20 Things To Do In Bremen

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Bremen is a city in northwest Germany on the beautiful Weser River with a population of around half a million. It is 120 km (75 miles) from Hamburg and a top spot for a day trip, however, I think it is worth a much longer visit as it is a lively city with plenty to see and do. There’s a plethora of museums, churches, a beautiful Old Town and a stunning waterside where you can stroll or have a drink while people-watching. If you are in Bremen in December, you will be able to go to the Christmas Market, which is one of the best in the country.

Bremen is an ancient city, with settlements dating to 100 AD. As it is on the Weser River which flows into the North Sea, it was heavily involved in maritime trade in the past. New products often arrived in Bremen before the rest of the country, such as coffee. In the 17th century, the first coffee house in Germany was opened in Bremen, and in the early 1900s, the coffee merchant, Ludwig Roselius, invented decaffeinated coffee. With so much to see in the city, I have narrowed it down to what I think are the 20 best things to do in Bremen. Let’s take a look at them.

Bremen, Germany

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20 Things To Do In Bremen

1- Explore The Old Town

Bremen Marketplace, Old Town With Roland Statue
Exploring the Old Town is one of the top 10 things to do in Bremen.

One of the best things to do in German cities is to visit the Old Town, and Bremen is no exception.

The Old Town of Bremen is 1,200 years old and is near the banks of the River Weser.

It is centred around Markt Platz (Market Square) with lovely cobblestoned paths surrounding it.

Market Square houses many important buildings, including the Rathaus (the Town Hall) and Bremen Cathedral, as well as interesting statues, including a five-and-a-half metre (18-foot) statue of the German knight, Roland.


This statue was erected in 1406 and symbolises Bremen’s freedom from the church.

Another statue is one that your children will love: it is of the Town Musicians of Bremen who were in a Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

It is composed of a donkey, dog, cat, and rooster, and if you want to ensure that you have good luck and return to the city, rub the donkey’s hooves or nose.

Put a coin or two in the slot and you will hear the animals making their sounds.

2- Take A Tour Of The Town Hall

Townhall In Bremen, Germany
Visiting the Town Hall is one of the things to do in the Bremen.

The Rathaus (Town Hall) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is over 600 years old.

It was built in 1410 in the Gothic style, but in 1612, it had a Renaissance facade added with reliefs and statues of people such as Charlemagne and Bremen’s Seven Imperial Elders.

It is a well-preserved building and is impressive both inside and out.

Inside the Town Hall, you will see an intricately carved spiral staircase and a 1537 painting of the Judgement of Solomon.

It is massive, measuring 40 metres (131 feet) long, 13 metres (42.65 feet) across, and 8 metres 926.2 feet) high.

You can take a guided tour of the inside of the Town Hall, which takes an hour and gives you information about its history.

You may also be lucky enough to catch a free concert in the building, such as an organ recital or a solo singer.

The Rathaus is at Am Markt 21, 28195, Bremen. Join this guided tour.

3- Enjoy A Tasting At The Bremer Ratskeller Wine Cellar

A Glass Of Wine In A Wine Cellar
Tasting wine at the Bremer Ratskeller Wine Cellar is one of best things to do in Bremen.

The Bremer Ratskeller Wine Cellar is beneath the Town Hall, and it houses hundreds of bottles of German wine.

All the 13 wine-producing areas in the country are represented.

You can take a tour of the wine cellar and see the original wooden barrels and many of the bottles, including the special vintages.

The oldest barrel of German wine which dates to 1653, is stored here.

You can choose to try one wine or three wines, or you can take the Premium Cellar Tour which includes five wines and chocolates to pair with the wines.

There is a restaurant in the Ratskeller where you can enjoy a meal together with one of the cellar’s wines.

4- Visit Bremen Cathedral And Museum

St. Peter's Cathedral In Bremen
Visiting the city’s Cathedral and Museum are top things to do in Bremen.

The Dom St, Petri, also known as Bremen Cathedral, is a Protestant church originally built in the 11th century, although most of the church you see today is from the 13th century.

It is an attractive building, with a mixture of styles, including Romanesque and Gothic, with a little Gothic Revival from the 19th century.

Inside, you will find tombs, crypts and fragments from the 14th-century choir stalls, which were carved with stories from the Bible.

