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Bremen is Germany's oldest coastal city and still remains a major port city today. Originally a small fishing village it soon grew to be known as the ‘Rome of the North’. You can still feel and smell the coffee, lumber, tobacco and fruits that are traded here and give it that international flavour.
Although Bremen is a relatively small city, it boasts some great architecture and museums. The impressive St. Peter’s Cathedral (Dom St. Petri) towers over the buildings in the old part of Bremen, known as the ‘Altstadt’. The Focke-Museum, considered to be one of the best regional museums in Germany, showcases the history of Bremen and its surrounding areas. The Kunsthalle art gallery displays outstanding 19th and 20th century German and French art. Stroll around the bustling market square and admire the 560-year-old Rathaus, town hall.
The Altstadt is easily explored on foot, with lots of quaint shops and storefronts. There are many cafés and restaurants in which to sample good German ‘torte’, beer and meals here. Bremen also offers many shopping options along Obernstrasse and Sogestrasse, as well as many boutiques in the Schnoor.
There are many places to explore by car in the areas surrounding Bremen. Just 20 km outside of the city centre lies Vegesack, on the River Weser, a maritime outpost steeped in history and beautiful nature. Or if you want to see some of the German coast line you can head for Wilhelmshaven or Emden and explore the ports which are just a 30min drive away. A major city that is within easy driving distance from Bremen (about 100 km) is Hamburg, Germany’s largest bustling port city.
The Bremen Flughafen, or airport, lies only 3km south east of the city centre and can easily reached by taxi or S-Bahn (tram) number 5. The A1 is the major motorway that leads to Bremen and driving in and around the city is simple. Bremen is well connected with the InterCity rail network with numerous connections to other major German cities.