Singles/couples: Buzzing Bremen
Shopping with a view: after breakfast, make your way to the city centre. The shopping streets around the market square, with its UNESCO-listed town hall and Roland statue, are fairly buzzing with life. A host of fashion boutiques, shoe and jewellery shops and many other outlets are waiting to be discovered. If you are interested in handicrafts and pretty souvenirs, head towards Böttcherstrasse and seize the chance to mix shopping with culture. This narrow lane just below the market square – considered an expressionist piece of art in itself – is one of Bremen's foremost attractions. Why not break up the morning with a short tour of Bremen in our electric minibus? (Tickets available from the market square Tourist Information office on the corner of Obernstrasse.) It's a great way to find out about all the city centre sights.
After lunch, you could take a trip to the Viertel (the 'quarter'), as locals call this up-and-coming part of the city. At its heart lies the Sielwallkreuzung junction with its many bars on each corner. There are a lot of interesting shops in this district, but it's also quite fun just to stroll through the streets looking at the locals and their frequently fabulous front gardens.
If you are visiting Bremen in February, you should, at about this time of day, also be able to hear the drumming of the samba groups for the annual carnival.
A few minutes' walk will bring you to the Osterdeich embankment, where you can take a ferry across the Weser. The Sand am Weserstrand café on the opposite shore is a great spot to catch your breath over a coffee.
Walk along the river until you reach the edge of the old town, marked by the Martinistrasse/Tiefer crossroads. If you follow the right-hand side of the street for a few more yards you will enter the Schnoor, Bremen's oldest quarter. This is a charming part of the city, with plenty of pretty little shops to browse.
Seeing out the summer evenings down on the Schlachte Embankment is pretty much a must for visitors to Bremen. The medley of bars and eateries serve food and drink under starry skies whilst the harbour boats bob gently by the riverbank. It's well worth buying a ticket to the opening ceremony of Bremen Music Festival in late August/early September. The Eine kleine Nachtmusik event is chance to experience three different concerts around the atmospherically lit market square. A popular attraction in October is the Freimarkt fair – Germany's biggest volksfest – which takes place on the Bürgerweide grounds behind Bremen's main train station. And the exhibition halls there play host to the six-day cycle event in January: an opportunity to enjoy cycling sport at its finest as well as a variety of other entertainment.
When planning your visit, be aware that many museums and other attractions close for one day during the week (usually Monday).