Bremen is a very small city close to Hamburg. So, I recommend you to at least leave a half-day trip for Bremen when you are in Hamburg. Compared to other cities, there are only few things to do in Bremen. If you are kind of a person like me who wants to explore more even most places are similar, you should not skip Bremen.
You can easily reach Bremen from Hamburg. The best option to go is buying a Niedersachsen Ticket. This ticket allows you to use all types of transportation both in Hamburg and Bremen. It will also include a roundtrip ticket between Hamburg and Bremen. It takes only 1 hour to reach Bremen from main station in Hamburg. However, it is not valid on EC and IC trains, so be sure that you are using the regional ones.
Another option is buying a ticket including Groningen. Groningen is a small city in Netherlands. However, what you most see in pictures when you search for Groningen is little far away from the city. Considering it takes 1-2 hours between each city, it may not be a comfortable option to visit both cities on a single day. You will have to catch specific train and bus departures. The good part of buying either Niedersachsen ticket including Groningen or not is when you are travelling with a group. If you are a solo traveler, this ticket is still your cheapest option. In 2017, it was 23 EUR for 1 person but 39 EUR for 5 person. So, it becomes like 8 EUR daily including all modes of transportation that you require to visit both Hamburg and Bremen.
What to do
I hate starting like this, but like every German city, again the most popular area is the main square called Bremer Marktplatz. I was lucky enough to visit there in Christmas enjoying one of the most crowded Christmas markets, but this made me unlucky that it was almost impossible to take best pictures in the area.
There are few spots you should not miss in Bremen. The first one is the Statue of Roland. Roland is one of the most famous knights in Germany, so in Bremen they made a 5.5 meters long statue in 15th century. The city itself is a gothic one, so all the places around the Marktplatz including Old Town Hall and the Cathedral of St. Peter are very nice examples for this Gothic structure. The second one is the statue of Bremen Town musicians. It is a kids story where a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster go to Bremen and become musicians. Of course the story is longer, so you may want to read it before you go Bremen, because almost every corner in town is full of the books of the story.
Your next should be Bremen’s narrow Böttcherstrasse. It is one of the shortest streets but it was still enough to make this narrow street as one of the best tourist attractions in Bremen. You will see some small but popular museums, galleries and unique shops. Haus des Glockenspiels is one of the interesting houses on this street. Schnoor District is also just 5 minutes away. In the district, you will see some houses dated back to 15th century.
It was not in my interest, but you may want to consider visiting German Maritime Museum and Universum Science Center. What I liked most was visiting a different Christmas market just next to Weser. It was called “Schlachte-Zauber”. Unlike to traditional Christmas markets, here you experience something different and you feel you are walking along promenade in middle age.
When you are returning back to train station, try to not miss Mühle am Wall this time if you have missed while you are coming from the train station. You will see a large windmill in a park. Nowadays, the windmill serves as a restaurant. I can say this place is the most peaceful area on my daily trip.
Reaching Bremen from Hamburg
- Niedersachsen Ticket – https://niedersachsenticket.de/infos-zum-ticket/
- Niedersachsen Ticket – https://www.bahn.de/p/view/angebot/regio/regionale-tickets/niedersa/niedersachsen-ticket-plus-groningen.shtml