In mid-March, I took a short trip to Bremen, Germany. As with my October trip to Germany (angry trip report here; real trip report here), I was once again trying to catch a German band as a reward for working far too many hours in the preceding months. This time, the band was Revolverheld. I saw them in May 2018 in Berlin at the Kreuzberg music venue Lido as a part of the band's “lounge tour;” now it was time to catch its “arena tour.” This would be my first concert in Europe in an arena.
Hotel: I went for convenience over authenticity on this short trip, staying at the Courtyard by the Bremen Hauptbahnhof (main train station). It was a great location for catching the train to day trip locales and for attending the concert, which was across the street from the hotel at the ÖVB Arena. The hotel is great, executing all things lodging pretty much perfectly, from the friendly front desk staff to the large, well-appointed rooms.
Local Transportation: Tram around Bremen. Trains for day trips. Taxi for the 4:30 am ride to the airport on my departure morning.
Food: I ate breakfast at the hotel with the exception of one morning (see below). I skipped lunch and, inspired by Fred’s post in the recent Scrimp and Splurge thread (and by my proximity), grabbed food in the train station for all my dinners.
Bremen: This was my second time in Bremen, following a 36-hour stop in the fall. Much of city was bombed flat during WWII, but there are still some spectacular buildings that remain, including the Rathaus (City Hall) and St. Petri Dom (St. Peter’s Cathedral). Since it doesn’t have “greatest hit” type attractions, Bremen does not seem over-touristed (though I was there on a cold March weekend) and feels like a place where most people are going about their daily business. My activities there included:
- The TI’s 2-hour Saturday English Tour. This was a good tour for the price (€8,50). The guide took us through the medieval Schnoor District and the Old Town. We made a couple of stops to taste candy made by local companies and also visited an artist’s workshop.
- Monuments. It was fun to see the Bremen Town Musicians, and the Bremen Roland (erected 1404) is an impressive protector of the city. I was particularly interested in the statue of Otto von Bismarck, the first chancellor of the unified German Empire. Bremen’s statue is the only one of von Bismarck on a horse, and it is curiously placed right next to St. Peter’s Cathedral. I’ve tried to research whether there is some significance to this placement, but what I’ve read seems to indicate that the town leaders just decided it looked good there.
- A trip to the Central Library. I love libraries, and I’m a card-carrying member of the American Library Association (even though I’m not a librarian). Bremen’s central library is worth a visit for those who like such things. It’s located in the Forum am Wall, a redeveloped Neo-Renaissance-style former municipal police headquarters built in 1908. The library was well-used on the day I visited and had some rather creative uses of space.
- A walk in Wallanlagen Park. As with many medieval towns/cities, the former ramparts have been converted into a greenbelt, which allowed for a relaxing stroll, including past a windmill. Being directionally-challenged, I missed my turn and ended up with a longer walk than I planned on a chilly late afternoon, but it all worked out. I passed a couple of groups enjoying the park while pulling a little cart of beer behind them.