left the loo. Did my poo really smell that bad? I have pondered that question ever since.

I remember meeting a lovely family once from Nuremberg who were on holiday in our part of Bavaria. We got chatting by the lake, and they explained that they liked to come down this way because the people are ‘much nicer ‘. I can see their point.

Today I visited a Bavarian friend of mine, and told her how much I loved Nuremberg. Before I could mention our experience of the locals, her face turned to angst. “But what about the people there?” she hissed. “They are bloody awful! I lived there for six months. If you walked up to a stranger and said ‘hi how’s it going’ they would look at you as if you were bloody mad. Terrible people.”

So there you have it. Nuremberg. Great place to visit.  Just be prepared for the people and don’t poo anywhere, especially in a toilet.

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25 thoughts on “Nuremberg: Great place. So what’s up with the locals?

  1. There’s probably a reason why Shitler chose Nuremberg for his rallies… I attended their university for 4 years, it was the worst time of my life. Nuremberg is the dirty butthole of Franconia. I highly recommend to visit Erlangen for a Central Franconia trip. It is right next to Nuremberg. Nuremberg is but a huge souvenir booth helping tourists (and people mistaken for tourists) from abroad out of their money. It’s the Tihuana for the thousands of US soldiers from my hometown (Vilseck). If you’re fed up with Franconia, I recommend you visit the northern Upper Palatinate. People are very nice and welcoming here and sell their food and souvenirs at reasonable prices. Our towns aren’t big, yet worth a visit. I recommend Weiden and the rural areas in the Landkreis NEW.

    • I’m sorry to hear you had such a crappy time at uni in Nuremberg. You obviously really don’t like it there from your dirty butthole comments. It’s interesting to hear the perspective of someone who has spent lots of time there. Obviously I saw Nuremberg as a tourist and liked what I saw, but the people there did give me an inkling that maybe it’s not the best place. I will add your new recommendations to my very long and growing travel list. Thanks for your comments and maybe I’ll see you in Nuremberg sometime!

  2. Thanks for a well articulated travel blog – you covered the history and culture very well – great pics and a funny loo story 🙂

  3. Great story! I laughed from halfway through it. While I have never been to Nuremberg, I have met the sorts of people on occasion in Germany you describe and I loved giving them better than I got.

    ~Manfred
    http://knightsfeather.wordpress.com/

  4. I think you had unusually bad luck with the locals! Nice blog though.

  5. Great post! We’ve been to Nuremberg several times . . . got our first and only German parking ticket there. Nothing worse than an angry toilet frau, is there?

    • Thanks! It’s a crap job isn’t it and I can sympathise but still…if you pay 10 Euros to get in somewhere you expect to be able to use the facilities without the staff spraying you with potentially toxic chemicals! I have met and chatted to many lovely toilet ladies in London and they have a LOT to deal with going on in their cubicles.

  6. As always an excellent read 🙂 – I am sorry you had such an unpleasant toilet experience 😦 it is, however, very funny for us to read about it 😉

  7. The photos are gorgeous, but the people sound terrifying! Imagine being told off for using a toilet for its intended purpose…

  8. […] the charms of the alluring Munich, Regensburg and Nuremberg all nearby, Augsburg doesn’t get much of a look-in on the Bavarian tourist […]

  9. I just found your blog about your life in Germany and was very amused by your style of writing. This is British humor par excellence. As you meanwhile may have guessed I am German and unfortunately live in …

    …Nuremberg (although not being born here). So I am unsure, whether I am allowed to go on reading your blog after your bad experiences here 🙂

    Anyway, I can tell you there are also some friendly people living in Nuremberg, although it may be difficult to find them. Maybe you dedicate your next Nuremberg visit to the quest to find such a needle in the haystack …

    • Thank you very much for your message, I’m very glad you like the blog. I am so sorry that you live in Nuremberg, you poor thing. It must take a very special kind of person. I would love to come to Nuremberg again and try and find some of these rare friendly people you talk about. I’m sure they do exist, somewhere! Please do keep reading the blog despite the fact that you live in Nuremberg.

      • I now have decided, that Anonymous really is a nice nick name, therefore I stick to it. This even more because it seems, that I am the only one commenting here, who is not a blogger with his very sophisticated blog site name.

        I meanwhile think I found out why the native Nurembergers are not that easy to handle. What do you expect from people whose ancestors grew up in dungeons or “Lochgefaengnissen”?

      • Did they really? Good god. I shall have to investigate this. I guess that answers my title for this post: “What’s Up With the Locals? ” But as you have chosen to rename anonymous, there is no way you will be able to receive the 1 million Euro prize money for answering correctly!

  10. Too Bad. The Money would have given me the Chance to move to somewhere Else!

    BTW: Christkindlesmarkt opened yesterday and this is your Chance to meet lots of non-nurembergers here

  11. Note to self: scratch Nuremberg of the list of places to visit! lol

    For what it’s worth, as an American living in Berlin since the the first of the year, I have met exactly TWO “natives” that obnoxious. Maybe they were transplanted N’bergers! You said somewhere you have yet to visit Berlin.Has that changed?

    Thanks for the post…I have added your blog to my “where-to-go-for-a-good-laugh” list. 🙂

    • That’s brilliant thank you, I will take a look at your blog. No I have yet to visit Berlin, but it could be a while as I am currently in England. How are you finding it there? It’s very different to Bavaria. Don’t be put off Nuremberg by the awful locals, the place is really nice!

  12. You post very interesting posts here. Your website deserves much more visitors.
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  13. Oh! Yikes! I am moving to Nuremberg at the and of the month. Could you please give me some tips on where to live and such?

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