It is famous for tourist attractions such as the town hall and Roland statue (which together have UNESCO World Heritage status) and the much-loved statue of the Bremen Town Musicians. It is also popular for its knowledge worlds and interactive museums, its wide variety of cultural festivals and its jam-packed calendar of musical and sporting highlights. But that's not all: Bremen is also a global leader for business and research.
Discover Bremen's historical architecture and Hanseatic heritage
The grand old buildings in the 1,200-year-old city of Bremen attest to its rich history as a Hanseatic power. Bremen's historical centre is impressive not only for its architecture but also for the stories behind the buildings: the UNESCO-World Heritage town hall with its magnificent Weser Renaissance facade, the mighty Roland statue (part of the same World Heritage ensemble), which has stood watch over the city as an emblem of independence for more than six centuries, and the Schütting, a former merchants' guildhall that is now the seat of the chamber of commerce. History comes to life in Bremen's old quarter. The same can be said of Böttcherstrasse, a must-see attraction on any tour of the city. Linking the market square and the Weser river, this street is a work of art that reflects a rich tradition of crafts and trades and fuses Expressionism, art nouveau and brick-built architecture. Bremen's oldest quarter, the Schnoor, owes its name to the string (schnur in German) of pretty little houses that line its narrow lanes. And if you're looking for a romantic place to stay, the Schnoor quarter is home to probably the smallest hotel in the world.
Another piece in the historical jigsaw is the Brothers Grimm fairytale about a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster who set off on a journey to Bremen to seek their fortune. The story of the Bremen Town Musicians lives on today in the form of a bronze statue by Gerhard Marcks on the market square. It is said that if you rub the legs of the donkey, your wish will come true.
Seafaring tradition, the Schlachte embankment and Bremen's parks
Flowing through the heart of Bremen is the Weser river: an old trading route that was the driving force behind the city's emergence as a proud Hanseatic centre. Bremen's seafaring traditions are still alive and well today and have a big part to play in its unique tourist appeal. The Schlachte Embankment is lined with beer gardens, restaurants and restaurant boats, and is the starting point for cruises up and down the river. Along the Maritime Mile in the north of Bremen, you can still discover much about the city's shipbuilding and seafaring heritage.
Bremen is a verdant city characterised by countless parks, dykes and conservation areas. Its unique urban oases include Rhododendron Park, the beautiful Bürgerpark with its idyllic spots and secluded corners, and Wallanlagen Park, which winds its way around the city centre like a ribbon of green. Bremen is a great city for cycling, offering picturesque cycle paths along the river Weser and through the rural Blockland region.
Innovation and future-oriented technologies put Bremen at the forefront of science and business
In Bremen, knowledge is presented in a fun and engaging way, striking the perfect balance between education and entertainment. Whether it's at interactive museums such as Universum Bremen, the Spicarium or the acclaimed Ethnological Museum, or at horticultural gems such as botanika. Bremen is a top destination for business and research, and a leading centre for the aerospace industry. Here you'll find companies such as Airbus Defence & Space as well as the latest technology emerging from the automotive industry. Everything is possible here: from a space-themed guided tour to a tour of the Mercedes-Benz factory, one of Europe's most modern car plants.
The new Überseestadt quarter in the old docklands is representative of the innovative changes that are taking place in the city: a modern district is being created here, bringing together industry, services and start-ups. It is also home to museums, restaurants, hotels, leisure facilities and cultural institutions.
Lively urban culture popular with locals and visitors alike
Culture, sport, music and open-air entertainment it is well worth visiting Bremen for the events alone. The Freimarkt fair, Germany's oldest and third-largest volksfest, and the international Sixdays cycling spectacular are traditional fixtures in Bremen's calendar of events. Summer highlights for music fans include the Bremen Music Festival, with its line-up of renowned artists from Germany and abroad, and Summer in Lesmona in Knoops Park, featuring the internationally acclaimed German Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of Bremen. The colourful Breminale open-air festival with concerts, creative performances and great food and drink makes for a lively summer spectacle on the banks of the Weser.
Rounding off the city's cultural and artistic offerings are the Samba Carnival, the La Strada Street Arts Festival and an eclectic theatre scene that includes the acclaimed Bremen Theatre and the GOP variety stage as well as cabaret and crime theatre. The Bremen Kunsthalle and the Weserburg Museum, one of Germany's largest museums of modern art, join the extensive list of cultural highlights in this amazing city. And at the end of the year, when the evenings start to draw in, thousands of lights bathe the city in a festive glow. Bremen's Christmas market is set against the historical backdrop of the market square, and is accompanied by a second Christmas market, the Schlachte-Zauber on the banks of the Weser. Visit Bremen for an experience to remember.