12 top tourist attractions in Hanover

Historic Hanover (spelled Hanover in German) on the River Leine is the capital of the Land of Lower Saxony and an important commercial center with a university and academies of music and drama. It is also an important trade fair and festival center, known for events such as the Hannover Oktoberfest, one of the largest celebrations in the world, as well as the Hannover Schützenfest, the world’s largest shooting mob. Hanover is also an important cultural center and boasts many world-class museums, galleries and theatres. The extensive parks and gardens – the Eilenriede, the Maschpark with its lake, the Lönspark, the zoo and the Herrenhausen Gardens – justify Hanover’s claim as ‘the city in the country’.

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1 Herrenhausen-tuinen


The beautiful Herrenhausen Gardens include the Georgengarten, a beautiful English-style park, and the Berggarten, a botanical garden with orchid and cactus houses. On the north side is the mausoleum built in 1846 for King Ernest Augustus and Queen Friederike and containing the tomb of George I of Great Britain. Also of interest is the recently rebuilt Herrenhausen Palacehome to a museum displaying artifacts and documents related to the city’s rich baroque era.

Other urban gardens of interest are the Big garden (Great Garden), dating from 1666 and the best preserved example of an early baroque garden in Germany with waterfalls, fountains, an orangery and a garden theatre.

Address: Herrenhäuser Museum, 30419 Hanover

2 market place and the market church

Market square and the market church
Market square and the market church

Beautiful Marktplatz of Hanover, in the center of Old City, is where you will find many of the city’s historic buildings. One of the most notable is the 15th-century Late Gothic Old town hall (Altes Rathaus), home to a number of small shops and galleries, and before that is the gracious neo-Gothic Market Fountain built in 1881. The other major tourist attraction here is the Marktkirche, or Market Church, with its impressive 97-story tower. Dating from the 14th century, it houses a beautiful 15th century bronze font and carved altar. Leiden from the Marktplatz is Kramerstrassewhich still retains some of the atmosphere of old Hanover with its many beautiful half-timbered houses.

Address: Karmarschstrasse 42, 30159 Hanover

3 The New Town Hall

The new town hall
The new town hall

In Hanover’s Trammplatz is the huge Town Hall, built between 1901-13 in the style of the Wilhelmine period. It is one of the most interesting structures in the city, as it is built on a foundation of 6,026 beech wood piles and topped with a domed tower almost 100 meters high that dominates the city skyline. From the dome’s viewing platform – reached by a unique elevator that lifts passengers at an oblique angle – are the best views of the city. In the hall are models of the city, and the Hodler room has a huge painting called The oath of allegiance dating from 1913. Tours are available.

Address: Trammplatz 2, Hanover

4 Hanover Opera House

Hanover Opera House
Hanover Opera House

The neoclassical Hanover Opera House is located along the stately Georgstrasse. Built in 1852, this majestic structure is now home to the city’s professional opera company, Staatsoper Hannover, and thanks to recent renovations, it offers a top experience for opera fans during the season, which runs from September to June.

Address: Opernplatz 1, 30159 Hanover

5 De oude stad en Leineschloss

De oude stad en Leineschloss
De oude stad en Leineschloss

Hanover’s old town is pleasant to explore and encompassing Leineschlossthe parliament building, built on the river banks in the 17th century as the residence of Duke Georg von Calenberg and changed to neoclassical style between 1817 and 1842. Also of interest is the New city churchor Neustädter Kirche, a 17th-century building housing the grave of the famous German philosopher GW Leibniz, buried here in 1716. Also in the Old Town, Hanover’s most beautiful half-timbered house, the Ballhof, was built between 1649 and 1665 for the then fashionable games of the battle mill and shuttlecock, as well as music concerts. It is now home to the Lower Saxony State Theater and continues to be a popular venue for music events such as pop, jazz and opera. For those interested in exploring more of these charming half-timbered houses, the little town Thatabout 40 kilometers northeast of Hanover on the banks of the River Aller, boasts more than 400 half-timbered houses in its picturesque old town.

Address: Knochenhauerstrasse 28, Hanover

6 State Museum of Lower Saxony

State Museum of Lower Saxony
State Museum of Lower Saxony

The Lower Saxony Museum (Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover), opposite it New Town Hall, houses many important collections of antiquities. The most popular is the State Gallery (Landesgalerie) with its collection of European art from the Romantic era to the present day. Also noteworthy are the archaeological and ethnological collections – the oldest in Germany, with over 20,000 artifacts – as well as numerous species of fish and reptiles.

Address: Willy-Brandt-Allee 5, Am Maschpark, D-30169 Hanover

7 De Maschsee

De Maschsee
De Maschsee

The Maschsee is an artificial lake in the heart of Hanover. Completed in 1936, it stretches from 1.5 miles to 1,800 feet and is the city’s largest and busiest sports and recreation area, equally popular with water sports enthusiasts – sailors and motorcyclists alike – as well as swimmers. The lake is also surrounded by many excellent trails and is perfect for a walk or picnic. On the west side, it is Lower Saxony Stadium stadium, built in 1954 on heaps of rubble from buildings destroyed in the war. Another pleasant area for a stroll is Herrenhauser Alleebuilt in 1726 and with many attractive historic buildings.

