FUN THINGS TO DO IN BREMEN – TIPS BY A LOCAL

WHAT TO DO IN BREMEN – BEST THINGS TO DO AND SEE

So, if you plan to visit one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, aka Bremen, you might be wondering about the best things to do in Bremen and how your itinerary could look like. If so, this post is perfect for you. 

As a local, I love my hometown, and I think Bremen should be on every Germany itinerary. It has a lovely old town (probably one of the best old towns in Germany), a beautiful city center, tons of parks and greenery, exciting museums, and some cool hipster areas.

These are just some reasons why Bremen is not only great for a day trip from Hamburg – it deserves at least a visit of 2 days.

After discussing the best things to do and see in Bremen, I am sharing some essential travel tips for your Bremen trip.

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Read: South Germany: A Travel Itinerary for Germany

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Let´s start with the best places and fun things to do in Bremen in 1, 2, or more days.

Bremen Market Square

Head to the market square in the city center first. The closest bus/train station is Domsheide.

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The heart of Bremen is for sure the Marktplatz (Market Square), where you will also find the Rathaus (Town Hall) and the Roland Statue.

Also, the Rathaus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you can book tours to see the beautiful interior. It might be one of the most beautiful city halls in Germany. I have been inside numerous times, and I can guarantee you, it is worth it.

Next to the Rathaus is the 1200-year-old St. Peter´s Cathedral. The entry is free, and it is just a 1€ fee for visiting the tower (still on my list).

The Roland Statue has been standing there for more than 600 years now and is the protector of the city and is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites,

Among all buildings, the parliament stands out more because of the more modern design (just opposite the Cathedral).

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Bremen Town Musicians

Next to the Rathaus (but on the other side), you will find the worldwide famous Bremer Stadtmusikanten (The Bremen Town Musicians) – probably the most famous landmark.

Some of you might remember the fairy-tale of the four musicians. Well, in Bremen you can visit them.

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However, I know that some people are a little disappointed because they are smaller than expected. It´s easy to overlook them. If you rub the donkey’s feet (or the nose), it will bring some in the future, so do not forget to do so.

Böttcherstrasse

Another place you should see is the Böttcherstrasse.

It is right opposite the Town Hall, so if you are standing on the Market Square, turn away from the Town Hall and walk towards the Böttcherstrasse. You will see the golden sign. The Böttcherstraße is a small district with many small shops, cafes, museums, and a Glockenspiel.

There is a little app to download for free for further information on the buildings. The Casino is also here. It is quite small compared to other casinos. I have not made it inside yet, but make sure to dress fancy if you want to visit.

Böttcherstraße at night @shutterstock
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@shutterstock

Himmelsaal

Another attraction, which I have just discovered, is the Himmelssaal (Sky Room) inside the Radisson Blu Hotel Bremen – though popular, it is still a hidden gem in Bremen. If you are in one day in Bremen, I would probably skip it, though.

It is a beautiful salon where you can celebrate parties and weddings. If you book a tour (Böttcherstrasse Tour) or ask at reception, you can also visit (please ask in advance if your tour covers visiting the Himmelsaal).

Old Town of Bremen

The Schnoor or Schnorrviertel (Schnoor Quarter) is probably one of the best districts in Bremen. Visiting is one thing you have to do even when you are in Bremen for few hours only.

As I grew up in a city with an old town, I sometimes can´t understand the fascination for old towns.

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Then I realized that it is not normal to have such an old town with cute little streets, old doors, lovely small cafes, many souvenir shops which sell lots of hand-made products. I don’t know anybody who didn’t like that beautiful part.

Of course, this is totally exaggerated since Bremen is not all historical, and I actually grew up in a modern area but just 2 km away from the Schnoor.

There are cute little streets, old doors, lovely small cafes, many souvenir shops which sell lots of hand-made products. The Schnoor is also home to the smallest hotel in the world and the most famous cafe might be the Katzencafe in one of the small side streets.

After visiting the Schnoor, you can either walk along the river Weser and enjoy the beautiful view. Or you walk along the busy streets of the Viertel.

The Viertel Quarter 1/4

The Viertel is one of the most vibrant districts, the hipster district in Bremen, and it is also not far from the Marktplatz.

As a kid, I was told not to go there because it is the “Redlight district,” if you can even call it like this. The drug addicts worried my parents worry, but now I feel safe there.

However, this district has become extremely popular, especially among students and other open-minded people, and it has become way less “scary.” I love the alternative lifestyle and the cafes, small restaurants, shops and that you can do whatever you want to without anybody caring.

