On our second visit to Nürnberg, we walked through the Handwerkerhof, a small craft village just inside the old medieval city walls next to the Königstor and across the street from the train station. It was mere serendipity that we found it, having taken the bus from our hotel into town and getting off at the train station, we walked through the gate through the wall and found this lovely little old section of town. Because it was during the Christmas market, the Handwerkerhof was brimming with Christmas crafts and displays as well as vendors selling typical Christmas market beverages like Glühwein.
We were in a hurry to get to the Tourist Information Office which is not far from the craft area. But we wanted to be sure to get there before it closed. So we had a quick peek as we wandered through. Later in the evening on our way back to our bus, we came back through the craft yard, this time taking our time to see what all was there. For the Christmas season, I really enjoyed the special Nativity displays: miniature dioramas of the Christmas story set in a variety of settings. My favorite was the half-timbered house with the Nativity set in the building beside it.
During the remainder of the year, the craft yard has all kinds of craftsman working in their shops: glass engravers, metal workers, pottery masters, goldsmiths, doll makers, and more. Plus you can grab some local Nürnberg food and drink in this area.
Shops and pubs are open Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays and holidays); during the Christmas market it is open daily.
Entering Nürnberg from the Main Railway Station through the "Königstor" city gate, you will pass the "Handwerkerhöfe", an ensemble of small half-timbered houses with restaurants, tourist and art shops. These are not "historic" houses but built in 1971 in the course of a Dürer-Festival. The original plan was to demolish them afterwards, but instead the city kept them for further use. The Handwerkerhöfe make a nice entry point into Nürnberg, even though they have no more historic significance than Disneyland.
Opening hours of the shops are:
Monday to friday 10am to 6.30pm and saturday 10am to 4pm.
The restaurants are ready to recieve you monday to saturday from 10.30am to 10pm.