Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Life in Weiden, Nürnberg, Travel: Germany

Big City Gefühl

Living, as we do, in a relatively small town – around 40,000 people, if you count the surrounds – there are some things city-dwellers take for granted that we don’t have. A particularly vibrant theatre scene, for example. A cinema that doesn’t take every single film and plaster German voices over the actors (otherwise known as dubbing.) A vast selection of restaurants (although we do have the basics; two Greek, an indiscriminate ‘Asian’, Chinese buffet situation and a Ratskeller.) Shops beyond your prerequistie H&M, New Yorker, Esprit and Nanu Nana. And Tchibo, there’s always a Tchibo.

(Of course, we have other things – old alleyways, and strange shops full of every conceivable type of homeware you could ever possibly want. And a wonderful little old Rathaus. And plenty of churches. Aaaaand a ceramics museum.)


Small town gefühl.

Consequently, quite often, we pop into Nürnberg. Nürnberg, only an hour away,  is big enough to provide a little anonymity, to give a little grit (once you step outside the stunningly maintained medieval centre, obviously) and to suck you into the hustle and bustle, the push and shove of bigger cities. And there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, and an Opera House, and museums. And a Butlers as well as a Nanu Nana.

Quite embarrassingly, whenever I am in Nürnberg, I go to Starbucks. I know. Bad coffee, soulless corporation, globalisation kills culture … but, as SG said, as he grimaced through his Lebkuchen Latte, it gives a ‘Big city gefühl.’ Spot on. Nothing like clutching a cardboard takeout cup from a massive American company, to make you feel like you’re in amongst it. Not going to lie though, the Toffee Nut Latte almost singlehandedly stopped my pancreas.

This weekend just past, we popped into Nürnberg for a dose of Big City Gefühl with SG’s Auntie. We had dinner in the middle of the city, caught a show at the Staatstheater (turns out, Germans like to applaud … I think we had at least ten curtain calls) had a Starbucks and hiked the shopping streets (aka breathed in the kitschy goodness of Butlers).

Enough Big City Gefühl to tide us over until the next time.


*** Hello new readers who came over from What I Know About Germans. You all continue to crash my site and, try as I might, I can’t do anything about it! So thank you for reading, apologies if you have difficulty getting through, we just need to ride out this madness together! ***


  1. hans

    25 November, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Hi Liv, I’m a new reader… I’ve enjoyed your take on Germany. I was born in Kreuzwertheim a town with a population of just under 4000 in the Main-Spessart region of Bavaria, but I was raised from age 8 in New York a town with a population of 8 million, talk about culture shock.
    Hopefully I will be able to visit again in 2014, my last trip was 5 years ago.
    All the best

    1. Liv

      26 November, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Massive culture shock, my God. I hope you can get back soon, and thank you so much for reading.

  2. E. Tuttle

    25 November, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    I am a Frankfurter, although I have lived in th US for a looong time.
    With regards to Bratwurst in one of your recent blogs: you cannot find a good Bratwurst in the region where you arere, The Nuernberger Wuerstchen are too small and just don’t taste right. Come up to the Main/Rhein region and taste the difference. Skip the Aepplewein! It will moerder your stomach!

    Keep up the blog, so those of us who are transplanted can experience a llittle Heimweh!

    1. Liv

      26 November, 2013 at 9:15 am

      I will have to give the Main/Rhein wurst a try! I really like the Kielerknacker wurst, I think they’re just like a big Bratwurst. Delicious!

  3. Gary Giewald

    26 November, 2013 at 1:14 am

    Enjoy your blog especially about Nürnberg. My wife and I have spent many enjoyable visits to the area. Have friends in Zirndorf who we visit not often enough.

    1. Liv

      26 November, 2013 at 8:39 am

      It is a beautiful, beautiful city, I am lucky to live so close to it. I have to brave the Christmas markets now, I have heard they get absolutely crazily crowded.

  4. Hemborgwife

    26 November, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I love your description of your town as it is basically a description of my husbands hometown in Sweden, we lived there for a little over a year before moving to a bigger town which we were excited had a sports bar and an actual Sushi place!

