Few city break destinations in Europe come with a ‘two for the price of one’ price tag. The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen is one such place that’s willing to proffer a double bonus, throwing its very own sister city Bremerhaven proudly into the mix. Along with a millennium of maritime and trading heritage, the two burghs between them boast huge gardens, state-of-the-art trams and delicious seafood dishes, not to mention a number of world-class sights.
What should be on your list of must-sees during a visit to the two cities? No weekend trip would be complete without ticking off least a few of the following highlights:
Take a magical step back in time
A mere 1,200 years of history running through its foundations, don’t miss a visit to Bremen’s Altstadt (Old Town). With its medieval architecture and quaint cobbled streets, this beautiful quarter along the north bank of the Weser river looks like a cross between a fairytale illustration and a Harry Potter filming location.
The evocative – a riot of Golden Age glamour and storybook vistas – should be high on your list of must-visit spots. The stunning Renaissance Town Hall and 600-year-old Roland Statue (both UNESCO heritage sites) are simply stunning, while the Gothic majesty of St. Peter’s Cathedral is almost overpowering. Head to nearby Böttcherstrasse to live out your Diagon Alley fantasies.
See the world in one day
Along with its dramatic waterfront setting, Bremerhaven port boasts the oldest cog ship in the world (in the German Maritime Museum) and a rather moving tale of migrating peoples over at The German Emigration Centre. Alongside these impressive sights, you’ll find the – a unique attraction that allows visitors to circumnavigate the world in a single day. It’s undoubtedly the biggest draw in town.
This impressive interactive centre takes you on a virtual journey around the planet along the 8th degree of longitude. Along the way, you’ll visit five continents and nine places, all of which provide a close-up experience of how people live in the earth’s major climate zones and how climate change affects us all. You’ll sweat buckets when you visit the sweltering heat of the Sahel region and you’ll feel your teeth chattering when you reach ice-cold Antarctica. You’ll be almost relieved to step into that oh-so-refreshing Swiss meadow. Be prepared, there’s normally quite a queue and you will probably need most of the day to see everything.
Discover how great beer is made
It’s true to say Germany and beer go together like Italy and pasta. You don’t have to be a huge fan of ale to appreciate a tour around one of the nation’s most revered brewhouses, . As well as having a jolly good nose around the malt silos and the fermentation and storage tanks, you’ll be allowed to explore the ingredients store and brewhouse, after which you’re invited to sample a few beers for yourself. There’s even a rather excellent museum. Prost!