Old Town Festival

September 15-October 1, 2023

Germany’s nicest Old Town Festival

It features more than 60 events, including the traditional fishermen’s joust on the River Pegnitz, a wide variety of folklore programs and many musical events as well as the popular Hans-Sachs-Spiele theatre program.

Every autumn, the Nuremberg Old Town Festival draws guests to the Insel Schütt and Hans-Sachs Square. The Old Town Festival lasts two weeks.
If you decide to come here on vacation, you won’t be sorry, because this place offers clean family fun, along with some unusual traditions that are specific to just this city.

Old Town Festival

Nuremberg Old Town Festival, like in many other countries, Germany also has the tradition of celebrating their people, their natural products, and their country. A bit different from the October Fest, here you can see and enjoy much more than just a beer and bratwurst. This is one more thing to celebrate, besides The Christmas Market in this town. If you don’t mind windy autumn, and you have plans to go somewhere where you’d be respected as most visitors do, this is a place where you can spend the whole holiday, and bring home great memories.

Amongst other nice things, you’ll see here, keep in mind that this Festival is announced the safest and the cleanest, so you can enjoy yourself here for about two weeks because this is how long this festival lasts.

From the beginning, there is a parade, where people across the country bring all their best and selling their craftsman in the Festival. In the beginning, the wagon filled with people, which are pulled by horses, goes first, and the people in them throw candy ( bonbons, chocolates, and other sweets ) into the crowd that’s looking at the festivities.

If you come to see the beginning of the festival, you’ll see the best that this town and some towns that near have to offer.

The best horses, with their braided encolure, nicely looking are the first in the long line of people. After you’ll see ponies or the little hoses for children, the best bull and the cow, pulling the barrel of newly-pressed wine, some of which aren’t wine just yet, but there is wine from last year to fill the flavour of real wine. Let’s not forget about sausages that are made there on the spot, and as a part of their national cuisine, delicates of its kind. You’ll have to try it to enjoy it, made out of meat, without any additives.

Altastadtfest nuremberg germany Old town festival

Besides, keep in mind that this is the country of beer, and here you can enjoy it on every street and on every corner. Along with their homemade sausages will fill your appetite for as long as you need. Nuremberg opens its doors for every nationality there is, so during the festival, you can also see how for example, the Chinese, or Italians celebrate. This town made possible for all of the people whose roots aren’t German, to celebrate in their own way and express themselves not forgetting where did they come from, so they have their stands and their own delicates, showing the world that everybody is more than welcome here.

You’ll see flag-throwers, and whip-crackers, as their old tradition, which were kept to these days.
Among the other things, they clothe themselves in their old clothes, from which some dates all the way to the middle ages. So, you will see most warned clothing from this area from centuries ago, along with young nowadays Scouts, with their full equipment.

With all of that, whole the way through will follow the national music, played by the younger team of school going children, making this event so special, that the words can not explain them, you can only be there to live it with them!


Not to forget younger children, straight from kindergarten along with their teachers, strolling around the city. Unlike the usual festivals, here you can stay and watch, but most people, being either domestic or foreign after the main parade is gone, the rest of the people comes along with the crowd, ending the tour on the Marketplace, where somehow, everyone already had their stand prepared for the guests.

But, maybe the most important event during those days must be Jousting fishermen in their small boats, trying to stay afloat, and not be turned over by the rivalling team.

One of the lesser known, practices, but alive still. It may look funny, and foolish a bit, but it is part of their history, and all of them are more than serious when it comes to jousting on the River Pegnitz.

The whole festival usually starts at the end of August, and the beginning of September, but sometimes it’s being moved to the middle of September. In any case, it’s always funny, a lot of smiling people who welcomes you to their celebration.

If you decide to stay to the end of the celebration, you’ll have the honour to watch the big firework that lits up the whole southern part of the town, and if you are on the higher ground, no matter where you are, you will be able to see it.

If jousting on the river is not your kind of fun, you will find quite a lot to do during these days, and when you get back home, you will realize that you don’t necessarily need the sea for your holiday to be exceptional, come to Nuremberg to feed your eyes, your soul, your adventurous spirit, and of course, your stomach.

traditional fishermen’s joust on the River Pegnitz

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