8 Wilhelm Busch Museum

Wilhelm Busch Museum
Wilhelm Busch Museum

The Wilhelm-Busch-Museum in Hanover covers the life of the famous poet and designer Wilhelm Busch. In addition to permanent exhibits of caricature and comic art, the museum houses the world’s largest collection of Busch’s work. A special highlight is a unique collection of more than 700 caricatures of Napoleon. Founded in 1937, the museum is housed in the attractive 18th-century Georgenpalais in Herrenhausen-tuinen.

Address: Georgengarten, 30167 Hanover

9 Hanover Adventure Zoo

Hanover Adventure Zoo Akulatraxas / photo modified
Hanover Adventure Zoo Akulatraxas / photo modified

Hanover Zoo – the fifth oldest in Germany – was founded in 1865 on the edge of the Eilenriede Park and has been converted with great success on the model of an amusement park. Today, an estimated half a million people visit the attraction each year, drawn by fun areas such as the Winter Zoo with its Christmas themes and activities, as well as the children’s area, Mullewapp, with a petting zoo and rides. Other attractions at the zoo include the fun Meyers Farm, where you can explore Lower Saxony’s 19th-century half-timbered houses, and the Zambezi River boat ride through the open cages of animals such as rhinoceroses and elephants.

Adres: Adenauerallee 3, 30175 Hannover

10 Museum August Kestner

The Kestner Museum in Hanover is home to numerous antiquities, including an important Egyptian collection, as well as applied and decorative arts. Founded in 1889, it also holds large collections of local antiquities, coins, and handicrafts. Another important museum is the Kestner Societynoted for its modern art collections and exhibitions.

Address: Trammplatz 3, 30159 Hanover

11 Sprengel Museum

Home to one of Germany’s most important collections of modern art, the Sprengel Museum is a must for art lovers. The gallery opened in 1979 and contains both private and state collections. It is known for its many works by local artist Kurt Schwitters, as well as artists such as Max Ernst, Picasso and Paul Klee. The museum is also home to a collection donated by renowned artist Niki de Saint Phalle, as well as a fascinating large metal sculpture by Alexander Calder.

Address: Kurt-Schwitters-Platz, 30169 Hanover

Official site: www.sprengel-museum.com

12 Eilenriede

Tiergarten Afifi Abdul Latiff / photo modified
Tiergarten Afifi Abdul Latiff / photo modified

On the east side of Hanover, the beautiful urban forest of Eilenriede covers an area of ​​almost 1600 hectares. This huge recreational area – the largest inner-city forest in Europe – contains numerous walking and riding trails, playing fields and open spaces for relaxation. Often referred to as the “Grüne Lunge” or green lung, it’s a wonderful place to spend time while visiting Hanover, such as Hermann Löns Park, a beautifully landscaped park with an old windmill. It is adjacent zooestablished in 1679 as a hunting park with old trees and about 200 red deer, wild horses and wild boars.

Where to Stay in Hanover for Sightseeing

Hanover’s Old Town, where many of the historic buildings are located, isn’t crowded with hotels, but there are a good selection within a reasonable walking distance and others are on the city’s excellent transit system. The main train station, Hauptbahnhof, is close to the Old Town, as is the park-surrounded Maschteich Lake, so it’s also a convenient location. Here are a few highly rated hotels in Hannover:

  • Luxe hotels: Mercure Hotel Hannover City offers stylishly furnished rooms, some with a view of the park next to the New Town Hall, a 10-minute walk from the Hauptbahnhof and the shopping streets of the Old Town. Right next to the train station, on a shopping street, Kastens Hotel Luisenhof has a gym on the top floor. The nearby Grand Hotel Mussmann, within walking distance of restaurants, the opera house and the historical museum, includes a free breakfast.
  • Mid-range hotels: Close to the New Town Hall, the State Museum and the Kestner Museum, the top-rated Dormero Hotel Hannover has high-tech rooms, free wireless internet and a gym. The Concorde am Leineschloss Hotel overlooks the market square in the Old Town and is surprisingly quiet. It has a good choice of restaurants nearby. In the Old Town with rooms overlooking the beautiful Old Town Hall, Luhmann’s Hotel am Rathaus offers nearby discounted parking spaces.
  • Budget Hotels: Ibis Budget Hannover Hauptbahnhof is located next to the bus station, a stone’s throw from the train station and close to all the sights in the Old Town. It offers simple rooms with free Wi-Fi. The family-run Hotel Flora is located in a quiet area halfway between the Hauptbahnhof and the zoo. It offers old-fashioned rooms, some with a balcony, a 15-minute walk from the centre. Ibis Hannover City is located some distance north of the old town, but on a direct tram line. It offers free Wi-Fi and cheap on-site parking.

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