In paid collaboration with Germany Tourism, program kindly put together by Visit Bremen.


A few weeks ago Rob and I packed our bags and traveled to Germany on the night train. You can read all about it and our trip to Berlin in this post. From there we traveled by train with Deutsche Bahn early in the morning to Hamburg and onward from there to Bremen. A city that has served as a cultural and economic hub for Germany throughout history, as one of the hanseatic marine trading cities in the North of the country. It is full of history and gorgeous architecture which ever way you turn your nose.

To start from the beginning we enjoyed a sustainable journey by train both to Germany itself and within the country. Train has always been a favourite mode of travel of mine, as it always takes a scenic route, offers a lot of comfort and the ability to walk around, as well as pretty quick travelling times despite being on land. We traveled first class on this trip thanks to Germany tourism and enjoyed lots of leg room and table service. Always look out for deals, because occasionally 1st class seats can be the same price as 2nd! We didn’t actually use the table service, as we brought breakfast from the train station, but we were pleasantly surprised to see a whole lot of vegan options in the menu of the train canteen. And I mean a whole lot when I say a whole lot, probably half the menu if not more was vegan friendly.

Once we arrived in Bremen, a relatively unknown city to us, there were many more pleasant surprises awaiting. So let’s dive into what we got up during our 48 hours in Bremen, starting on the first day arriving at about lunch time!


#feelgoodgermany #germanytourism #visitbremen #enjoybremen #bremenerleben

Day 1: Checking In, Walking Tour of the Historic Town Centre and Dinner by the Weser River

We started our day in Bremen with a tram ride to the hotel, the  first of many throughout our stay. We were in walking distance of pretty much everything we got up to, but when our feet got tired this was a lovely and convenient mode of transport. The trams themselves are frequent, the tram system suits the old time charm of the city very well and it is lovely to look out the window and see the city from a comfortable seat.

Our first journey took us to an early check in at our hotel H+ Hotel Bremen which is located very close to the old market square and the cathedral in the historic centre of Bremen. H+ Hotel was very crisp and clean and the location was really convenient. The area is not the hippest in town but it is located in probably the most beautiful part, definitely very quiet at night and a good base for exploring the city. Our room had a view of the cathedral spires and lots of natural light flowing in through big windows. It really was a very nice way to wake up the next morning. The breakfast was good for vegans too, despite the hotel not being notified, but more abut that a little further down.

Once we were all checked in we took a tram to a busy street called Sielwall, from which we walked over to Nora’s Deli. Nora’s is an all vegan restaurant serving brunch, lunch and dinner with a focus on whole plant foods. As we arrived on a Sunday we enjoyed the brunch menu and ordered the farmer’s breakfast, which was reminiscent of an English breakfast, and the spelt pancakes with peanut butter and homemade raspberry jam. The food was yummy and hit the spot after a few hours on the train. The atmosphere was very relaxed and low key even though the techno beats seemed to have followed us from Berlin to Bremen, albeit this time at a different volume thankfully. I would definitely recommend a visit to Nora’s if you visit Bremen, it was one of the best vegan meals we had in the city. Unfortunately a couple of vegan places were closed during our visit however so we cannot measure it against other popular places like Vengo and Vegefarm. Maybe some of you have been and could let us know in the comments? What I do know is that all these three places are located in close proximity to each other in the Viertel which basically means “quarter” which is probably the most buzzy and hip part of Bremen.

Once we were full and happy we walked back to our hotel to meet our tour guide Ewa who was actually Swedish but ended up giving the tour in “swenglish” as Rob is still learning the language. Either way Ewa is one of the guides from Bremer Touristik Zentrale, the official tourist agency in Bremen, and she took us for a fun and informative tour around the historic centre of Bremen. We learned that during the many wars and occupations in Germany Bremen remained for the most part an independent city and that is pretty impressive considering that it founded in a much contested area of Germany around 1200 years ago. We also learned a lot about it’s importance as a hanseatic trading city and how that it has changed over time, along with innovation in transport methods and globalisation. Most fascinating to me though was learning about the many buildings, and their various histories, around the old market square or the Domsheide as it is called in German.

