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Bremen

Photo © Fi M

Travel Guide Europe Germany Bremen

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Introduction

The free Hanseatic City of Bremen is a city in northern Germany with a major port on the River Weser. The population is about 550,000. Bremen is part of the Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region, with 2.4 million people. Bremen is the second most populous city in Northern Germany and eleventh in Germany. It is also the name of one of the states of Germany which consists of two separated enclaves on the River Weser.

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Neighbourhoods

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Sights and Activities

  • Rathaus (Town Hall) - this is one of the finest in Europe and as such 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 11:0am, noon, 3:00pm and 4:00pm.

Roland, Rathausplatz. this 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 metres tall.

  • Dom St. Petri (Cathedral of St Peter) - is over 1,200 years old, and 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.
  • Böttcherstraße - Is the 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 (unfortunately it is not normally open to the public).
  • Am Wall - is a lovely park next to the former defensive moat which offers a place to sit and relax.
  • Schnoor - this area of twisting lanes is a lovely place to wander aimlessly looking at in the many shops and also at the world smallest hotel.

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Events and Festivals

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Weather

Bremen has a moderate oceanic climate due to its proximity to the North Sea coast and temperate maritime air masses that move in with the predominantly westerly winds from the Atlantic Ocean. However, periods in which continental air masses predominate may occur at any time of the year and can lead to heat waves in the summer and prolonged periods of frost in the winter. In general though, extremes are rare in Bremen and temperatures below -15 °C and above 35 °C occur only once every couple of years. The record high temperature was 37.6 °C on 9 August 1992, while the record low temperature was -23.6 °C on 13 February 1940. Being at some distance from the main North Sea, Bremen still has a somewhat wider temperature range than Bremerhaven that is located on the mouth of Weser.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max3.9 °C4.8 °C8.7 °C12.8 °C18 °C20.2 °C22.4 °C22.6 °C18.4 °C13.5 °C8 °C5.1 °C
Avg Min-1.1 °C-1.1 °C1.3 °C3.4 °C7.4 °C10.3 °C12.4 °C12.1 °C9.3 °C5.8 °C2.3 °C0.3 °C
Rainfall55.1 mm35.6 mm51.2 mm40.8 mm54.2 mm73.4 mm65 mm61.2 mm60.1 mm55.4 mm57.7 mm61.6 mm
Rain Days11.38.61199.511.110.810.110.610.511.512

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Getting There

By Plane

Bremen Airport (BRE) is located 3.5 kilometres from the city. Ryanair has most flights, with destinations including Alghero, Alicante, Edinburgh, Faro, Gdansk, Girona, Haugesund, Kaunas, Liverpool, London, Malaga, Memmingen, Milan, Oslo, Palma de Mallorca, Riga, Stockholm, Tampere, Tenerife and Venice. A few other airlines serve Amsterdam, Antalya, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Burgas, Varna (both Bulgaria), Bristol, Brussels, Copenhagen, Toulouse, Zürich, Fuerteventura, Hurghada, andGran Canaria.

By Train

Regular and frequent services connect Bremen with the rest of Germany. There are two trains every hour from Hamburg (1 hour) in the north, and Osnabrück (1 hour), Münster (1h20), and the Ruhr Area in the south, as well as from Hanover (1h20). 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 Car

Autobahn 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 Bus

Eurolines connects to several German cities, including Bremen. The stop is at the Central Busstation (ZOB), which is next to the central trainstation. You can't buy tickets in Bremen itself, you will need to make your reservations by internet.

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Getting Around

By Car

Taxis are found nearly everywhere and every time, with a cost of about €1.25/km. The two main taxi companies are Taxi-Roland (phone: 0049 421 14433) and Taxi-Ruf (phone: 0049 421 14014). 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.

By Public Transport

Bremen offers an intensive public transportation network with trams and buses. There are night buses and trams (indicated by an "N") running through almost the whole night on Fri/Sat and Sat/Sun, departing at :30 each hour from central station. Fares on the night network are €1 in addition to normal individual, group or day fares. 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.