If you have the energy, climb the 265 steps of the south tower and you will be rewarded with fantastic views of the Old Town.

The tower is 89 metres (292 feet) high.

Don’t miss going to the cathedral museum, which is underneath the cathedral.

Here you will find artefacts which were found when the building was being restored in the 1970s and 1980s, such as stone reliefs, statues, frescoes, and the remnants of the Renaissance altar.

The highlights are the coffins of 8 mediaeval bishops, stored in glass-topped coffins that date back 400 years and are not for the faint of heart.

Inside their graves, were found rings, vestments, and chalices which are also on show.

Bremen Cathedral is at Sandstrasse 10 – 12, 28195, Bremen

5- Explore Bottcherstrasse And Its Museums

Tourist Girl Takes Self Portrait In Bottcherstrasse
Exploring Bottcherstrasse and its museums is one of the popular things to do in Bremen.

Bottcherstrasse is one of the most interesting streets in the Old Town.

It is 100 metres (328 feet) long and connects Markt Platz to the river.

The street dates to the Middle Ages, but it was transformed by the coffee merchant, Ludwig Roselius, into an expressionist masterpiece in the 1920s.

You can visit the Ludwig Roselius Museum where you can see a display of artworks he collected, such as The Group of Mourners, sculpted by Tolman Riemenschneider in 1515 and Lucas Cranach’s Portrait of Martin Luther and his Wife.

Another museum along Bottcherstrasse is the Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum, commemorating the expressionist artist and it has the distinction be being the first gallery in the world to be solely dedicated to a female artist.

If you would like to hear bells ringing out old folk tunes, head to the Haus Des Glockenspiels from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m.

They ring for a full eight minutes at each hour.

  • The Ludwig Roselius Museum is at 6 – 10 Bottcherstrasse, 28195, Bremen.
  • The Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum is at 6 – 10 Böttcherstrasse, 28195, Bremen.
  • Haus Des Glockenspiels is at Böttcherstrasse 4 – 6, 28195, Bremen.

6- Admire The Art At Kunsthalle Bremen

Kunsthalle is home to European art, some dating as far back as the 14th century.

You will find masterpieces by such artists as Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Franz Marc, Camille Corot, Monet and Max Beckman.

There is plenty of Renaissance art by German painters on show, such as Albrecht Durer and Lucan Cranach the Elder.

You will also find a contemporary art exhibition, a print and drawings department, and there are temporary exhibitions which change frequently.

The gallery has a New Media department which showcases contemporary artists in such disciplines as installation art, video art, and music.

Guided tours in English are available and there is an excellent restaurant in the gallery.

Kunsthalle Bremen is at Am Wall 207, 28195, Bremen.

7- Take a Riverside Walk In Schlachte

Schlachte In Bremen
Walking along the riverside in Schlachte is one of the things to do in Bremen.

If you want a break from sightseeing, take a stroll by the river along Schlachte’s pedestrian zone following the River Weser’s east bank.

This area was originally the port and harbour of the city, but it fell into disuse.

It has been renovated and the boardwalk is a lovely place to take a walk while looking at the historic vessels, some of which are now hotels or restaurants.

It is a popular nightspot, with both locals and tourists enjoying the cafes, bars, and restaurants housed in old warehouses.

8- Visit Gerhard Marcks House

If you like the statue of the Town Musicians of Bremen in Markt Platz, head to Gerhard Marcks’s house where you can see more of his sculptures.

Marcks was born in 1899 in Berlin and was called a degenerate artist by the Nazis, who did not allow any of his work to be displayed.

As a result, it wasn’t until the end of WWII that his art was allowed to be showcased.

This museum was opened in 1971 and displays 400 of his sculptures, 12,000 drawings and 1,200 prints.

It also houses works by other modern sculptors.

The Gerhard Marcks House is at Am Wall 208, 28195, Bremen.

9- Interact At The Universum Science Centre

The Universum Science Centre is a great place to take the whole family.

It has more than 300 exhibits, many of them interactive, challenging visitors to solve puzzles and problems.

There are three main areas, Nature, Humans and Technology.

One of the things you can do is sit on a sofa and feel what it is like to be in an earthquake, and another is to enter a room that shows you what it is like to be blind.

There are experiments relating to wind and water outside on the grounds.

You can’t miss the Centre as it is an amazing futuristic building made out of metal.

