These four fairy tale animals are as much a part of Bremen as the river Weser, and you come across them wherever you wander in the old quarter. You can see the famous sculpture outside the town hall, hear the animals' voices coming out of the ground in front of the State Parliament building and visit the donkey's grave on Böttcherstrasse.
Visit the 600-year-old town hall, whose Weser Renaissance-style facade was added in later years, and the Roland statue, erected in 1404, are our most precious cultural treasures. However, they are no longer our exclusive property: since 2004 they have been protected by UNESCO as a piece of world heritage for everyone to enjoy.
This pretty little quarter takes its name from the fact that its many old buildings line the narrow lanes like pearls on a string (Schnur in German). Nowhere else in Bremen do you find so many restaurants and cafés, arts & crafts boutiques and souvenir shops in such a small area as in the Schnoor – the oldest quarter of the city.
As soon as you turn into Böttcherstrasse, just south of the market square, you enter a whole world in the Expressionist style. This 110-metre-long architectural tour de force contains restaurants and cafés, handicraft shops, two museums and a carillon consisting of 30 Meissen porcelain bells.
Bremen's Kunsthalle gallery offers art lovers a truly impressive collection ranging from Old Masters to the latest media art. Its permanent display of prints and drawings is one of the most significant of its kind. The gallery has also consistently earned itself a widespread reputation for its temporary exhibitions.
Anyone looking for a break from all the highbrow culture should stroll down to the Schlachte promenade along the river Weser. Its numerous pubs and bars – many with outdoor seating areas – make a great place to chill out. An antiques and bric-a-brac market is held here every Saturday during the spring and summer months. In the run-up to Christmas the medieval atmosphere of the Schlachte-Zauber market gets everyone in the right mood for the festive season.
Visitors can explore Bremen's rich seafaring tradition on the Maritime Mile in the district of Vegesack, where Germany's first man-made harbour was built 400 years ago. The country's last fully-rigged sailing ship still afloat is anchored here, while the historical Spicarium harbour warehouse presents an interactive exhibition on shipbuilding, sailing, marine bionics and yacht design.
This area of Bremen offers chic waterfront lifestyle with a twist as the former docklands are transformed into the city's latest residential, retail and office development. Contemporary architecture contrasts with old warehouses directly opposite, while trendy bars and fascinating shops attract growing numbers of visitors.
Bremen is an innovative place – a fact that becomes clear as soon as you visit any one of the city's numerous exhibitions on science and technology. The Science Center at Universum Bremen explores deep inside the Earth, the Ethnological Museum takes you all the way around it, and the Botanika horticultural science centre puts it under the microscope to reveal the secret world of plants – particularly rhododendrons.
When it comes to innovation, Bremen is reaching for the stars as a leading aerospace centre. The engineers at Airbus Defence & Space build space transporters and rocket components. You can watch them at work and learn how astronauts live on the International Space Station, which is monitored by Airbus Defence & Space. Book ticket online: www.bremen-tourism.de/guided-space-tour
Discover what makes Mercedes-Benz cars so remarkable and see for yourself how a Mercedes is built! Find out what makes Mercedes-Benz cars so special and take a look behind the scenes at one of the most modern automotive factories in the world, witnessing the genesis of the SL, SLC, C-Class, E-Class Coupé and the all-terrain GLC. You can visit the biggest production of cars of the Daimler company in Bremen.
No trip to Bremen is complete without taking a boat trip to the harbour along the Schlachte Embankment. Fascinating commentary directly from the captain (in German, but an information sheet in English language is available) keeps you entertained along the way and there are food and drinks available on board. Have a look at maritime Bremen! Learn a lot about harbour and trade in Bremen.
Discover the charm of Bremen´s historical city centre on foot and learn more about the city´s history and people. You will see the famous town musicians as well as the impressive town hall, belonging to the UNESCO world heritage sites. You stroll along the river side and your guide will take you to the hidden small streets of the oldest quarter of Bremen, called Schnoor.
