Located in the northwestern Germany, Bremen is also known as a beautiful ancient merchant city with the gentle river Weser flowing through. Back in time, Bremen was part of the Hanseatic League, was an alliance of trading cities along the Nordic coast in the late Middle Ages. Traveling to Bremen you will experience of a peaceful life with charming, gentle alleys and street corners. So, what to do and how to plan a perfect budget trip to Bremen, the little charm city of Germany for the first-time? Let’s check out our Bremen travel blog (Bremen blog) with the fullest Bremen travel guide (Bremen guide, Bremen tourist guide) from how to get there, best time to come, where to stay, best places to visit and top things to do to find out the answer!
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Perhaps few tourists know that Bremen is home to the Brothers Grimm’s short story “Town Musicians of Bremen”. And, of course the famous “Grimms’ Fairy Tales” attached to the childhood of many of us such as “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Snow White”. Joining us to explore Bremen’s history and culture and experience the famous tourist attractions of the city.
Bremen blog: When to visit?
Due to the city is located in the north and quite close to Hamburg, the Bremen climate is quite similar to Hamburg. Spring is the best season to visit Bremen, not too cold and more sunny and service prices are not too high. Summer is the peak tourist season in Bremen with beautiful sunshine and bustling, crowded everywhere. If you plan to go in winter, you should probably go only during the Christmas time, the streets are beautifully decorated. However, the daytime will be very dark and cold.
Bremen blog: How to get to Bremen?
There are many ways to get to Bremen from other German and European cities. As the smallest state in the federal, you can easily take a train from other cities to Bremen. Bremen is just over 1 hour from Hamburg by ICE high speed train, 3 hours by train from Berlin and more than 4 hours from Frankfurt.
Self-driving to Bremen is also quite easy, you can rent a self-driving car and experience Germany’s famous Autobahn highway. Bremen Central Station is not too far from the city center, from here you can easily take a tram to the hotel.
Regarding on how to travel by train in Germany you can refer to this article. In general, to travel from a European city to Bremen, for example Paris, you will need to change 1 or 2 trains. From Paris you will have to take a train to a big hub transport in Germany is Frankfurt, then continue to change trains from Frankfurt to Bremen. In order to avoid much researching, you should book train tickets through Trainline.com, it will outline the optimal routes and schedules for you.
You also can getting to Bremen by air. Bremen Airport Hans Koschnick is located just 3.5km from the city center and it takes about 10 minutes to get to there. Outside the arrival hall of the airport has a tram stop, from there to the Domsheide stop is only 9 minutes, or stop at other stops such as Blumenthalstr/Bremen Exhibition Center which takes only 15 minutes of riding.
Bremen travel guide: Getting around the city
Bremen is a relatively small-sized city, so it has no subway system but only bus and tram. The bus network spreading throughout the city and surrounding areas while tram mainly operating in the city center. Normally, in the central area you can completely walk because the attractions are quite close to each other. With a radius of about 1 km there are many attractions such as square, cathedral, Old Town, Marktplatz and other shopping places.
The company BSAG (Bremer Straßenbahn AG) operating tram and bus networks. Tram system has 4 lines and 46 stations, single ticket price for a single tram / bus trip is €2.80. You should buy unlimited travel day pass for €8 / day and 7-day pass for €22.80. Pass can be purchased at BSAG ticket counters. Ticket vending machines are usually only available at airport and major stations.
Bremen blog: Where to stay?
The most convenient place to stay in Bremen is Old Town. This old quarter is centrally located in the city and easy access to major attractions. The central district of Bremen is Mitte, you can book hotels in this neighborhood on Booking.com or Agoda.com. If you have an abundant budget, you can consider to stay at the Parkhotel Bremen (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com) which was designed as a splendid palace with the standards of a top luxury hotel in Bremen.
Of course, the hotel room rates here are also more expensive than other areas, so to saving more you can stay a little bit far for better price and really it’s not too far from the center because the city of Bremen is also quite small. You can refer to the a&o Hostel Bremen Hauptbahnhof (Check rates on Agoda.com or Booking.com) that I stayed during my visit, it’s quite close to the central station, convenient to travel. A&O hostel chain is present in many big cities in Europe, so you can rest assured about its quality.
My room at A&O Bremen was very spacious, located on a high floor and overlooking the city with train tracks running through. In general, the room was very clean, nice and fully equipped, the first floor was a spacious hall for common activities. Walking to the central station was only about 10 minutes, but if you have a lot of luggage, consider taking a single bus trip.
Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Dorint City-Hotel Bremen (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Steigenberger Hotel Bremen (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- Atlantic Grand Hotel Bremen (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
- prizeotel Bremen-City (Booking.com)
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Bremen (Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Bremen blog: What and where to eat?
Similar to Hamburg because of the same geographical region, traveling to Bremen you can experience some traditional North German cuisine. Below we suggest some traditional Bremen dishes you should try.
Kale and Pinkel: Bremen people love kale and this is a popular ingredient in many dishes here. The most popular dish served with kale is pinkelwurst, a smoked sausage made from pork, bacon, oats and onions.
Labskaus: This is dish I ate in Hamburg, consisting of salted meat or corned beef, potatoes, onion, pickled herring and fried eggs, served with some pickled radish. Enjoy this dish and sipping a glass of German beer is great.
Knipp: Another type of sausage made from mixing minced such as liver, beef, or pork then seasoned with salt, allspice, pepper and then fried.
Aalsuppe: A traditional eel soup like the Vietnamese eel soup. Eel is a quite popular food in the Weser river region and is loved by local people.
