Tips for visiting Bremen, Hanseatic tradition in northern Germany

The main purpose of this trip was to attend La Strada , a festival of street shows that has been held for more than 20 years in mid-June.

Market Square of Bremen in Germany
Market Square of Bremen in Germany

This has allowed me to know Bremen thoroughly . one of the typical cities of northern Europe that I have always found very attractive.

Rather small in size, it is a very easy city to visit.

With extensive green areas, in Bremen everything is very careful, with trams as the main means of public transport, is very suitable for cycling, which populate the entire city.

Its historic center has  two corners that have made it a World Heritage Site , its old town hall and the statue of Rolando .

Tips for visiting Bremen

In short, Bremen is an ideal city to visit on a bridge or on a weekend, and essential to include in a holiday route through northern Germany.

Monument of the musicians of Bremen in Germany
Monument of the musicians of Bremen in Germany

Then I’ll give you some tips to visit Bremen , which will be useful for you.

Curiosities history of Bremen

Bremen is a city that was founded more than 1,200 years ago on a gentle hill and whose history you will see is directly linked to the commercial activity of its river port.

Market Square of Bremen in Germany
Market Square of Bremen in Germany

Located on the banks of the navigable river Weser , the sea is about 100 kilometers away to the north, but still the effects of the tides and even the river has a system of locks.Bremen is one of the cities that belonged to the so-called Hanseatic League . to which, for example, Bergen also belonged in Norway .

It was an association of European cities on the shores of the Baltic Sea with common commercial interests, which was created during the twelfth century, and which is said to have been an advance of the current European Union .

Port of Bremen

This inner city became the main fishing port of Germany and, as a curiosity, thanks to river transport it was a natural way for the export of wines produced in the south of the country.

But during the nineteenth century the port became small and in 1827 it was decided to build a new port much larger and closer to the sea, Bremerhaven .

Renaissance facade in building of the historic center of Bremen
Renaissance facade in building of the historic center of Bremen

This is now the real port of Bremen and the most important export port of the country for Mercedes-Benz cars that are produced in the big factory of the city, the second largest of the prestigious German brand.

In fact, Bremerhaven is a small city of about 100,000 inhabitants compared to just over half a million living in Bremen .

In the old port of Bremen now you will only find small boats to make cruises on the river, some pleasure boats and several old boats used as restaurants or hotels.

Moreover, at the time of its peak, that of Bremen was one of the largest ports in Europe, and reached double that of Hamburg.

A large part of this area has been immersed since 2000 in a great urban restructuring, which has meant covering old dikes with earth.

They are building high- class houses , as well as cultural facilities and restaurant areas.

Corner of Schnoor, old district of Bremen
Corner of Schnoor, old district of Bremen

As I have said, Bremen is a very manageable city to visit.

The historical center you can walk perfectly on foot, but my advice is to rent a bicycle and enjoy the pleasure of traveling with this vehicle through a city, as most of the population of Bremen.

Of course, be careful when walking on the sidewalks and make sure you do not walk in the red tile lane reserved for the circulation of bicycles.

But given that at some point you will need or will be more comfortable using public transport , it may be worth buying the ErlbnisCARD transport card .

Bicycles in the historic center of Bremen
Bicycles in the historic center of Bremen

This card can be used on trams and buses, starting with tram 6 which, as I said, will take you from the airport to the center (it will cost you around 18 euros by taxi).

The price of the transport card of Bremen is 9.50 euros for one day (one adult and two children up to 14 years old); 12.00 euros for one day, two adults and two children; 13.00 euros for two days, two adults with two children; and 15.40 euros for two days, two adults and two children.

To use it, when accessing trams and buses you will only have to show it if the reviewer claims it; You do not have to cancel it on any machine.

What to visit in Bremen

The focus of your visit to Bremen will be centered in its historic center and, specifically, in its market square .

Sculptures on a shopping street of Bremen in Germany
Sculptures on a shopping street of Bremen in Germany

In this area almost only pedestrian (only trams and bicycles circulate) you will find the four most significant monuments of this German city.

First, the old town hall of Bremen built in 1410, and whose spectacular Renaissance façade dates back to the 17th century.

In front of him, the statue of Rolando , known as the Statue of Liberty , a symbol of the city that was built in 1404 in stone, after a first statue that was made of wood.

Both monuments in 2004 were declared a World Heritage Site , and in this way Bremen joined the prestigious  Unesco list .

On one side of the old town hall is the Bremen Cathedral .

Mill in a park of the center of Bremen in Germany
Mill in a park of the center of Bremen in Germany

Its origins go back to the time of the founding of the city, although the current building, of early Gothic style, dates from the 13th century.

And on the west side of the aforementioned town hall you have what is perhaps the most popular symbol of the city, the monument of the musicians of Bremen .

There you will find a small (do not be surprised by its size) bronze sculpture of 1951 dedicated to the protagonists of the story of the Brothers Grimm .

Under the town hall you can also see the  historic Ratskeller winery  with more than 600 years of tradition, whose main exponent is now a restaurant.

Also next to the square you can visit the Church of Our Lady , the oldest parish church in Bremen.

St. Peter's Cathedral in Bremen
St. Peter’s Cathedral in Bremen

From the Bremen Market Square, the Böttcherstrabe Street or the coopers go to the river , a narrow and very touristy passage with restaurants, shops, a museum and a curious carillon.

Already by the river you find Schnoor , the oldest neighborhood in the city of Bremen , a few blocks with very narrow streets, original houses of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, restaurants and shops of crafts and souvenirs.

Nearby, on the banks of the river, is where you can experience the atmosphere of the city, in a section known as Schlachte , where the terraces of the breweries (biergarten) and restaurants are grouped .

On the weekends there is “all” the Bremen atmosphere.

To highlight the great sailing ship Alexander von Humboldt , which you can visit, and where you can sleep, eat or have a beer.

Modernist corner in the street of the Coopers of Bremen in Germany
Modernist corner in the street of the Coopers of Bremen in Germany

Another area with an atmosphere, although more bohemian and cultural, is the one you find on the street that goes from the Market Square towards the southeast, after passing the Kunthalle Museum .

Yes, in Bremen you can also visit museums.

Museums in Bremen

This is the case of the aforementioned Kunthalle , a pinacoteca with works from different periods, from the 14th century to our times, including French impressionists or Picasso and Tapies .

If you like nature, you should walk through the park of the Rhododendrons , where Botanika is located , a corner where you can see impressive azaleas from all over the world.

Mansion in the park of the Rhododendrons of Bremen
Mansion in the park of the Rhododendrons of Bremen

If you travel with children, Universum is a very suitable place for them, a science museum with many interactive games.

And if you are interested in delving into the port tradition of Bremen , you should head to the area of ​​the old docks, where in the Hafenmuseum you have a sample of the history of the city as a great commercial port.

And finally, if you are passionate about cars, in Bremen you have the opportunity to visit a Mercedes-Benz factory , the second largest of the prestigious German brand, and see how the coupe  and cabriolet versions of the E series are manufactured .