Well Planned Travel

Hannover Germany, the town the guidebooks missed

When I started planning a trip to Germany that was going to take me to Hannover to visit a friend, I noticed that Hannover was not in any of the books.  This worried me as I thought I would not have anything to do, but the guidebooks were wrong.  Hannover should be a part of your itinerary if you are visiting Northern Germany.
Hannover from above

Hannover from above

Hannover is Historic First settled in medieval times, Hannover then became a part of the Hanseatic League.  Ruled by the house of Welf which later became the House of Hannover.  George 1 was the Prince of Hannover and when Queen Anne of England died, he became the King of England because he was the closest relative who was not Catholic.  This started the union between England and Hannover which ended with Queen Victoria because Hannover could not be ruled by a woman so the title passed on to a different relative.  During World War 2 there were concentration camps built in Hannover, as a highly industrial city, many of the prisoners were used as slave labor.  Due to its location and industry, Hannover was bombed and 90% of the central area of the city was destroyed.
Historic walls and gates

Historic walls and gates

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Aegidienkirche was not rebuilt after the war and serves as a memorial to the war.

Hannover has an Amazing Town Hall Called the New Town Hall, this town hall opened in 1913 and is really striking from the outside.  You can go inside of it and one thing that they have in it is four models of Hannover over the ages: one of medieval Hannover, before WW2, after the destruction of WW2 and Hannover today.  You really can see the destruction of the town from the war.  Make sure that you walk around the building to the parks behind it for wonderful views and an enjoyable stroll around the pond.  The highlight of the building is the diagonal lift that takes you to the top.  It is a strange feeling to be in an elevator that is curving.  The views from the top are amazing and a highlight of Hannover.
Hannover Germany, New Town Hall

Hannover Germany, New Town Hall

Getting into the diangle lift

Getting into the diagonal lift

Amazing views from the top of the New Town Hall

Amazing views from the top of the New Town Hall

Hannover has great parks Hannover has a world class zoo that people come from all around to see.  Another popular park is the Maschsee which is a man made lake built by the Nazis to employ people and use for propaganda.  If you ignore the origins, it is a really nice place to walk around and hang out.  The art museum is right by it as well as some cafes.  It is behind the new town hall.
walking along the Maschsee

walking along the Maschsee

View of the Maschsee and pond from the top of the New Town Hall

View of the Maschsee and pond from the top of the New Town Hall

The Eilenriede park is another great park that has a massive amount of trails and trees.  I really enjoyed the Georgengarten which is a park by the university and has a 2 kilometer pedestrian walkway through the trees.  Very beautiful!. By the river you will find the Nanas which are sculptures by the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, these are very popular, but I will be honest, I did not get it.
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Beautiful walk in the Georgengarten

Hannover has an amazing Royal Garden You would think you are in England when you visit the Herrenhausen or the Herrenhauser Garten.  The Herrenhausen Palace was the summer home of the House of Hannover, it was destroyed in WW2 but it was just rebuilt and opened in 2013.  Beautiful from the outside, not original and has a little museum inside.  The highlights are for sure the gardens.  The gardens are baroque style and feature many statues and fountains.  There is a grotto that has art done by Niki de Saint Phalle.  The gardens are beautiful anytime of the year, but the fountains don't go all the time and it is a good idea to ask someone what time they go because it is quite beautiful.
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The Herrenhausen

Many statues and fountains can be found at the gardens

Many statues and fountains can be found at the gardens

Hannover has a great town center One nice thing about the town center is that there is a "red thread" which goes through the area.  This is basically a painted red line that ties all of the central sights.  It makes it a lot easier to not get lost and also takes you over to the Town Hall and Maschsee.  In the town center you will find the train station that has many trains going all over Germany and a lot of shopping.  Unlike Berlin, the shopping is pretty centrally located and there are many unique stores.  There is a mix of old and new buildings here and lots of good restaurants.  A highlight is the Old Town that is 40 old half timber buildings.  After Hannover was destroyed in WW2 they took all the remains of the half timber buildings, moved whatever remained of the buildings (mostly facades) and recreated the Old Town to be in one area.  A city museum can be found in this area as well.
The Old Town was put together out of the remains of the destruction of WW2

The Old Town was put together out of the remains of the destruction of WW2

I hope you give Hannover a chance, the guidebooks really missed it.
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6 thoughts on “Hannover Germany, the town the guidebooks missed

  1. Tami

    When I was in northern Germany, I actually tried to make time to get to Hannover, but ended up missing it. I’m glad I got to see your photos and read your review!

  2. Laura

    It’s actually quite nice when the guidebooks skip over some towns. Then it can remain it’s charming self without being overtaken by tourist stuff. Hannover looks like a great place to visit, especially for the architecture.

  3. Emma

    Here’s hoping Hannover stays off the tourist radar for a little while longer! Lovely photos and some great advice – it seems as though you really loved your trip 🙂

  4. Lucy

    Mm that’s nice!
    I often see cheap tickets to Hannover from Italy.. Maybe one day I’ll even go… The diagonal lift made me very curious.. I must see it:)))

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