To visit Hannover is to step into Germany’s past. The capital city of Lower Saxony has held fast to its medieval origins, despite being heavily hit during World War II. Today, Hannover is best known as a hotspot for trade fairs and conventions, but there is plenty here for the leisure traveler to enjoy, too.
To understand Hannover, one must start their exploration of the city in Old Town. Here, the picturesque scene is set by rows upon rows of historic white and brown half-timbered houses towering against narrow alleyways. Strolling through the Old Town district, it’s easy to imagine what life must have looked like during the medieval era in Germany. While exploring Old Town, don’t miss the striking gothic architecture of the city’s old Town Hall.
Speaking of historic attractions, travelers will find that Hannover is filled with them. The eye-catching architecture of Hannover’s newer Town Hall and its domed tower dominate the city’s skyline, while the remains of the centuries-old Aegidien Church are another must-see.
For a more modern look at Hannover, see how the locals live today at Kröpcke, the town’s new center. Filled with department stores, an opera house, with its department stores, restaurants and even an opera house, this pedestrian zone can fill an entire day in Hannover.
Culturally, Hannover is rich. Sites like the Sprengel Museum and the Lower Saxony State Museum satisfy any traveler’s needs for art and history exhibits. Meanwhile, this riverside town also features plenty of water-based entertainment, both at the River Leine and the man-made Maschsee Lake. For the best nature in Hannover, though, a trip to the Herrenhauser Gardens is a must.
Of course, one can’t visit Hannover without stopping for a pint at a German beer garden. While there are plenty of options in the city, one of the best beer gardens is Lister Turm Biergarten, where a backdrop of trees and nature set the mood for an afternoon of drinking.
Although Hannover is a year-round destination, many tourists choose to visit the city during April, May, September and October, due to drier weather and warm — but not unbearably so — temperatures. June, July and August bring the warmest weather to Hannover, as well as a flurry of festivals, but the heavy rains of the season are a turnoff for some visitors. Cheap flights to Hannover may be easier to find during the months of December, January and February, when the weather is at its coldest.
Hannover has plenty of options for public transportation, so getting around the city is generally not an issue. Both buses and underground trains connect travelers to all parts of the city. Taxis are plentiful but costly. Pedestrian walkways throughout the city also make it easy to travel on foot.