It looks like a spaceship or perhaps, a mussel shell.

The Universum Science Centre is at Wiener Strasse 1a, 28359, Bremen. Skip the line and book your tickets here.

10- Take A Tour Of Beck’s Brewery

The famous brand of Beck’s beer is produced in Bremen and if you like beer, you will enjoy a tour of this famous brewery.

Becks Brewery has been in the city since 1873 and is a major producer with more than 3,000 bottles of Becks beer being opened every minute throughout the world.

You need to be at least 16 years old to visit the brewery.

The guided tour takes you to the museum, the raw materials room, and the brewhouse, which has silos and fermentation tanks.

Naturally, the tour ends with a tasting.

Becks Brewery is at Am Deich 20, 28199, Bremen.

11- Visit The Focke Museum

If you would like to learn about the history of Bremen, head to the Focke Museum in the Riensberg neighbourhood, which portrays history going back 1,200 years.

The museum is divided between a few historic buildings dating to the 16th to 19th centuries built around a modern building.

The main exhibition hall houses some statues from the facade of the Town Hall and the original head of the Roland statue.

The city has a history of producing cars, and in the museum, you will be able to see cars manufactured by Bremen’s Borgward brand.

The historic buildings of the museum include the Eichenhof, which tells the story of the ancient history of Breman, and the 18th-century Haus Reinsberg, which displays furniture created in the city, as well as glasswork.

The Focke Museum is at Schwachhauser Heerstraße 24, 28213, Bremen.

12- Take A Stroll In Wallengen Park

Windmill In Bremen
Strolling around Wallanlagen Park is one of the relaxing things to do in Bremen Germany.

If you feel like a break from city life without going far, head to Wallengen Park, just north of the Old Town.

It is an oasis of calm in a bustling city.

The park was built in the 18th century on the site of the old city walls, next to which is a moat.

The park makes for a great walk, with sculptures and fountains to be seen, as well as beautiful flowers.

Wallengen Park houses a lovely windmill, Am Wall, built originally in 1699 but replaced in 1898.

Inside is a restaurant which makes for an unusual, but stunning setting for a meal. There is a vegan option.

13- Visit The Church Of Our Lady

To the north of Markt Platz, the Church of Our Lady was built in the 13th century over a much older church.

One of the unusual things about this church is that the crypt from 1020 is still there.

The church suffered minor damage during WWII when 19 of the stained-glass windows were destroyed.

During the 1960s and the 1970s, the French artist, Alfred Mannessuier designed the replacements.

They depict scenes from the Bible and have bright linear patterns, a trademark of the artist.

It is worth going to the church just to see them as they contrast well with the bare stone of the nave and choir.

The Church of Our Lady is at 1 Unser Lieben Frauen Kirchhof, 28195, Bremen.

14- Learn About Plants At Botanika

Hedge Plant Thuja Bush In Detail In Germany
Learning about plants at Botanika is one of the things to do in Bremen Germany.

Botanika is an interesting green science centre where you can enjoyably learn about plants and trees.

The large greenhouse showcases both wild and landscaped gardens from Japan, Borneo, and the Himalayas.

You will be able to learn about the competition between plants for light, water, and nutrients in the Discovery Centre.

In the herb garden, you can sample edible plants and learn what can be done with them.

It has temporary animal exhibits, such as rabbits or butterflies.

Botanika is attached to Rhododendron Park, which is a wonderful place to visit in May.

The park has a collection of around 10,000 rhododendrons and azaleas and at this time of year, they are all in bloom.

You will see a magnificent display of colours ranging from white to deep red.

It is the second-largest collection of rhododendrons and azaleas in the world.

Botanika is at Deliusweg 40, 28359, Bremen

15- Try The Local Food

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture is to try their food.

Because Bremen is close to the North Sea, fish is very popular in the city.

Herring is prepared in different ways such as salt herring and sweet and sour fried herring, fried eel and zander fish are also to be found on many restaurant menus.

Fish is usually served with a potato salad or a cucumber and dill salad.

Germany is renowned for serving sausages with beer and Bremen is no exception.

Pinkelwurst is popular in the city, and it is a sausage made from bacon, pork, and beef suet, fortified with oats and onions.

These sausages are generally served with potatoes and kale.

