Events

Art and culture, entertainment and festivals, sports events, trade fairs, and much more besides: the bremen.eu website features all the top events and an up-to-date events calendar.

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Gruß vom Bremer Freimarkt

Freimarkt funfair

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Europe’s largest samba carnival? Germany’s only festival of maritime music? A fair that dates back almost 1,000 years, and which now attracts more than four million visitors annually? Yes, yes and yes again! All this and more awaits you in Bremen.

We hope this overview will whet your appetite for the typical Bremen events that are held in the Hanseatic city every year. The dates for this year and other highlights in the calendar – from the Craft Beer Festival and the Wine Festival to the Vegesack Harbour Festival and one-off exhibitions – can be found at bremen.eu.

January

The ice wager is a curious Bremen tradition dating back to 1829. Although the Weser hasn't iced over for many years, on 6 January the Three Wise Men and a 'tailor' still meet on the dike to check if the river is frozen. The tailor is then dispatched, carrying a hot iron, to see if he can reach the other side without getting his feet wet. Nowadays a dinghy waits by the riverbank to ferry the tailor across the water, keeping him bone dry of course, whilst a larger rescue vessel guards the middle of the river. During the celebrations, donations are collected for the German Maritime Rescue Service, raising over 450,000 euros every year. This outdoor reenactment with satirical speeches always draws lots of spectators to the riverside embankment.

This annual cycling spectacular, Germany's biggest six-day race, takes place early in the year in the ÖVB Arena. More than 24 professional cyclists including Olympic champions, world champions and European champions compete on the cycle track in over 20 disciplines to secure a podium place. It's a fun festival as well as a great sporting occasion, with live music, parties and international refreshments to enjoy between the contests.

February

In February, Germany's biggest samba carnival bursts into life in the centre of Bremen. It's an extravaganza of dazzling colours, flamboyant costumes, fanciful masks, amazing stilt walkers and pulsating drum rhythms. The real highlight is the grand parade of all the samba groups, as a sea of people, drums and exotic costumes thrusts its way from the market square to the bohemian Steintor quarter.

Echte Oldtimer, rollende Klassiker, seltene Ersatzteile, praktische Werkzeuge und eine Menge Zubehör für zwei- oder vierrädrige Liebhaberstücke. Diese Worte lassen die Herzen aller Liebhaber klassischer Automobile und Motorräder höher schlagen. Zum Jahresbeginn fällt in der Hansestadt mit der Bremen Classic Motorshow der feierliche Startschuss zur neuen Oldtimer-Saison.

March

The Osterwiese is a fun-filled, action-packed spring fair at Bürgerweide. People of all ages are whirled through the air, food from around the world creates a party buzz and almost 100 stalls, booths and rides offer the time of your life. You can nibble on goodies such as schmalzkuchen doughnuts, ride on the big wheel or the dodgems, or end up winning big prizes.

April

Jazzahead! at Bremen Conference Centre draws music lovers from around the world with a high-quality, diverse jazz programme that has put this event firmly on Germany's cultural map. It's a unique combination of a festival, a trade show, a conference and a symposium, attracting music lovers and trade visitors from Germany, all over Europe and overseas.

Rund 50 Markthändler entlang der Uferpromenade „Schlachte“ freuen sich beim Kajenmarkt jedes Jahr wieder auf sympathisches Stammpublikum sowie auf Gäste von nah und fern. Begleitet von schwungvoller Live-Musik  machen die Verkäufer an ihren vollgepackten Ständen freche Sprüche und die Bremer Gastronomie sorgt mit typisch nordischem, aber manchmal auch exotischen Angebot für das leibliche Wohl der Besucher.

May

The international literature festival Poetry on the Road has been a firm fixture in Bremen's cultural calendar for over ten years. Taking place in May every year, it specialises in contemporary poetry and has become one of Germany's most important literary events.

On the last Saturday in May each year, Bremen's museums and galleries stay open late for Museums Night, with many of them welcoming visitors from 6pm to 1am. As well as information about permanent and temporary exhibitions, there's always an entertaining programme of events and activities. During this seven-hour marathon, the museums and galleries offer guided tours, music, plays, readings, food and lots of activities for everyone.

Jeden Sonntag zwischen Mai und Oktober erobern Esel, Hund, Katze und Hahn beim Stadtmusikantenspiel die Bremer Innenstadt. Bei dem kostenlosen Theaterstück erzählen die berühmten Musiker, diesmal als Schauspieler formiert, ihre weltbekannte Geschichte. Die Aufführung beginnt um 12 Uhr und dauert eine gute halbe Stunde. Dabei werden Jung und Alt, Klein und Groß gleichermaßen begeistert. Ausländische Gäste werden eingangs sogar in Landessprache begrüßt. Live und lebensgroß spielt das Quartett auf einer fahrbaren Bühne, die an die Zeit der Gaukler und Spielleute erinnert.