By Foot

Much 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 Bike

You can hire bicycles at the railway station and several bike shops in Bremen. 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).

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Eat

Several cafes and restaurants line the "Schlachte" along the Weser river while other popular areas are the marketplace and the "Viertel" ("quarter") east of the Kunsthalle. 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)

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Drink

The world-wide known Beck's Beer is brewed in Bremen. Guided brewery tours in English and German are offered Thursdays - Saturdays. The tour costs €10.50/person and lasts approximately 2 hours.

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.

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Sleep

Upscale

View our map of accommodation in Bremen or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Work

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes (rates €1.50 to €5 per hour) are starting to become less common due to widespread offers of free wifi by shops, restaurants or cafes. Sometimes it requires minimum consumption but usually it's free within the premises. Phone shops will often offer internet access, too. In general hotels offer internet access. In several cities, projects exist to provide free "community" hotspots for wireless networking. Passenger lounges at some airports and central railway stations also provide internet access to their customers.

Several pre-paid SIMs allow Internet access for a monthly flat fee, for example those available at Tchibo coffee stores (o2 network, €10/month limited to 500 MB, €20/month for 5 GB) or Aldi (E-Plus network). A regular O2 sim card, which can be used for calls and text messages, is €15 and another €15 buys 1GB of data valid for 1 month. Vodafone offers a prepaid sim card for €25 which includes €22.5 of credit, out of which you can get 300 MB of data for 2 days for €15 and be left with €7.5 of credit.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international call prefix in Germany is 00. To dial out of Germany, dial 00, followed by country code, area code, and the telephone number (for example 00 44 1234 567890). If you're using a mobile phone, simply add the plus sign "+" before the country code to call out of Germany (for example +44 1234 567890). The general emergency number is 112 and the additional number for less emergent issues for police is 110.

Mobile phone coverage on the four networks (T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and o2) is excellent across the whole country. UMTS (3G data and HSDPA) and EDGE is also available. UMTS is still somewhat limited to urban areas. All mobile providers use GSM technology on the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency ranges. If you stay for a longer period of time, consider buying a prepaid phone card from one of the mobile phone companies; you won't have trouble finding a T-Mobile (in a "T-Punkt"), Vodafone, E-Plus or O2 store in any major shopping area. In most supermarket chains (for example ALDI), there are prepaid SIM cards from their own virtual providers available. These are normally quite cheap to buy, but expensive for international calls (around €1–2/min), but incoming calls are always free and SMS cost around €0.09–0.19. They are available at: Aldi, Lidl, Penny, Netto, Tchibo, Rewe, toom. A registration via Internet or (expensive) phone call is necessary after buying to activate the SIM card.

The cheapest way to call abroad from Germany is to use the internet cafés run by immigrants. They sell special calling cards that give the best rate to certain countries as well as offer cheap international calls from phone booths. It is also the cheapest way to call landlines in Germany.

Post

Germany's postal system is very efficient, their logistics branch DHL is one of the best companies in this field world-wide, with domestic post or within a radius of 400 kilometres, send within a day. The website of Deutsche Post has an online calculator for postage fees as well as a post office finder. Stamps are available at post offices and sometimes at newsagents or shops selling postcards. Also stamp vending machines can be found at a lot of places around the cities. You can purchase every stamp you need from this machines. They are unique as they accept every coin from 1 cent to 2 euro but change is only given in stamps. It costs about €40 to send a small package to Australia and €1.70 to send an old-fashioned letter to any place in the world outside of Europe. Within Germany, sending postcards costs €0.45 and standard letters €0.55, within Europe it is €0.65 for a postcard, standard letters to places in Europe cost €0.75. Outside Europe, the prices for sending a postcard or standard letter are €1 and €1.70 respectively. Although you will find the old post offices (mainly in the city centre), most of the smaller neighbourhood post offices are part of a small tobacco shop or grocery store. For larger package, you might consider competitive private companies like UPS, DHL or TNT.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 53.074981
  • Longitude: 8.807081

Accommodation in Bremen

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Contributors

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