The basis for the flourishing tourist trade is founded on historical towns, relaxing landscapes and nature parks, as well as a rich cultural life. Tourism has three main strands – holiday makers, city tours, spas and health and wellbeing paired with well-known trade fair and congress events – and is characterized by its excellence and international significance.
Whereas it was once the romantics who discovered the heart of German sentiment in cities like Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber or in the caves and cliffs of the Franconian nature parks (Franconian Switzerland), in the meantime it has been the far-travelled guests from Germany, Europe and overseas. They encourage the growth of tourism as holiday-makers, cultural and educational tourists as well as visitors to trade fairs and congresses, allowing the city of Nuremberg with its approximately two million overnight guests to count as one of the top ten city destinations for tourists in Germany. Other cities in the area also draw an international public with their conference halls, for example Fürth, Erlangen, Bamberg, Hof and Würzburg
Cultural heritage sites
Two world cultural heritage sites enrich the heart of the region: the Limes (Roman wall) near Weißenburg and the cathedral town of Bamberg. In addition it must be noted that the area has the densest number of historical towns and cities in Germany, amongst them, in Nuremberg's immediate proximity, are Fürth, Erlangen and Schwabach, Hersbruck, Neumarkt, Amberg and Bayreuth as well as Ansbach, Feuchtwangen and Dinkelsbühl.
Landscapes and protected parks
They are all surrounded by magnificent landscapes many of which are protected as parks: Franconian Switzerland, the Fichtel mountains, Frankenalb, the Upper Palatinate Forest, the Upper Main valley/Coburg region, the Steiger Forest, the Franconian Wine region, romantic Franconia, the Franconian lake district, the Altmühl valley nature park. They are criss-crossed with several themed routes such as the castle route, the German toy route and, the classic amongst the Germany holiday routes, the romantic route.
Health resorts and spas
Health resorts and spas are valuable pearls in the chain of nature parks, caring for the health of inhabitants and visitors alike. Four of them are in the core of the metropolitan region, Fürth, Hersbruck, Bad Windsheim and Treuchtlingen; a further six in the wider area. To go to a spa, is to welcome relaxation, healing and prevention all at once.
Culture and museums
The main thing that draws people as tourists into the metropolitan region, are the exceptional bits and pieces of history and culture. The talented architect Balthasar Neumann left his traces in countless places as did the sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider. Numerous castles in Franconian Switzerland bear witness to the unbendable wills of their former owners and the pride of diligent citizens and tradesmen can still be traced in the former free imperial cities of Nuremberg, Weißenburg, Bad Windsheim, Rothenburg and Dinkelsbühl. Bishops and prince-bishops had residences and churches erected in and around Bamberg und Würzburg which today enjoy world status.
The rich abundance of museums is also worthy of a mention. A couple of the most important ones are the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg, the Transport Museum with the DB-Museum (Federal Railways Museum) and the Museum for Communication and the Documentation Centre of the Reichsparteitagsgelände [Reichs Party Congress Grounds]. The municipal museums see themselves as "historic theatres", in which personalities of past centuries come to life once again, who take visitors by the hand and take them on entertaining journeys into the past. Also of interest in other cities: In Weißenburg the Roman Museum, fort and thermal baths bear witness to the Roman history in this part of the country. In Bad Windsheim the Franconian Open Air Museum testifies to life in past ages. Kulmbach accommodates one of the largest tin figure collections in the Plassenburg.
One would assume that the metropolitan region is the home of Christmas. Not only because the most famous Christmas market in Germany, the Christkindlesmarkt is a trademark of Nuremberg – it also makes December the strongest month for overnight stays in the Nuremberg tourism year. The are a great variety of events in Advent in the other cities of the region: for example the Krippenweg in Bamberg, Germany's largest Advent calendar in Forchheim and the Reiterlesmarkt in Rothenburg.
The metropolitan region of Nuremberg also has a lot to offer in terms of sport. Although it is true that the fluctuating performances of the 1. FCN [FC Nuremberg] occasionally give its fans cause to have a heart attack; football has a long tradition in the region. Nuremberg was one venue for the Football World Cup in 2006, the German touring car championships attract more than 100,000 motor sport fans to the Norisring, in the International Radkriterium round the Nuremberg old city the cycling elite of both sexes fights for victory, while a world-class triathlon is held in Roth each year – the Quelle Challenge.
Just what would a touristic region be without culinary enjoyments? The food is as varied as the landscape. Numerous top chefs exert themselves to do justice to the claims of the metropolitan region: "Franken kulinarisch erleben." (Experience Franconia from a culinary angle). The same applies to Franconian wine, some of the best, which our cellars and wine festivals have to offer.
