10 tips for Hanover
Ten tips for an unforgettable stay in Hanover
Capital of boredom? The hell you will! Hanover has much more to offer visitors than just flawless High German. With around 530,000 inhabitants, the city on the banks of the Leine is one of the 15 largest cities in Germany. Internationally known above all through CeBIT, you can stroll along beautiful half-timbered houses and visit picturesque parks and gardens. Bremen, Hamburg or Berlin are only a stone’s throw away and the Lüneburger Heide or the Steinhuder Meer are in direct neighbourhood. The capital of Lower Saxony is definitely worth a visit. Here are ten tips for an unforgettable stay:
1.) Most sought-after photo motif of the city – The Town Hall
Not for nothing does the New Town Hall stand in a row with such well-known German sights as Neuschwanstein Castle, the Brandenburg Gate or Cologne Cathedral. Even if at first glance you think you have a castle in front of you, this magnificent Wilhelminian building with its spectacular dome is not the former residence of the “Hochwohlgeborenen”, but the seat of the mayor, the Hanover city administration and the mayor’s office. Nevertheless, the landmark is of course also open to visitors. With the worldwide unique bow lift, they have the possibility to climb the 97.73 meter high dome: First it goes vertically upwards, before the cabin transports its guests in an angle of seventeen degrees to the top. Not only the glazed roof of the cabin offers the possibility to follow the journey, but also a window on the floor. At the top you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the nearby Maschsee and the hustle and bustle of the city. City models show Hanover in the years 1698, 1939, after the World War and today.
Those who have always wanted to take a look behind the scenes can do so within the framework of an exclusive city hall tour.
2.) The green oasis in the city – the Maschsee
Hard to believe, but Hanover consists of 50 percent green spaces. Especially worth seeing is the 80 hectare Maschsee, which is hardly a stone’s throw away from the New Town Hall. Whether it’s a pedal boat ride, a detour to the beer garden, a leisurely stroll or simply relaxing in the beach chair – here you get a holiday feeling in the middle of the city. The picturesque Maschsee is not only a destination for sports enthusiasts, but also the backdrop for the largest open-air event in northern Germany, the three-week Maschsee Festival.
The Hanoverians say, who was not at the Maschsee, was actually not really in Hannover. All the more reason to pay him a visit.
3.) With the red thread through the old town
If you look at the idyllic alleys with their historic half-timbered buildings, inviting cafés and small shops, you can’t believe that Hannover’s old town was almost completely burnt out after the Second World War. At the end of the fifties, however, the remaining half-timbered houses in the city area were dismantled and rebuilt in the area around the Market Church and the Old Town Hall. Today, Hanover once again has a historic core worth seeing, which invites you to shop and stroll around. In the immediate vicinity there are many sights, such as the wood market with the Leibniz House, the Kreuzkirche church built in 1333 and the Ballhofplatz.
By the way, you don’t need a city map in Hanover to find your way around the old town, because there is literally a red thread leading to 36 sights. The red line painted on the pavement measures a total length of 4,200 metres and makes discovery tours on one’s own initiative child’s play – a completely different kind of tourist guidance system. For those who want to know exactly, there is an accompanying brochure that explains all the attractions along the Red Thread in more detail, and most recently even a corresponding app.
4.) Mini-Versaille – The Herrenhäuser Gardens
Hanover is rightly one of the greenest cities in Germany. Every year the baroque garden art of the Herrenhäuser Gärten attracts around half a million visitors and impresses them with its colourful variety and paradisiacal beauty. Built at the end of the 17th century according to the French model, there are water features, fountains, cascades, gallery buildings, a maze and an orangery. In the summer months, theatre performances, garden festivals and the famous International Fireworks Competition take place here. A special highlight is the grotto built in the 19th century, which is transformed into a work of art of colour and light through pieces of pebble, glass and mirrors. Extremely worth seeing! In the Berggarten you will also find Europe’s largest collection of orchids in the Botanical Garden and an aquarium.
5.) Royal ambience in the castles Herrenhausen and Marienburg
If you would like to follow in the footsteps of the former Kingdom of Hanover, you should definitely visit the castles of Herrenhausen and Marienburg. Herrenhausen Castle, destroyed during the Second World War and only extensively rebuilt in 2011, once served the Welfenhaus as a summer palace and venue for prestigious receptions and dinners. Today, its walls not only house a modern conference centre, but also a museum displaying Baroque treasures with more than 500 exhibits. As an alternative, Hanover also has Schloss Marienburg on offer. Built in neo-Gothic style, the hunting lodge was once a gift from King George V to his wife, Queen Marie of Hanover. After they left for exile, it was inhabited only by the caretaker for almost 80 years. During a guided tour of the castle you can marvel at the royal splendour and learn a lot about courtly life in the 18th century before having a royal meal in the adjacent restaurant.
5.) On safari in the adventure zoo
You won’t see bars and cages at Hannover Zoo. Instead, the animals walk around freely in lovingly designed theme worlds. From giraffes and polar bears to kangaroos and antelopes, there is an impressive animal population. On an area of 22 hectares the zoo offers a home to over 2,000 animals of various species. Each theme world is adapted to the habitat of each animal, so that visitors young and old can take a trip into the wilderness of Canada, an Indian jungle, the Australian outback or an adventurous boat trip through wild Africa. A great experience for the whole family – it’s no coincidence that Hannover Zoo was voted best in Germany for the sixth time.
6.) The Leibniz House
The Renaissance bourgeois house, built in 1499, was not named after the famous biscuit with 52 teeth, but rather by the philosopher and long-standing court librarian Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (although the popular biscuits are also inseparably linked to this son of the city), who lived here from 1698 to 1716. After complete destruction in the Second World War, the house was reconstructed true to the original in the 1980s. It is now used as the administration building for Hanover’s universities and as a guest house.
7.) Caricature and Drawing in the Wilhelm-Busch-Museum
Built in 1780, the Georgenpalais not only houses a unique Wilhelm-Busch collection, but also satirical works by such well-known artists as William Hogarth, Francisco de Goya, Honoré Daumier, Thomas Theodor Heine, Ronald Searle and James Gillray. A broadly diversified permanent exhibition and exciting temporary exhibitions show historical and contemporary caricatures, graphics, cartoons and comics in a beautiful setting.
8.) Linden district: The Cross Mountain of Hanover
Formerly a working-class district, Linden is now a colourful mix of creative people and alternatives. The streets are equally lined with beautiful Art Nouveau houses, typically North German clinker facades and run-down factory buildings. From chic to graffiti you can find everything in Linden, especially a lot of cool shops and cute cafés. Clearly the hippest district of the city and a good place for a little foray.
9.) War Memorial – The Aegidienkirche
Even if today only the walls and the old church tower stand, the Aegidienkirche is a sight with goosebumps potential. Destroyed in 1943 by air raids on the city, it was decided not to rebuild the church, but instead serves today as a memorial for the victims of war and violence. A place of peace in the middle of the city with a unique atmosphere.
10.) Eat and enjoy
Hanover has a large number of great restaurants with cuisine from all over the world to offer. Whether traditional German cuisine, experience gastronomy or worldwide culinary delights, Hanover’s restaurants cover every taste. By the way, every visitor should have tried a “Lüttje Lage”, a special festival beer and Hanoverian speciality. The area is also one of the largest asparagus growing areas in Germany and the city is full of asparagus.