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Setting sail from Nuremberg
Nuremberg, Bavaria's second city, first pops up in the history books in 1050 as a stronghold of the Franks, and later became the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Nuremberg was also the centre of the German Renaissance, although in the 20th century it became associated with the Nazis; huge rallies were held here, and Nazi officials were later tried and convicted at the Nuremberg Trials. Happily Nuremberg has bounced back from these dark days, and nowadays the city is a tourist magnet thanks to the beautifully restored old town, Christmas markets and excellent beer.
Schwurgerichtssaal 600 (Court Room 600) of the still-working courthouse is where the Nuremberg Trials took place. It forms part of an extraordinary exhibit detailing the history of the trials.
Bamberg’s eye-catching, UNESCO-listed old town is one of the most beautiful in all of Germany. The city was briefly capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and the city centre is still dominated by the 13th century cathedral. There are also plenty of breweries, and you shouldn’t leave without trying Bamberg’s famous smoked beer.
The handsome town of Würzburg, situated on the river Main between Nuremberg and Frankfurt, was ruled for centuries by a succession of powerful prince-bishops. Although much of the city was destroyed during the Second World War, the majestic 18th century Residenz palace stands as a testament to the wealth of the bishopric.
Arriving in Frankfurt
Frankfurt is the financial heart of Germany, a forest of silver skyscrapers that's home to both the German and European Central Banks. This focus on commerce has led some to dismiss the city as a dull, soulless sort of place, but in fact Frankfurt buzzes with a real cultural vibrancy; don't miss the Städel Museum, home to works by the likes of Picasso and Rembrandt, or the excellent MMK Museum of Modern Art. Frankfurt is also great fun after dark, and we recommend sampling the lively restaurants and Apfelwein bars of Sachsenhausen.
If you’re into art and funky style, schedule a couple of days here. Otherwise, don't...
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Where to stay in Nuremberg
We like the Drei Raben (Three Ravens) in the rebuilt old town.
Explore Nuremberg's rich history
Nuremberg's medieval might and significance as part of the Holy Roman Empire becomes clear in a visit to the Kaiserburg.
Extend your stay in Frankfurt
We think that the historic Villa Kennedy is an interesting place to stay.
Excursions from Frankfurt
Go and take the waters at Bad Homburg.