Nuremberg and Erlangen: Tradition and innovation

Nuremberg and Erlangen are over 1,000 years old. The towns with their medieval buildings combine history and tradition with innovation and technology. The universities enjoy an excellent reputation in research. Cooperations with modern corporations offer ideal conditions for studying.

by Sandra Friedrichs

Panorama of Nuremberg © Tilman2007/wikicommons
Panorama of Nuremberg . © Tilman2007/wikicommons

Facts & Figures

Monthly rent:
332 € / 325 €
Music, culture, tradition – experience the many events!

Welcome to Nuremberg and Erlangen

Nuremberg and Erlangen are situated in the federal state of Bavaria in the region known as Franconia. The locals attach great importance to this point and it's one thing they agree on: they are Franconians, not Bavarians! The region around Nuremberg is an economic conurbation. Cutting-edge enterprises such as Siemens, Bosch and DATEV have established themselves here and they create numerous jobs. The city's modernity is also reflected in its public transport network: the computer-controlled underground line 3 is the first in Germany to operate fully automatically, in other words without a driver.

Christkindlesmarkt in front of the Frauenkirche © DAAD
Christkindlesmarkt in front of the Frauenkirche . © DAAD

Nuremberg dates back to the middle ages. During World War Two, the once magnificent city was almost completely razed to the ground by bombs. Many historical buildings, however, were rebuilt in the medieval style. You'll be amazed at the sight of the renovated Kaiserburg or Frauenkirche. Nuremberg is also the home of the famous Christkindlesmarkt, the world's most famous Christmas market which dates back to the 16th century.

Way of Human Rights © Friedrichs/DAAD
Way of Human Rights . © Friedrichs/DAAD

There are lots of museums in Nuremberg. You should definitely pay a visit to the Germanisches Nationalmuseum with its Way of Human Rights. Albrecht Dürer's House is located in the old part of town. This is where the city's most famous artist spent the last few years of his life. Just outside the city are the former Nazi Party rally grounds. The Documentation Centre in the former congress hall houses an extensive exhibition which presents this dark chapter of German history in an interesting and informative way.

Erlangen is around 16 kilometres from Nuremberg and is completely different to the "Capital of Franconia". Bikes are the most common form of transport in the town's Baroque streets. Students like to relax on the medieval campus or in the Botanical Garden. If you like the countryside and typical Franconian cosiness, you'll feel at home in Erlangen.

More photos

Living in Nuremberg and Erlangen

From a culinary point of view, the Franconians like their food to be inexpensive and substantial. They love their "Lebkuchen", or gingerbread, and "Drei im Weggla", three sausages in a bread roll. Nuremberg has lots of restaurants and cafés which serve tasty meals for under 4 euros. In the Frozen Yogurt & Salatbar, you can create your own salad, while Suppdiwupp offers a changing range of soups every day. The cult mobile snackbar Guerilla Gröstl sells fast food made from fresh, regional ingredients. If you fancy a drink, why not try the delicious Pink Pudel in the Goldener Pudel bar. One Season and Vintage Bar are also popular among students.

My tip

Christkindlesmarkt, Blaue Nacht and Rock im Park – these are the biggest events in Nuremberg and Erlangen and you should definitely try these out in your first year here. Anyone who wants to be a Franconian has to experience these events!

The Franconians love their sport and you'll soon find their enthusiasm is catching! Football and the local team 1. FC Nürnberg is particularly popular. Don't miss the most important match of the season, 1. FC Nürnberg v. FC Bayern München! A real highlight! But the people of Nuremberg are also fans of ice hockey and basketball. If you like to be active yourself, jog or cycle along the Pegnitz river.

The Gostenhof district is ideal for shopping. Locals love Fachmarie – die Glücksboutique and the quirky second-hand store Vinty's. Evenings can be spent at the electronic Club Stereo or Mach1 which hosts notorious student parties.

Erlangen's nightlife is on the quieter side. You can get huge portions ice-cream in all kinds of flavours at Eishaus. The Biergarten am Röthelheim is a real insiders' tip amongst the Erlangen locals! If you want to party until dawn, you can get to Nuremberg in around 20 minutes by public transport. At the weekends, you can travel back on the night bus, or take the first S-Bahn from the main station.

Interview with Claudia from Brazil

Claudia Sena de Freitas is 24 years old, comes from Brazil and is studying Economics at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg.

Picture of Claudia from Brazil © Claudia Sena de Freitas
Claudia from Brazil . © Claudia Sena de Freitas

Why did you decide to study in Nuremberg?

I knew for years that I wanted to go to Germany. I learnt German at school and have been on holiday in Berlin and Hamburg. But I found those cities too big to study in. In terms of size, Nuremberg is just right.

Did you have any problems when you first came to Nuremberg?

I was shocked how the people talk here. Franconian is a language of its own and it will probably take you a few weeks to understand everything.

Erlangen Palace garden © Ismaier
Erlangen Palace garden . © Ismaier

Do you have any advice for foreign students who are looking for accommodation?

Don't move to Erlangen! Even if you have to go to lectures there and Nuremberg is too far away for you – you won't find cheap accommodation there. There's a reason why students compare Erlangen with Manhattan. Not only the street blocks look like the American city, rent prices are like Manhattan prices too.

What most surprised you about life in Nuremberg?

I was quite surprised by the sense of tradition the people of Nuremberg have. When you go to Erlangen's Bergkirchweih, the Franconian version of Munich's beer festival, for the first time, you'll be surprised to see that everybody is dressed in festive clothing. You stand out if you aren't wearing a dirndl or leather trousers! I bought a dirndl straight after my first visit and immediately fell in love with it. A great item of clothing!

Documentation Centre © Nicohofmann/wikicommons
Documentation Centre . © Nicohofmann/wikicommons

Do you think Nuremberg is a good place for foreign students to study?

Definitely! In Nuremberg itself, rent is relatively cheap and in Gostenhof, in particular, there are lots of foreign students. Nightlife here is also very varied. Once you've got used to the accent, you'll love Nuremberg!

What is the best way for foreign students to meet Germans?

You need to be active in the social networks. There are lots of student groups which you can join. Depending on what you're interested in, you can arrange to meet up with other students or organise cinema evenings. That helped me to settle in.

What is the conclusion you would make at the end of your stay in Germany?

For me, studying in Germany is a dream that's finally come true!

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