Bremen is one of Germany’s three city states, made up of the Hanseatic city of Bremen and Bremerhaven. It is located in northern Germany and has a population of almost 550,000.
Things to see and do
The Freimarkt is the biggest funfair in northern Germany. It takes place every October, and the city is proud of the festival’s long history — the first one may well have taken place as early as 1035. Hop on a rollercoaster, treat yourself to some traditional roasted almonds, and you’ll soon be feeling like a kid again!
The Schnoor-Quarter, an area of the city centre with medieval narrow alleys and cottage-style houses. In earlier times, ropes and cables used to be produced here, hence the name: “Schnoor” means “string” in the regional dialect. Its name may also derive from the way its many pretty buildings line the main street, like jewels on a necklace. Today it’s a treasure trove of charming little shops, cafés and restaurants.
The “Bremer Stadtmusikanten”, or the “town musicians” — a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster — are characters from a much-loved Brothers Grimm fairytale. Locals and tourists alike visit the bronze statue, which has pride of place in front of the town hall. Many tourists rub the donkey’s front hooves, as it’s said to bring good luck.
The new-look Kunsthalle art gallery re-opened in summer 2011, after two years of renovation. It houses more than 200,000 exquisite prints and drawings, as well as sculpture, paintings and media art, spanning the period from the Renaissance to the present day. A key focal point is the collection of French and German paintings from the 19th and 20th century, including key French Impressionist pieces from artists such as Monet, Manet and Cézanne, along with major works by Liebermann and Beckmann.