Bremen for families
The Bremen Town Musicians, pirate ships and a house of history
You are said to have good luck if you rub the legs of the donkey – we do, of course, mean the donkey which forms part of the Bremen Town Musicians statue outside the town hall. If you rub the donkey's legs with both hands, you are granted a wish. If you don't, it's simply a case of two donkeys shaking hands, as far as the locals are concerned! A tradition worth knowing! Bremen is the city of the donkey, dog, cat and rooster from the Bremen Town Musicians by the Brothers Grimm and it is also the start of the German Fairytale Route. Even fairytale fans from the Far East make the long journey here to see the statue of the famous quartet.
Bremen is a place of fairytales. And so much more besides: at the heart of the city, all the family can experience thrilling adventures by the water or visit fascinating museums and discovery centres. Bremen is a city of countless opportunities. It is also a compact city with many parks, making it perfect for little legs and long breaks.
When you're in Bremen, you are bound to encounter the Bremen Town Musicians in one form or other. They are the stars of the show when the fairytale is performed on cathedral square. They also appear in various guises during the children's tour, which takes place straight after the performance every Sunday (from April to October). Bremen's favourite fairytale animals also play a part in the town rally quiz (for children) and the guided night-time walk in the Bürgerpark. Even the 'Hole of Bremen' (Bremer Loch), an underground donation box, is associated with the Town Musicians.
History buffs will be in their element at the House of History in the Schnoor quarter. The attraction brings to life famous Bremen characters from three centuries such as Heini Holtenbeen, Gesche Gottfried and Fish Lucie. Dare you try a cup of unfiltered coffee made by the infamous poisoner Gesche Gottfried? Or perhaps you'd like to set sail on an old merchant vessel?
On the Schlachte Embankment, it's easy to dream of adventures on the open seas. The Roland of Bremen, a replica of a cargo ship from the Hanseatic era, is moored here. You might even come face to face with band of pirates! But they're a friendly crew and serve delicious food on the Pannekoekschip Admiral Nelson.
From the Schlachte Embankment, budding sailors of any age can head to the maritime district of Vegesack, where Bremen's seafaring traditions are very much alive along the Maritime Mile. It's where the Schulschiff Deutschland is moored, Germany's last remaining fully-rigged ship still in its original condition. The interactive exhibition at the historical Spicarium warehouse presents themes such as shipbuilding, seafaring, marine bionics and yacht design. And in the exhibition shipyard, you can see a vessel being made at close quarters. Children can even build their own boats.
What does Universum Bremen remind me of? A silver whale or a giant mussel? The Science Center at Universum Bremen has 250 hands-on installations where people can touch, experiment and learn by doing. It features three 'fantastic realms', Mankind, Earth and the Cosmos, where you can explore different phenomenon with all your senses. The outdoor EntdeckerPark discovery zone features interactive stations on the theme of movement. Young and young-at-heart visitors can test their collective sense of rhythm on the Earth xylophone or scale the 27-metre-high activity tower.
The cycle of nature is the focus of Bremen's 'green science centre' botanika at the heart of Rhododendron Park. At any time of year, you can embark on a fascinating interactive journey of discovery through exotic environments.
The city's museums also look forward to welcoming families with a whole host of exciting activities: for example, the 'Focke laboratory' at Bremen's Landesmuseum, special family days at the Ethnological Museum, exciting workshops at the Kunsthalle art gallery, and maritime experiences at the Speicher XI Dockland Museum.
The La Strada international street circus festival is a real treat for those who enjoy awesome acrobatics and mind-boggling tricks.
We are always happy to help families choose from one of the many child-friendly hotels in Bremen. Leisure guides for children and families are also available.