Weser Stadium

If you walk up the Viertel (no matter if you walk it along the river or the parallel streets), you will arrive at the Weserstadion – at some point.

I would call it the heart (apart from the Marktplatz) of Bremen. It´s where our team Werder Bremen wins most of its games (unfortunately not this season) and where the big open-air concerts take place.

Alte Mühle/ Old Mill

Every summer, the Old Mill, the Alte Mühle, becomes a highlight for tourists when the front garden turns into a colorful flower bed.

The Alte Mühle is between the city center and the main train station, and there is a little cafe in the mill, which makes it a perfect place to soak in the view and relax. 

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Here are some places to chill in Bremen.

Cafe Sand

One of the best things to do in summer is to visit Cafe Sand.  At least f you are looking for an “authentic Caribbean” feeling, you should visit Cafe Sand, which is close, but opposite the Weser Stadion. Well, you cannot really expect a Caribbean feeling at Cafe Sand, but Bremen has indeed a little beach (and by little, I really mean a little, but it’s nice to spend time at the water and have a drink or play beachball).

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If you only have two days in Bremen, you will be busy enough to check out above mentioned-places. 

Schlachte

A top thing to do is visiting the Schlachte. Visiting is great at any time of the year, especially on a warm day (when the Beer Garden is busy and lively) or when the Christmas Markets take place.

I suggest ending one of your days at The Schlachte, a beautiful promenade in the city center is a great place to relax and enjoy a cafe/food in one of the many restaurants or sit next to the river.

Bremen Schlachte Where to eat in Bremen
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City Centre (Obernstrasse / Sögestrasse)

The Obernstraße in the city center is the main shopping street with the most prominent shops (mainly chains) and some cafes and restaurants. But it is not only this street. Several side streets are worth checking out and some smaller shopping malls (e.g., Katharinenpassage).

If you are at Market Square, it just takes about 1 minute to get to the Obernstrasse (closest tram/bus station: Am Brill or Domsheide)

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Bürgerpark

Not too far from the city center, you´ll find another beautiful park called Bürgerpark. The Bürgerpark is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit with kids.

Lazy days are well spent at the Bürgerpark. I spent many Sundays there when I was a kid and still loved it though I hardly visit these days. It has a big playground for kids. You can rent a boat and paddle, play mini-golf, visit the little “zoo. “ You can have a drink in one of the few restaurants or just lay down and enjoy the sun.

I also spent, just recently, a beautiful evening at Botanica – a beautiful green park with a cafe and a Rhododendronpark.

Wallanlagen

The Wallanlagen is a lovely green park that stretches over several kilometers and is between the city center and the central train station. Visiting is one of the best things to do in Bremen if you are looking to spend some time in a park.

Wallanlagen - A great place to relax in Bremen
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Though the Wallanlagen is very central, it is rarely crowded, and the little river makes a perfect place for great strolls. Start your walk from the Old Mill and head towards the Viertel quarter from there.

Freimarkt

We locals are very proud of is the Freimarkt – this fun fair takes place once a year, and Bremen gets crazy. 

For two weeks, all kinds of carousels and stalls are placed behind the Bremen Main Train Station – and that is where you will find all the locals and visitors.

Especially in the evening, it gets cramped – because who doesn’t love all the special food and carousels?

You might land up spending a lot of money, but if you are around at this time of the year, you don’t want to miss out as it is the better “Oktoberfest.“ And don’t worry, one of the biggest fairs in Germany surely has a lot of beer to offer, too.

Tip: If you visit during the second week, there is the big “Freimarktsumzug“ parade. The streets – stretching over several kilometers – are full of people and carriages with people in them, throwing sweets and more to the spectators. Kids especially love it, but also adults as there is music, alcohol, and more (and it is free to attend).

Breminale

If you visit Bremen in July, join the Breminale. It is a music festival spread out along the Weser River and is also free to attend.

It takes place over several days with more than 100 bands playing and tons of food stalls and – of course – opportunities to drink German beer and other alcohol.

Osterwiese

If you visit around Easter and are into fairs, visit the Osterwiese. It is much smaller than the Freimarkt, with fewer food stalls and fewer carousels, but it is also fun to visit. Like the Freimarkt, it is free to attend, and you only pay for rides and food/drinks.

Christmas Markets 

If you visit Bremen at the end of November until Christmas Eve, visiting the Christmas Markets is a must.

Bremen, Where to go Christmas Market
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Bremen is known for its wonderful markets – there are two main markets in Bremen, but you will find food stalls basically all over the city center.

