- Bremerhaven geographically separate form the city of Bremen but administratively part of the state of Bremen.
HistoryBremen was once a member of the medieval Hanseatic League and is still one of the most important cities in northern Germany. Together with the city of Bremerhaven on the North Sea it forms Germany's smallest state.
Bremen has more than 1200 years of history, and was, for most of its existence, an independent city-state.
GeographyBremen is a rather long and narrow city, lining both sides of the river Weser. Along the north-west/south-east axis it stretches about 10 km, but across only 2 km. The entire city is located on flat plains.
Bremen airportMostly caters to low-fare and holiday flights. The low-fare carrier Ryanair offers by far the most connections, spread all over Europe but with stronger focus on the Mediterranean (especially holiday destinations) and countries around the Baltic Sea. Apart from Ryanair and holiday specialists, there are a few high-fare business-oriented flights to specific destinations (like Toulouse, serving Airbus Group which has facilities in both cities), and feeder flights to major hub airports operated by flag carriers. While Ryanair has reduced its offer at BRE, Sundair offers flights to some holiday destinations
If you want a smooth intercontinental connection to Bremen, your best bet is to fly with Star Alliance or SkyTeam. Star Alliance founder Lufthansa flies from Bremen to their hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, sister airline Eurowings to Stuttgart, while other alliance member Scandinavian Airlines flies to Copenhagen and Turkish Airlines to Istanbul. SkyTeam's founders Air France-KLM fly to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Amsterdam-Schiphol. You can connect to the alliances' vast networks of intercontinental - and European - connections there. If you are cost conscious, it might work out cheaper to forgo the domestic flight on the last leg and use an air rail alliance such as rail&fly instead. Though thanks to the quirky nature of airline pricing, the exact opposite may be the case.
Getting from the airport into town is quick, smooth and painless. Tram (Straßenbahn) 6 leaves right outside the main terminal building and takes you into downtown every 10 minutes during the day. Travel time is 10 minutes to downtown (Domsheide) and 16 minutes to the Main Railway Station (Hauptbahnhof).
Further afield, you can fly to Hamburg and Hannover. Both cities have frequent train connections with Bremen.
Bremen Hauptbahnhofwith the rest of Germany. There are two trains every hour from Hamburg (1 hour) in the north, and Osnabrück (1 hour), Münster (1hr 20min), the Ruhr Area in the south, and from Hanover (1hr 20min).
Train tickets can be quite expensive (unless bought in advance), and the cheapest way to travel can be to share a group ticket with other people. However, group tickets are not as cheap as they once were and often an early bird fare (starting from €19 for short routes) on a high speed connection is both cheaper and less stressful than dealing with group tickets which are almost always only valid on regional trains. For more on that issue see rail travel in Germany.
By busFlixbus has all but cornered the market.
By carAutobahn 1 runs to Hamburg in the north and Cologne in the south, but do check the traffic information! The A27 goes north to Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven and south towards Hanover, Braunschweig, Berlin and other eastwards connections.
By footMuch of Bremen (or at least the part frequented by tourists) can be negotiated by foot - the best way to explore the old city and its surrounding districts.
By shared carMembers of the Cambio car-sharing network, whether in Germany or Belgium, can hire cars - Bremen is the company's headquarters.
By trainMost trains are operated by Deutsche Bahn and even the local trains that aren't can be booked through their website.
In the west lie the cities Delmenhorst and Oldenburg and the Frisian islands. In the east you can travel to Verden, in the south to Osnabrück.
There are trains from the main station to the peripheral areas of Bremen (twice per hour to North Bremen, to Mahndorf via Sebaldsbrück and to Hemelingen.)
By bus/tramBremen offers an intensive public transportation network with trams and buses.
Public transport maps of Bremen are available in German. There are night buses and trams (indicated by an "N") running through almost the whole night on Fr/Sa and Sa/Su, departing at :30 each hour from central station. Fares on the night network are €1 in addition to normal individual, group or day fares (2013). You can buy tickets on the bus or tram, but is slightly cheaper to buy a set of 4 rides or a day pass for individuals or groups, or a weekly pass for individuals. Note that on trains, tickets must be purchased before you board. Public transportation timetables and ticket fares are available in English.
By taxiTaxis are found nearly everywhere and every time, with a cost of about €1.25/km. There is no need to book a taxi in advance. Taxi drivers and call center employees may have difficulties to understand a phone call in English. Taxi-Ruf has a smartphone app (which can be used to order a taxi) available for iPhone and Android.
