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Schnoor - Bremen's Oldest District

The Schnoor quarter in the evening. The lights shine in the shops.
Bremen's oldest district, the Schnoor quarter, is a maze of lanes lined with little 15th and 16th century houses.

© WFB / Carina Tank

The Schnoor or Schnoor quarter is one of Bremen's absolute highlights. Only a few hundred metres from Bremen's market square, the unique and oldest district of the city delights both the locals themselves and numerous visitors from all over the world time and time again.

Discover the Schnoor Quarter on a 360 Degree Tour

Like Pearls on a String

The Old Town quarter owes its name "Schnoor" to the Low German word for "string", and there's no better way to describe this lovingly restored district: Here, small, colourful houses and shops line up like pearls on a string, along alleys so narrow that you can touch both sides with outstretched arms. No wonder, then, that the US newspaper New York Post ranks the unique streets of the Schnoor among the "coolest" in the world.

A Must-Visit!

Today, the Schnoor is a thriving part of the city of Bremen. The quarter is a sight in itself, but if you're looking for a cosy café or arts and crafts, this is also the place to be. In addition, the Schnoor is also home to a museum - the Bremer Geschichtenhaus - a quaint little "wedding house" to stay in for newlyweds or lovers, and a small theatre, the Packhaustheater. The Schnoor is also home to the story of Bremen's original Heini Holtenbeen, the Birgitten Monastery, the only monastery in the city, and the Katzengang, probably one of the narrowest streets in the world.

Shopping and Enjoyment Seven Days a Week

A variety of small buisinesses invite you to rummage and shop in the unique atmosphere of the 111 pretty little houses in the Schnoor. While normally you can't go shopping on Sundays in Germany, here it is possible from April to and including December. Many art shops, galleries and souvenir shops are also open on the seventh day of the week.
In addition to jewellery, souvenirs and many other specialities, you will also find a whole range of Bremen specialities in the Schnoor. Some restaurants will spoil you with local dishes like labskaus, knipp or brown cabbage, and bakeries, confectioners and cafés will sweeten your day with sugary treats like Bremer Kluten, Schnoorkuller, Kaffeebrot, Klaben or Babbeler. A very special highlight is the colourful candy workshop of the Bremer Bonbon Manufaktur in the Materburg. Here you can watch confectioners lovingly making fudge, marshmallows and of course candies, or even take part in a workshop yourself.

Schnoor quarter

Explore the Schnoor

Guided Tour for Groups

© WFB/Hans-Joachim Harbeck

The History of the Schnoor

The Schnoor was first mentioned in the 13th century. It was mainly river fishermen, craftsmen and tradesmen who lived in this quarter. The oldest buildings that have survived to the present day were built in the 14th century. At that time, a Franciscan monastery was also built on the edge of today's Schnoorviertel, of which only the church remains today. It bears the name St. Johann and is one of the main sights in the Schnoor. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Schnoor developed into a poor quarter due to its lack of space, as cars, for example, could not pass through its alleys. What was perceived as a nightmare at the time is what gives the quarter its special ambience today. The car-free quarter is a wonderful place to stroll and immerse oneself for a moment in times long past. The medieval half-timbering of the more than 100 listed houses, the ancient cobblestones and the unique atmosphere of the winding alleyways make visitors forget the stress of everyday life in no time at all.

Impressions of the Schnoor Quarter

Small houses in Bremen's Schnoor district.

Website of the Schnoor Quarter

© WFB / Melanka Helms-Jacobs

Where to find the Schnoorviertel

Somewhat hidden, but still right in the centre of Bremen, you'll find the special gem that is Schnoor. From the heart of the city with its market square, world heritage town hall and Roland statue, St. Petri's Cathedral and the Bremen Town Musicians, the tranquil quarter is only a few metres away and within walking distance. Just stroll in the direction of Domsheide. From there, you can access the Schnoorviertel from the street "Lange Wieren" or take the path via "Dechanatstraße" and "Am Landherrnamt". A little further in the direction of Ostertor, Komturstraße or Materburg will take you to your destination. Towards the Weser, you will find the other end of the "Marterburg", which will also take you directly to the Schnoor.

Public Transport

Tram lines:
Stop "Domsheide": 2, 3, 4, 6, 8
Bus lines:
Bus stop "Domsheide": 24, 25,
Night lines:
Domsheide" stop: N3, N4, N5

A tour guide stops with her group at the Bremen Town Musicians.

English Guided Tour

Guided City Walk

© WFB / Jonas Ginter

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The Bremen Town Musicians. The Ratskeller building can be seen in the background.

Bremen Town Musicians

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© WFB / Carina Tank

A view of Bremen's market square with the town hall and Roland statue.

Town Hall and Roland Statue

UNESCO-world heritage sites in Bremen


Böttcherstraße in Bremen's old town.


A fascinating 110 metre-long alley.

© WFB / Carina Tank

Gezeichnete Skyline von Bremens prominentenen Gebäuden