Bremen is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany – do not be mislead by the fact that Bremen is not the most famous city in Germany, but you will miss out if you do not have Bremen on your itinerary.
What to do in Bremen? 15 Best Things to do in Bremen
- 1 What to do in Bremen? 15 Best Things to do in Bremen
- 2 Things to Know About Bremen
- 3 Top Things to Do in Bremen
- 3.1 What to See in Bremen / Sightseeing in Bremen
- 3.2 #1 Market Square in Bremen
- 3.3 # 2 Rub the Feet of the Donkey
- 3.4 #3 Böttcherstrasse
- 3.5 #4 Himmelsaal
- 3.6 #5 Old Town of Bremen
- 3.7 #6 The Viertel Quarter 1/4
- 3.8 #7 Weser Stadium
- 3.9 #8 Alte Mühle/ Old Mill
- 3.10 Best Places to Chill in Bremen
- 3.11 # 9 Cafe Sand
- 3.12 # 10 Bürgerpark
- 3.13 # 11 Wallanlagen
- 3.14 # 12 Schlachte
- 3.15 Where to Shop in Bremen
- 3.16 # 13 City Centre (Obernstrasse / Sögestrasse)
- 3.17 # 14 Malls in Bremen
- 3.18 #15 Outlet Stores in Bremen
- 4 More Things to See in Bremen
If you are wondering about the best things to do in Bremen, the best places to visit in Bremen, and where to shop, eat, and stay you´ll find all your answers here.
Find out more about one of the cutest cities in Germany: Bremen.
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, interesting 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.
If you plan to visit Bremen for the first time you´ll find all important information you need in this post.
Read: South Germany: A Travel Itinerary for Germany
Things to Know About Bremen
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.
Though many do not speak English perfectly, it should not be a problem to have conversations in English, and otherwise German and Turkish might be the most spoken languages.
How to Get Around in Bremen / Public Transport in Bremen
Bremen isn´t geographically very big, but the city is stretched, so it can take a while to get from Bremen-South to Bremen-North.
However, the public transport is good during the day, and a day ticket is about 8€ (not that cheap) but if you stay in 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 🙂
Best Time to Visit Bremen
I would say 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 who are 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 the 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 (full review here), a beautiful 4* hotel located in the city center.
Bremen has only one 5* hotel – if you fancy to stay 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 for every budget.
My favorite restaurant (for more than 15 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. Tip: be there before 7 pm otherwise you might have to wait until you find a seat.
Radisson Blu Bremen (The L.O.B.B.Y Restaurant) offers great All You Can Eat buffets on Tuesday (with changing topics every month), it is ideally located in the city center and the atmosphere is for Bremen standard quite sophisticated.
For vegans maybe not the best choice though but there is enough for vegetarians. My favorite is their breakfast, though. For only 18€ you´ll get a great variety of foods and beverages (including fresh juices, where else do you get unlimited fresh juice in Bremen?).
Schlachte, a promenade in the city center, is especially in summer an extremely popular place. 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 the, almost, Mediterranean flair in summer.
Ratskeller is Bremen´s best-known restaurant and located on the Market Square. It´s Bremen´s fine dining address and it has a very special charm.
Dean & David (curries and sandwiches) is one of my favorite deli which is in the city center and also offer 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.
So, now we finally get to the best sights in Bremen.
Top Things to Do in Bremen
What to See in Bremen / Sightseeing in Bremen
Let´s start with the best places to see in Bremen.
#1 Market Square in Bremen
One of the things to do in Bremen is to head to the market square in the city center. The closest bus/train station is Domsheide.
The heart of Bremen is for sure the Marktplatz (Market Square), where you will also find the Rathaus (Town Hall), and the Roland Statue. 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,
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 if free and it is just 1€ fee for visiting the tower (still on my own list).
Among all buildings, the parliament stands out a bit more because of the more modern design (just opposite the Cathedral).
# 2 Rub the Feet of the Donkey
Also 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 in Bremen. Some of you might remember the fairy-tale of the four musicians well, in Bremen you can visit them
However, I know that some people are a little disappointed because they are a bit smaller than expected. It´s easy to overlook them. If you rub the feet of the donkey (or the nose) it will bring some in the future, so do not forget to do so.