The two buildings you probably notice first as you enter the square are the town hall, Bremen Rathaus, and St Peter’s Cathedral both with a very rich history. The town hall is actually the only building on the square that remained entirely intact during bombings in the second world war, making it a very rare building full of original features. This has awarded it protection as a UNESCO world heritage site. It is a very ornate building and it is most certainly worth getting a knowledgeable guide like Ewa to point out all the interesting details about the many figurines.

Ewa was also able to tell us many factoids and show us many funny little details in the cathedral. For example she talked about how it had been occupied by many different forces trying to take control over Bremen over the years and how it had been looted of many of its original features. How it had been changed and added to many times and about the ceiling that is so beautifully painted in many different styles. She also showed us a very small mouse carving in the wall which I challenge you to find on your own, as well as a very funny looking elephant carved in wood by a man a very long time ago who had never ever seen an elephant. It really was a joy to experience this part of Bremen with someone as seasoned as Ewa.

We also walked through Böttcherstraße which is about 100 metres long and full of interesting architectural features and art work. It also houses two museums, one being the Paula Modersohn-Becker Haus early expressionist art museum which was warmly recommended to me by many of you. The other, Ludwig Roselius Haus, shares artifacts and history about the man who had the street and its buildings made to his taste. The street also hosts many small shops with souvenirs and handmade goods like traditional Bremen hard sweets and soaps.

Finally as it started raining for the fourth time that day we parted ways with Ewa and as soon as there were only droplets in the air we walked down to the Schlachte Weserpromenade. It is a river side walk way next to the Weser which runs through Bremen. It is a lovely promenade with many bars, restaurants and biergartens. Perfect for a warm spring evening and all through the summer.

Our destination on the promenade was MA where we had a dinner reservation. The place has a really fun and quirky interior with lots to look at and the menu is extensive. For vegans there are about three options or so for dinner and we ordered a burger and a roasted veg bowl with rice and hummus. The food was not a revelation but hit the spot after a day out and about. On the other hand the drinks were lovely and I especially liked the fresh herb tea with sage, ginger and lemon. Perfect to warm up after the rain. In general I think drinks are really good in both Berlin and Bremen, even for someone who doesn’t drink alcohol. There is always a nice lemonade, iced tea or mocktail on the menu and they are, in my experience, never too sweet and with a fun twist. So we enjoyed our drinks and filled our tummies at MA before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.

Day 2: Speciality Coffee Workshop, Viertel Tour and Rollos

On our second day in Bremen we woke to the gorgeous light through the big windows of our hotel room and headed down to the breakfast restaurant. Unfortunately the staff had not been notified that we were vegan but there was plenty to eat despite this. Lots of bread, muesli and cereal, soy milk, margarine, fruit of course and four different kinds of vegan pâtés. There was also lovely tea and the whole atmosphere was old school in a nice way with tea pots and bread baskets. It’s safe to say we ate well and were fueled for the day.

After breakfast we took a short walk to Johann Jacobs Haus where we met up with Osama, Arved and Andreas who welcomed us to a coffee workshop. Jacobs coffee is a well known brand in Europe and stemmed from the same family as the Johann Jacobs specialty coffee house where we had our workshop. The difference is that at Johann Jacobs Haus the coffee is made in small batches and with utter passion and precision that specialty coffee needs.

Osama was our teacher for the day and it soon became clear that he was extremely knowledgeable and dedicated to his craft as a barista. He, as well as the other guys too, knew every answer to any question we could possibly come up with. He showed us how to make the perfect pour over, gave us a coffee tasting that taught us to taste the different notes of coffee and even let me brush up on my latte art skills (which are rather slim by the way). The hours spent learning with Osama and the guys felt like hanging out with friends but with the added benefit of all their expertise. As someone who doesn’t drink coffee, or even like it very much, even I was eager to taste what we made as I learnt so much about the process and different experiences of tasting they so carefully explained.

While we spent most of the day downstairs in the flag ship store we were also lucky enough to see the roastery and regular workshop space a couple of floors up. It has the most beautiful view of Bremen rooftops (and the rooftop itself an even better one) and the most wonderful smell of course. All the beans sold in the store are roasted in the bright and airy space and this is also where the roasters taste and make decisions about what beans they want to work with. They choose their partners carefully and care about the working conditions of the farmers growing the beans as much as about the beans themselves.

