Explore the Best Things to Do in Bremen, Germany

Are you ready to explore a city that boasts a rich history, diverse culture, and stunning architecture? Look no further than Bremen, Germany. Get lost in the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, marvel at architectural wonders, and experience the city’s vibrant atmosphere. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey through the best things to do in Bremen and uncover its many hidden gems.

BREMEN, GERMANY, People are strolling through Schnoor district in Bremen, Germany.

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Photo credit: trabantos/Shutterstock.

Bremen is a hidden gem that’s just waiting to be discovered! From its charming old town to its vibrant cultural scene, this city has something for everyone. Get ready to fall in love with Bremen and all that it has to offer!

Riding a bike in Bremen, Germany.

Thank you to the Germany Tourism Board for inviting me to visit Lübeck, Bremen, Rügen Island, and Bremerhaven.

Discover Bremen’s Old Town

Stepping into Bremen’s Old Town is like taking a trip back in time. The cobblestone streets and historic buildings transport you to an era when Bremen was a thriving port city in northern Germany. As you wander through the Bremen city center, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the medieval charm of the Market Square and the enchanting Schnoor Quarter. Experience the rich history of this UNESCO World Heritage site and immerse yourself in the fairy tale atmosphere of Bremen’s Old Town.

Narrow alley in Bremen.

Market Square – Marktplatz

The Market Square is a magnificent UNESCO-listed medieval and Renaissance monument that showcases Bremen’s rich history from the Middle Ages. At the heart of the square lies the Bremen Town Hall, one of the most beautiful civic buildings in Europe. This stunning example of Gothic architecture is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also a functioning public office. As you admire the intricate details of the city hall, don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the Bremen Roland statue, a symbol of the city’s freedom, and the lavishly adorned upper hall.

Bremen market square.

But the Market Square is not just about the plaza and town hall. Here, you’ll also find the Bremen Cathedral, a historic cathedral named after St. Peter, and the Bremen town musicians statue. This breathtaking structure features Gothic-style architecture and houses some of Bremen’s most fascinating treasures, including tombs, crypts, and a Bible Garden. In close proximity, you can also admire a brick Gothic hall, adding to the architectural charm of the area.

Woman drinking coffee at an outdoor cafe.

Insider Tip: Lübeck’s Town Hall has restaurant patios and a market which is a great place to people watch, eat a meal or enjoy some coffee.

And if you’re in the mood for something sweet, don’t miss the chance to visit the Bremer Ratskeller, a restaurant that houses Germany’s oldest wine cask.

The Town Musicians of Bremen

Bremen Town Musicians statue.

“The Town Musicians of Bremen” is a Brothers Grimm fairy tale that tells the story of four farm animals that were deemed too old for work. Rather than being kicked out or eaten, the donkey, dog, cat, and rooster banded together to create a musical group. They made a plan to travel to Bremen and spend their golden years working as the town musicians.

Art with Bremen Town Musicians.

This adorable statue has become a symbol of the city and can be seen in various forms.

Insider Tip: Rubbing the legs of the donkey is said to bring good luck!

Town Hall

Town Hall in Bremen.

Located in the heart of Bremen’s historic marketplace, this landmark is a testament to the city’s rich history and culture, and recognized by UNESCO for it’s outstanding value. The building’s stunning Renaissance facade and grand halls are a true masterpiece of architecture. The town hall (which is still used) is over 600 years old, with construction beginning in 1405 and continuing for over a century. It has survived numerous wars and natural disasters, and remains one of the most well-preserved examples of Gothic and Renaissance architecture in Europe.

Roland Statue

Town hall and Roland statue in Bremen, Germany.

The Roland statue, located outside of the Town Hall, has become an iconic symbol of Bremen’s independence and freedom. The Roland statue in Bremen is also recognized by UNESCO and is one of the most well-known Roland statues in Europe. Roland statues were popular in medieval times and were used as symbols of civic freedom and independence. The man depicted in the statue is called Roland, who was one of twelve 8th century fictional knights. It’s said he is the protector of the city and if his statue ever falls, so will Bremen.

Insider Tip: Take a walk before breakfast to take photos before the crowds arrive.

Schnoor Quarter

Sign for the Schnoor Quarter.

Stepping into the Schnoor Quarter is like stepping into a time capsule. This charming medieval area was once the fishermen’s quarter, and its name comes from the German word for string, “Schnur,” as the many small houses are strung together like pearls on a string. The narrow winding streets of Schnoor are lined with beautifully preserved half-timbered houses, boutique shops, and cozy cafes, offering a unique glimpse into Bremen’s past.