Discover more about Bremen and its 1,200 years of history, and hear lots of fascinating stories along the way. Convenient, informative and entertaining. Find out how old Roland is, what the Bremen flag is called, how high the Fallturm drop tower is and much, much more. Explore the past and present of this Hanseatic city aboard a luxury tour bus. Book ticket online: www.bremen-tourism.de/sightseeing-tour-bus
The tour (2 hours) provides a wealth of fascinating information about the brewery, the art of beer brewing and the Beck`s and Haake-Beck brands. It covers the museum, ingredients store and brewhouse, and runs past malt silos, fermentation and storage tanks. The tour is followed by beer tasting in the guest room. Book ticket online: www.bremen-tourism.de/ticket-becks
Visit this Bremen craft brewery with its own mash house, botting plant, brewpub, and covered beer garden all in a historical setting. You can find our friendly Bremen brewery in an impressive old brickwork building. It was founded in 1907 by innkeepers in Bremen, closed in 1968 and restored to former glory in 2014/2015. Enjoy a range of craft beers that have been brewed and bottled here with great care and attention since the end of December 2015. You can sample freshly made beers straight from the tap at the brewery's restaurant and tuck into regional food and local specialities. The covered beer garden is open throughout the year. Please enquire about special offers for small and large groups. You can buy selected bottled beers to take home with you from the craft beer shop in the brewhouse. You will be able to discover all about craft brewing in Bremen during an hour-long guided tour, a two-and-a-half-hour beer seminar or a day-long brewing seminar. You can also arrange an individual tour of the brewery with one of the two master brewers.
Built between 1405 and 1410 in the Gothic style, it is one of the greatest testaments to north German architecture. Its facade is fascinating and one of the most striking in Europe. It was created by Lüder von Bentheim, in the Weser Renaissance style, as part of a reconstruction project which took place 200 years later. Book ticket online: www.bremen-tourism.de/town-hall-ticket
The Kunsthalle's collection of paintings and sculpture spans a period from the 15th century to the present day and includes works by Delacroix, Liebermann, Corinth, Modersohn-Becker and Beckmann. With some 220,000 prints and drawings, the graphics gallery contains one of the largest collections in Europe, featuring mostly German and French drawings and prints from the 19th century. Book ticket online: www.bremen-tourism.de/ticket-kunsthalle
A number of connected galleries on nature, culture and trade combine to create a journey of discovery around the world, with engaging insights into overseas civilisations. The museum brings a dazzling variety of world cultures to life. Book ticket online: www.bremen-tourism.de/ticket-uebersee-museum
3,000m² of entertainment and interesting information on nature and plants, sensory stimulation, biodiversity and culture from various regions of Asia. In the discovery centre, interactive exhibits bring the fascinating world of plants to life in new and exciting ways. Book ticket online: www.bremen-tourism.de/ticket-botanika
With seating for more than 800 people, the classically elegant Theater am Goetheplatz is the largest venue of the Bremen Theatre ensemble. Its programme includes opera, operettas, plays and dance theatre. The playhouse also contains the Bremen theatre gallery which hosts temporary exhibitions.
The Viertel (the quarter) is just a short walk from the city centre and is the most colourful and bohemian area of Bremen. It is what locals call Bremen's Ostertor and Steintor districts. Just a few minutes' walk from the city centre, this is the most colourful and bohemian area of Bremen. Popular for kitsch entertainment and the arts, theatres and museums, it offers a cosmopolitan flair and diverse, offbeat nightlife. There are lots of bars, restaurants and pubs and no closing time, so you can easily party till dawn. Shopping in the Ostertor and Steintor districts Alternative shopping at its best: the Ostertor/Steintor quarter is known for its quirky shops, and for specialist outlets such as a spice shop and general store, run by the fourth generation of the same family and featuring art nouveau fixtures and fittings. Cultural mile The Viertel starts with the 'cultural mile' at Wallanlagen Park. This consists of the Kunsthalle art gallery, Gerhard Marcks House, Wilhelm Wagenfeld House and the Bremen Theatre, which stages both opera and plays – culture at its very best. The Theatro café and restaurant on Goetheplatz square is ideally situated for a break amidst all the culture.
Bremen's former docklands are being transformed into a vibrant quarter for the 21st century, with a great selection of cafés, bars and restaurants. Lots to see and do, new events all the time, modern architecture and the charm of historical warehouse buildings: this port district in the midst of change combines its maritime past with a pioneering present.