On any given day you can order a pour over or espresso at Johann Jacobs Haus coffe shop and buy their beans to take home as well. You can also find lots of coffee brewing gadgets in the store and get all the help you need to find exactly the right gear for your preferences. Honestly this is the place to go with any coffee related question! For those of us who prefer tea they also have a couple of options brewed to perfection. I dare say I had my best ever cup of Earl Grey here. Then upstairs you can book a workshop to learn how to brew the best cup of coffee you ever did make at home as well as team building and group events. I really loved my day with the guys at Johann Jacobs Haus and wholeheartedly recommend a visit if you are serious about your coffee or want to learn more.

After our workshop we took a tram to Juli Liebt Kaffee to experience more of the coffee shop culture in Bremen. As Bremen was always at the forefront of coffee roasting in Europe we enjoyed seeing the modern day coffee culture from a different angle. At Juli Liebt Kaffee the interior is more bohemian and the atmosphere is very relaxed. It is set in a lovely area of Bremen called the Viertel, more on that later, which makes it a perfect spot for your morning coffee or fika with friends. Rob enjoyed his probably fifth cup of the day here while I had a yummy matcha latte. We also had a small lunch of avocado and hummus toast. Unfortunately we just missed the breakfast menu which looked yummy with a few vegan options. I guess that gives us an excuse to come back some day!

Once we had people watched through the big windows for a bit our guide for the rest of the afternoon Pierre picked us up to properly show us around the Viertel. He told us all about the history of the area which has been going through the gentrification we see changing neighbourhoods in most cities around the world today. The area is still a melting pot of cultures though and the home to some of the most frequented cafes, restaurants and bars in Bremen. As the sun was shining Pierre wanted to start by taking us to one such popular place and we were game as we heard ice cream was on the menu. We walked for less than five minutes and found ourselves at Eislabor. An experimental ice cream parlour with lots of vegan options that seemed to be really popular with the locals. We tried four flavours, my favourite being the blood orange, and enjoyed the sorbets in the spring sunshine as we walked on.

Something really enjoyable about Bremen is that it has a rich history and there is much to learn, but also that there is this counter to the historic centre in the Viertel. You have two entirely different atmospheres to enjoy just a stones throw away. On top of that there is so much beauty. There are many original buildings still in Bremen to enjoy. In the Viertel there is also a duality of its own where some streets are rather posh with beautifully restored facades and on other streets there is street art and posters for local events all over the walls. This makes for rather dynamic scenery as you meander around like we did with Pierre.

We ended our tour at a very popular street food place with Middle Eastern heritage and a Bremen touch. It is called Arabic which you find on the address Sielwall 5 and there they serve something called a rollo. Being vegan I’m not sure I understand the full extent of this dish but it is a classic in the city and I heard something about a kebab wrap but with cheese. We ordered the vegan option though which was called the falafel but I’m not sure it actually had falafel in it. It did have a yummy hummus though and fresh veggies all wrapped in a thin flatbread that had been toasted to make it a little crisp. Living in Malmö I have had my fair share of falafel wraps though and I might be partial but I think I prefer our home town special.

After we thanked Pierre who was a splendid guide who showed us around with a lot of gusto we walked down to a little restaurant I’d seen during our walk. Trust me to spot any place serving a South Indian dosa which is one of the items on the menu at Vegano. The place is confusingly not actually entirely vegan but vegetarian and serves various Indian fare. I recommend getting simply a plain dosa which comes with sambar, a yummy and spicy soup, and some chutneys to dip the pancake into. A great snack when you need to rest your feet and refuel.

Once we had eaten our second course we thought we’d check out Fehrfeld, a bar one of you lovely readers had recommended, but unfortunately it was closed on a Monday. So we set out to the next recommendation Wohnzimmer, a cosy bar modeled after a living room, but as we arrived we felt completely in lack of rest and sleep so we decided to take the short tram ride back to our bed at H+ Hotel and rest up for the next day.