Another dish you will find on restaurant menus is labskaus.

It is a very unusual dish but delicious if you are a meat eater.

It is a dish of pureed corned beef, onions, beets, and potatoes, topped with two fried eggs and gherkins. Herring is on the side.

16- Visit The Valentin Submarine Pens

To the northwest of Bremen, you will find a submarine factory, which was built during WWII, though never finished.

It is still well worth visiting as it is a reminder of the atrocities of war and the Nazi regime.

The factory is large, measuring 426 metres (1397.6 feet) long, 97 metres (318.2 feet) wide, and 27 metres (88.58 feet) high.

You can take a self-guided tour of the factory and learn about its history and technical details.

The tour is made up of a 1.5 km (0.93 mile) path around the bunker and inside it.

Building here started in 1943 but stopped when Germany was defeated in 1945.

It was built by prisoners of war, and it is thought that around 6,000 of them died while building the factory.

The Valentin Submarine Pens are at Rekumer Siel, 28777, Bremen.

17- Enjoy The Bremen Christmas Market

City Hall And Christmas Market In Bremen By Night
Wandering around the Bremen Christmas Markets is one of the top things to do in Bremen.

From the end of November until Christmas, Bremen holds one of the best Christmas markets in Germany, and many people visit the town just to experience it.

It is held in Markt Platz and has over 170 stalls offering gifts, Christmas decorations, delicious food, and Gluhwein.

The atmosphere is lively with locals visiting most days on their way home from work.

The air is filled with scents of gingerbread, biscuits, and mulled wine.

Children will be delighted by the carousels and twinkling lights, while you can find original Christmas gifts.

There are also Christmas stalls by the river in Schlachte-Zauber.

It has a maritime theme, and the vendors are dressed in historical costumes.

As well as vendors selling tasty treats and homemade crafts, there are activities such as climbing rope ladders and fishing for stuffed fish.

18- Explore The Ubersee Museum

This ethnology and natural history museum has over 1.2 million exhibits and will appeal to young and old alike,

There are thousands of animal specimens in dioramas, and you can also view live exotic plants.

The museum takes you to different parts of the world and there are permanent exhibitions relating to Asia, Africa, America, and more.

Oceania is under construction.

You can enjoy all sorts of experiences, such as going into a rainforest at night and travelling the Silk Road.

Temporary exhibitions are also held.

The museum has a restaurant, so it is easy to spend the day here and the restaurant stays open after the museum closes.

The Ubersee Museum is at Bahnhofpl. 13, 28195, Bremen. Skip the line and book your tickets here.

19- Take A Weser River Cruise

A relaxing way to spend some time is to take a river cruise on the Weser River.

It also allows you to view the city from a different angle.

There is a 75-minute cruise which sails along the Schlachte Embankment to the harbour and passes such buildings as Beck’s Brewery.

It has commentary in German telling you about the harbour and trade in the city, but there is an information sheet in English, so you won’t miss out.

Food and drink can be purchased on board so you could have lunch during your trip.

20- Have A Family Day Out At Burgerpark

A pleasant and affordable place to take the family is Burgerpark. It is an oasis of green within the city.

It starts as just a narrow strip of lawn but then broadens into a 200-hectare (494-acre) park.

Children will love the animal enclosures where you can see sheep, deer, guinea pigs, alpacas, wild boar, pigs, and goats.

The enclosures are surrounded by a serpentine water feature, the Emmasee, where you can rent boats.

There is also a mini golf centre and a cafe bar which is open from 4 pm until late so it is also a great place to go for the evening.

During the summer, outdoor performances are held by the Bremer Shakespeare Company.

Beautiful Traveler Woman In Schnoor Neighborhood
Exploring the Old Town is one of the fun things to do in Bremen.

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Irena Nieslony
Irena Nieslony was born in Windsor, England but now lives on the island of Crete, Greece, in a small village called Modi near the city of Chania. She has visited 32 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa. Her favourite country is Tanzania as she loves wildlife and was lucky enough to see ‘The Big Five”. She also loves Egypt, as ancient history intrigues her, the southern states of the US and the cities of Memphis, Nashville, and New Orleans for music. She has a B.A. Honours degree in English and Drama from Westfield College, University of London. She has been writing for over 13 years and has 13 novels, 7 short stories and thousands of articles published.