I recently went on a 48 hours trip to Bremen, in Germany. It is probably not a place you have heard of but many hidden treasures in the city have had local and international impact. If I told you Bremen is home to the famous Becks beer, it is also home to the oldest wine in all of Germany and home to one of the finest UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I think you start so far putting Bremen on the map… Well, honestly, before visiting, I never heard of Bremen. But I am lucky to find cheap flights from London. So I booked my ticket and literally went on a treasure hunt!
My first surprise was on arrival. The airport is inside the city, something I have never seen before. I just went out of the airport gate and found a residential area, a tram line, offices, restaurants… I was already in Bremen! So convenient and stress-free. I took the tram towards the Old Town which only takes 11 minutes to reach. It even felt less than that as I was looking from the window and enjoying the city already. I got off at Domsheide. And I already spotted my hotel. It has an amazing location at the very heart of the Old Town.
I stayed at the fabulous Radisson Blu Hotel, Bremen. It is surely one of the best stays I ever had simply because it was trouble-free, service was so perfect with a great attention to details and the mix of German quality standards blending with the chain’s brand image was just well balanced.
The hotel has been recently renovated so it’s much more updated and fresh. The atmosphere at the lobby is very relaxed, it has a big area to sit back and enjoy a drink at the bar or have a big burger for dinner.
I stayed in a Business Class room, it had a very comfy bed with great pillows! The room had all the standard things: desk, TV, mini bar,.. etc. I also enjoyed the hi-tech speakers as I played my own music from my iPhone which was specific to the Business Class room. In addition to bathrobe and slippers, Nespresso coffee machine, daily newspaper and a complimentary Super Breakfast Buffet. All treats of the Business Class.
The morning breakfast is very rich with many choices. Thanks to the buffet. I like how nutritionally balanced the choice on food is.
Moreover, one of my highlights from Radisson Blu Hotel, Bremen is The Himmelssaal, which is a room made for weddings and special ceremonies. It is not a church but it looks like it. It has blue and white tiles which resonates very well and makes this place a unique and historic event space. It also feels very relaxing and peaceful inside.
Right outside Radisson Blu Hotel, Bremen, there is the Böttcherstraße – literally an open-air museum. I have never seen such thing before so that was a huge surprise. The area is not big but the concept stands out very well. The architecture in this street is inspired by Expressionist style.
I could just walk around and enjoy some really cool things like the carillon consisting of 30 Meissen porcelain bells. My little trail around Böttcherstraße took me to another world, to the historic centre as they are closely connected, the area is home to many interesting treasures… One next to the other.
Well, firstly it is easy to notice the Knight Roland Statue which is included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the nearby Rathaus, the Town Hall. I did a tour of the town hall and it is clearly one of the finest historic buildings I have ever seen in Europe!
Right underneath the Town Hall there is the Raksteller, a historic restaurant and wine cellar. It has an impressive collection of German wines including the oldest wine in the country! That’s surely a treasure. The Queen of England tried it… I’m not lucky enough to have a taste of the oldest German wine but I was very fortunate to have a very traditional lunch at the restaurant. Food is pretty amazing and prices don’t seem to be very high considering the historical place and the quality of food and service.
Right outside stands the historical 1200 years old Cathedral St Peter which dominates the historical town with its towers and stunning facade. I had a walk around the Old Town and found the superstars of the city… I knew them before but I never thought they were from Bremen. These are the Town Musicians of Bremen. They are fairy tale animals known from Grimms popular stories. There is a historic bronze statue erected in 1953. It is easy to notice that the front hooves are shiny, that’s because visitors touch them to make their wishes come true. I did that! But I was advised by locals to touch with both hands so that wishes really come true.
One other famous thing from Bremen is the Becks Brewery Factory. It is possible to take tours around the factory and learn so much about beer. I don’t like drinking beer but I still showed up to the tour and did not regret it at all. Well, the tour guide found it weird that I was very enthusiastic about the tour despite me not drinking beer. He was really kind to show me around. The tour reveals some great insights on ingredients, fermentation, storage and much more. The end of the tour is a beer tasting à la german: Prost!
Further discoveries in Bremen were The Quarter and Schnoor, two distinct neighbourhoods of Bremen but with their own specific original touch.
Let’s start with The Quarter. It is a bit of “Berlin” inside Bremen. Indeed, this place is where young people party. It’s where it is possible to spot two graffitis per street, have a drink at a trendy hipster bar and have rather cheap and affordable tasty Turkish kebab. I enjoyed hanging out there and I enjoyed the freshness it brings to the rest of the city.
Likewise, Schnoor is another hidden gem. It is without any doubt the most surprising experience I had in Bremen. It is something the city should be proud of. I enjoyed walking by the colourful houses on the tiny little lanes twirling like pearls on a string. It is home to many shops and restaurants, with many being unique. So no chains, just local products and local brands. Many tourists like to hang around there and I understand why. But also local people enjoy this part of the city. It is a delight to walk there!
I had a great time exploring Bremen during my 48 hours visit. I have discovered many little treasures which I did not expect finding in a city of the size of Bremen. It is surely a small city and a hidden gem in Germany.
Disclaimer: This trip was sponsored by Bremen Tourism. I appreciate their considerable support on my trip but all views on this article are my own.