Although Hamburg offers abundant touristic attractions, exploring nearby surroundings won’t go amiss. Especially if this nearby destination can boast in everything its big brother has if not more. Right, I am talking about Bremen.
This stunning cultural hub with its marine charm is known among Germans as a ‘kleine Metropole’ or small metropolis. With the population over 550, 000 people this Hanseatic city perfectly combines coziness of a small old European town with an industrial ambiance of working-class. Along with all-round statues of Bremen town musicians and Beck’s beer, a true local to this area, Bremen offers some other hidden gems you should not miss if you happen to be nearby.
Here is the list of things to enjoy in Bremen in 10 hours.
1. Take a sunbath at Bürgerpark
Located just behind the main railroad station, this massive park features around 202 hectares of grass-plots, small water canals, and countless corners to find some tranquility. When enter from the south, you stumble upon the Holler lake that can perfectly suit as a stunning background for your special occasion photography. Along with activities like roaming around numerous restaurants or renting a boat, one can also do sports or walk kids here. You can also just run into fields to catch some sun as I did 😉
2. Discover animals at Tiergehege
At the very same Bürgerpark you have a chance to observe some animals. Although you can’t expect to see here a giraffe or capybara, a number of slowly chewing donkeys is guaranteed. Along with conducting a primitive biology class, you can study some aspects of behavioral psychology, too as this spot is full of little kids. Their interaction with animals are no less funny as the animal enclosure itself. So, pack your sandwich and be ready to face a great show!
3. Check Universum Science Center
On the exit from a Bürgerpark from the north you eventually find yourself next to the University of Bremen. A lovely campus area includes a bizarre architectural landmark aka Universum Science Center. Resembling a huge ugly frog from the outside, this science center provides both individual and group tours into the history of Earth and cosmos. Without visiting temporary exhibitions and a small souvenir shop downstairs, you can still visit sanitary premises. It is after all important not to forget to improve your hand hygiene after interacting with all the donkeys you met at Tiergehege.
4. Fall in love with a Schnoor neighborhood
Remember European coziness mentioned in the beginning? This is exactly what you can expect at the Schnoor neighborhood. A charming district full of narrow streets similar to those in Lyon or Bruges leaves a lasting impression of a trip through a Wonderland. Each tiny accurate house is inviting you into its own history be it an art shop or a brush-making workshop. One of those shops even invites you to experience Christmas all over again even when it’s +30 outside! A ‘Christmas Dreams’ store that is open 360 days has already puzzled not a one tourist …
5. Enjoy a desert at Marktplatz
There is no way you can miss out this spectacular Bremen’s main square. Not only it offers exploration of the late Medieval and early Renaissance architecture, but also innumerable cozy cafes, food stands, French music, and great lively ambiance. The touristy crowd is equally spread around, so as it gives everyone enough space and freedom to appreciate the surrounding. Next to the statue of famous Bremen musicians — a gang of donkey, dog, rooster, and a cat standing one on each other — you evidence the real human musicians who entertain rambling idlers with some harmonica or violin tunes. If tight on a budget or too lazy to line up for a seat at the heaping central cafes, Marktplatz is full of benches and stairs you can use alternatively to enjoy your desert and observe the mixed crowd.
6. Get a picture with Roland
If getting a picture with the Bremen town musicians — animal statue — is a bit of an effort as in any case you will end up with several strangers behind, taking a snap with Roland is no pain. Erected in the middle of Marktplatz this handsome man symbolizes freedom and market rights and hence bears a UNESCO distinction of a World Heritage. The statue is so tall — even known as a local Statue of Liberty — that you will see it even if you try to get a selfie from 10 m away.
7. Treat yourself with a refreshing ginger ale
After much seen and experienced of Bremen’s culture and nature, it’s time for some marine entertainment. Bremen is a home to a famous German sailing ship Alexander von Humboldt — today a floating restaurant — that used to be in service till 2011. Residing in an attractive area of Schlachte — a promenade along the Weser river — this ship is a must-to-visit. Not only you can taste some fish and listen to authentic German music at this double-decker, but also contemplate with your companion while watching passing ships and sipping your cold ginger ale.
© 2018 Elena Bubeeva, All Rights Reserved.