Groups: Buzzing Bremen
Discover Bremen – by bike! Bicycles are a very common means of transport in Bremen and can be hired as an add-on to your booking with the Bremer Touristik-Zentrale (BTZ). The eight-kilometre cycle tour of Bremen takes approximately two hours, and your tour guide will be happy to point out the city's various attractions, including the magnificent town hall and statue of Roland on the historical market square, and the Ostertor quarter with its classic Bremen houses.
Time for a spot of browsing among the many little shops in the Ostertor quarter. Or for a look around the city centre – with a break for lunch built in.
In the afternoon, take a 30-minute ride on an eastbound tram to the Mercedes-Benz plant, the car maker's second largest production facility in Europe and home to Bremen's third-highest elevation: the Mercedes-Benz off-road course. Half-hour sessions are available for those brave enough to put their driving skills to the test (advance booking essential).
An alternative programme for the entire morning and afternoon would be the BTZ's six-hour 'Beer and brewing in Bremen' package, commencing at 10am. To start with, you are taken on a sightseeing tour of Bremen. Then it's time to refuel with some hearty brewers' fare in Bremen's oldest brewery tavern – the Schüttinger, on Böttcherstrasse. A tour of the Beck's brewery, with plenty of fascinating insights into the craft of brewing, rounds off the afternoon.
If you haven't already visited the traditional Schüttinger brewpub, now would be a great time to drop in and decide your evening's entertainment over a beer – and then things can really take off! You might have tickets for a concert at Die Glocke concert hall or for a show on the Theatre Ship on the Schlachte Embankment. And when Germany's biggest volksfest, the Freimarkt fair, is in full swing, the Bürgerweide grounds behind Bremen's central station are virtually impassable. A must-see during Advent is the Bremen Christmas market – regarded alongside the Schlachte-Zauber market as one of the most atmospheric in Germany. In January, Bremen's six-day cycle race bursts onto the scene in the ÖVB Arena; then in February, the streets ring out with the sound of drums as the Samba carnival marches into town. To top it off, there is a choice of late-night clubbing venues all year round.