For families: Historical Bremen
We recommend that visitors of all ages start off the day with an audio guide tour of the city's main sights. You can either download the audio files from this website to your own MP3 player before your trip to Bremen or hire audio players from the Tourist Information office in Böttcherstrasse.
There is an audio guide tour for adults and one recorded by children for children. Parents will either have to miss out a few stopping points in order to keep up with their little ones, or the children can take a few breaks here and there. The children's audio guide tour runs for a child-friendly 20 minutes, while the adult tour takes around an hour.
Now go into the cathedral and look for the little stone mouse that has been scuttling around the eastern chancel since the 11th century. Then climb the 265 steps up the tower. From the top, you can enjoy fantastic views over Bremen.
Whatever your age, you'll need to summon up some courage before exploring the cathedral's 'lead cellar'. Originally part of the east crypt in the 17th century, it is now housed in a separate annexe. From April to October, you can see Herr von Engelbrechten and a number of other mummies encased in glass – seemingly for all eternity.
Diagonally across from the lead cellar, visitors of all ages can tuck into a delicious burger. A few metres further along, on the market square, there's also an opportunity to buy bratwurst or an ice cream sundae, as well as a number of restaurants serving everything from exotic to vegetarian cuisine.
After lunch, you might want to take the kids back to the hotel for a little nap, or let them have a run around. Not far from the cathedral you can catch a tram to the main train station. Just a few minutes' walk away, behind the station, is the Bürgerpark, a garden of historical importance dating back around 150 years. Here you will find four well-equipped play areas.
Take the tram back to Balgebrückstrasse and go left down the broad steps into the Schnoor. Here, in Bremen's oldest quarter, little houses line the winding lanes like pearls on a string ("schnur" in German). The area is also home to a number of art and craft shops whose shop windows will appeal to people of all ages, such as Atelier GAG, which sells paper models and cut-out craft sheets from all over the world.
Turn the corner and go under the archway: you can't miss the House of History in the compact Schnoor quarter. Amateur actors in historical costumes bring to life famous Bremen characters from three centuries. Heini Holtenbeen, Fish Lucie and many others will leave audiences, young and old alike, laughing, wide eyed in wonder – and with a prickle of horror. Would anyone like to sample a cup of unfiltered coffee, served by the infamous poisoner Gesche Gottfried? Guided tours are offered here at regular intervals throughout the day; the last one leaves at 5pm.
No doubt you'll be starting to feel hungry again. Walk along just a little further until you come to the Pannekoekschip on the Schlachte Embankment where fairly authentic, yet extremely friendly pirates serve up sweet or savoury pancakes.
When planning your visit, be aware that many museums and other attractions close for one day during the week (usually Monday).