Having passed my first year in Bremen, I feel qualified to say summer in the city is the best season to visit.
Amongst the numerous festivals taking place, Breminale stands out. For five days in July the banks of River Weser are lined with open-air tents with music pumping out of them. Artists from across Germany and beyond come to sing, rap and encourage the crowd to move their feet. Alongside all the entertainment there is row upon row of great fresh food and drinks stands to choose from. Breminale is a place for friends to gather in the evening after a hard day at work or to spend a chilled Sunday afternoon soaking up the sounds with family. One of the highlights of the Bremen events calendar for sure. See Holidays and Celebrations for more about festivals in Germany.
On a summer day it’s easy to watch the hours tick by in the Marktplatz, the heart of Bremen. The square is lined with restaurants and cafes where you can sit outside, enjoy a locally brewed Haake Becks, watching the street entertainers and soaking up the atmosphere. Within a few meters walk you can take in some of Bremen’s most famed attractions: the Town Musicians, St Peters Cathedral, and the Roland statue to name a few. If you want to get out of the sun’s rays, I recommend taking solace in the Schnoor, one of the quaintest and oldest areas of Bremen. The narrow cobbled streets shaded from the sun are lined with independent shops dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Not only is it a lovely area to wander around, you could pick up a local piece of art or jewelry.
If you want to escape the city, head to the Bürgerpark, located not far from the central Hauptbahnhof. To explore the whole of the park, I’d recommend hiring a bike from the cycle centre at the train station, but good luck if you decide to take on the 202 hectares by foot! Known as one of Germany’s best maintained country parks, the park has lots to offer. You could grab an ice cream, play crazy golf, row around the lake, play table tennis, or simply bask in the sun at the Meierei Bremen. During summer there are live performances by the Bremen Shakespeare Company, something I haven’t managed to catch yet, but it’s on the to-do list for this summer. If the heat gets too much, you can cool off at Weder Lake (Wedersee). Depending on your preferences, there are two beaches, one for prudish amongst us and one for… you get the picture.
If you haven’t had your fill of ice cream at the park, look up the coolest place in town (pun intended) – Creamlovers. You will not be disappointed by all the ice cream options on offer. Recently opened, this cafe has soon built up a reputation and it’s rare not to see people queuing down the street on a warm summer’s day. I can recommend the spaghetti ice cream – pasta not included!
One of my favourite summer memories of the past year is spending time at the Schlachte, the embankment besides the River Weser. My recommendation: Summer is the only time you should take a boat trip on the Weser. It’s simply miserable in winter, trust me. If you prefer to stay on land, you’ll not be let down by the atmosphere the Schlachte has to offer. Lined with beer gardens and numerous restaurants, the crowds pack this area until the sun goes down on a warm summer evening. One of my favourite memories is spending time here last summer with good friends and plenty of beer. You can’t beat it.