Singles/couples: Historical Bremen
Kick-start your tour of historical Bremen by visiting the over 600-year old town hall. The building, with its magnificent Weser Renaissance facade, is listed together with the Roland statue in front of it as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Guided tours inside the town hall can be taken on most days and a highlight is the upper hall, with its majestic model ships preserved for posterity in the seas of time. The Mayor of Bremen still has his offices next to the hall.
Public tours always commence at 11am, but tickets must be booked in advance at the Tourist Information office just outside the building. You can also take this opportunity to purchase tickets for the two-hour guided walk around the city departing at 2pm every day.
If you're not taking a tour of the town hall, find yourself a sunny spot outside one of the cafés (or inside in the winter months) and admire the stunning surroundings over a relaxing coffee: from the historical Schütting guildhall to the reconstructed merchants' houses and mighty St. Peter's Cathedral.
After your coffee, it's well worth checking out the cathedral's remarkable lead cellar, where actual mummies are on show. This ghoulish attraction dates back to the 17th century and is open to visitors from April to the end of October (though only from 12 noon on Sundays). For an added shiver factor, see if you can spot the paving stone opposite the cathedral's north-side portal. It is known as the 'spitting stone' and marks the spot where notorious mass-murderess Gesche Gottfried was executed in 1831.
Time for lunch – and where better to eat in style than in the historical Ratskeller under the town hall, with its enormous, ancient wine barrels? The Ratskeller not only offers the largest choice of German wines in this part of the world, but also a selection of delicious food.
Now wend your way past the Schütting guildhall and under the golden relief of St. Michael slaying the dragon that marks the entrance to Böttcherstrasse. This street, an architectural ensemble created at the beginning of the 20th century by Ludwig Roselius, founder of Café HAG, is an example of Brick Expressionism and a treat for eagle-eyed visitors, with plenty of fascinating details to spot.
Why not take a look inside one of Böttcherstrasse's museums? The Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum offers an interesting insight into a pioneer of contemporary painting, and was the first museum in the world to be devoted solely to a female artist. The Roselius Haus Museum displays artworks from the Middle Ages to the baroque period, together with objects showing how people used to live – and a real silver treasure collection. You will also find a wide selection of unusual souvenirs in the many arts and crafts shops.
Make sure not to miss the chimes when the carillon with its 30 bells of Meissen porcelain strikes the hour at 3pm.
Keep on going into Bremen's oldest district, the inimitable Schnoor quarter, full of colour and vitality, where row upon row of artisans' cottages huddle together like beads on a string (schnur in German). Take some time out to browse and sample the local delights: coffee and crafts, trinkets and souvenirs. The Schnoor's narrow lanes are a stroller's paradise – and what's more, plenty of locals still come here too.
The Schnoor quarter is also a great place for an evening meal, with plenty of traditional bars and eateries.
If you love music, then a concert at Die Glocke is the perfect evening's entertainment. Built in 1928 and considered by experts to be one of the best concert halls in the world, the venue hosts a variety of concerts and other events. Fancy a look at the current programme? Tickets can be booked on this website through the Bremer Touristik-Zentrale, or by calling +49 (0)1805 10 10 30 (€0.14 per min. from German landlines, max. €0.42 per min. from German mobiles).
When planning your visit, be aware that many museums and other attractions close for one day during the week (usually Monday).