    1. Liv

      26 November, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      Oh sushi! You guys are definitely on a different scale to us. I’m not going to lie, counting down the days until we get to a bigger city. The small town thing has been a nice/interesting experience, but get me to the sushi!

      1. Hemborgwife

        27 November, 2013 at 1:35 pm

        Ok so I have to admit we have access to the sushi but have not yet tried it!

  5. Brigitte

    26 November, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Danke fu:r Deinen Post u:ber Nürnberg. Das ist die Heimatstadt meiner Familie und meine Eltern haben da noch eine Wohnung und fahren natu:rlich zum Christkindlmarkt hin. You may want to buy yourself a Nürnberg Rauschgoldengel ( the top of your tree.
    In Nürnberg (maybe everywhere in Franken) it is not Santaclaus who brings the gifts it is the Christkind.

    1. Liv

      27 November, 2013 at 9:14 am

      I have only heard of Santa bringing presents in the North – I think everywhere else the Christkind comes. And, I have been told, the Christkind is different for every family – my friend’s Christkind was a girl!

  6. Brigitte

    26 November, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    In der Na:he von Germanischen Nationalmuseum in Nernberch (Dialekt)gibt es yummy sushi. On the Korngasse:

    1. Liv

      27 November, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Ooh, danke für den Tipp!

  7. Marina

    26 November, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Hey Liv,
    I love your blog! I’m Bavarian (yes, Bavarian!) and live super close to Weiden (20mins via Autobahn A93 😉 ).
    Last year I was living in the US for 12 months to work as an Au pair, discovering the country etc. Since then I just love reading about different cultures and stereotypes.
    Do you like Döner? You should get one from the Döner Shop next to the train station in Weiden… They’re the best. From time to time we would drive to Weiden just to get a Döner from there 😉
    And I totally get your post about Starbucks. I don’t like the taste of Starbucks coffee at all, but whenever I’m in Nürnberg I get one just to feel a little bit like being back in the US…
    Let me know if you need a Döner buddy 😉 I’ll come and eat one with you…
    Liebe Grüße, Marina

    1. Liv

      27 November, 2013 at 9:01 am

      I haven’t tried those döners yet, but I smell them every time I walk by – I will have to give one a try! If you are ever in Weiden, we should definitely get a coffee – not a Starbucks, but we have a Black Bean haha. Grüße aus Weiden!

  8. Sarina

    2 December, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Hi Liv, I really love your Blog. I discovered it about two weeks ago when a friend of mine shared “The List” 😉 on Facebook. I am Half-German and moved from Hamburg to the Netherlands about a year ago. Now I live on one of the Wadden Sea Islands and it is also quite a change. so far I am doing quite fine 😉 I just went visiting my Boyfriend in Bavaria and we actually went to Nurnberg on Saturday to enjoy the famous Christkindlmarket! It is so nice how you are able to describe all these feelings that come with living abroad and moving from the city life to the country. I’m looking forward to read more from you soon!

    1. Liv

      2 December, 2013 at 3:03 pm

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. How is it living in the Netherlands after Hamburg? Do you find many cultural differences? Thanks again for your lovely comment, great to have you on board!

      1. Sarina

        2 December, 2013 at 9:35 pm

        It is not that different but when I first saw your list about germans I thought that the first few points are more typical for dutch people. You think Germans are tall? The Dutch are even taller! And you think germans are crazy about their bikes? Ha! You never saw a dutch city…some of my friends here even cycle during storms with 7 or 8 baufout. 🙂 but so far I really like it.

      2. Sarina

        3 December, 2013 at 1:37 pm

        Ah yes… I forgot something! I found something quite similar to your list on this Blog some months ago. They are great and if you like the cultural difference thing you should check them out! You will realize they also just got a book published (saw that today ;)) and some of the points on your list can be found on that one as well! I really like their way of telling the stories behind some of these strange behaviors.
        and then I also found this one about a year ago… probably it was already inspired by your list 😉

        1. Liv

          3 December, 2013 at 2:10 pm

          This is fantastic! The book look absolutely hilarious, thanks for telling me about it. Yes, I have seen the Venture Village list.

  9. jdwoodyard

    28 April, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Excellent post, you’ve got a great way of capturing just how things are with your words.

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