June

t the international street circus festival LA STRADA, established artists and little-known new-comers demonstrate their many talents – performing in the fresh air, generating a happy summer mood and entertaining spectators free of charge. LA STRADA offers something for everyone: light, breezy entertainment, stimulating plays, acrobatic shows and fun for all the family.

Besonders stolz sind die Bremer auf ihr über 600 Jahre altes Rathaus. Seine Einzigartigkeit bestätigte 2004 das Welterbekomitee der UNESCO. „Das Rathaus und der Roland zu Bremen sind ein einzigartiges Zeugnis für die bürgerliche Autonomie und Souveränität, wie diese sich im Heiligen Römischen Reich entwickelten“, heißt es in dem Gutachten, das der Entscheidung zugrunde liegt. Darin wird für das Rathaus „die herausragende Form der Architektur der späten Renaissance in Norddeutschland, die so genannte Weser-Renaissance“ ausdrücklich gewürdigt. Zum Welterbetag öffnet das traditionsreiche Gebäude seine Türen für Besucher und bietet kostenlose Führungen.

July

The Breminale arts festival is held at the fairground on the Weser riverbank. It lasts five days and offers a programme of live music in circus tents, outdoor art, jugglers and entertainers, inventive children's games, theatre, dance and poetry readings, as well as gorgeous food. Around 100 bands and performers entertain live and free of charge.

August

International sea shanty stars gather every summer at the Maritime Festival in Vegesack, in the north of Bremen, for an outdoor event that is unique in Germany. Around 30 bands and choirs perform more than 150 concerts featuring traditional shanties, modern rock and Celtic folk music. The festival programme also includes exhibitions by well-known artists, the traditional cutter rowing, water and light installations at the harbour and a grand firework display.

Every year, Knoops Park on the little river Lesum in northern Bremen becomes the enchanting setting for the open-air Summer in Lesmona festival featuring the German Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of Bremen. Distinguished soloists and the full orchestra offer exquisite musical treats in an idyllic atmosphere. This three-day concert event is perfect for picnicking to music in a scenic setting.

Every year in August, Bremen Shakespeare Company performs Shakespeare in the Park, an outdoor tapestry of burning passions, broken vows, romantic longing and betrayed friendships. Seeing the bard's plays in the Bürgerpark is always a magical experience, for this green expanse in the city centre creates the perfect romantic backdrop – a worthy setting for works by the father of English literature.

September

Bremen Music Festival explores music's vast emotional spectrum, close up and from every angle, with 35 events in 16 venues in a total of 26 locations. This leading classical music festival offers a packed programme, with dazzling performances by renowned musicians who offer stirring journeys across the centuries, genres and continents – in Bremen, Bremerhaven and selected venues in north-west Germany. The opening night, which is fittingly titled Eine große Nachtmusik, presents a foretaste of the festival's variety, with musicians from around the world playing 24 concerts in eight venues around Bremen's beautifully illuminated market square.

Die „Maritime Woche an der Weser“  macht die Bremer See- und Schifffahrtstradition auch für Landratten erlebbar. Mit Vorträgen und Lesungen auf Schiffen am Weserufer, Filmvorführungen, dem maritimen Markt, „Open Ship“ und Kutterpullen wird das Festival am Schlachte-Ufer zu einer großen Bummel- und Erlebnismeile.

October

Every year, Germany's oldest and third biggest public festival attracts over four million visitors to the Bürgerweide near Bremen's old quarter. Always held in the latter half of October, the Bremen Freimarkt has more rides than any other German fair, with in excess of 300 attractions offering non-stop entertainment across the 100,000m² fairground. There's also a quieter mini-Freimarkt on the market square, with piping hot doughnuts, roasted almonds and tasty liquorice set out on traditional-style stands.

Zehn Kilometer, Halbmarathon oder Marathon: Welche Distanz darf's sein? Egal, wie lang die Strecke ist: Alle Läufe des Bremen-Marathons in Bremen beginnen und enden stimmungsvoll in Bremens guter Stube direkt am Rathaus und Roland. Mehr als 7.000 Teilnehmern starten jährlich zum Bremer Laufsportereignis des Jahres.

November-Dezember

remen's atmospheric Christmas market, with over 170 festively decorated stalls, is set around the UNESCO-listed town hall and Roland statue. It is said to be among the prettiest Christmas markets in the country, perfectly combining a historical backdrop with romantic Christmas lights and lovingly adorned booths. There's also the Schlachte-Zauber market, which lights up the Weser embankment with its historical, seasonal and maritime-themed attractions. Here it's like stepping back in time. In among the flickering wood fires and torches, spice sellers, blacksmiths and bone carvers display their wares.

 

All the information is available on the bremen.eu website.