Bremer Rathaus (Bremen town hall)

The free Hanseatic City of Bremen is a city in northern Germany with a major port on the River Weser. The population is 548,000. It is also the name of one of the states of Germany which consists of two separated enclaves on the River Weser.




Bremen was once a member of the medieval Hanseatic League and is still one of the most important cities in northern Germany. Together with the city of Bremerhaven on the North Sea it forms Germany's smallest state. Bremen has more than 1200 years of history, and was, for most of its existence, an independent city-state.

Bremer Stadtmusikanten

Bremen Town Musicians by Gerhard Marcks

The Bremer Stadtmusikanten (Town Musicians of Bremen) perhaps the most well known figures associated with Bremen are characters from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same name. Their image adorns many of the souvenirs in the city. Next to the Town Hall is a much photographed statue of them.


Bremen is a rather long and narrow city, lining both sides of the river Weser. Along the north-west/south-east axis it stretches about 10 km, but across only 2 km. The entire city is located on flat plains.

Get in

By plane

Bremen airport (IATA: BRE) is located in the south-west of the town and mostly caters to low-fare and holiday flights. The low-fare carrier Ryanair offers by far the most connections, spread all over Europe but with stronger focus on the Mediterranean (especially holiday destinations) and countries around the Baltic Sea. Apart from Ryanair and holiday specialists, there are a few high-fare business-oriented flights to specific destinations (like Toulouse, serving Airbus Group who has facilities in both cities), and feeder flights to major hub airports operated by flag carriers.

If you want a smooth intercontinental connection to Bremen, your best bet is to fly with Star Alliance or SkyTeam. Star Alliance founder Lufthansa flies from Bremen to their hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, sister airline Germanwings to Stuttgart, while other alliance member Scandinavian Airlines flies to Copenhagen and Turkish Airlines to Istanbul. SkyTeam's founders Air France-KLM fly to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Amsterdam-Schiphol. You can connect to the alliances' vast networks of intercontinental - as well as European - connections there. If you are cost conscious, it might work out cheaper to forgo the domestic flight on the last leg and use an air rail alliance such as rail&fly instead. Though thanks to the quirky nature of airline pricing, the exact opposite may be the case.

By train

Hauptbahnhof portal (central station)

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 bus

There is a direct bus link from Bremen to Groningen (NL) with prices between €9 and €23 one-way, depending on when you travel and when you book. Buses leave from near Bremen Central bus station (Bus stop 6, next to the train station), Hugo-Schauinsland-Platz. Eurolines has connection between Bremen and lots of other cities in Europe

Several domestic bus lines connect Bremen to the rest of 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.

Get around

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 Shared Car

Members of the Cambio car-sharing network, whether in Germany or Belgium, can hire cars - Bremen is the company's headquarters.

By train

In the west lie the cities Delmenhorst and Oldenburg and the Frisian islands. In the east you can travel to Verden, in the south to Osnabrück. There are trains from the main station to the peripheral areas of Bremen (2 times per hour to North Bremen, to Mahndorf via Sebaldsbrück and to Hemelingen. See for more information).

By bus/tram

Bremen offers an intensive public transportation network with trams and buses. For public transportation timetables and ticket fares see (English). 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 (2013). 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. You can find the map of the tram lines here .

By taxi

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. Taxi-Ruf has a smartphone app (which can be used to order a taxi) available for iPhone and Android.

By bike

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


Statue Roland
The historic center around the Altmarkt (old market), including the famous "Roland" statue.
Schnoor 36 / Wüstestätte 6, view to north-ost
Speicher XI in the Überseestadt




The monthly free event magazine MIX has hosts an event calendar online (German only) .





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)



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.





Go next

These are all accessible by rail; the Niedersachsen ticket is cost effective for a day trip.

Routes through Bremen

Cuxhaven Bremerhaven  N  S  Verden Walsrode

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, January 29, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.