The hanseatic city of Bremen is one of Germany's most bicycle-friendly cities and a destination of several short and long distance well-kept bicycle routes, among others the Weser bicycle route. Given the shortage of bicycle space in rapid long distance Deutsche Bahn trains it may however be challenging to get here by train with bikes, especially on short notice and during high traffic periods on summer weekends or school and public holidays.
The city has been climate- and environmentally (as well as socially) conscious for a much longer time than most other major German cities, and so you'll find
probably many more interesting places than I am able to list here.
Public transport and bike rental
Bremen has a generally well working tram and bus system for which tickets are easily available from ticket machines inside the vehicles. As these ticket machines accept cash you can travel without additional carbon dioxide emissions generated by data tracking apps.
People in Bremen use the bike a lot: With many bicycle lanes, bicycle-first streets paved in red and virtually no hills it's convenient to ride a bike even with a Dutch bike and when it's raining. Compared with other major (German) cities most car drivers are used to bike trafffic and behave respectfully.
To rent a bike there are several app-based schemes. I prefer the friendly service of local bike shops which not only spares the climate for extra carbon dioxide emissions by privacy-invading
data tracking, but allows for chats with interesting local people.
Unfortunately, the most convenient of them, the ADFC-Radstation at the main train station closed in 2021 in consequence of the covid-19 pandemics. So you have to invest half an hour or so to find one of the reliable bike shops with rental service during their opening hours. You may prefer to ring in upfront to make sure a bike is waiting for you (especially for the weekend). Prices in 2022 were about 12 EUR per day for a 3-gears Dutch bike.
Most of the shops I know of are in the bicycle-friendly neighbourhood of Neustadt: The Fahrradstation Neustadt (which I have not used yet) and
Fahrrad Witt at few steps from the tram stop "Pappelstraße". The latter is very convenient as you can return the bike out of their opening hours: Lock it to a chain in front of the shop, put the key into the letter box and send a text to the shop. The number also works as a help line in case the bike is broken, even outside the opening hours.
Renting bicycles for kids is less easy, but the
Bartels bike shop in
Oberneuland will happily help you if you let them know in advance. The downside is that this shop is quite a way from the city.
1-2-3 Rad at Buntentorsteinweg also offers bikes for kids and youth (as well as tandems) but I haven't used them yet.
[The_Conscious_Traveller, Germany, Bremen, Lilienthal, Neustadt, Weserradweg, bicycle]
Located at the mouth of the river Weser, the
port of Bremerhaven has been ensuring
the hanseatic city of Bremen's access to the sea for sea-going ships since the 1820ies. While the
container port (and unfortunately also the cruise ship terminal) continue to be important sea hubs, the historic ports of the Havenwelten ("port world") with maritime museums of all kinds make the family-friendly city a perfect destination for everyone interested in science, ships, and (e)migration.
A destination of the easy-going
Weserradweg bicycle route Bremerhaven can not only be reached by regional train from Bremen, but also comfortably by bike.
Eat and drink
Since the Findus cafe and restaurant re-invented itself as an organic bakery during the covid-19 pandemics and staff shortage prevails in 2022 there's currently (to my knowledge) no place to have (predominantly) organic dinner. But during the day take the chance to visit Deutsches Auswandererhaus, a museum dedicated to German emigration to the Americas. The museum has a pleasant cafe cum restaurant, the Speisesaal, with a spacious outdoor terrace facing the quays of the so-called new port in the Havenwelten area.
Their menu consists of two parts: Fully organic, predominantly vegetarian international lunch classics like pasta, stews, and gratins, and not necessarily organic maritime classics like fish soup or fish'n'chips. The organic dishes and beverages are all marked "bio" and can be recognised by the red font colour on the menu. Fish and seafood come from responsible sources. Naturally the milk for coffee drinks is also organic. 2022 staff shortage leads to occasionally slow service, so enjoy the view and be a little patient.
While the Speisesaal is open to the general public, the Cafe südwärts inside the Klimahaus 8° Ost a few steps away can only be accessed with a valid ticket to the museum. The museum features places located on the same lattitude like Bremerhaven as an interactive journey through the (changing) climate zones of the earth and as such is highly recommended by itself. The cafe can be accessed after you come to the river landsacpe of Cameroon and offers
organic egg, pasta, orange juice and bionade lemonades. The fish also carries
MSC certificates, and there are
no meat dishes.
The museum's shop
is accessible for non-visitors from the entrance, the so-called Havenplaza. It offers environmentally and socially resposibly produced gifts and dry food,
but unfortunately does not serve (fairly traded) coffee.
To have an organic coffee not connected with a museum you have to walk longer south, to the Fischereihafen ("fish port"). Here you'll find a small owner-run café, Grethe's, directly located at the quay. All coffee and milk is organic here, as are most of the ingredients for their cakes and vegetarian food. You can have burgers, pasta dishes, soups and stews, and most drinks apart from a few spirits are organic, too. Unfortunately also this presumably lovely place with its art gallery located in a former motor workshop closes at 6 pm and does not keep open on Mondays and Tuesdays.
For an organic coffee or snack until 8 pm the only opportunity I've seen so far is the self-serviced cafe of the ALECO Biomarkt in the neighbourhood of Lehe, an urban train stop away from the main station.
Food and necessities
Glückswinkel package-free shop organic and responsibly produced small-scale regional food, fresh organic produce of the Findus organic bakery a few steps away, sustainable household items and cleaning agents, clothes for babies and toddlers, repair sets, nice gifts and more.
While the Glückswinkel is located in the centre of the old town, there's no organic convenience store in the mall of the Havenwelten area. Luckily the Grünschnabel Biomarkt is located only a few steps away.
The organic supermarket nearest the main train station is Der Bioladen in the
streets around Holzhafen, the part of town that from 1877 for about half a century was used to land and process timber. Note that these two traditional organic supermarkets close at 6 pm and are closed on Saturday afternoons.
To find an organic supermarket with more liberal opening hours you have to go to the neighbourhood of Lehe: There you find a branch of the regional ALECO Biomarkt chain which runs many organic supermarkets in the North of Germany.
Bremerhaven's only fully organic day cafe Findus resettled its activities during the covid-19 pandemics and became an organic bakery only. There are however plans to re-open the cafe, so check on location and ask at the bakery.
[Bremerhaven, Weserradweg, organic, vegan, coffee, lunch, cafe, supermarkets, grocery, bodycare, zero_waste, unverpackt, fair, corona, covid]