Day 3: The Schnoor, Heimathaven Speciality Grocer and Lunching at Markthalle Acht

Having enjoyed another lovely hotel breakfast we decided to walk down to the oldest neighbourhood in Bremen called the Schnoor. It is only a few streets located close to the river and a very short walk from our hotel. We arrived early enough that nothing was really open but this also meant that it was only us and a few early risers there to walk the streets. The buildings were very narrow, tall and a little crooked which added so much charm to this area. We enjoyed window shopping in the arts and crafts boutiques that reside in the Schnoor but then we remembered an anecdote Ewa, our guide from our first day, had told us about the narrowest street in Bremen being somewhere there. So we set out to find it and I think we did but I cannot for the life of me remember the name and for this I am sorry. You’ll just have to get Ewa to give you a tour when you go. Either way this is a must see when in Bremen!

Next we headed back to the Viertel and to speciality grocer Heimathaven. Located in an original colonial goods fitted store built in 1903, this place takes you back to when food stuffs were bought over the counter. At Heimathaven you can still find imported goods of the best quality stacked along the beautiful and very tall wooden shelves from the early 20th century. Some stand outs for me was their selection of olive oil, the vegan Goodio chocolate and their homemade berry and vanilla jam. For Rob the gin shelf, which was very extensive, the interesting beer selection and locally roasted coffee beans was even more so. What’s lovely at the store is that they are happy for you to taste the products before buying. Rob tried local schnapps from Nork and we both enjoyed the house made jams. It was a lovely foodie experience and I’m pretty sure there is something for everyone at Heimathaven.

After exploring the abundance of culinary delights we were ready to eat some more, so we headed back towards the historic centre and to Markthalle Acht. The markthalle is a food court of sorts with stalls of food vendors from all corners of the world. The atmosphere is buzzy around lunch time and then calms down before picking up again in the evening. The space is very bright thanks to the many sky lights and altogether it’s rather hip looking with lovely wooden tables and retro chairs. If you are in Bremen on Thursday there is live music in the market hall from 6 pm and on fridays from the same time you can catch a DJ playing lofi here.

In the end it was really hard to choose from the large selection of vegan options at Markthalle Acht, in fact pretty much every stall had vegan options. There was Ukrainian, Mexican, Korean, Ghanian, Chinese, German of course and the list could go on. In the end we enjoyed a plate of the Ghanian bean stew, jollof rice and plantain from Mataa’s as well as the mapo tofu with rice from The 5th District. Both were really yummy and the best food we’d had in bremen so far. So good in fact that we came back for dinner later before leaving the city and tried some other dishes. That time we ordered Korean japchae from Maru and wanted to get some dumplings from Ukrainian Bab’ Maria but unfortunately our full stomachs couldn’t accomadate. Either way the japchae was delish and I saw others eating the Ukrainian fare and it really looked lovely too. To finish off our meal we enjoyed some vegan ice cream from Chunks by Koro. They offered some really wonderful and creamy vegan ice cream flavours based on traditional German flavours like black forest gateau and Mozart kugeln. All in all our visit to Markthalle Acht was a huge success and we’d definitely come back again!

Tips from Locals: Cafes, Restaurants and Bars

As with any short trip you can’t do it all but I thought I’d end this post with some tips we got from the lovely locals we met during our stay as well as from Charlotte over on instagram. First things first is that there is an area of Bremen that was mentioned to us a couple of times which we didn’t get the chance to visit and that’s Neustadt. Charlotte had many tips for that area and here they are:

Yellow Bird Coffee – Good coffee and good vegan options

Cafe Pour Pour – Again good coffee and vegan carrot cake close to a cosy park

Fratelli Miccoli – Pizza place with vegan options

Kuß Rosa – Restaurant with an ever changing menu and good vegan options, Charlotte’s favourite

Beyond all of Charlotte’s lovely recommendations Arved from Johann Jacobs Haus also told us about his favourite bars so here they come:

Brill No. 6 – Delicious looking cocktail bar close to the historic centre

Lemon Lounge – More delicious cocktails, this time by the Weser river in Schlachte

Blauer Fasan – Even more delicious cocktails just a stone’s throw away from the old market square

Heldenbar – Good selection of craft beer located in a small art cinema house

With these generous tips from people who know the city far better than me I will leave you and if you go to Bremen I hope you feel well equipped to have a good time after reading. Also don’t forget to press play on the video up top to see it all in motion!

Malin x

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