The city is surrounded by a network of motorways connecting it to all directions of the compass. A state-of-the-art dynamic traffic guidance system provides easy access to the city and facilitates parking during major events.
We crossed the city many times in 2004, 2009 and 2010 and never found any difficulty in traffic or in parking. The Old city is located in the ring so it’s very difficult to get lost there.
You can watch my 3 min 13 sec Video Bavaria Heiligenstadt-Nurnberg by car in 2009 HD out of my Youtube channel.
You can watch my 4 min 21 sec Video Nurnberg by car in 2010 HD out of my Youtube channel.
The compact Nuremberg transportation system is comprised of 2 Ubahn lines, nine trams, and multiple bus lines. For the visitor, the only main attraction requiring more than a minimal walk is the castle district. The main train station is located across the street from the Frauentor entrance to the Old City at Konigstrasse. Between them is a plaza we called "tram central" where most of the tramlines intersect (Hauptbahnhofplatz). Below ground level here is a station for both Ubahn lines which intersect here and at one other stop near the Spittletor gate to the old town. Line 2 connects directly to the airport allowing easy access to the center of town. From this central point everything to see can be reached easily.
The cheap daypass for the Nuremberg transit system is one of the greatest bargains we encountered in Germany. Period. We were on and off the Ubahn and the trams all day and night long, even for one stop. Points of interest ----
Lorenz district - Shopping streets, Konigstrasse, Pegnitz River sites, St. Lorenz church -- Ubahn 1 to Lorenzkirche ( one stop ).
Sebald district - St. Sebald's, Fembohaus - Ubahn 2 direction airport for two stops to Rathenauplatz, then bus 36 to St. Sebald's.
Castle District, Albrecht Durer house - either Ubahn to Plarrer, then tram 4 to Tiergartnertor.
Documentation Center - tram 9 to the last stop.
Airport - Ubahn 2 to the last stop.
If you arrive in the city of Nürnberg by plane the airport is an end station on the U2 underground line. The station is directly outside the front of the airport and you can see the steps or escalator down to the platform. If you are not very good with ticket machines like me then go to the information desk inside the airport where you can purchase tickets. In my case I purchased a 7 day ticket which cost 17.70 euros. I had an odd day where I needed to purchase a 90 minute ticket for 1.60 euros. This is where I discovered that unlike Berlin where you stamp the ticket at the start of your journey in Nürnberg the ticket machine does it for you and the clock is then running. I only found this out when I tried to purchase a ticket in advance. The same ticket can be used on all forms of transport. The U2 trains I used were driverless and you can stand at the front of the train where the driver would normally be. There are only 3 subway lines in Nürnberg though booster trains are put on in the central sections to increase capacity. The U2 line will take you to the Hauptbahnhof and city centre. If you wish to change routes on the underground then you can change at the Hauptbahnhof and Plärrer.
Nuremberg is very well reachable by train from anywhere in Germany or near-by countries. The main railway station is right outside of the old town walls, so if you are heading to the center, you have a great starting point. The railway station itself is big and you can find many shops, some restaurans/cafes and an internet cafe over there.
Since the opening of a new high-speed railway line between here and Munich there are many more InterCityExpress (ICE) trains serving Nürnberg than there used to be. In fact the fastest way to get from Frankfurt to Munich is now via Nürnberg, not Stuttgart.
Second photo: Here a regional express train is pulling (or rather pushing) out of Crailsheim station, on the way from Stuttgart to Nürnberg. The locomotive pushes in this direction, with the driver of course sitting in a cab at the front end, and then pulls on the way back from Nürnberg to Stuttgart.
Third photo: An InterCityExpress and a regional train at Nürnberg main station.
Nuremberg has an excellent transport system, especially for a city of its size. It has a underground, one serving the smallest population in Europe, as well as a thorough network of trams, buses and S-Bahn trains. For a tourist you'll probably not use it all that much, unless you absolutely hate walking, because the Altstadt is so compact and contains most of what there is to see. If you want to get out to see some of Nuremberg's Nazi history, like Luitpoldhain and the Palace of Justice, you will probably want to grab a tram or train.
A single ticket fare within the Nuremberg city area will cost you €1.40. If you buy single or multiple-single tickets, make sure to get them stamped in the machines. These are located at the steps down to the U-Bahn. You can buy day tickets for only €3.60, which may prove a much better deal. If you are planning on staying a couple of days and visiting many of the museums then get yourself a Nuremberg Card. It costs 18 euros and covers you for travel in the Nuremberg-Fürth region (about as far as you could want to travel) and gives you free entry to pretty much every museum and sight worth visiting.
The metro (U-Bahn) is the main way of transport in Nuremberg, supplemented by six tram lines. Nürnberg’s metro system is the youngest in Germany, dating back to the late 1960s. It consists of two lines, U1 and U2, with a third line in construction. The designations U11 and U21 are given to U1 resp. U2 trains which do not go to the final destination. The system is part of the VAG (Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft Nürnberg), which runs the whole public transport system in Nuernberg, including trams and buses. Single trip tickets cost 1,80 EUR (2007), a day ticket for 3,60 is a better option, if you have to do two or more trips. Of course, these tickets are valid on trams and buses as well as on the DB light-rail trains (S-Bahn).
If you are only moving within the city center, there’s no need to buy a ticket. All important places are within walking distance. However, tickets may be useful, if you want to visit the Nazi documentation center, Fürth or any other attraction which is not in the city center.
Both times we went to Nürnberg we drove since we were stopping at other places that we not as convenient to public transportation. Coming from the Frankfurt area, we easily took the Autobahn (A3) all the way to Nürnberg. Autobahn travel is easy and convenient with rest areas along the way should you need them.
