When people think about a city trip in Germany, most of them will come up with Cologne, Berlin, Munich or Hamburg. But Germany has more to offer and one of her hidden gems is the city of Bremen. During my stay I had the feeling that most tourists haven't discovered Bremen yet, which makes it the perfect get away for a city trip in Northern Germany. Therefore I came up with the idea of writing a travel blog about visiting Bremen showing you the best places to visit, things to do and more travel tips to get you started.
I stayed in Bremen for 2.5 days (3 nights). The city center is not so big and very easy to explore by foot. But on this small surface is already so much to see and so much to do! Therefore I came up with a list of my ten favorite things to do during a city trip to Bremen.
1. Hang out in the beer gardens on the boulevard along the Weser River
When you think of Germany, you'll probably think of beer. Germans love their beer and their favorite way of drinking it is in the biggest glasses while sitting at long tables with lots of friends. Along the boulevard of the Weser are multiple beer gardens located where you can enjoy the sun while chitchatting with your friends and sipping your pint. You can find here all the locals on a sunny afternoon after a day of work, or during the weekends. Close to the boulevard is the narrow “Böttcherstrasse” with multiple art studios. You can walk in this alley on your way from the boulevard to the central marketplace.
2. Walk in the city park
The city center is surrounded by water with a nice green park to walk in. The canals are located where the city wall of Bremen used to be. You can also find here the old windmill. It takes around 30 minutes to walk from one side to the other.
If you walk from the westside of the park to the southeast side, you can extend your route by adding the neighborhood Schnoor to it.
3. Stroll through the narrow alleys of Schnoor
Schnoor is in many opinions the most cozy neighborhood of Bremen. It still has preserved a medieval character. The Schnoor developed in the 10th century as a district of fishermen and was one of the poorer areas of Bremen. Nowadays, you can stroll through the narrow alleys and visit the tiny shops and cafes that are spread over the neighborhood.
From one of the poorest neighborhoods of Bremen, it has been transformed in one of the most favorite parts of the city for many people.
4. Admire the famous "Bremer Stadtmuzikanten" statue
Every city has its own touristic hotspot and for Bremen it is the Bremer Stadtmuzikanten statue (musicians of the city Bremen). The statue is about the fairy tale of the Grimm brothers. You'll find references to this statue in a lot of other places in the city. Get in line for a picture with this famous statue of a donkey, dog, cat and rooster which is located at the grand marketplace. It is said that you can make your biggest wish come true if you hold the donkey’s legs.
5. Admire the architecture at the Grand Marketplace
The marketplace is considered as the heart of the center of Bremen and besides the statue it’s also worth a visit because it’s surrounded by historical buildings, such as the city hall.
It has a lot of terraces to drink a beer and to watch other tourists visiting Bremen and admiring its architecture.
6. See Bremen from the top of the Bremen Cathedral
On the same marketplace as the statue is the beautiful Bremen Cathedral. Entrance of the cathedral is free, but for a small fee it is possible to climb all the way to the top of one of the towers to get a view over the city center.
The spiral staircase is narrow and consists of 266 steps, which makes the climb a strenuous activity.
7. Enjoy a culinary world tour at Markthalle Acht
Just around the corner of the marketplace and the Bremen Cathedral is the food hall Markthalle Acht. On Tuesday till Saturday you can try here food from all over the world.
I can tell you from my own experience: the Ghana food stand will not let you down. It’s a place for encounters and for an original, sustainable and conscious food culture, with regionally and seasonally fresh manufactured products. The perfect location for a date, to hang out with friends or to find shelter from the rain.
8. Find shelter from the rain in one of the museums
Just like basically all northwest European destinations, there is a big chance you’ll not have the odds in your favor as for the weather. Besides the food hall, Bremen luckily has museums that are worth a visit, such as Kunsthalle, Overseas Museum and Focke Museum. I have to admit that the weather was too good during my visit, so I haven't been to any of the museums. If you have any tips or recommendations about the best museums in Bremen, please leave us a comment below!
9. Get away from the hustle of the city in the Botanical garden
Botanika is just outside the city center but easily accessible by tram/bus and definitely a recommendation to visit! Walking in this huge park is free, but you need to pay an entrance fee if you want to visit the butterfly garden and greenhouses.
The greenhouses are an adventure facility dedicated to the protection of biological diversity with mostly Asian landscapes.
10. Day trip to Bremerhaven
In 45 minutes by train you'll be in the harbor area of Bremen. A completely different atmosphere, but with also very nice things to visit, such as the zoo, the Submarine (U-boot) Museum and the Klimahaus Museum.
You can also walk along the coast to see the arriving ships or the waterfowl searching for food during low tide.
Zoo am Meer
The zoo looks small, but is very practically built, making it home to polar beers, see lions, polar foxes, pumas, penguins and many other animals.
This museum is a meteorological center with interactive exhibitions about weather and climate.
U-boot Wilhelm Bauer
At the time (1960), this submarine was the workspace for 57 men on board and is now an open for public museum ship and the only surviving version of this type of submarine.
11. Combine your city trip Bremen with Hamburg
Just 120 kilometers away from Bremen is the second largest city and main port of Germany: Hamburg. You can go there by bus or train in just 1.5 hours. In my opinion it's the best itinerary to stay 2-3 days in Bremen (3 if you want to add Bremerhaven as a daytrip) and 3-4 days in Hamburg. Traveltomtom team member Ashley wrote a blog about the best thing to do in Hamburg.
Best way to get to Bremen
Bremen is located in the north of Germany. It has its own airport, train station and international coach station, which makes it easy accessible. Another option is going by car, but the city center of Bremen is designed for pedestrians and bus/tram, so you'll need to park your car outside the city center. The train- and international coach station are located just outside the city center of Bremen, but on a 5-10 minutes walking distance. The airport is located 30 minutes away by public transportation, or 15 minutes by car.
This travelblog was written by Traveltomtom team member Margot van der Linde. Bremen was one of the stops during her 1.5 week city hopping to Bremen, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Malmö using international coach services. If you want to know more about this itinerary, you can read the blog she wrote about it.
I hope all the above tips are helpful for your visit to Bremen! I’m sure there is way much more to explore in this city, but at least you’ll know where to start now. Thank you so much for reading! May you have any questions please leave us a comment below.
Enjoy your trip to Bremen!