Zoo and theme parks
It simply remains to say that Nuremberg has the most beautiful zoo in Europe (with the only dolphinarium in Southern Germany) offering holiday-makers from the cities a mixture of relaxation and education. Major theme parks such as the Playmobil FunPark in Zirndorf, the Freizeitpark Schloss Thurn near Forchheim, the Franconian Wunderland in Plech and the Leisure-Land in Geiselwind round off the wide range of varied family entertainments. Its best to come and see for yourself; the metropolitan region offers its guests a warm welcome at any time!
Diversity is the key
Climate, location and topography, age-old traditions and regional specialities of the metropolitan region of Nuremberg in the heart of Franconia are the foundation for different culinary accents. At the same time Franconian products enjoy worldwide fame. Top chefs, top sommeliers and excellent restaurants and hotels bring garden-fresh meals from the region to the table. They set the tone for Franconia's gastronomic landscape.
Current surveys on how guests associate culinary specialities from the metropolitan region of Nuremberg prove that eating and drinking belong to the most exciting experiences of a journey through Franconia and almost every second German associates Franconia with Franconian wine and wine landscapes. Enjoyment without needing to go far, combined with a cultural programme – the metropolitan region of Nuremberg is the perfect destination, in short it is an expression of the Franconian quality of life!
The countryside of the metropolitan region of Nuremberg is widely known and appreciated as Weinfranken (wine-Franconia) and Bierfranken (beer-Franconia). Our almost untouched natural landscapes are particularly blessed with fertile earth, with crystal clear well water, with sunny vine slopes, sweet smelling meadows and dense forests. This is where the top-class ingredients mature which our chefs, vintners and brewers can process direct from the field. We offer our guests original and regional dishes: crispy roast blade of pork, Nuremberg sausages grilled on aromatic beech wood fires (as small as a finger and weighing exactly 25 g) the "Queen" of sausages, the tender Aischgründer carp, the cleverly seasoned rack of young lamb, kid braised in rosemary, golden baked fish, freshly-caught river crayfish and much more. Prepared by chefs with tradition and passion. Chefs from the area, who fully identify themselves with the region. At every corner, on every market square one can buy Franconian sausages and they are all prepared differently. Franconia is the world's sausage heaven.
In the glass a lively dry Riesling from the sunny sloping vineyards on the river Main or the Bad Windsheim bay, or a deep-golden beer with a fine foam from the region with the biggest brewery density in the world.
And then the sweet temptation: gingerbread with its exotic spices from Aladdin's realm, chocolates with plain dark chocolate glaze, crispy snowballs with a breath of the finest icing sugar and summer-fresh yeast cakes with fruity coverings fresh from the orchard. All this can be enjoyed by the guest in a region where hearty hospitality, a good meal and drink and a quiet, comfortable bed are part of their philosophy of life.
The culinary traditions in Franconia are rather rustic, monastic and farming worlds have left their mark, as nourishing food and drink was needed for hard-working people. But in the metropolitan region of Nuremberg today gourmets also get their money's worth. This is not least an expression of the structural changes which have taken place over the last decades. Franconia can offer excellent multi-star restaurants in homely surroundings just as much as it can serve uncomplicated, hearty food.
Since the eighties a trend in Franconia's culinary landscape has become particularly noticeable. The gastronomically highly-qualified younger generation is making small places of pilgrimage for gourmets out of old-established, middle-class country pubs at moderate prices. They are not denying their origins and their menus also offer local specialities as well as "Haute Cuisine" dishes. The gastronomic scene has changed radically in the last decades: from the pub on the corner to trendy gastronomy for scenesters.
The metropolitan region offers visitors accommodation of all standards. Whether a 5-star hotel or "bed and breakfast", there is something to suit everyone and each budget. Design and wellness hotels are fully in trend at the moment and provide relaxation and recuperation for business people too. Even if business trips and city tourism predominate in the metropolitan region of Nuremberg's hotel trade, private tourism in the holiday country of Franconia is happily on the increase. One good example is the Playmobil FunPark in Zirndorf but there are also many other cultural sights such as the Limes, a world cultural heritage near Weißenburg and the cathedral town of Bamberg.
Chain and mass hotels of international origin have been erected, particularly in Nuremberg, Fürth and Erlangen and in fact there is hardly a hotel chain that is not represented in the region. As one would expect, the popular trade fair city of Nuremberg is in keen competition with other business locations all over Europe. This has resulted in many other major hotels being built over the last 20 years with a total capacity of 13,000 beds in Nuremberg alone and a further 20,000 in its immediate catchment area.