Bremen is one of the leading centres in Europe for space travel. The European contribution to the International Space Station (ISS) was built at Airbus Defence & Space. How do people live, sleep, and carry out research in zero gravity? Answers to these and other questions are provided in a replica of the Columbus module during the guided space tour (German only). Book ticket online: www.bremen-tourism.de/guided-space-tour
One of the most beautiful arenas in the German Bundesliga, between August and May the Weser Stadium provides the setting for gripping, exciting and attractive football matches played by Werder Bremen, the 2004 German Champions and German Football Association (DFB) cup winners. Hot tip: It's possible to explore the stadium as part of a guided tour. Another attraction is the Wuseum, the Werder Bremen museum.
Find out about Bremen’s history as a city of coffee, watch beans being roasted and sample coffees from around the world. How did Bremen become a 'coffee city'? And what happens to coffee at a roasting house? For answers to those questions and more, visit the Kaffeerösterei August Münchhausen. You can of course also drink and buy coffee.
Fans of contemporary variety theatre will be right at home in Bremen's Überseestadt district. The GOP Variety Theatre and the adjacent Steigenberger Hotel are located by the waterside in the Weser quarter at the eastern entrance to Überseestadt. Bremen’s new GOP Variety Theatre will stage imaginative and engaging performances for all the family featuring internationally acclaimed acrobats and entertainers, outstanding dancers, exceptional comedians and gifted musicians. In the stylish surroundings of the theatre, which combines clean, modern lines and warm tones, visitors will have an excellent view of the stage from all 400 seats and can enjoy a variety of freshly prepared dishes at the GOP Restaurant before the show. After the performance, guests have the opportunity to round off their evening in style at the GOP Dance Club overlooking the river Weser.
Bremen's seafaring traditions are especially well preserved in the Vegesack district to the north, where Germany's first man-made harbour was created almost 400 years ago. Today the recently completed 1.8km maritime mile along the river Weser boasts a range of attractions including the multimedia Spicarium exhibition, captains' houses, the signal station and the towboat Regina.
Bremen is famous for being a walkable and well-connected city, but few people are aware that it also has more cycle paths than most other cities in Germany. However, these are not the only reasons why cycling in Bremen is a true pleasure. The many parks and green spaces and the almost complete lack of inclines make it the perfect place for bike rides with the whole family. From cycling enthusiasts to casual recreational riders – the many cycle paths in Bremen offer something for everyone!
Bremer Ratskeller has been going strong since 1405 and rumored to be God’s very own wine cellar! The atmosphere in this world heritage building will leave you addicted. A German foodie institution not to be missed, it also has the world’s largest collection of German wines. Book ticket online: www.bremen-tourism.de/ticket-ratskeller
With its industrial look, Vai Vai offers relaxed and uncomplicated dining in an urban style. Repurposed iron shelving and vintage furniture, industrial lamps and rustic wooden tables, concrete walls and a tiled bar – perfectly executed design for a feel-good atmosphere.
For those who want to let their hair down on the dance floor, the disco mile is the just the place. The disco mile venues are lined up one after another on 'Am Rembertiring', just a stone's throw from the main train station: Stubu Dancehouse Stubu is an absolute classic. It is so called because it was originally used by the Bremen students association. On five floors offering different styles of music, people dance and party until the early hours. www.stubu.de La Viva La Viva is particularly popular with students. It plays the latest chart music, as well as house, hip-hip and RnB. This is certainly a place to get dolled up for! www.laviva-disco.de Tower Partygoers jam on the air guitar to the sounds of the Tower. Events here range from 'Tower rock' parties and poetry slams to concerts, often by alternative artists. www.tower-bremen.de Sinatra's Dancing If you want to dance, flirt and have fun, Sinatra's is the place for you. Chart hits, classic tunes, hot beats and cool drinks make for a lively night out in this stylish disco for the over 25s. www.sinatras.de
