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    Car hire in Nuremberg - the Best of Bavaria

    The second-largest metropolis in the German state of Bavaria, Nuremberg is a medieval city full of history and rich in local tradition. With its striking Gothic churches, gorgeous Renaissance houses and picture-book coronet of antique towers, it promises its many annual visitors exploring the area with their rent a car in Nuremberg all the grandeur associated with the country's long and fascinating past.

    Deriving its name from the word ‘nourenberc’ which translates as ‘rocky hill’, it gradually evolved from a small town that sprang up amongst the swamps and forests of southern Germany many centuries ago. Today, the inner city’s lovely grouping of charming red-roofed houses set around an ancient castle attracts tourists from all over world, who come to marvel at this quaint old place of art and song once plundered by Attila the Hun.

    In some circles, Nuremberg is fondly referred to as Germany’s best-kept secret and with very good reason: it’s right in the heart of Bavaria (the country’s largest and arguably most picturesque province), its 3-mile-long city wall with its many towers is one of the best-preserved urban fortifications in Europe and its trio of striking churches - namely St Sebald’s, St Lorenz’s and Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) - rank among the most splendid religious buildings in the whole of Germany.

    Lovingly rebuilt after the war, Nuremberg is an all-year-round destination, as pretty during the winter snows when its famous Christmas market becomes the city's commercial centrepiece as it is when spring's flowers are in full bloom. The Old Town known as the Altstadt covers 1.5 square-miles and is an absolute delight to explore on foot. With its unusual street pattern set out along both banks of the River Pegnitz, this pleasant historic quarter is graced by many grand buildings such as the city’s magnificent opera house and impressive railway station (Hauptbahnhof).

    The sloping, cobbled Domplatz in the heart of the city centre is the first port of call for most visitors and the epitome of Nuremberg’s widespread medieval charm. Don’t miss the Handwerkerhof with its old world atmosphere and groups of artisans of all sorts plying their trade. Another highlight is the 14th-century fountain crafted between 1385 and 1396 by architect and stonemason Heinrich Beheim. It was designed like a Gothic church spire and has forty polychrome figures on four levels evoking the world-view of the Holy Roman Empire. And for those with a fascination for modern history, why not take a look at the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds on the edge of town, the largest monumental structure built by the National Socialists that’s still intact.

    During your visit, look out for the genuine Nuremberg grilled sausages which have been around for more than 700 years, since 1313 to be precise. In that year a law was passed specifying that ‘only the most valuable part of the pig may be used to make little sausages seasoned with marjoram between 7 and 9 cm long and weighing no more than 25g’. Nuremberg sausages are traditionally grilled over a beech-wood fire which gives them a special aroma before being served on a pewter plate with mustard or horse radish plus sauerkraut, potato salad and a slice of rye bread.

    Nuremberg lies in the heart of northern Bavaria, a lovely region comprising many picturesque towns and cities, such as Augsburg and the state capital, Munich. A classic road-trip from Nuremberg starts with a leisurely drive north-west through lush meadows overlooked by fairytale castles to pick up the Romantische Strasse (Romantic Route), a long and very winding road that's famous for its outstanding scenery.

    Auto Europe offers the cheapest rates for your car hire in Nuremberg. With pick-up points in convenient locations all over the city, we cater for all budgets large or small by offering the right car at the right price. Book your car in a few clicks on the Auto Europe website and choose from a wide range of small-, medium- and large-size cars, as well as luxury vehicles, campervans, SUVs and convertibles. You can book your car online now using the Auto Europe booking engine. Alternatively you can call our rental specialists 7 days a week on +44 123 3225 114. For tips on driving around Nuremberg and the rest of the country, please consult our Germany driving guide for more information about driving distances, road rules, age restrictions, etc. Find out what other customers had to say about their recent Auto Europe car rental experience in the city by seeing what they wrote on our Nuremberg car hire reviews page.

    How is the traffic in Nuremberg?

    Nuremberg is a beautiful city but it can get somewhat congested, especially during the morning and evening rush-hours. But as with most big cities in Germany, Nuremberg is blessed with excellent motorway access and can be reached from all directions via the European motorway network (A3, A6, A9 and A73). All these motorways are well signposted and Nuremberg's new electronic traffic guidance system designed mostly for major events taking place at the city's Exhibition Centre, stadium and Arena etc. makes it easy to find your way around whilst navigating the city for sightseeing purposes. Criss-crossed by pedestrianised streets and old medieval bridges, downtown Nuremberg is not really suitable for cars as most roads in the Old Town are planned in accordance with the Schleifenlösung looping system, which means that after driving around for a while you'll probably end up where you started!

