Bremen for the young at heart
Discovering the city at a leisurely pace
Bremen is a compact city that's easy to get around, so even older visitors and those with restricted mobility can enjoy the many things to see and do. The historical quarters and beautiful buildings in the city centre can be comfortably reached on foot, as can the Schlachte promenade along the Weser and many of the city's museums. The 'Barrier-free Bremen' brochure is also available to help disabled people find their way around.
Bremen market square with its magnificent Renaissance town hall and Roland statue is the best starting point from which to discover the main streets and squares. There is a guided tour every day at 2pm starting at the Tourist Information office. If you prefer the more high-tech alternative, you can hire a user-friendly MP3 player and follow the audio guide tour at your own pace. It provides a wealth of information on the city's history and sights.
Alternatively, you can discover the city centre in the comfort of an eco-friendly, open-sided electric minibus from April to October. This electrically powered vehicle is small, quiet and highly manoeuvrable. And it's allowed to do much more than its conventionally powered big brother – such as driving along the Schlachte Embankment or to the market square. There is a running commentary via a PA system telling you all about the city and its attractions as you drive past them.
Very near the market square, a golden dragon slayer keeps a watchful eye over the buildings on Böttcherstrasse. The ensemble here is a work of art in itself and was created by Ludwig Roselius, the founder of the Café HAG company. The Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum on Böttcherstrasse presents the work of a pioneer of modern painting.
Also quick to reach is Bremen's oldest quarter, the Schnoor, where pretty little artisan shops in houses from the 15th and 16th century are lined up as if on a string (or Schnur in German).
Fancy a trip on the water? The port tour starts at the old merchant's church of St. Martin opposite Böttcherstrasse. It goes downriver towards the dockland where wood, coal and container loads of coffee are handled.
The old docklands, which are now being transformed into the modern Überseestadt district, are home to Speicher XI, a 400-metre-long historical brick-brick warehouse. Speicher XI is also where you'll find the Dockland Museum, which sheds light on the working conditions in bygone days.
Bremen's history as a maritime trading port also forms the basis of the exhibition at the Ethnological Museum. You can take a tour around the globe in 80 minutes: discover a variety of new worlds with everything from African art, exotic flora and fauna and gold from the Americas. The museum, which is within easy reach of the train station, also presents compelling special exhibitions. No less fascinating are the themed afternoons for senior citizens in the Science Center at Universum Bremen, which look at everyday questions from a scientific viewpoint.
A magnificent flowering shrub from Asia and North America that dominates the gardens of northern Germany like no other: the rhododendron. Bremen's Rhododendron Park opened back in the 1930s. During peak flowering time in the spring, more than 2,500 rhododendron and azalea varieties transform the 46 hectare site into a sea of colour.
Another colourful event is the traditional Music Show of the Nations at the Bürgerweide. Held over four days, it features marching bands, orchestras, singers and dance groups from several continents and is a musical celebration of different cultures. The show culminates in a spectacular finale featuring all the performers. It is Europe's largest brass band festival and takes place every year in January.