Modernes This former cinema is located in the Neustadt district next to the university. It hosts parties, such as Freaky Friday, dance nights and 90s parties, as well as regular concerts and comedy gigs. On hot nights the roof can be opened to let fresh air in. www.modernes.de MS Treue This former concrete ship has been converted into a club and is moored right on the Schlachte Embankment. The programme mainly features electronic music nights as well as occasional concerts. www.mstreue.de Adiamo Dance Club The Adiamo Dance Club, located at the GOP Variety Theatre in Bremen's Überseestadt district, offers a very modern setting in which to enjoy fantastic cocktails and music by top DJs. The four bars, dance floor and terrace with river views will ensure any night out here is a memorable one – particularly if it is combined with a show at the theatre. www.adiamo-bremen.de Soho Club The Soho Club is also located in Bremen's Überseestadt district. This trendy hotspot is synonymous with stylish parties and offers views of Bremen's skyline. It plays a mix of club music, classic hits, funk, soul, RnB, disco, house and dance music. Aladin The Aladin Music Hall in Bremen's Hemelingen district covers all the usual styles of rock music, while the former ballroom, the Tivoli, offers an eclectic mix of genres. It hosts concerts, themed parties and over-30s and over-40s nights. The Aladin can also be booked for a wide range of events. www.aladin-bremen.de
The trendy districts of Ostertor and Steintor – which the locals simply call the 'Viertel' – are only a few minutes' walk from the city centre. In the quirky pubs, trendy bars and cosy cafés here, you can relax or get into the party spirit for the night ahead. Tips on pubs and bars can be found here. Two of the best places to go dancing are Lila Eule and Club Moments: Lila Eule Opened in January 1965, this basement disco has a long tradition. It was a meeting place for the Bremen APO (extra-parliamentary opposition) and a starting point for the German student movement of 1968. Today it is a club and concert venue, open at weekends and occasionally during the week. It offers a wide spectrum of music that includes everything from electro swing and hip-hop to indie. Thursday is student night. www.lilaeule.com Club Moments As colourful as the Viertel itself, Club Moments is a bar and disco and can be hired for events. It hosts salsa and Latin American dance parties weekly, GayCandy every month and regular concerts. www.club-moments.de
Bremen's Neustadt district is a real insider tip. Here, on the western side of the Weser river, a new pub and entertainment quarter has emerged in recent years. Late-night revellers can enjoy cosy hang-outs with table football, quirky bars with live music and inviting restaurants with summer gardens. More tips on pubs and bars can be found here.
The Schlachte Embankment, right by the river and at the heart of the city, is also a great location for a night out. In summer, people soak up the atmosphere in the many cafés, bars and restaurants, enjoying views of the Weser and the maritime flair right up until midnight. The beer gardens, with seating for 2,000 people, are a must for any visitor to Bremen. In winter, it is cosy indoors with cocktails and mulled wine.
Visitors to the Handwerkerhof craft centre in Bremen's Böttcherstrasse are greeted by a wonderful sweet smell – this is where Bremen Bonbon Manufaktur is based. You can watch the sweet makers at work through a large window facing the yard, and if you are lucky you might even get to try a warm sweet.
The Ochtum Park is the largest factory-sales centre in Northern Germany. 43 Top brands in over 22,000 square meters with 2,200 free parking spaces and four restaurants make the Ochtum Park a shopping magnet for a hinterland of 15 million enthusiastic customers. Shop 'till you drop.
This annual cycling spectacular, Germany's biggest six-day race, takes place early in the year in the ÖVB Arena. More than 24 professional cyclists compete on the cycle track in over 20 disciplines to secure a podium place. It's a fun festival as well as a great sporting occasion, with live music, parties and international refreshments to enjoy between the contests.
In February, Germany's biggest samba carnival bursts into life in the centre of Bremen. It's an extravaganza of dazzling colours, flamboyant costumes, fanciful masks, amazing stilt walkers and pulsating drum rhythms. The real highlight is the grand parade of all the samba groups, as a sea of people, drums and exotic costumes thrusts its way from the market square to the bohemian Steintor quarter.
Germany's 'economic miracle' years – that is the big theme at the Bremen Classic Motorshow. The first major event of the season, it will take place from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 February in all the halls of Bremen Exhibition Centre. Motorcycles will be making a welcome return to the ÖVB Arena. Clubs and associations with a great deal of passion, know-how and manpower will be exhibiting.
Jazzahead! at Bremen Conference Centre draws music lovers from around the world with a high-quality, diverse jazz programme that has put this event firmly on Germany's cultural map. It's a unique combination of a festival, a trade show, a conference and a symposium, attracting music lovers and trade visitors from Germany, all over Europe and overseas.
Come and enjoy the colourful goings-on along the Schlachte Embankment, the maritime heart of Bremen. From May to September, there's been entertainment and market stalls here every Saturday since 1986, with craftspeople and musicians all adding to the mix. Be sure not to miss it, and don't forget to bring your family and friends!