Shops in the Schnoor Quarter.

While exploring the Schnoor Quarter, make sure to visit the Bremer Geschichtenhaus, a living museum with historical re-enactors that bring the area to life. And for those with a sweet tooth, satisfy your cravings at the Teestübchen im Schnoor, a delightful spot for lunch or a sweet treat.

Buildings in Schnoor Quarter.

Experience Bremen’s Cultural Treasures

Bremen’s rich cultural scene is not to be missed. The city is home to some fantastic museums and cultural institutions that offer a unique glimpse into the city’s history and artistic prowess. Among these, the Kunsthalle Bremen art museum and the University Science Centre stand out as must-visit attractions that cater to art enthusiasts and curious minds alike.

Windmill in Bremen park.

Kunsthalle Bremen

The Kunsthalle Bremen is the city’s top museum, boasting a remarkable collection of European art spanning over 700 years. As you walk through the galleries, you’ll be captivated by the works of famous painters such as Monet, Cézanne, and Paula Modersohn-Becker. The museum’s collection includes paintings from the 14th century to contemporary pieces, as well as sculptures from more recent times.

BREMEN, GERMANY - Front facade of the Kunsthalle museum in Bremen, Germany.
Photo credit: Marc Venema/Shutterstock.

The history of the Kunsthalle Bremen is as fascinating as the art it houses. The building was firebombed in 1942 during World War II, and some works were lost, while others were scattered across Germany in castles and bunkers for protection. To this day, over 1,500 pieces remain missing, adding an intriguing layer to the museum’s story.

Universum Science Centre

The University Science Centre is an interactive wonderland that invites visitors to explore the fascinating world of science through hands-on exhibits and activities. This intriguing institution is housed in a futuristic, clamshell-shaped building that captures the imagination from the moment you set eyes on it.

BREMEN, GERMANY - The Universum Bremen is a science museum in Bremen city, Germany
Photo credit: saiko3p/Shutterstock.

Inside the University Science Centre, you’ll find three main zones dedicated to nature, humans, and technology. Each area offers a wealth of interactive exhibits that will engage your senses and challenge your mind. Whether you’re curious about the mysteries of the universe or the intricacies of the human body, the University Science Centre offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

Marvel at Bremen’s Architectural Wonders

Bremen’s architectural wonders are a testament to the city’s rich history and artistic heritage. The Gothic-style Bremen Cathedral and the unique architecture of the Böttcherstraße are just two examples of the city’s stunning architectural landscape.

Architecture in Bremen Old Town.

These remarkable structures not only offer a feast for the eyes, but also provide a fascinating glimpse into Bremen’s past.

Bremen Town Musicans statue.

Bremen Cathedral

The Bremen Cathedral, also known as St. Petri Dom, is a breathtaking example of Gothic architecture that has stood for over 1,200 years. The cathedral’s history is as captivating as its design, featuring a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and later Gothic Revival elements. The interior of the cathedral is bright and airy, with a white-washed ceiling and vibrant painted arches.

The Bremen Cathedral.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Bremen Cathedral is its collection of mummies, housed in the Lead Cellar. Eight mummies in glass-topped coffins dating back 400 years offer a unique insight into the cathedral’s past. Additionally, the cathedral is home to nine fragments of choir stalls from 1360, featuring intricate carvings of Bible scenes.

Buildings in Bremen old town area.

Böttcherstraße

Böttcherstraße is a hidden gem in Bremen, offering a one-of-a-kind experience for architecture enthusiasts. This narrow street features an eclectic mix of Expressionist art, Jugendstil (Art Nouveau), and Art Deco styles, combined with traditional Low German architecture, known as Brick Expressionism. As you stroll down the Böttcherstraße, you’ll be captivated by the unusual expressionist architecture.

Böttcherstraße in Bremen.

In addition to its striking architecture, Böttcherstraße is also home to a variety of shops, museums, and cafes. Don’t miss the Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum and the Roselius House, which showcase the works of these renowned artists. And if you’re looking for a unique souvenir or a bite to eat, explore the boutique stores and cozy cafes that line this enchanting street.

Enjoy Bremen’s Green Spaces

In the midst of Bremen’s bustling city center, you’ll find serene green spaces that offer a tranquil retreat from the urban landscape. Wallanlagen Park and Rhododendron Park are two of the city’s most popular green spaces, where you can relax, unwind, and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Biking through Wallanlagen Park with windmill.

