For centuries, shipping and overseas trade have played a vital role in the life of this city on the Weser River. Even today the proud traditions of Bremen can be sensed and seen, whether you take a walk by the river, past the splendid buildings of the Gründerzeit era or explore the winding laneways of the medieval Schnoorviertel district. After years of structural transformation Bremen is now a leading center for the automotive, shipbuilding, steel, electronics and food industries. The modern university and the innovative, hands-on cooperation between the private sector, academia and the city make Bremen's Technologiepark a magnet for young people seeking a start in the industries of the future. In 2005 Bremen became the first German city to be awarded the title, “City of the Sciences.”
Bremen's cultural institutions, such as the Tanztheater Bremen, the Bremer Shakespeare Company and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, have built an outstanding reputation. In 2007, Theater Bremen was honored as the "Opera House of the Year". Every year in September the Bremer Musikfest draws an international audience of music lovers who are treated to every possible genre, from classical to contemporary. Bremen also has museums to appeal to every interest, ranging from art and design to Antiquity, and from the history of shipping to astronomy. The Überseemuseum is one of Europe's major ethnological museums. A must-see in the old city center are the Gothic churches.
This port city offers an enormous variety of leisure-time activities: Bremen's spacious parks and green spaces have plenty of room for sports and recreation. A river steamer excursion on the Weser, an afternoon at the horse races, a seat at a first-division soccer match with the Werder Bremen team or a bicycle tour of the city's scenic surroundings are just a few ways of experiencing Bremen's most exciting and appealing facets. The riverside promenade known as the Weserufer Schlachte, in the old city center, is now the heart of a lively dining and nightlife scene, with restaurants and cafés for every taste. A reminder of the city's long tradition of overseas trading are the rare teas and coffees sometimes encountered here, not to mention a world-renowned pale lager beer.