The first thoughts about Bremen? Diversity and contrasts! On the one hand, the smallest federal state with a city center that looks like the setting of a medieval Netflix series while on the other hand, its people are traditionally open-minded and modern – and they’re real party animals all year round!
There are so many good reasons to visit Bremen: The Bremen Town Musicians, the Roland on the historic marketplace, the Böttcherstraße, the idyllic Schnoorviertel and, of course, the Weser meadows. One of the more typical and well known but still predominantly undiscovered tourist corners of the young Hanseatic city is the “Ostertor scene district”. The Bremers themselves call it simply “The Quarter”. Students, artists, and creative weirdos live here, surrounded by pubs, restaurants, and individual shops. A special feature of “The Quarter” is the colorful street art everywhere. Bremen’s “KunstKucken” is the title given to the city’s street art themed tour. In about two hours, the tour takes you on a journey as you gaze at many interesting works of art throughout Bremen’s city centre.
Music at heart
Bremen Town Musicians – Bremen is known for that, of course. And what’s in it? Music, of course. And yes, Bremen serves every genre. Whether it’s hard on the edge between punk and rock or soft tones from singer-songwriters – the music fan’s heart will find plenty of inspiration and pleasure here. Anticipation can already set in at the sight of the program of the lake stage (2024 – more info see below) next summer. Last year, Philipp Poisel and Julia Engelmann, among others, performed there. Throughout the year, there are the finest sounds in these legendary locations: the “Tower” (where, for example, the enchanting Lina Maly will perform in October) or the “Glocke”, which is more dedicated to classical music – but not only! Spoiler alert: On October 6, “Element of Crime” with Bremen veteran Sven Regener will drop by the Glocke.
Outdoors for a change?
Our tips for the Bremen events
It’s really beautiful in the Bürgerpark with its various restaurants and cozy cafés. There are wide meadows for relaxed strolls or the possibility to borrow a boat to change perspectives. A stroll to the Bremer Wallanlagen is also a good plan. This is the most popular green space in downtown Bremen. The 32-hectare moat area once made Bremen defensible, but today residents gather there to enjoy the fresh air, take another look at the exhibits they just viewed at the Kunsthalle (the museum is located directly on the Wallanlagen), or participate in the many events that take place there.
In the last two weeks of October, the people of Bremen really let it rip at the Freimarkt on the Bürgerweide – and have been doing so for almost 1,000 years, making it one of the longest folk festival traditions in Germany. Things get so busy here that the folk festival is even called Bremen’s 5th season. About four million people come to the Volksfest every year to celebrate and have a good time. There are so many carousel attractions than at any other folk festival and over 300 showmen who provide pure entertainment with a broad fun program. So come on, let’s go!
It gets really contemplative in Bremen at Christmas time. At the Christmas market on the historic market square, there are numerous lovingly decorated stalls and booths that invite you to browse and linger. The delicacies and products should not be missed. How about a piece of delicious Christmas pastry or a cup of classic mulled wine? If you are short of time, you can also find an original Christmas gift here. In any case, a visit to the Bremen Christmas market provides a very special Christmas atmosphere under sparkling lights.
If you can’t get close enough to the water even during the cold season, head to the maritime and medieval Schlachte-Zauber. Along the Weser promenade stretch numerous small wooden huts offering culinary delights, creative handicrafts and special gift ideas. An artistic program makes a visit to the Schlachte-Zauber an unforgettable magical experience with a journey back in time.
Jazz fans watch out – we have something very special in store for you! Next year in April, Bremen will host jazzahead!, the industry meeting of the German jazz scene: Music fair, trade conference and festival all in one.
Inspiring music and culture on a total of four stages – from juggling theater to jazz concerts and pack singing to German indie rock bands. The atmosphere of SummerSounds is relaxed, it’s best to take a seat on the lawn with your picnic blanket and let yourself be surprised. A festival that inspires – every year at least around 30,000 spectators.
Next year it’s “Off to the Museum” again! Those who take part in the Long Night of the Museums can stroll through the exhibition spaces without time stress. However, there might be a tight schedule, because there are about 30 museums and galleries at the start. That sounds like a culturally exciting happening. And horizon-expanding to top it off.
The International Festival of Street Arts on the market square and in Bremen’s Wallanlagen promises to be a unique experience full of poetry, excitement and fun again next year. In June 2024, the exciting spectacle will take place for the 30th time, with street artists from all over the world showing their skills. In 2023, over 100,000 enthusiastic spectators were enchanted by the fascinating performances. The festival opened with the Performance-Kollektiv Circumstances and their program Exit on the stage at the Wall. Visitors experienced a mix of pantomime, acrobatics and experimental theater. On the other hand, those who wanted to get active themselves were offered a Lindy Hop crash course followed by social dancing on Saturday. Here, the Swing Canteen under the guidance of DJane Tanja Jahnz ensured an exuberant atmosphere.
For over 20 years, the international literature festival has been a fixed date in the cultural life of the city. Readers, listeners, and authors have the unique opportunity to meet poets from all over the world and exchange ideas with each other. Poetry also finds its place, especially in connection with other arts, such as visual sound poetry, performance, or musical adaptations. Bremen really is a free port and cosmopolitan metropolis of international poetry.
Once again, the Metropol Theater Bremen makes the “Waterfront” quake! For three years, the theater has been providing spectacular waterfront events. Here, the music program is as varied as Bremen itself. Last summer, it went from classical music like La Traviata to electro tunes by Schiller, followed by the impressive Julia Engelmann, who enchanted the audience with her profound thoughts and gentle sounds. Also in 2024, the dazzling stage program will provide fun and variety. So, don’t miss out!
For five exciting days a year, stages and stands shine directly on the banks of the Weser: a colorful program of music, art and culture promises the Breminale in July 2024 as well. Kostet nix – free and outside is the motto of the festival, where traditional boundaries are explored. Between podcast festival, rap concert or neo-punk from the Ruhr area, everything is possible at the Osterdeich – including an entertaining children’s program on the Radio Bremen stage and, of course, plenty of culinary delights.
The annual “Shakespeare in the Park” festival was opened in 2023 by the play “Pinocchio,” and next year the proven program of the renowned Bremen Shakespeare Company will again delight the audience. Classics such as “The Comedy of Errors”, “Macbeth” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be performed in a beautiful setting on the Melcherswiese in Bürgerpark. Be sure to stop by. Especially if you like theater and love drama.
Do you want to experience the sublime solemnity of classical music? Then you can’t miss the 35th “Musikfest Bremen” in summer 2024! No acts have been confirmed yet. But the 2023 edition speaks for itself as a recommendation: the concerts were spread over more than 20 venues throughout the region. A whopping 40 concerts hit the right note of good evening entertainment. The opening around Bremen’s festively lit market square was a fitting foretaste of the following three weeks. “Eine große Nachtmusik” thrilled as the opening work, in which different styles, epochs and genres met. The Budapest Festival Orchestra, Christian Brückner & Michael Wollny and the Tölzer Knabenchor were just some of the musical protagonists.