Rarely will you find a city more than 1200 years old with such a lively population and thriving economy. The city of Bremen is an incredible place to live in if you are an expat moving to Germany. Bremen is the eleventh most populated city in the country and is a significant economic and cultural hub. Many multinational corporations call Bremen home and to some degree have aided in giving Bremen its ‘working class city’ status. The city has a famous football club, Werder Bremen, a large student population and an oddly recognizable focus on family life.
Is Bremen a good place to live? Bremen is a city with plenty of opportunities to work with many companies headquartered there. There are plenty of excellent schools at all levels and social amenities to rival any city in the country. Transportation is run efficiently and the city lies by the sea. By most accounts, Bremen is a good place to live.
Living in Bremen has been described as calm and peaceful by most of its residents which is rare for a city of its stature. The city is not only vibrant on its own but is well connected to the rest of the country. Most expats with families will love the family-friendly atmosphere of the city. Moving to Bremen is the only way to experience the enchanting city’s glorious fusion of modern flair with medieval charm. Bremen offers its residents a high standard of living with surprisingly cheap rents and a community for everyone so living in Bremen will surely be thrilling.
Is Bremen a good place to live?
If you are an expat or simply someone planning on moving to Germany, then Bremen is a city to which you should give a lot of consideration. Most neighbourhoods are great but they do fall on a spectrum of best to worst neighbourhoods. Better neighbourhoods will typically have wealthier, more educated residents while vice versa is true for worse neighbourhoods. Better neighbourhoods in Bremen include areas like Schwachhausen, Findorff, Horn, Oberneuland, Steintor, Peterswerder and Neustadt. The worse neighbourhoods include Gröpelingen, Huchting, Tenever, Kattenturm and Vahr.
Bremen has a moderate level of crime quite similar to the national average. However, crime has been steadily increasing in the past three years. More than half the residents of Bremen feel safe walking alone at night. The most prevalent crimes in Bremen include the use and sale of drugs, burglary, car theft and armed robbery. Property crimes like vandalism and theft take the largest portion of criminal activities in Bremen.
The citizens of Bremen have a wide variety of private and public run schools to choose from but the city is mostly known for its institutions of higher learning. The University of Bremen is the largest learning institution in the city with a student population of about 20,000 people. The university is also home to the acclaimed Goethe Institute. Other noteworthy institutions of higher education include the Bremen University of the Arts and Bremen University of Applied Sciences. Jacobs University Bremen is a more recent institution which is privately operated. Moreover, most German research foundations have an institute in the city especially those with a focus on marine sciences for example the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology.
Bremen deserves a lot of credit when it comes to transportation systems. The city is very well connected to Germany and the rest of Europe. For starters, Bremen Airport is an international airport located just 3.5 km south of the city centre. It has flights to the rest of the country as well as the UK, France, Spain and Greece. There are also plenty of buses and trams operated by the Bremen Tramways Corporation which offers public transport in and out of the city. Germany is famous for its efficient train transportation network and Bremen is no different. There is a main railway station in Bremen with trains connecting Bremen citizens to cities like Hamburg, Berlin, Hannover and Munich. The trains also reach other European cities like Amsterdam and Vienna. Cycling is very popular here and bikes can be hired all over the city as a means of transport.
The social life of Bremen is vibrant to say the least. Most residents are crazy about football and every game played by the home team, Werder Bremen is closely followed and games at the 42,500-seater Weser Stadium are always well attended. There is a Cultural Mile (Kulturmeile) in downtown Bremen that connects various cultural hotspots like the Bremen Theatre and Kunsthalle Art Gallery. Bremen is a waterside city so activities like canoeing and cycling are popular social activities.
Is Bremen a good place to work?
According to EURES, The European Job Mobility Portal, the unemployment rate in Bremen was 9.7% which was way higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.3%. Therefore, Bremen has the highest unemployment rate of any major city in the country. However, there has been a huge inflow of immigrants in Bremen which surely has contributed to the rate of unemployment.
The average salary of a worker in Bremen is €46,542. The most prevalent level of education in Bremen according to survey is a Masters Degree. The most common jobs in Bremen include software developer, aerospace engineer and software engineer all with good pay. The industries employing the largest number of people in Bremen include software development, aerospace industry, defence industry and the IT industry. As far as individual institutions go, the major employers in Bremen include OHB Systems AG, Airbus, Aveva Solutions and Mars,Inc.
Is Bremen a good place to buy a house?
Bremen has an active real estate market. Most citizens rent and do not purchase houses but those who do usually buy the houses by way of a mortgage. Regardless of where you purchase property, you should ensure that you have home insurance. Bremen has bad and good neighbourhoods just like any city. Better neighbourhoods in Bremen include areas like Schwachhausen, Findorff, Horn, Oberneuland, Steintor, Peterswerder and Neustadt. The worse neighbourhoods include Gröpelingen, Huchting, Tenever, Kattenturm and Vahr.
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in Bremen is €600. The average rent for a two bedroom apartment is €780 per month while the average monthly rent for a three bedroom apartment is €1000. The average rent per month for a four bedroom apartment is €1400 and the average rent for a five bedroom apartment is €1850 per month.
The average price of a one bedroom property in Bremen is €97,550 while the average price of a two bedroom property is €145,000. The average price of a three bedroom apartment is €199,750 while for a four bedroom property is €375,000. The average price of a five bedroom property is €485,245.
Is Bremen a good place to retire?
Bremen is a working class city and hence it may not be considered as a good place to retire if you plan on moving to Germany. The property prices are above average meaning that a mortgage is expensive and the premiums paid on home insurance will be high too. Unless you have a very well funded retirement scheme or substantial passive income you will have to acquire a property by credit. The better neighbourhoods in Bremen include areas like Schwachhausen, Findorff, Horn, Oberneuland, Steintor, Peterswerder and Neustadt. The worse neighbourhoods include Gröpelingen, Huchting, Tenever, Kattenturm and Vahr.
The prices of retirement properties in Bremen are not greatly differentiated from regular properties. In fact, they may be more expensive since senior citizens require special amenities. The above rental rates and property prices can be used in reference to retirement homes.
Is Bremen a good place to visit?
Bremen is a great place to visit particularly because of its rich history. It also has a unique ancient and modern city blend that is quite fascinating. There are various landmarks that everyone visiting Bremen should see including Kunsthalle Bremen, Marktplatz, Cathedral Museum, Haus des Glockenspiels, Burgerpark and the Universum. Short term attractions include events such as the ‘Free Market’ festival, the Vision Parade and the Bremer 6 Tage Rennen race. Any Werder Bremen game at the Weser Stadium is sure to be a special atmosphere especially if you are visiting for a short time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of living in Bremen, Germany?
The cost of living for an expat in Bremen is €1468 per month while that for a local is $1028 per month. The cost of living for a family on average is $3596 per month. Taxes and housing take the greater share of households’ income in Bremen.
Is Bremen a good place to invest in property?
The city of Bremen is a working class city with a multitude of students so yes it is a good place to invest in property. Investors are assured of demand as the universities will always have new students coming who require housing. Plenty of opportunities for employment also mean working class citizens earning good pay will continue moving to Bremen from within and outside the country hence great returns for real estate investors.
Is Bremen a good place to raise a family?
Bremen is a good place to raise a family because of various reasons. There are plenty of excellent schools for children to attend all the way to university. The city is by the sea meaning plenty of play time by the beach. There are also many parks and open spaces where kids can play and develop their innate talents. There are many high paying jobs in Bremen which means you should be able to provide what your family needs and more.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.