Bremen, Germany, in a nutshell
Bremen is called ‘Freie Hansestadt Bremen’ which can be translated as ‘Free Hanseatic City of Bremen’. It looks back on a ca. 1200 year history and was always concerned to stay an independent city. So, still today, it is one of the 16 German states.
Bremen is located in north-western Germany and situated along the Weser River, a major commercial waterway in Germany connecting the North Sea with the inland.
Bremen is situated 60 km (36 mi) south of the river delta (mouth of the North Sea) and is one of the major port cities in Germany. It’s sister city is Bremerhaven which is located north of Bremen directly at the North Sea is the seaport city and belongs to the state of Bremen.
Enchanting Bremen – Historic Places, Fairytale Feel, Maritime Charm, and Boutique Shopping
As well as a cosmopolitan feel with numerous shops with handcrafted toys, speciality teas, boutiques and trendy stores in historical settings. Bremen’s attractions include the ornate Weser Renaissance town hall (UNESCO World Heritage), the Schnoor – Bremen’s oldest quarter, the quaint buildings in Boettcherstrasse, the cathedral and the statue of Roland on the historical market square. The Roland, Bremen’s very own ‘statue of liberty’, has stood as an emblem of independence since 1404.
A tour of the most notable sights does not even require a map, as 2,000 brass and steel studs guide visitors from Liebfrauenkirchhof to Boettcherstrasse via the market square and the Schnoor quarter. The route starts with one of the city’s most recognized landmarks.
Between the town hall and the Church of Our Lady stands the bronze statue of the Bremen Town Musicians. The fairytale about these intrepid animals is known around the world. Since being popularized by the Brothers Grimm it is as closely associated with Bremen as the town hall and the Roland statue. It’s said to bring luck touching the donkey’s legs, and anyone who does so is granted a wish. But it has to be done properly. The donkey’s legs must be rubbed lightly with both hands; otherwise the wish is just wishful thinking. As far as the locals are concerned, the incorrect version using only one hand is simply a case of two donkeys shaking hands.
Also on the western side of the town hall, just a stone’s throw from the Bremen Town Musicians, is the entrance to the oldest wine cellar in Germany – the Ratskeller, where people have enjoyed fine wine and good food since 1409. It is the largest repository of German wines with 650 exquisite varieties.
This large vaulted hall has welcomed plenty of famous characters among its columns and ornate wine barrels.
At the heart of Bremen’s city center lies the Schlachte Embankment, a magnet for locals and visitors alike. They flock to this famous promenade straddling the Weser river to eat in international restaurants, to admire the ships or simply to stroll along by the water. It’s the perfect place to relax. Outdoor seating for some 2,000 people and a distinct maritime flair draw almost two million people to the Schlachte every year.
MORE: see our article: Bremen Sightseeing
Bremen Data, Visitor Info & Getting Around
Independent federal state within the Federal Republic of Germany comprising the two major urban centres of Bremen and Bremerhaven. As a two-city state covering 400 square kilometres, it is the smallest of Germany’s 16 Länder. The population is 663,129, of which 544,853 live in Bremen and 118,276 in Bremerhaven. It is Germany’s second most important centre for foreign trade.
History: 1,200 years old, early centre of Christian missionary work in north and north-east Europe, significant role among the Hanseatic cities of the Middle Ages, a city-republic which has evolved over the centuries as a trading metropolis shaped by merchants (patricians).
(Source: Official Website of the City of Bremen; bremen.de)
Ca. 570,000 (plus ca. 115,000 in Bremerhaven)
Bremen Airport: https://www.bremen-airport.com/en/
VBN – Verkehrsverbund Bremen / Niedersachsen: https://www.vbn.de/
Tourism Office (in German: ‘Fremdenverkehrsamt’)
- Obernstrasse / Liebfrauenkirchhof
- Main train station