The two main ones are at the market square and then at the Schlachte – so, if you visit around that time, make sure to visit both.

Whether you are vegan or not – there are tons of options to munch and drink – and there are even some carousels for younger ones. So, it definitely is the best winter activity in Bremen.

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Bremen Teerhof – Opposite the Schlachte

For more information, check out Bremen Touristic’s website or feel free to leave your questions in the comment section.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR BREMEN ITINERARY 

Here is some info for your trip to Bremen.

General Info

Bremen is maybe not the biggest city in the world but for sure one of the most charming. I don´t say that because I am from Bremen, it just is a fact :).

Once you have visited Bremen, you will agree with me – for sure. 

I know, Bremen is not as trendy as Hamburg, not as cool as Berlin (find out what to do Berlin here), not as posh as Munich, and not so friendly as Cologne.

However, there are tons of other reasons for visiting this awesome city. With about 500,000 inhabitants, it is the 10.th biggest city in Germany and one of the 16 states in Germany – yes, that is true. Bremen is not only a city but its own state (well, together with Bremerhaven).

First of all, Bremen is an extremely cosmopolitan city, and though people here don’t overdo it with friendliness, they are open-minded and totally relaxed.

How to Get Around in Bremen

Bremen isn´t geographically huge, but the city is stretched, so it can take a while to get from Bremen-South to Bremen-North.

However, public transport is good during the day, and a day ticket is about 8€ (not that cheap). Still, if you stay close to the city center you probably might not even need a day ticket since many attractions, interesting areas are located close to each other.

  • Distances: Main Station – Airport: about 5km
  • Main Station – City Center: 1 km
  • Distance to Hamburg about 120 km – which makes Hamburg a great day trip from Bremen

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Best Time to Visit Bremen

The best time to visit Bremen is from May- September as winter can be cold in Germany. There are many activities to do in summer including festivals, that are well visited and very popular.

However, since the Christmas Market in Bremen is considered one of the best in Germany, December would be perfect for those interested in Christmas Markets.

We are one of the few places in the world with 5 instead of 4 seasons. Each year in October/November, we celebrate the “Freimarkt” – one of the biggest fairs with tons of carousels, snack stalls, and fun activities.

For these 2 weeks, Bremen is getting crazy and is in a state of emergency (in a positive way), and it is another great time to visit.

Where to Stay in Bremen

Though Bremen´s public transport is not bad, I definitely recommend staying close to the city center. I would recommend the Radisson Blu, a beautiful 4* hotel located in the city center.

Bremen has only one 5* hotel – if you fancy staying in a luxury hotel in Bremen, opt for Dorint Park Hotel.

Where to Eat in Bremen

Bremen has many restaurants, and there is something for every taste and every budget.

My favorite restaurant (for more than 20 years) is El Mundo.

They have changed location a few years ago and are now located in Überseestadt. It is the biggest restaurant in Bremen (about 700 seats), and they have delicious food. They offer good vegetarian and vegan food as well, and decent portions. 

Schlachte, a promenade in the city center, is an extremely popular place in summer or the winter. There are many restaurants and beer gardens. In summer, if you are lucky to get a nice spot where you can overlook the water. It is definitely the place to be seen, and I love them, almost, Mediterranean flair in summer. I used to work at Camarillo restaurant as a student, and I still enjoy eating there.

Ratskeller is Bremen´s best-known restaurant and located on Market Square. It´s Bremen´s fine dining address, and it has an exceptional charm.

Dean & David (curries and sandwiches) is one of my favorite deli in the city center and offers takeaway food. Delicious, fresh, fast, and healthy with a good choice of vegetarian and vegan dishes.

The best French Fries are definitely to be found at CTK´s in the Obernstraße.

The Viertel also has many nice restaurants and is definitely a great place to dine (from fancy to fast food, you´ll get everything there). Die Gemüseküche (mostly vegan) is there as well as tons of other international delis/restaurants.

The most beautiful cafe is now in the city center (Sögestraße) and is called Creamlovers. It has just opened and has a lot of desserts and sweets and a cute interior design.

Read more: The best Germany travel tips

Would you like to visit more cities in Germany? Find out what to do in Dresden Germany

Bremen surely has a lot to offer – and while every German knows Bremen, it is still a hidden gem outside the country. Hopefully, this post has inspired you to visit the city, and also, you have now found out about the best things to do in Bremen – a beautiful hidden German gem! 

Safe Travels, Arzo
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