    Where can I park my car hire in Nuremberg?

    If you want to visit the Old Town of Nuremberg by car, be aware that the innovative local parking information system operated by the Nuremberg Highway Department provides up-to-date information online regarding the number of parking spaces available in the many inner city car parks. When driving around the city, it's best to check whether there's a designated parking area at your destination (as with some hotels and tourist attractions). If not, then you might want to consider using the city's well-organised Park & Ride facilities which are signposted on the main approach roads. Alternatively, Nuremberg has a good number of municipal car parks (around 20 in all) with around 6,000 spaces in total. Please note that on-street parking for visitors is in very short supply because most free spaces are for residents only, even out in the suburbs. If you do manage to find a space, be prepared to pay well over €2 an hour.

    Nuremberg Airport

    Nuremberg's international airport opened between the fields of the Knoblauchsland market gardening area of Nuremberg in April 1955 and has since become one of northern Bavaria's most important commercial assets. Also known as Albrecht Dürer Airport Nürnberg after the great locally-born 15th century painter, Nuremberg Airport clocks up almost 5 million passengers a year, making it the tenth busiest in Germany. The growing list of airlines operating at the airport now includes Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Swiss, Air France, KLM, Vueling, Eurowings, TUI Fly, Sun Express, Ryanair, Wizz and Corendon Airlines, with many more expected to be added in the future. Passengers flying in and out of Nuremberg Airport have access to a good range of airport facilities, such as a wide choice of excellent eateries like the popular Mövenpick restaurant and several shops including a large Duty-Free store. There’s also a hairdresser, conference centre, observation deck and a book shop at the disposal of passengers waiting to board their flight. During the 1990s and through to the new millennium, the airport evolved considerably on account of its new terminal building and Metro extension. More recent improvements include an additional car park with 2,200 spaces, more shops in the Departures lounge and a new passenger pass-through terminal.

    Nuremberg Airport (NUE)
    Website: www.airport-nuernberg.de/english
    Telephone: +49 911 9370
    Address: Flughafenstraße 100, 90411 Nürnberg, Germany

    What to do in Nuremberg

    The former imperial city of Nuremberg has many fantastic museums, plenty of shopping opportunities, an abundance of cosy restaurants and bars and many welcoming beer gardens. Make the most of your car rental in Nuremberg to travel around and enjoy the very best of what the city has to offer, including the world-famous Nuremberg bratwurst available in bars and bistros all over the local region.

    • Imperial Castle: One of the most important fortified palaces of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, Nuremberg’s magnificent Imperial Castle (known locally as the Kaiserburg) was a secure military outpost and prestigious place for passing Emperors to stay. Over thirty Emperors have stayed there over the centuries, making it one of the most historic buildings in the whole of central Europe. Erected under the Staufers and their successors over older buildings, this extensive castle complex has stood at the centre of European history for centuries and today ranks as Nuremberg’s number one tourist attraction. Highly recommended is a tour of the imperial chambers and integrated museum. Built around 1200, the Romanesque Double Chapel features one chapel above the other with the Ruler’s Balcony a particular highlight for visitors. Visible from miles away, the Sinwell Tower was built in the 13th century and still has the original 50-metre-deep well hewn from the rocks below the castle many centuries ago.

    • House of Albrecht Dürer: A supremely gifted and versatile German painter and engraver of the Renaissance period, Albrecht Dürer is best known for his highly detailed studies of animals, plants and religious subjects. Built in 1420, the large, half-timbered house in which he lived, worked and died miraculously survived the intensive bombing of Nuremberg during World War II and today ranks as one of the city’s top tourist attractions.

    • Germanisches Nationalmuseum: Nuremberg's impressive Germanisches Nationalmuseum is not only the largest museum in Germany but the rest of the German-speaking world. Dedicated to cultural history, its permanent collection features an eclectic mix of fascinating items ranging from medieval tapestries and 20th-century design classics to some exhibits that date all the way back to the Bronze Age. Other highlights include the famous Behaim Globe (the oldest surviving globe in the world), the precious cover of the Codex Aureus (an illuminated Gospel Book written in the early 11th century), very rare Baroque dolls houses with several floors and one of the largest collections of historic musical instruments in Europe.