The parks are easily accessible from the city center, and offer a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Wallanlagen Park is a large park with a lake, playgrounds, and plenty of walking paths. Rhododendron.

Wallanlagen Park

Wallanlagen Park at Sunset.

Wallanlagen Park is a peaceful oasis built on the site of Bremen’s old city walls. This green space features an odd, zig-zagging shape, which only adds to its charm. As you stroll through the park, you’ll come across fountains, sculptures, and a windmill, all of which contribute to the park’s unique atmosphere.

Wallanlagen Park with windmill and pond.

The tranquil setting of Wallanlagen Park makes it a perfect spot for a leisurely walk, bike ride or a picnic. With its beautiful surroundings and fascinating history, Wallanlagen Park is a must-visit destination for those seeking a peaceful escape in the heart of Bremen.

Biking app for Bremen biking trails.

There are many biking paths throughout Bremen and apps which help you navigate them. Our hotel had bikes that we could use to explore the area.

Insider Tip: Use these bike tour-apps for navigation: Bike Citizens, BikeMap, Komoot, Naviki, or Outdooractive.

Rhododendron Park

Rhododendron Park is a botanical garden that showcases a stunning collection of over 1,000 rhododendron and azalea species. As you explore the park, you’ll be surrounded by vibrant colors and a kaleidoscope of flowers and trees. The best time to visit Rhododendron Park is during May when the flowers are in full bloom, creating a breathtaking display.

Rhododendron Flowers blooming in the Sun at Bremen Rhododendron Park.
Photo credit: shadiego/Shutterstock.

In addition to its floral beauty, the park also houses Botanika, a nature museum that offers an inside look at plants from around the world.

Taste Bremen’s Culinary Delights

Meal in Bremen.

Bremen’s culinary scene offers a diverse range of flavors to delight your taste buds. From traditional German fare to the crisp, refreshing taste of Beck’s beer, Bremen is a city that knows how to satisfy your cravings.

Ice cream cone.

Indulge in some of the city’s delicious dishes and embark on a mouthwatering journey through Bremen’s culinary landscape.

Eating at outdoor dining in Bremen.

Traditional German Food

Traditional German cuisine is known for its hearty, filling dishes that feature meat, potatoes, and bread. Bremen’s culinary scene is no exception, offering a variety of delectable dishes that cater to all tastes. Some local specialties include Bremer Braunkohl, a dish made with kale and Pinkel sausage, and Labskaus, a mix of mashed corned beef, potatoes, onions, and beets, topped with gherkin and fried eggs with herring on the side.

Traditional meal in Bremen with kale, sausage and potatoes.
Photo credit: Kathrin Uhlenbruch/Shutterstock.

Beck’s Brewery Tour

For beer enthusiasts visiting Bremen, a tour of Beck’s Brewery is an absolute must. This iconic brewery is responsible for producing one of the most popular beers in Germany and beyond. Embark on a guided tour of the brewery and learn about the brewing process, from the selection of ingredients to the final bottling.

Copper Kettles where the famous Becks beer is made in at the Becks brewery in Bremen, Germany.
Photo credit: Ivo Antonie de Rooij/Shutterstock.

Uncover Bremen’s Maritime Heritage

Bremen’s maritime heritage is an integral part of the city’s history and identity. With its strategic location along the Weser River, Bremen has long been a vital port city and center of trade.

Tactile model of Bremen.

Insider Tip: Take time to look at this tactile model of the old quarter. It has so much detail!

To truly appreciate the city’s rich maritime past, take a stroll along the Schlachte Riverside Walk or embark on a Weser River Cruise.

Schlachte Riverside Walk

The Schlachte Riverside Walk is a pedestrian zone that runs along the Weser River in the Old Town. Lined with restaurants, bars, and biergartens, the Schlachte Riverside Walk is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to relax, dine, and enjoy the picturesque views of the river. In addition, several boats along the riverside have been converted into museums, accommodations, theaters, and clubs, offering a unique way to experience Bremen’s maritime heritage.

 Old wooden sailboat and ships moored on a pier with people around in the Weser River Promenade (Schlachte) in Bremen, Germany.
Photo credit: J2R/Shutterstock.

During the Christmas season, the Schlachte Riverside Walk is transformed into the Schlachte-Zauber market, a festive event that offers visitors a taste of medieval Bremen’s guilds. With its lively atmosphere, stunning river views, and rich maritime history, the Weser River Promenade is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Bremen.

Weser River Cruise

Cityscape of Bremen with old architecture, historical wooden sailing ships and barge floating along the river Weser. Bremen, Germany,
Photo credit: Frolova_Elena/Shutterstock.