The two main taxi companies are
By bikeYou can hire bicycles at the railway station and several bike shops in Bremen. See (German only).
Bremen is the most bike-friendly city among the biggest German cities. Its former mayor Hennig Scherf is an avid cyclist (who despite the wishes of his bodyguards rode his bike every day to his office or he simply walked to the office.)
RathausThis is one of the finest in Europe and has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Building work started in 1410 and it is seen as an important display of the wealth and freedom of the city. Tours of the interior are conducted by the Tourist information office at 11:00, 12:00, 15:00 and 16:00.
Rolandaddress: MarktplatzThis statue on the main square, in front of the town hall is of the Knight Roland who was a protector of trade. He appears in many European cities especially those involved in the Hanseatic league. Bremen's is considered one of the finest and is included with Town Hall on the World Heritage List. The standing figure is 5.47 m tall.
Dom St. PetriOver 1200 years old, its huge towered façade dominates the main square. The interior is impressive with some fine painted details on the ceilings. There is a treasury displaying the collection of the cathedral. Entrance is free, for €1 you can climb the Southern Tower offering nice views over the whole city.
BöttcherstraßeAn incredible Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) street that runs from the main square towards the river. There are many fine façades and courtyards all with large amounts of design detail. There is an impressive Glockenspiel that chimes at regular intervals. There are lots of shops and several museums, including the impressive Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum. Haus Atlantis (now the Hilton) has an impressive spiral staircase just inside, at the top of which is the staggering Himmelshaal (it is not normally open to the public).
Am WallA lovely park next to the former defensive moat which offers a place to sit and relax.
SchnoorThis area of twisting lanes is a lovely place to wander aimlessly looking at in the many shops and also at the world smallest hotel (see Sleep).
phone: +49 421 160 3810address: Bahnhofsplatz 13
phone: +49 421 6996000address: Schwachhauser Heerstraße 240A good overview of the history of Bremen City with a wide range of collections.
phone: +49 421 3346address: Wiener Straße 1aScience museum with plenty of interactive exhibits as an earthquake simulator. The main building is a huge steel shell designed by the Bremen architect Thomas Klumpp.
phone: +49 421 3038279address: Am Speicher XI 1Housed in a former cotton warehouse. Models of ships used during the past.
phone: +49 421 434594350address: Franz-Böhmert-Straße 1cThe sports museum shows the history of the football club SV Werder Bremen. You can see photos, jerseys, trophies and more.
phone: +49 421 329 08-0address: Am Wall 207
phone: +49 421 9897520address: Am Wall 208The contemporary art museum shows the work of Gerhard Marcks the sculptor of the statue "Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten", a city landmark.
phone: +49 421 3399933address: Am Wall 209Founded as a design museum but also used for exhibitions in modern art. The museum is named after Wilhelm Wagenfeld, an industrial designer born 1900 in Bremen.
phone: +49 421 59839-0address: Teerhof 20Modern art museum located on the Teerhof peninsula.
- Stroll around the city center and visit the Schnoor-Viertel with its old buildings - most were built between the 15th and 18th century. If you are interested in art, visit the Bremer Kunsthalle (museum of art) with one of North Germany's finest collections.
- If you like football, you see one of the matches of Werder Bremen , a team playing in the Bundesliga (German premier league). You can also visit their stadium Weser Stadion for a few euros when there isn't a game going on.
- If you want to see green fields, cows, and birds, visit "Blockland" (site in German with some pictures) where thousands of local bikers and inline skaters go every weekend to enjoy the agricultural side of Bremen. It is located just north of the university, between the Autobahn and the meandering river Wümme. You can bike or skate along the dyke that contains the river, have traditional coffee and cake at Landhaus Kuhsiel or Gartelmann's Gasthof, or eat gourmet organic ice cream at Biohof Kaemena (they also sell organic milk and cheese). In winter there is no ice cream but there is ice skating on the river and many small canals. In warmer months it is also possible to rent a canoe or kayak to explore the nature preserve from the water.
- There is indoor ice skating at Paradice, the skating hall in Walle (, site in German). Paradice is opened from October to February.
- A good way to get in touch with the locals is to stroll along the river Weser on the scenic Osterdeich, where - in good weather - lots of little groups hanging out on the grassy hills may invite you to barbecue with them or have a beer.