If you rub the feet of the donkey (or the nose) it will bring some luck in the future, so do not forget to do so.
Another place you should see is the Böttcherstrasse in Bremen. 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 actually 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 if you want to visit make sure to dress fancy.
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 days 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).
#5 Old Town of Bremen
The Schnoor or Schnorrviertel (Schnoor Quarter) is probably one of the best districts in Bremen and visiting is one of the things 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.
Then I realize 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 really pretty part.
Well, of course, this is totally exaggerated since Bremen is not all historic 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.
#6 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.
#7 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.
#8 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 just relax. Another places in Bremen to add to your itinerary.
Best Places to Chill in Bremen
Here are some places to chill in Bremen.
# 9 Cafe Sand
If you are looking for an authentic Carribean feeling you should visit Cafe Sand, which is located close, but opposite the Weser Stadion. Well, you cannot really expect Carribean feeling at Cafe Sand but Bremen has indeed a little beach.
# 10 Bürgerpark
Not too far from the city center, you´ll find another beautiful park called Bürgerpark. The Bürgerpark is surely one of the best places to visit with kids.
Lazy days are well spent at the Bürgerpark – I used to spend there many Sundays when I was a kid and still love 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.
# 11 Wallanlagen
The Wallanlagen is a lovely green park that stretches over several kilometers and is located between the city center and the main train station. Though the Wallanlagen are very central it is hardly 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
# 12 Schlachte
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 just sit next to the river.
Where to Shop in Bremen
Bremen does not have some nice shopping areas, and here are the best places to shop.
# 13 City Centre (Obernstrasse / Sögestrasse)
The Obernstraße in the city center is the main shopping street with most prominent shops (mainly chains) and some cafes and restaurants. But it is not only this street, there are also several side streets worth checking out and some smaller shopping malls (e.g. Katharinenpassage). If you are at the Market Square it just takes about 1 minute to get to the Obernstrasse (closest tram/bus station: Am Brill or Domsheide)
# 14 Malls in Bremen
Waterfront has become a well-visited mall and is located about 15 minutes away from the city center (by tram). It is especially popular among teenagers, as it is home to Primark. However, I am not a fan of it and if I visit a mall I prefer Weserpark. It is a bit further away (30-40 minutes from the city center) but has much more shops, more charm and allows you to bring your dogs as well.
#15 Outlet Stores in Bremen
I have always been a fan of Zero Fashion and I get some of my clothes from the big outlet in Bremen-Habenhausen (it is a fashion brand from Bremen) and you can get really, really good deals, though it is mainly basic pieces I get from there.
There are some more outlets just next to the border of Bremen (Stuhr Brinkum) and there you will find Nike, Puma, Tommy Hilfiger and many more outlets which might be worth to visit.
Keep scrolling down to find more travel tips for Bremen.
More Things to See in Bremen
Here you can book tours and activities in Bremen.
Tours and Activities to Book in Bremen
Do tours: Though we do not have those double-decker sightseeing buses we have sightseeing buses in Bremen which are actually not very well known, even among the inhabitants of Bremen.
I personally loved the 30 minutes mini bus tour – there are several tours available which show you different parts of Bremen (all tours here).
If you are interested in museums you can find a list of Bremen´s museum here, and I am sure we have great ones – I just do not visit many.
Are you interested in history and wine? Then do not miss out on the tour of the Ratskeller including wine tasting.
Guided tour of the Town Hall available.
Bremen by boat is another activity I can highly recommend and there are several options to choose from.
We are proud of several things and one of it is Beck´s – one of the most famous beers in Germany (or probably the world 🙂 Though I do not really drink alcohol I am also proud of that company somehow.
If you are interested in learning more about the famous beer company you could book a tour here.
For more information check out the website of Bremen Touristic or feel free to leave your questions in the comment section.
Would you like to visit more cities in Germany? Find out what to do in Dresden Germany.
More pictures on Instagram.
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