The early morning sunlight is perfect for capturing the quiet streets of beautiful Bremen all by yourself!
I recently had the chance to travel to Germany for work and flew into (and out of) the city of Bremen. Last time I visited Germany was a good five years ago when I began my inter railing journey in Berlin so I was excited to have the opportunity to be back, even if it was for work! It can be hard to find time to explore with this type of travelling but I was determined to make the most of the few days I had in and around Bremen.
This year, I’ve discovered the joy of photographing at sunrise, when the streets are still empty and this fitted in well with having the bulk of my day working. A 6am start gave me enough time to stroll the cobbled streets of the charming city of Bremen. With gorgeous buildings to discover and photo opportunities at every corner, Bremen is stunning and I can’t wait to go back and explore some more!
1. Bremen Town Hall & Bremen Cathedral
Bremen’s Marktplatz is Bremen’s market square located in the centre of the city. It is surrounded on all sides by interesting historic buildings and this view gives you two in one shot! On the left is the Town Hall which, along with a statue of Roland (see number 5), forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is in the Gothic style and covered in very intricate details! The building on the right is Bremen Cathedral (St Peter’s Cathedral) which is also in the Gothic style and its two tall towers are quite magnificent! I didn’t have time to go up but I would imagine the view must be amazing.
2. Am Wall Windmill
Yes, that is a windmill and those are tulips. No, it’s not the Netherlands but you would be forgiven for thinking you’d made a significantly wrong turn! The charming Am Wall Windmill has been set in the peaceful surrounds of Wallanlagen Park since construction in 1898 and it’s right in the middle of Bremen. The windmill now houses a restaurant, perfect for a drink after you’ve taken a run through the park. I love that the pink glow of sunrise has made this scene look like a fairytale illustration!
3. Entrance to Bottcherstrasse
Bottcherstrasse is a unique 110m alleyway that connects the Marktplatz to the Weser river. It is one of my favourite spots in the early morning as during the day this space becomes filled up with people visiting. The street is home to some very unusual historic buildings but even the entranceway makes for a striking photo.
The Schnoor Viertel (or Schnoor District) is the medieval quarter of Bremen. It is packed with narrow, winding cobbled streets lined on either side by quaint old buildings from the 15th and 16th century. During the day, this area is bustling with visitors and very difficult to get a clear shot, especially down the main street, Schnoor. Come in the early morning to enjoy the tranquillity of this captivating street uninterrupted.
This photo was taken as I was making my way back to the hotel and the Marktplatz was beginning to wake up. Many people use the tram or bicycle to get around this city! You will notice the large statue in the photo which, at over 10m tall, is even bigger in person than it seems! The statue of Roland represents freedom and market rights and he makes an appearance in a number of German towns and cities. The Bremen Roland dates back to 1404 and along with the Town Hall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
6. Hinter del Bage (Schnoor District)
The Schnoor District has lots of hidden corners to explore off the main street. Take a left whilst walking down the main street through a passageway onto Hinter del Bage to find this gorgeous little scene, complete with lamp post and trailing greenery.
Make your way into Bottcherstrasse to take beautiful photos of its red brick buildings and the hanging signs that jut out into the alley. Today, this street has plenty of arts and crafts shops and workshops so make sure to come back and explore them when they are open. In to the left of the street is the House of the Seven Lazy Brothers, based on a local legend. The fountain that borders the house depicts the lazy brothers as the people of Bremen perceive them before they leave the town. As you leave to the Marktplatz look back to the entrance and up at the top of the building to see the brothers upright after the hard work they have completed on returning to Bremen.
8. House of the Glockenspiel
In Bottcherstrasse you will find the Glockenspiel House. Look all the way up to the top of the red brick building and you will see a very remarkable sight. Strung between the gables of the building is a glockenspiel. It was added to the house in the 1920s and has 30 bells in total. I was incredibly lucky that the hotel I stayed in during my final night in Bremen had a view directly of the bells and I listened to the gorgeous 6pm carillon from my hotel room.
9. Schifferhaus (Schnoor District)
The Schifferhaus is a delightful old building in the Schnoor District built in 1630. Later in the day you may see plenty of people sitting outside enjoying a drink but in the early morning the tables and chairs remain empty. It’s name translates as Shipper’s House…intriguing!
In the early morning the Marktplatz of Bremen is quiet. The cafes are closed and nobody sits at their tables, the wind simply flutters across them. I love these long thin houses with the unusual roof tops, they make such a pleasing photo and in the morning it’s easy to snap them without anyone walking past in the foreground.
11. Teestubchen im Bremen
Another lovely corner of the Schnoor District. I love this little building, the stars hanging across the street almost look like they’re part of it! Make sure you wonder the streets of this area back to front so that you can discover all the hidden gems.
12. Town Musicians of Bremen
During the day, this statue of the Town Musicians of Bremen has a queue lining up beside it and you’d be lucky to get a shot with nobody in the frame. Wondering why? The Town Musicians of Bremen is a popular fairytale by the Brothers Grimm about a gang of ageing farmyard creatures that decide to make their way to Bremen to make their fortunes as musicians (although they don’t quite make it in the end). Rubbing the donkey’s legs is supposed to bring luck – the reason for the line of people!
Ludwig Roselius was the founder of the Kaffee HAG company (and also the inventor of de-caf coffee). During the early 1900s he began buying buildings along Bottcherstrasse until he had bought them all. He then commissioned a transformation of the street which included constructing 6 new buildings. The unusual collection represents a variety of architectural styles and is a wonderful place to visit.
One last photo of the Schnoor to finish. This district and especially the main street feel like you’re walking through a fairytale book. The soft early morning light adds to the charming atmosphere. The view looking into the Schnoor from its far end curves round at an angle to display more of the lovely pink facades than you see at other parts along the street.
Have you visited Bremen? What’s the earliest you’ve got up to take photos?!