Christmas and Santa seems to bring out the kid in all of us this time of the year. So when I was perusing the list of the thirty-some museums we could visit in Nuremberg and spotted the Nuremberg Toy Museum, I just had to go! I’m a child of the ’80s and my Christmas wishlist was always full of Barbies, My Little Pony, and Cabbage Patch Kids. The description boasted four floors of teddy bears and dolls houses, but what really caught my attention was the history of toys where I’d be sure to find some of my childhood favorites.
Nuremberg may be famous for its gingerbread and sausages, but Nuremberg was also a world renowned toy city. Nuremberg was famous for toys and its dockenmacher, or doll makers, in Medieval times, its tin toy makers in the Industrial Age, and still today for the Nuremberg International Toy Fair.
The Nuremberg Toy Museum, known as the Spielzeugmuseum in German, is right in the heart of the old town and just steps away from the Market Square and Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt. The museum houses four floors of an impressive collection of toys, based upon the collection Lydia and Paul Bayer, and has been open since 1971.
The first floor is dedicated to dolls, wooden dollhouses, and historical toys. Short on time, I breezed through it fairly quickly, though you could spend hours looking at the detail and all the little things that go in dollhouses. The second floor houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of E. P. Lehmann toys, displayed as though to tell a story of this famous Germany company. Here I also found the tin toys – cars, train sets, and one train still chugging around its track.
The top floor was my favorite though, telling the history of toys from the post-war era right up through today. My own childhood came crashing back as I spotted Barbie and Ken, the full cast of Sesame Street, Care Bears and My Little Pony, and even an Atari game system. Anyone remember Donkey Kong?!
Though looking at old toys tucked away behind glass cases might sound a bit boring, I think the Nuremberg Toy Museum is worth a visit. It’s fun to take a trip down memory lane as you spot a He-Man action figure or a tin Sheera lunch box.
Know Before You Go
- The Nuremberg Toy Museum is open Tuesday – Friday from 10am – 5pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 6pm, and during the Christkindlesmarkt on Mondays from 10am – 5pm.
- Admission is €5 for adults and €3 for children. Admission is also free with the Nürnberg Card. The Nürnberg Card is €23 per adult and €5 per child ages 6 – 11. It includes admission to all Nuremberg museums and attractions and use of all public transportation for 2 days.
- If you have kiddos, there is a kids play area where they can play with toys on the top floor.
- Use the U1: Lorenkirche or Bus 36: Weintraubengasse to reach the Nuremberg Toy Museum.
Disclosure: Our trip to Nuremberg was courtesy of Tourismus Nürnberg in order for us to bring you this story. As always, all opinions are entirely our own.