In and around Bremen, from the Hanseatic City to the North Sea

A tour through fairy-tale villages and vessels, cafés, restaurants and lots of good music

Duration: 3 days in total

Itinerary: from Bremen to Bremerhaven, about 150 kilometers

Equipment: backpack for shopping, sweater for sudden weather changes, fairy catcher

Bremen: a stylish city of water, with a beautiful historic centre (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) – it is the pearl of Northern Europe... and perfect to visit aboard the Vespa. Your itinerary will start from the historic city centre, with the large Marktplatz square, watched over by prestigious buildings like the Town Hall and the Chamber of Commerce, as well as four bronze statues that are a favourite photo subject for tourists. The Town Musicians are protagonists of the Grimm’s fairytale that we've all heard at least once as children. Take a selfie with them! Speaking of a fairy-tale atmosphere, next to the Chamber of Commerce there is a small alley, the Böttcherstrasse (literally the "barrel street", from the workshops of coopers) where you suddenly feel like you belong to a different era, among art galleries, statues, small shops and pretty cafés. Impossible to say no to a hot cup of coffee here.

Enjoy the magical atmospheres among pastel-coloured houses, small flowered windows and views on stone streets. When you are satisfied with your photographs, get on your Vespa and reach the Wallanlagen Park, a green oasis in the city. Strolling through the greenery, you will find a beautiful mill flanked by a bar with outdoor seating, perfect for a lunch break in the fresh air. The menu offers mostly meat dishes, especially pork shanks, beef fillets and burgers, but keep some space for a dessert.

Afterwards, continue your trip towards the Weser river, about ten minutes away. Once a line-up of ships and vessels ready to sail, today the Schlachte promenade is a place for art, music and experimentation, sometimes right inside the same original boats, now turned into unique cafés. The stalls often offer good shopping deals, therefore buy some souvenirs. Walk around the Riverwalk, meet tourists and locals. If weather permits, climb aboard one of the tour boats. Once back on dry land, let yourselves be guided by instinct and music as many places propose live performances, especially in summer. Get on the Vespa and after the long day, go and rest at your very central hotel, the Intercity Hotel Bremen.

Wake up early and have a hearty breakfast, then ride the Vespa to Worpswede, less than an hour away. A delightful town in Lower Saxony founded as a settlement of diggers and transformed into a veritable village of artists at the end of 20th century. Park the Vespa and discover their homes and the museums in which their artwork is kept; there are seven of them, therefore take all the time you need. Among ceramics, jewellery, posters and soap, it will be hard to resist the temptation of shopping – fortunately, you have your Vespa top case. When your stomach starts to rumble, stop for lunch at one of the delicious coffee shops in the village, or in the former railway station, now converted into a restaurant. After lunch, if the weather is nice, you will also be able to enjoy a canoe trip.

Once you’ve abandoned the paddles, get on the Vespa and set the GPS towards Bremerhaven. The city lies where the Wemer river flows into the North Sea. You will arrive before dinner, in time to settle into the hotel and go out to enjoy the local bars and restaurants. A good place for the night will be the Atlantic Hotel Sail City, a sail-shaped skyscraper with a lovely view over the city. Begin the visit from the port, one of the most important in Europe and with a great history behind it. That’s where many of the immigrants headed to Ellis Island in New York used to gather. Today, the area is dominated by old machinery and tall glass buildings that create a fascinating mix.

Don’t miss the Climate House, the Klimahaus, a truly unique museum. From the outside, it looks like a great cloud of glass and steel, and inside, thanks to sophisticated technologies, you can live the experience of crossing all climates of the world, from Switzerland to Sardinia, Cameroon and Alaska. And since weather changes bring on the appetite, stop right nearby for lunch in a restaurant that was once a fish canning warehouse and has been converted into a fish restaurant with bars and small shops. The afternoon will be dedicated to the sea and its legends. The city of Bremerhaven is, in fact, part of the circuit of the Grimm’s tales. Will there be some of that magical atmosphere left in town? Try to capture it. Indeed, try to catch some fairies: it seems that the spirit of sailors and the sea live here.