City cards seem to come in three denominations: they could give you access to public transport and discounts on attractions; or they might give you free entrance to attractions but no public transport pass; or you get it all — a public transport ticket and access to museums and other points of interest. The Nuremberg Card falls into this last category, which is far and away my favourite of the three.
Although many city cards come in a choice of lengths, i.e. one day or three days, the Nuremberg Card keeps it simple: each card is valid for two consecutive calendar days, and each visitor gets his or her own card; there are no family passes. However, kids under five get a kids’ card for free, and for children aged 5-11 the card costs €5. Regular cards are €23.
So is it worth the price?
Yes. Even if you just visit two attractions per day and use public transport to get out to the sights that are a little out of the city, you’ll have got your money’s worth. And of course, once you have the pass you’ll want to do more with it — and there’s certainly a lot more to do. Apart from the major attractions of the castle, the national museum, the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, and Albrecht Dürer’s house, you can also choose from three underground tours, visit the zoo, or go to one of thirty or so smaller or larger museums.
You’ll probably end up walking a fair bit, since a lot of the city of Nuremberg is pedestrianised and short of buses through the centre, but the public transport element of the pass is great for getting to the zoo or to the Rally Grounds — and since public transport in the city is relatively expensive (€2.50 for a single ride), this can save you a quite a lot of cash.
The only problem I found with the pass was that it was a bit difficult to plan our days using the brochures provided. A small pamphlet listed the included attractions but not their opening hours, a larger booklet discussed all the sights in depth as well as other things to do in Nuremberg, and featured a map with attractions’ reference numbers printed on them. The problem was that this required a lot of cross-referencing, flicking back and forth through the booklet to find out what a nearby number referred to or trying to find an interesting museum’s number on the map. I’d have loved a one-page map with a sidebar listing all included attractions, along with their opening hours, so that we could better plan our schedule.
As it was, we certainly abused our cards; we visited six attractions each day and used the public transport quite heavily. And there was still more we’d have liked to see if only we’d had the time.
If you just want to hang out in the Nuremberg city centre and soak up the atmosphere, then the Nuremberg Card isn’t for you. But if you want to learn about the city’s Nazi history, see some of its art, or find out what’s underneath it all, then it’s certainly worth considering.