A Weser River Cruise is a fantastic way to explore Bremen, a free Hanseatic city, and its maritime heritage from a different perspective. As you cruise along the river, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the city and its picturesque surroundings, while learning about the city’s trading history with England and the Baltic during the Hanseatic days, including its connection to the North Sea.

Celebrate Bremen’s Festivals and Events

Bremen, Germany, is a city that knows how to celebrate, offering a diverse array of festivals and events throughout the year. From the historic Freimarkt fair to the contemporary sounds of the Breminale music festival, there’s always something happening in Bremen.

The Freimarkt fair, held every year in October and November, is one of the biggest and oldest fairs in Germany, with a history that spans over 1,000 years. Enjoy the lively atmosphere, complete with carousels, snack stalls, and fun games.

Artwork in Bremen.

And if you’re visiting Bremen during the spring, be sure to check out the Osterwiese Easter fair, a smaller but equally enjoyable event. Finally, during the winter months, Bremen’s Christmas markets offer a festive shopping experience that is said to be one of the best in Germany.

Metal art on building.

Shop in Bremen’s Vibrant Districts

Bremen’s shopping scene is as diverse and vibrant as the city itself. From the charming boutiques and stores in the Viertel quarter to the bustling shopping streets of Obernstrasse and Sögestrasse, there’s something to suit every taste and budget. Discover the unique treasures hidden in Bremen’s vibrant shopping districts and take home a piece of the city’s rich culture and history.

Walking in Schnoor area of Bremen Germany.

Getting to Bremen

Getting to Bremen is easy and convenient, with several transportation options available. The city is served by Bremen Airport, which has connections to major cities throughout Europe. Bremen is also well-connected by train, with frequent services to major cities in Germany. The main train station is located in the heart of the city, making it easy to reach your hotel or other accommodations. We traveled from Hamburg by train, which takes approximately 1 hour.

The train station in Bremen, Germany.
Photo credit: alex7370/Shutterstock.

For those traveling by car, Bremen is easily accessible from major highways and has plenty of parking options available. Whatever your preferred mode of transportation, getting to Bremen is a breeze, allowing you to start your adventure in this beautiful city as soon as possible.

Colourful buildings in Schnoor.

Where to Stay in Bremen

When it comes to where to stay in Bremen, there are plenty of options to choose from, whether you’re looking for a luxurious hotel or a cozy guesthouse. For those who want to be in the heart of the action, the Altstadt (Old Town) is a great choice, with plenty of restaurants, shops, and attractions within walking distance. Alternatively, the Viertel neighborhood is perfect for those who want to experience Bremen’s vibrant arts and culture scene. Whatever your preference, Bremen is sure to offer a warm welcome and unforgettable experiences.

Dorint City Hotel in downtown Bremen.

We stayed at the Dorint City Hotel which was close to the train station and walkable to all the Old Town sights we wanted to see.

Hotel room at Dorint City Hotel.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s Bremen known for?

Bremen is renowned for its distinctive old town centre, which boasts centuries-old Gothic and Renaissance architecture. It’s also known as the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm and a key port city on the Weser River. This beautiful city provides an interesting mix of culture, history, and entertainment for travelers.

How do I spend my day at Bremen?

Spend a day exploring Bremen, Germany, and all it has to offer. Take a stroll around the Bremen Town Hall, discover the charming Viertel area, bike around the city and be captivated by the Town Musicians of Bremen statue. Explore the unique Schnoor Quarter and take a guided walking tour, too.

How long should you spend in Bremen?

With 2 to 3 days to explore, you’ll have plenty of time to soak up the historic sights and sounds of Bremen and also Bremerhaven. From enjoying a bit of German cuisine and exploring the coastline to simply strolling through the winding cobblestone streets and discovering hidden gems, your stay in this northern German city will be well worth it.

Woman touching Bremen Town Musicians statue.

From its rich history and stunning architecture to its diverse cultural scene and vibrant shopping districts, Bremen is a city that offers something for everyone. As you explore the charming streets of the Old Town, immerse yourself in the city’s artistic treasures, and indulge in its culinary delights, you’ll discover the unique charm that makes Bremen a truly unforgettable destination. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the beautiful and enchanting city of Bremen.

Selfie by Bremen statue.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.

Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.

Welcome to xoxoBella! I am Bella Bucchiotti and I am a recipe developer, content creator and writer. Here you will find delicious recipes, travel inspiration, crafts, pet tips and more.

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