    • Neues Museum: With its curved glass façade overlooking the city’s medieval walls, this handsome award-winning museum specialises in contemporary art and design. Its extensive collection of paintings, sculptures and photographs dates from 1945 onwards, with the main focus on Eastern European artists, international works of geometric abstraction and concrete art. The permanent collection is continually changing and the museum hosts several temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

    • DB Railway Museum: Founded in 1882, the DB Museum is the oldest railway museum in the world. Comprising almost 7,000 square-metres of space, the collection includes forty genuine pieces of railway history, including the oldest-surviving passenger coach in Germany, a replica of the country's first steam locomotive (the Adler) and a model of the ICE 4, the next generation of high-speed trains. Other key attractions include a vintage train platform, interactive signal box and KIBALA, a railway paradise for kids featuring a train simulator and miniature railway running around the grounds.

    • St Sebald Church: An exquisite Romanesque pillared basilica with two choirs, construction of St Sebald Church began in the early 13th century and by 1379 the original side aisles had been widened, the towers raised in the High Gothic style and the Late Gothic hall choir built. Inside the church stands the late-14th century reliquary shrine and remains of St Sebaldus, the 8th-century hermit, missionary and patron saint of Nuremberg. The church’s two towers were added in the 15th century and despite suffering extensive damage during World War II, thankfully the Shrine of St Sebaldus, works by 15th century sculptor Veit Stoss and the church's exquisite stained-glass windows all remain perfectly intact.

    • Nuremberg Zoo: One of Bavaria’s best year-round tourist attractions is Nuremberg Zoo, located in a prime setting in the city’s imperial forest. The tradition of zoos in Nuremberg goes right back to the Middle Ages and this modern incarnation is itself well over 100 years old. Covering some 67 hectares (170 acres), it is one of the largest zoos in Europe and houses many of the world’s most magnificent creatures, including Asiatic lions, Siberian tigers, snow leopards, South African cheetahs and Indian rhinos. Don’t miss the dolphin show and the innovative Bionicum Ideenreich Natur visitor centre.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Nuremberg

    Experience first-hand beautiful Bavaria and immerse yourself in all its history by visiting the many royal castles and palaces dotted around Nuremberg and its environs. Here follows a selection of some of the many places and attractions you simply cannot miss whilst exploring the area by car;

    Munich

    About 100 miles south of Nuremberg lies the magnificent city of Munich, an attractive metropolis nestling on green and very fertile pastures north of the Alps. Full of cosmopolitan flair and immense architectural charm, Munich has retained much of the atmosphere it had when monks first settled in the area back in the 8th century. The city boasts some of the world’s most treasured art collections as well as some beautifully-preserved buildings such as the former royal palace known locally as the Residenz.

    Romantic Road

    The evocatively-named Romantic Road (Romantische Strasse) winds through 180 miles of glorious Bavarian scenery between Würzburg to the north-west of Nuremberg and Füssen on the Austrian border, passing dozens of medieval towns, villages and castles en route. This popular road offers visitors the chance to get the most out of their car hire in Nuremberg by taking a leisurely drive through all the beauty, history and charm of the local countryside. Don’t miss Rothenburg ob der Taube just west of Nuremberg, considered one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe.

    Dinosaur Museum

    Located just off the A9 motorway between Nuremberg and Munich (exit 59 for Denkendorf), the Dinosaur Museum Altmühltal is one of southern Germany’s top tourist attractions. Visitors are invited to wander along a mile-long forest path to discover 400 million years of the earth’s history whilst meeting over 70 life-size dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures along the way. Other highlights are the fine collection of original fossils and skeletons on exhibition in the museum hall, as well as a genuine tyrannosaurus rex and the world's largest pterosaur ever to have been excavated.

    Legoland

    Located 120 miles south-west of Nuremberg, the excellent Legoland Deutschland Resort is major draw for adults and kids alike. This is a place where children can slip into the skins of their heroes and do grown-up things like taking their first driving test, competing in a jousting tournament, skimming across the water at breakneck speed, paddling a canoe all by themselves or designing and programming Lego robots. It takes over 12 hours to see and do everything so arrive early!