Real experience at some delicious restaurants in Bremen
Visiting Bremen you can not help but experience some restaurants with traditional German dishes. In the Town Hall area where there are many famous and delicious restaurants, I found a restaurant right next a road with a quite unique design. This restaurant is located under a small, cozy basement.
The Bremer Knipp dish I chose has a strong traditional flavor of Bremen, served with bread, two pieces of pork bologna and added potatoes and pickled vegetables. Its taste is a bit bold, the pork bologna is mainly meat, its taste is quite similar to the grilled clam worm (alitta succinea, ragworms, pile worm) of Vietnam.
Markthalle Acht: This place can be known as a culinary center of Bremen with 20 food stalls offering a full range of traditional dishes prepared from the best chefs of Bremen.
Address: Domshof 8-12, 28195 Bremen, Germany
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday: 11AM–7PM/Thursday, Friday,Saturday: 11AM–10PM/Monday, Sunday: Closed
Bremen blog: What to do and where to go?
Bremen is a small city, its tourist attractions are also concentrated mainly in Town Hall area – the Old Town. This city owns gentle, tranquil, quaint alleys and street corners and has a long-standing of history and culture. I was strolling around just in the deserted old town for many days without getting bored. The films and photos from here must be said to be beautiful.
Bremen City Hall / Town Hall
Located in the heart of Bremen Market Square, this City Town Hall was built in 1412 and has undergone many ups and downs, many remodeling and renovation. Just standing outside and walking around the building was enough to make me amaze at its intricate carvings, architecture designs with statues have recognized as UNESCO World Heritage in 2005. You can book a walking tour to visit the interior of the building and learn more about the development of the city through the time.
Address: 232 Tallapoosa St, Bremen, GA 30110, United States
Hours: 8AM–5:30PM/Saturday, Wednesday: 8AM–12PM/Sunday: Closed
Admission: €6.50 / adult, free for children under 12 years old accompany an adult.
Bremen Market Square
The typical Gothic architecture here is quite similar to the Town Hall in Brussels with many old buildings surrounding a large square. Coming here during the Christmas season, I could feel the festive atmosphere at every corner. The Christmas market was set up in the middle of the square with stalls selling food, souvenirs, and decorations. There are many tram routes running here, so it is very convenient to travel from the square to the different points in the center.
St. Peter’s Cathedral Bremen (St. Petri Dom Bremen)
St Peter’s Cathedral is located the Bremen square which was built in the 11th century and upgraded from the 13 to 16 century. From a distance, the church stands out in the middle of the neighborhood with two iconic Gothic-style towering bell towers at 98m high. The atmosphere inside of the church was really quiet, you can access here for free, but if you want to go to the top of the tower, you will have to buy a ticket. The church’s museum (Dom-Museum) is also very interesting because it also preserves 8 mummies from the Middle Ages.
Address: Sandstraße 10-12, 28195 Bremen, Germany
Hours: 10AM–6PM/Sunday: 2–6PM
Böttcherstraße and the Glockenspiel House
Böttcherstraße is a small street with stores and shops selling all kinds of goods on both sides of the street. The walls here are built of red bricks similar to the main color tone of the old town of Bremen. In the early 20th century, Ludwig Roselius – an investor who bought all houses here and rebuilt as a structure connecting the Weser River and the large square in the center.
Haus des Glockenspiels – The Glockenspiels House is located at the end of Böttcherstraße street with 30 Meißener porcelain bells painted in blue on the outside and gilded inside. If Bremen has a large square, the outside area of the Glockenspiels can be seen as a small square, decorated under splendid lights during the Christmas season.
Bremen tourist place that I like the most. I spent 2 mornings here, especially an early morning with a light sunny dawn. This oldest neighborhood in Bremen was once the poorest part of the city, right next to the River Weser, but now it’s Bremen’s most beautiful place.
The narrow alleys are just enough to walk to see the old houses on both sides. The highlight is the colorful streets, sometimes stopping at small corners with full of vintage look, with rows of chairs, flowers and plants along old walls. You can take pictures here all day without getting bored and also could not to visit all the beautiful little street corners.
Town Musicians of Bremen
This statue can be considered as a symbol of the city of Bremen that depicting characters in the famous Grimm fairy tales. These animals including donkey, dog, cat and chicken have fled from their owners and become artists of the city. The statue was not too big, located right outside of the city hall, the animals standing on top of each other.
Universum Science Center
The Universum Science Center stands out with its futuristic architecture. From a distance you see it like a large seashell protruding out of the water but many people mistake it for an alien flying saucer. This science museum has more than 300 exhibition areas covering all topics about technology, people and nature. In addition, there is a 27m high tower where you can see the whole city.
Address: Wiener Straße 1a, 28359 Bremen, Germany
Opened: September 9, 2000
In addition to the above attractions, you can consider to visit Wallanlagen Park, it’s also near the old town and Town Hall. This park has lush green grass, walking paths and a small river running through. The special feature of this park is that on a not too high mound is a beautiful windmill, very suitable for virtual live photography on sunny days.
Address: 28195 Bremen, Germany
Bremen travel guide: Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Bremen you can refer to
- Bremen: Walking Tour in German with Night Guard
- Bremen: Walking Tour of Historic Schnoor District
- Bremen: Night Watchman Guided Tour for Children (in German)
- Tour of Bremen’s Underworld
- Bremen: Old Town 2-Hour Tour with Costumed Performer
- The Dark Side of Bremen: Killers and Criminals
- Bremen: In the Steps of the Bremen Town Musicians
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