- Don't miss the beautiful Bürgerpark either, a large, well-maintained park right in the middle of the city, which has a little Central Park vibe to it. Have a drink in the renowned "Emma" Café, rent a boat and row around the ring-shaped pond, play mini-golf, visit the petting zoo, or simply sit on the grass and enjoy some tasty ice cream.
Stadtwaldsee (City Forest Lake)Free swimming at a public beach in a recreation area. There is also a separate nude beach. Fishing, windsurfing, and boating are all possible. Many locals simply enjoy walking or biking on the path that runs around the lake.
- January 6: "Eiswette": a funny tradition where a tailor checks if he can cross the river Weser without getting wet feet.
- February: Carnival in Bremen, more South-American than Cologne style.
- April: Easter market.
- June: "Breminale" music/art festival along the River Weser.
- August: International Bremen Summer circus festival "La Strada". "Festival Maritim" in Bremen-Vegesack (in the northern end of Bremen).
- October (2nd half): "Freimarkt" (free market), one of the biggest and oldest fairground festivals in Germany, north of the railway station.
- November: International Cutter Race / "Kutterpullen" tournament (rowing contest on the Weser river).
- December: Christmas market around the town hall and Schlachte at the river Weser.
The monthly free event magazine MIX has hosts an event calendar online (German only) .
- Kluten, are a traditional sweet from Bremen. They are cubes of peppermint, partly covered in chocolate. Hachez, near the Town Hall, is a traditional Bremen based chocolatier and their store is well worth a visit to buy the Kluten, though they are also available at many other places throughout the center.
- Schnoor is a den of tight lanes selling boutique style products including jewelry, African artifacts, paper models and a year round Christmas shop. There are also a lot of shops selling tourist souvenirs.
- Böttcherstraße, This wonderful Art Nouveau street has many outlets which cater to buyers of upmarket/high quality products.
- Weekly markets are held on most of the squares around the Town Hall .
- Lloyd Passage, Obernstraße, Sögestraße are the main shopping streets with all the main High Street chains.
address: Waterfront Bremen, AG-Weser-StraßeA shopping and leisure centre with a unique location directly on the banks of the River Weser. As its name and location suggest, there is always a fresh wind blowing through and around the Waterfront: shopping, feasting, cinema and events assure high spirits all year round. The centre offers more than 80 shops from fashion (Primark, Desigual, Tommy Hilfiger, Clockhouse and many others) to shoes, jewellery, athletic apparel and equipment to leather goods and gifts—nearly everything the heart could desire. To nourish visitors, there is a gastronomic selection of more than 15 different venues in the Food Court and on the outdoor terrace, with its Weser panorama. There are events held regularly in and around the Waterfront: fashion shows, exhibitions, concerts or activities for children—something for everybody. In the Food Court there is also a 25-m² screen where broadcasts of all Werder Bremen football matches and highlights of the German Football League can be viewed.
Many traditional dishes from Bremen and Northern Germany are very satisfying. The region is famous for cabbage (Grünkohl- green cabbage), fish (smoked eel, herring, smelt in March), an old sailor´s meal called Labskaus (lobscouse) consisting of mashed potatoes, corned beef, onions, fried egg and beetroot or chick ragout (very fine) as well as red fruit jelly or Butterkuchen (cake with yeast and topped with lots of butter, sugar and almonds).
You can find some fish restaurants in Böttcherstraße. "Knigge" is the name of a traditional coffee house in Bremen.
Bremen culinary specialties are Knipp (smoked sausage), Labskaus, (fried corned beef with onions and mashed potatoes) and Braunkohl (leaf cabbage)
phone: +49 421 321676address: Am MarktStunning classic wine cellar located in the basement of the historic city hall. Has stored and sold German wines since 1405. Large menu includes regional specialties and has English translations.
phone: +49 421 326429address: Lange Wieren 13Slightly smoked cut of pork with cabbage and mashed potatoes (Braunkohlteller)
The Ratskeller is a wine cellar and restaurant with a famous collection of wines and the oldest wines in Germany.
There are many bars, pubs and cafes in Bremen: the Schlachte along the Weser and the Viertel, a young and lively quarter.