Once in the city, it was very easy to navigate around, although it does get rather hectic near the train station (Hauptbahnhof). Our hotel was on the outskirts of the city where we had free parking. We left the car there and took the bus into town when we wanted since the bus stopped right in front of our hotel (Sportanlage stop, bus #44).
If driving was not an option for travel to Nürnberg, train travel would be the logical choice since the train station is in the center of town. Nürnberg is one of the larger cities in Germany and there are plenty of trains heading towards the city with ample bus connections in front as well as taxis should that be your preference.
If there are at least two people in your family (and no more than two adults, up to four children) and you plan at least a round-trip on the bus, it is cheaper to get the all day group ticket (“TagesTicket Plus”), which gives everyone a full day of bus transportation. The only stipulation is that everyone must travel together each time – you cannot get the ticket and then all go off on your own paths.
In November 2012 we paid €8 for the group ticket, which was cheaper than each of us paying for four single journeys (two round trips). I saw a sign at the bus stop that the price was going up on January 1, 2013, but cannot remember what the new fare is. However, I do remember that all the fares were increasing, so I have to think that it is still a better deal for a group.
You can purchase this ticket from the driver on the bus. Simply ask for a TagesTicket Plus and have your money (cash Euros) ready. On subsequent trips, just show your ticket (it looks more like a receipt) to the driver upon entering the bus.
The website below explains the various bus tickets available in Nürnberg in case the TagesTicket Plus is not the right one for you.
Nüremberg train station seems to be much busier than the streets around it and give a slightly false impression of the pace of life in the city. This is most likely due to it being at the through station of two major ICE routes from Munich to Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg. It also has an ICE route to Vienna. It also has direct trains to cities such as Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Dortmund and Hannover. You can even get night trains to places as far away as Stralsund in the north-east of Germany, and Copenhagen.
Nuremberg has its own airport, but it is mostly for regional flights, budget airlines and charter holidays. Lufthansa is based there, but if you want to fly in from any major airport outside of Germany, then you'll probably have to fly in via Frankfurt. The principle budget airline serving Nuremberg is Air Berlin, and they do good value flights to all over Germany, Europe, as well as further afield to countries like Turkey and Egypt. Condor, Lufthansa's budget wing, also has a lot of charter-flight destinations. Apart from Lufthansa a small number of major national airlines fly to the city, including KLM, Air France and Turkish Airlines.
Transport to the airport is excellent, and you can get to and from the city on the U2 underground line. This takes just 12 minutes to get to the city center, and costs just €1.60.
Nürnberg’s central train station is located just outside the city walls at Königstrasse and Bahnhofstrasse. It is one of the largest train stations in Bavaria and has 21 platforms with major connections across Germany, Austria, and parts of the Czech Republic. In front of the train station are bus and tram stops and the underground U-bahn crosses underneath. It is a very busy section of the city!
Historically, the station was built in the 1840s and was privately owned; however, given the city needed something bigger, the government opted to build their own station. This building was designed in a neo-Gothic style and was continually expanded during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Most of the central train station was destroyed during the World War II bombing raids on Nürnberg, with the exception of the Jugendstil lounge, and was rebuilt in the ten years following the war.
Today, visitors can visit the historic Jugendstil lounge, the section that was not destroyed in the bombing, along with view more recently created mosaics depicting travel by Iris Rauh. The building itself is now under historical building protection.
The area near the Hauptbahnhof (train station) is very busy and fast paced. As with most places where there are lots of travelers, visitors need to take common sense precautions for the safety of their person and belongings. If traveling in Bavaria from Nürnberg, visitors may want to consider using the Bavaria day pass, which can save them money, especially if traveling in a small group. See website below for details.
Nuremberg Airport is the international airport of the Franconian metropolitan area of Nuremberg and the second-busiest airport in Bavaria. The airport is ranked 10th among German airports and 67th in Europe. It surprised me on how many corners of the Airport smoking is still welcomed. The other time when I made it out of Nuremberg, snow on Easter turned the intire Airport into some heavy white. It was my first time to see how it looks like when the plane one is already sitting in, get some hot, real hot, shower. These folks on the ground do an amazing job.
Getting around in Nürnberg is very easy, there are ... still ... two lines of subway, several trams and a lot of buses.
You can get tickets and a map of where you can go by public transportation at the station, and automated ticket seller like the one you see beside.
These days I recommend a "Tagesticket Single" for a single person using the pub trans for a day at the cost of 3.60€. Single tickets in the city center cost 1.40€ for adults ... just find out about offers like group tickets and such on the information desk.
On our first trip to Nürnberg we arrived early in the day and knew that our hotel room was most likely not ready for us. At the time we were unaware of how convenient the bus from the Hilton Nürnberg was so we parking in town for the morning and then after lunch headed to our hotel.
Parking in Nürnberg is expensive. I usually don’t mind paying for parking, but this was a bit pricey compared to other cities. After getting the hotel and finding out about the bus and the two-day ticket, I realized that parking cost more than a one day ticket on the bus. What made it harder to swallow was that parking was free at the hotel.
So with that information, our second trip to Nürnberg found us going straight to the hotel and just taking the bus without any stops in the city. It was cheaper and we didn’t have to hunt for a parking spot in town, especially since it was during the Christmas market.
I would recommend that if you don’t have to drive into the city, don’t do it. If your accommodations have parking, park there and rely on public transportation.
Should you find you simply must park in Nürnberg, there are several parking garages. Simply get a ticket as you enter the garage and take it with you as you leave the car. At the end of your time, simply put the ticket into the machine marked “Kasse” and pay what it tells you. The machine will give you back your ticket which you will then use upon exiting.