On the last Saturday in May each year, Bremen's museums and galleries stay open late for Museums Night, with many of them welcoming visitors from 6pm to 1am. During this seven-hour marathon, the museums and galleries offer guided tours, music, plays, readings, food and lots of activities for everyone.
At the international street circus festival LA STRADA, established artists and little-known new-comers demonstrate their many talents – performing in the fresh air, generating a happy summer mood and entertaining spectators free of charge. LA STRADA offers something for everyone: light, breezy entertainment, stimulating plays, acrobatic shows and fun for all the family.
Bremen's town hall and Roland statue on the market square, both symbols of civic liberty, are included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. Free guided tours on World Heritage Day are the ideal opportunity to see these historically significant sites.
The Breminale arts festival is held at the fairground on the Weser riverbank. It lasts five days and offers a programme of live music in circus tents, outdoor art, jugglers and entertainers, inventive children's games, theatre, dance and poetry readings, as well as gorgeous food. Around 100 bands and performers entertain live and free of charge.
Every year in July, Bremen Shakespeare Company performs Shakespeare in the Park, an outdoor tapestry of burning passions, broken vows, romantic longing and betrayed friendships. Seeing the bard's plays in the Bürgerpark is always a magical experience, for this green expanse in the city centre creates the perfect romantic backdrop – a worthy setting for works by the father of English literature.
International sea shanty stars gather every summer at the Maritime Festival in Vegesack, for an outdoor event that is unique in Germany. Around 30 bands and choirs perform more than 150 concerts featuring traditional shanties, modern rock and Celtic folk music. The festival programme also includes exhibitions by well-known artists, the traditional cutter rowing, water and light installations at the harbour and a grand firework display.
Every year, Knoops Park on the little river Lesum in northern Bremen becomes the enchanting setting for the open-air Summer in Lesmona festival featuring the German Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of Bremen. Distinguished soloists and the full orchestra offer exquisite musical treats in an idyllic atmosphere. This three-day concert event is perfect for picnicking to music in a scenic setting.
Bremen Music Festival explores music's vast emotional spectrum, close up and from every angle. It offers a packed programme, with dazzling performances by renowned musicians who offer stirring journeys across the centuries, genres and continents – in Bremen, Bremerhaven and selected venues in north-west Germany. The opening night presents a foretaste of the festival's variety, with musicians from around the world playing 24 concerts in eight venues around Bremen's beautifully illuminated market square.
Discover Bremen's maritime heritage. Even true landlubbers will enjoy exploring Bremen's seafaring and shipping heritage at the Maritime Festival Week on the river Weser. There's something for everyone along the Schlachte Embankment, with a packed programme that features talks and readings on board the ships, film screenings on and by the water, a maritime market, tours of some of the ships and the Kutterpullen boat race.
Every year, Germany's oldest and third biggest public festival attracts over four million visitors to the Bürgerweide near Bremen's old quarter. The fairground features over 320 attractions in an area covering 100,000 square metres. There's also a quieter mini-Freimarkt on the market square, with piping hot doughnuts, roasted almonds and tasty liquorice set out on traditional-style stands.
Bremen's atmospheric Christmas market is set around the UNESCO-listed town hall and Roland statue. It is perfectly combining a historical backdrop with romantic Christmas lights and lovingly adorned booths. There's also the Schlachte-Zauber market, which lights up the Weser embankment with its historical and maritime-themed attractions. In among the flickering torches spice sellers, blacksmiths and bone carvers display their wares.
In terms of its proximity to the city centre, Bremen Airport Hans Koschnick is hard to beat. The distance from the airport to the centre of Bremen is only 3.5 kilometres. You can catch tram no. 6 from right outside the terminal. The journey by tram from the airport to the city centre (Domsheide stop) takes only nine minutes (departures at least every ten minutes; every 20 mins. from 8pm.)
When it comes to public transport, Bremen offers an extensive and reliable tram and bus network. Tickets can be purchased at any BSAG customer centre or sales point. They range from single fair and day tickets to 2-day travel cards and seasonal tickets. Extensive information in English is available on the website.
The transport of choice is the bicycle. An extensive cycle path network pays tribute to Bremen’s favourite vehicle. Bremen and the surrounding countryside are totally flat. For further information about bike hire and cycling tours, please refer to our website: www.bremen-tourism.de