Your Essential Travel Guide To Bremen
Discover Things To Do In Bremen
A place where tradition meets modern city life, Bremen is one of Germany’s most dynamic locations, packed with historic sites, museums and lush green spaces.
Bremen is located in the north-western part of Germany and is the second-largest port in the country. It sits along the Weser River and within Germany’s smallest state. Since 1358, Bremen has been a member of the Hanseatic Merchants Union and one of the country’s most important trade centres for coffee and wool.
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Why Visit Bremen?
In Bremen, history, science and culture combine to form a truly fascinating city. It’s ideal for visitors wanting to learn more about the country’s background and Hanseatic heritage.
Spend your time exploring different areas, such as the Schnoor quarter. Particularly popular among visitors, this district has many examples of architecture dating back to the 15th-18th century, including the Toy Museum and the gothic John's Church. Check out key attractions, such as Bremen City Hall, one of the oldest buildings in the city and included on the UNESCO architectural heritage list. Visit the cellar, where you can taste more than 600 varieties of wine.
One of the best times to visit is during winter, when Bremen Christmas Market transforms the city into a festive wonderland. It’s the perfect place to shop for Christmas gifts and sample delicious food.
Here are some of the best things to see and do in Bremen during a tour of the city:
Bremen City Hall
Built between 1405 and 1410, Bremen City Hall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful buildings in Germany. It's the only European town hall built in the late Middle Ages that hasn't been demolished or altered. Although a large percentage of the city was destroyed during the Second World War, the Bremen City Hall remained unscathed.
To the south of the city hall, you’ll find a sculpture of a rooster, donkey, dog and cat. Established by Gerhard Marcks in 1953, this sculpture depicts the German fairy tale "Town Musicians of Bremen" and is one of the city’s famous sights. Remember to rub the leg of the donkey for good luck!
Looking for things to do in Bremen? The Schnoor quarter is the city’s oldest district. This area is a delight to explore, only a stone's throw from the city hall and packed with beautiful architecture and quaint cobbled streets. Discover all sorts of attractions, from boutiques and restaurants to a toy museum and a Christmas shop open all year round.
The Viertel district is the most colourful and bohemian area of Bremen, with more than 290 shops that sell everything imaginable! Boasting a superb cultural scene, the district is famous for kitsch art, theatres and museums. It also has a vibrant nightlife, with plenty of bars, nightclubs and pubs open all night.
Where to eat and drink in Bremen
Bremen has been named the food capital of Northern Germany and has a thriving restaurant scene. From fine-dining venues to casual eateries, there’s something for every taste and budget. The world-famous Beck’s Beer is also brewed in the city.
The best restaurants in Bremen
The Grill is one of the best fine dining restaurants in Bremen, serving delicious steaks and seafood in a sophisticated environment. Here, the chefs use the very best meat to create mouth-watering dishes cooked to perfection. Enjoy your meal inside the elegant restaurant or on the terrace, and choose a cocktail for a sweet tipple to accompany your food.
Head to Plaka for tasty Greek food in a friendly setting. This restaurant is a great place to relax and refuel, only a short drive from Bremen’s main train station. Tuck into authentic Greek cuisine in the restaurant or on the terrace in the summer months. The menu features a range of dishes, including gyros and grilled meat.
The best pubs in Bremen
Located in Bremen’s market square, Spitzen Gebel is one of the city’s oldest and most iconic pubs. With a welcoming feel and unique atmosphere, it’s an ideal place for a drink. Tourists are invited to take a Sluk ut de Lamp, a swig from the lamp filled with schnapps. This tradition dates back to 1913 when piano movers drank out of lamps filled with schnapps as they were not allowed to drink alcohol while working.
Schwarzer Hermann is a cosy pub perfect for a drink or a bite to eat. With friendly staff, a beer garden and a brilliant selection of food and drinks, it offers a great space to relax away from the bustle of the city.
Discover incredible sights in the city
The Bremen Roland
In Germany, you can see many statues of Knight Roland, but this is the oldest and greatest medieval sculpture. The stone sculpture is more than 10 metres high and was built in 1404 when the previous statue was destroyed by archbishop soldiers in 1366. It symbolises the freedom and independence of the city.
St. Peter's Cathedral
St. Peter's Cathedral is a 1500-year-old Lutheran church on the market square. Its two towers – one of which is open to visitors – can be seen from a distance. Head to the cathedral cellars to see the Bleikeller mummies.
The History of Bremen
The beating heart of north-western Germany, Bremen has over 1,200 years of history.
Here are some interesting facts about the city:
- Origins – The city dates back to the 8th century when the Roman emperor established Bremen as a diocese
- Maritime history – Bremen’s port is the second largest in Germany and one of Europe's most important international ports. The first port in Bremen was the Balge, established during medieval times
- City of Space – Bremen has earned the ‘City of Space’ title thanks to the large number of aerospace experts that work here. It’s also home to ArianeGroup, a major space company
- Environmentally friendly city – Today, Bremen is Germany’s greenest city; over 2,000 hectares of its urban space is green. It’s also one of Europe’s most cycle-friendly cities, thanks to its flat terrain and ample cycle paths.