If you like beer and pretzels, try the Schüttinger brewery house (next to Böttcherstraße) where several types of beer are brewed and served directly.
phone: +49 421 163820address: Kalkstraße 6Looking like a work of art from the exterior, with a yellow-and-orange Plexiglas facade and slit windows, this hostel has comfortable rooms, a rooftop terrace and a bar-breakfast room with huge glass windows overlooking the Weser River. Linen is included.
phone: +49 421 2238057address: Emil-Waldmann-Straße 5-6
phone: +49 421 78015address: Am Dobben 62Bright, professionally run hostel is right in the middle of Bremen’s nightlife quarter and handy to Werder Bremen’s stadium. The building has no elevator or air conditioning. Inside as well as outside noise insulation is a problem. Hotel not hostel prices are quoted for double bedrooms with private bathroom.
phone: +49 421 619580address: Findorffstraße 28-32
phone: +49 421 23870address: August-Bebel-Allee 4
phone: +49 421 4684881address: Benquestraße 54
phone: +49 421 837350address: Borgward Straße 10
phone: +49 421 458570address: Europaallee 1
phone: +49 421 41760address: Brüggeweg 20-22
phone: +49 421-69620561address: Jakobistraße 23a
phone: +49 421 6520570address: Rohrstraße 4
phone: +49 421 6965180address: Am Kaffee-Quartier 1
phone: +49 421 8310810address: Holzdamm 104
phone: +49 421 875050address: Bremer Straße 116a
phone: +491721660462address: Dobbenweg 12
phone: +49 1805 697749address: Theodor-Heuss-Allee 12Designer hotel directly opposite the AWD Dome and Bremen Exhibition Halls. 127 air conditioned rooms furnished with 180 x 200 cm beds, 32" flat screen TV, desk, iLamp with integrated loudspeaker and iPod/iPhone connection, shower with rainforest showerhead and free high speed wireless LAN internet access in the entire hotel.
phone: +49 421 6609-0address: Rohrstraße 11
phone: +49 421 69677377address: Universitätsallee 4Hotel with 89 rooms near to the University and the Universum Science Center. Public bus stop with a direct line to the central station is 50 m away.
phone: +49 421 6968660address: Bürgermeister-Smidt-Straße 24-30
phone: +49 421 24270address: Sternentor 6Business hotel with modern, contemporary rooms. Free wellness center with sauna, breakfast buffet and a la carte restaurant. A very short distance walk from the Waterfront shopping centre
phone: +49 421 478370address: Am Weser-Terminal 6The hotel is right by the river Weser only 15 minutes walk from old town. All 137 rooms and suites have air-conditioning, a flat-screen TV with Sky Sport channels, a minibar and a coffee machine.
phone: +49 421 696400address: Theodor-Heuss-Allee 2This station-side chain hotel in the restored heritage Lloyd Building is recommended for a bunch of reasons: convenience and value; airy, oversized, light-filled rooms; comfy beds; and friendly helpful staff. Modern bathrooms are delights of German design: think super-soaker tubs and floating toilets. It’s worth paying the few extra euros for a larger room in the Lloyd building.
phone: +49 421 949410address: Heinkenstraße 3-5A bit dated but clean hotel in the Altstadt without elevator or air conditioning. Rooms are (very) large and breakfast is good.
phone: +49 421 32286 0address: Langenstraße 72Just metres above river level. Black, white and chrome create a sleek, postmodern vibe that extends to the rooms, which feature open bathrooms. Suites have river views and a private sauna and whirlpool. Breakfast costs €14.50.
phone: +49 421 34080address: Im BürgerparkOn the Hollersee in the middle of the Bürgerpark. It offers 155 rooms and 20 suites, a 1,200 m² wellness area, its own fitness centre as well as 4 restaurants and bars.
phone: +49 162 19 25 24 4address: Wüstestätte 5This hotel has a strong claim to being the smallest Hotel in the world. In fact if you stay here you have the whole hotel to yourself as it has just one room. It has a great location in the heart of the Schnoor district. It is based on the tradition of small hotels catering for newly wed couples seeking somewhere to consummate their marriages after the ceremony, and is aimed at a market that can help continue this tradition. €350 for first night €250 for subsequent nights.
phone: +49 421 36960address: Böttcherstraße 2In an excellent location just off the main square with an entrance on Böttcherstraße in the Altstadt. Rooms are the high standard you would expect from the chain, and there is a small pool, sauna and micro gym in the basements.
phone: +49 421 62 000 0address: Hillmannplatz 205-star business hotel with a magnificent view over the city wall.
phone: +49 421 620 62-0address: Bredenstraße 2Pitched around a central courtyard, moments from Bremen’s quirky Böttcherstrasse in the Altstadt, the simple, effortlessly stylish, dark-wooded rooms with chocolate leather armchairs and top-notch service from attentive staff make this classy hotel an excellent choice.