Traveling Nuremberg, you may find enough cultural and historical activities to fill a few days. However, the area around Franconia´s capital city also features incredible places and is absolutely worth a visit. Nature parks with an abundance of wildlife and outdoor activities, medieval villages with traditional breweries, and UNESCO sites – the Franconian region is diverse and offers hundreds of locations for day trips from Nuremberg.
As a local, I know the area pretty well and have spent a lot of weekends in towns, nature parks and museums around Nuremberg. In this post, I´m going to share with you 5 awesome day trips from Nuremberg, some of which are well-known locations. However, some of the ideas below are total hidden gems only locals know about and will indeed make your day trip unique and memorable.
Franconia is often considered Germany´s best and most authentic beer region. So why not combine the enjoyment of beer with hiking on the 5-Seidla-Steig? This 10 km hiking trail (or 20 km roundtrip) connects five Franconian breweries, where you can stop and try some of the very authentic beers. The hike itself is fairly easy, it takes hikers up and down hills, through forests, villages and the scenic Bavarian Jura region. The price for a Seidla (0.5 l beer) is around 2 €, which is about half the price compared to beer prices in the cities. Also, most breweries serve local food for an incredibly low price. This hike is an off-the-beaten-path experience and something hardly any tourists know about. So, grab your sneakers, pick a sunny day, and head to the quiet village of Weißenohe, where you can try your first beer and start your hike on the 5-Seidla-Steig.
Nestled in the triangular plateau between the Franconian cities Nuremberg, Bayreuth, and Bamberg, is one of the largest nature parks in the whole of Germany – Franconian Switzerland. The scenery is characterized by white Jurassic rock cliffs, deep valleys and numerous impressive caves with dripstone formations. Every year, many day-trippers come here to spend a day outside mountain-biking or hiking on one of the 650 hiking trails in the area. Franconian Switzerland is also renowned for its traditional villages, ruins of medieval castles, and an abundance of flora and fauna. Also, a day trip to Franconian Switzerland can easily be connected with a city trip to Bamberg, Bayreuth or a hike on the 5-Seidla-Steig.
Only 60 km from Nuremberg, Bamberg is a fascinating Franconian town with a medieval Old Town awarded the UNESCO World Heritage Site honor. Several canals and river branches run through the city giving it the nickname „Small Venice“. Most tourists and locals appreciate Bamberg for its narrow streets, an abundance of pavement cafés – and, of course, local beer. In fact, Bamberg is considered the unofficial beer capital of Germany featuring 10 unique breweries in the town center. With beautiful parks to stroll around, a gorgeous cathedral to visit, numerous old half-timbered houses to take photos of, and around ten unique beers to try, Bamberg is a perfect day trip from Nuremberg.
Franconian Lake District
The Franconian Lake District lies south-west of Nuremberg. It was created as a result of one of Germany’s most significant water-management projects and compromises seven lakes with a total water surface of approx. 2000 ha. Around the lakes, you´ll find unspoiled nature, some cycle paths, and hiking trails. The Franconian Lake District is ideal for both relaxing and active day trips with a variety of activities to choose from, such as sunbathing, swimming, surfing, sailing, climbing at a high-rope adventure forest, or just a fun day out with a barbecue and friends.
Bad Windsheim is an old Bavarian town approx. 60 km from Nuremberg. While most people come to Bad Windsheim to spend the day at the Franken-Therme Bad Windsheim, which is a thermal spa full of different medicinal water pools, the historic city center also offers some eye candy. Half-timbered houses, old churches, and small alleyways invite you to stroll around and learn about the formerly free imperial town. Bad Windsheim is also home to one of the most famous museums in Bavaria, the Fränkisches Freilandmuseum. This living history museum reminds me a lot of Plimouth Plantation in Massachusetts and helps you travel back in time through the past 700 years of rural life in Franconia. More than one hundred buildings on site, most of them furnished with traditional furniture from their period as well as some role players make this museum an incredible experience for both adults and children, showing how Franconian people used to live, work and built their homes in times gone by.