In the first light of morning, the shutters open on timber-framed buildings and slowly a buzz of activity builds. A rosy-cheeked baker is busy making gingerbread, while a shoemaker carefully cuts out leather. Step into the streets of Nuremberg’s Old Town, and you’ll find yourself in a fairytale. More picture-book perfection can be found in the main Hauptmarkt Square, where daily markets take place – as they have done for centuries – over which loom the gothic spikes and spires of the Frauenkirche. Once you’ve bartered your way through the goods on offer, relax at a biergarten with a hefty tankard of treacle-coloured ale.
The Nuremberg Castle, or Kaiserburg, took over 500 years to build, from 1050 to 1571.
If you have a hankering for mystery, go exploring in the labyrinth of underground passageways. Arm yourself with a good guide and a warm jumper, and you’ll discover a world of medieval breweries and war hideouts.