    Geographic Information & History

    Located approximately an hour's drive north of Munich, Nuremberg (written Nürnberg in German) is a lovely city on the River Pegnitz and on the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal in the German state of Bavaria. Situated in the administrative region of Middle Franconia, it is the second-largest city in Bavaria and the largest in Franconia. Despite the fact that Nuremberg is not on a large river or sea port, the city still managed to become one of the most important medieval trading towns and, in part, this is due to the fact that some of the most important commercial routes intersected with Nuremberg and there was no equal in stature in the surrounding area. The Bavarian landscape surrounding the city is divided into four distinct areas, meaning that there's plenty of variety for visitors exploring the environs by car from Nuremberg, from which it's possible to get to the Alps and the Zugspitze (Germany's highest peak), the Alpine foothills with their abundance of lakes and streams, the Eastern Bavarian central mountains comprising the country's first-ever national park and the Swabian-Franconian cuesta landscape famous for its thick forests.

    Although Nuremberg’s urban history begins in the year 1050, its castle was originally built much earlier than that date. Over the centuries it has been called everything from the Treasure Chest of the German Empire to the City of the Nazi Party Rallies. The oldest portion of the castle, known locally as the Altnürnberg, was composed of a five-cornered tower with rooms attached, around which the city subsequently developed. Nothing in the Middle Ages was more conducive to the prosperity of a town than the reputation of having a holy man within its borders, or the possession of the miracle-working relics of a saint. Just as St Elizabeth made Marburg, so too did St Sebaldus prove to be a very potent attraction and major reason for people (even in the Middle Ages) to want to visit the fast-growing town of Nuremberg. In 1219, Emperor Frederick II gave the city the imperial title and this not only brought economic advantages but also ensured that Nuremberg was subject only to the emperors, not to any other princes. In 1356, the town received a further accolade when the so-called Golden Bull stated that new kings were obliged to hold their first parliamentary session in Nuremberg.

    How to get around Nuremberg

    In Nuremberg you have buses and trams as well as the Metro (U-bahn) at your service running from 5am until midnight seven days a week. For visiting the city's surrounding areas, it's best to use the S-bahn, regional trains or bus services. Please note that on weekends there are additional buses called NightLiners which run from 1-5am. Nuremberg is at the heart of the very extensive Verkehrsverbund (VGN) integrated transport network which extends all the way to Bayreuth and Bamberg. Tickets are valid all over the network and allow for travel on virtually every bus, tram, U-Bahn, S-Bahn and regional train service except intercity and long-distance trains. Using discounted fares such as day tickets, "Sparpreis" and group tickets, travelling around the northern Bavaria region is very affordable although single trips in and around Nuremberg aren't such good value.

    Bus

    ZOB Nürnberg, the main bus station, is on Willy Brandt Platz opposite the main railway station, at the south-eastern corner of the old city walls. Local buses link Nuremberg with many surrounding towns and suburbs, including Stein bei Nürnberg and Erlangen. There's an express bus service directly to and from the airport and Nordostbahnhof, while other routes connect Fürth with the airport.

    Tram

    Along with its bus and metro networks, Nuremberg’s tram system is modern and efficient with routes to many interesting parts of the city.

    Metro

    Nuremberg has an efficient underground network and it's interesting to note that the U3 line became the world's first-ever automated metro line with mixed trains (both driver-less and with driver) in 2008. Most metro lines stop at the main railway station, the Hauptbahnhof. while the U1 line connects with Nuremberg's neighbouring city of Fürth. The U2 line will get you to Nuremberg Airport in just over 10 minutes without the need to to change trains from the city's central railway station.

    Train

    Very centrally located, Nuremberg's modern railway station is a stone's throw from the Old Town and offers passengers a wide range of shops, bars, cafés and restaurants before and after their journey. Nuremberg has excellent rail connections to almost everywhere, with high-speed ICE services to Munich (roughly one hour), Leipzig (just over 2 hours), Frankfurt (just over 2 hours) and all other major towns along these routes. Berlin is a 3-hour and 30-minute journey away which nowadays can be achieved is less than 3 hours on the fastest trains.

    Taxi

    Taxi ranks exist all over town, especially at the Nuremberg Fairground, airport and east and south entrances of Nuremberg central railway station. The city centre is a very quick and convenient 20 to 25-minute taxi ride from Nuremberg Airport and the fare shouldn't cost more than 25 euros.

    Useful links

    Nuremberg Tourist Info