Capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony in northern Germany, Hanover is a remarkably modern city, which nonetheless provides plenty of things to see and do for the visitor.

Founded during the early medieval period, Hanover takes its name from its location on the bank of the River Leine (Hanover meaning ‘high bank’ roughly). The site was of marginal importance until the 17th century when the Duke of Calenberg opted to move to Hanover, establishing the Duchy of Hanover. Ironically though, Hanover’s importance became more international due to the beginning of the Hanoverian dynasty in Great Britain, that started with George I in the early 18th century. Indeed, after the Napoleonic Wars (in which Napoleon occupied Hanover briefly), George III elevated the city to the Kingdom of Hanover. This link only ended with the birth of Victoria (as the female line could not inherit the Hanoverian kingdom) and was swiftly followed by annexation to Prussia in 1866.

Although continually expanding throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the city was devastated during World War II. Since its reconstruction, Hanover’s modern façade reflects its tumultuous recent history. However, it remains an attractive spot for tourists.


Hanover’s epicentre is the Kröpcke Square, named after Wilhelm Kröpcke and remarkable in its own right for the modern replica of the 19th century Kröpcke Clock.

The main religious building in Hanover is the Marktkirche. Originally built in the 14th century, the Church was destroyed during World War II and later rebuilt. It remains notable as an example of neo-Gothic architecture and houses the tomb of General Johann Michael von Obentraut, hero of the Thirty Years War.

Built in the 12th century originally as a Franciscan monastery, the Leineschloss was taken by the Duke of Calenberg in 1636 and became the residence of the Hanoverian kings (hence the name 'the English Castle'). Rebuilt after the damage wrought by World War II bombing, the Castle remains one of the most beautiful sights in Hanover.

One further prominent monument to Hanover’s past is the Herrenhausen Gardens. Associated with the Dukes of Hannover and regarded as one of the best botanical gardens in the continent, they are composed of the Great Garden (adjoined to the Herrenhausen Castle and the host of numerous festivals), the Berggarten (designed as far back as the 17th century), the Welfengarten and the Georgengarten (both English-style gardens).

Of the modern edifices in Hanover, the most exceptional is the Gehry Tower. Designed by the famous architect Frank Gehry, it has to be seen simply for the bizarre twisted shape of the building’s stainless steel façade.

Hanover is home to a number of excellent museums and galleries, including the Sprengel Museum (modern art gallery with works by Picasso, Klee and Hanover-favourite Niki de Saut-Phalle), the Kestner Museum (specialising in archaeology) and the Historical Museum. Slightly different but also well worth a visit is the Hanover Zoo, one of the best in Germany.

Hanover’s fairground is renowned as the site of myriad commercial expositions, the most important being the CeBIT Computer Fair in March and the Hannover Fair in April, the biggest industrial event in the world. More appealing to the tourist is the Oktoberfest Hannover, held between September and October.

The dominant sport is football and the city is represented by Hannover 96, who play their games in the Bundesliga at the AWD-Arena.


The area around the Kröpcke Square is the best place for shopping, particularly if you’re looking for major department stores.

Alternatively, for high-street fashion, check out the Theaterstrasse.

A flea market takes place in Hanover on the Leine River every Saturday.

Nightlife and Eating Out

You’ll never be far from somewhere to eat in Hanover with a wide choice of restaurants serving up local cuisine like Hof-brau-haus in Debbenroderstrasse and Steuerndieb in Steurndieb Bothfeld. You can also find international alternatives like Italian at La Galleria in Hainhölzerstrasse.

With several universities in Hanover, the city enjoys a buzzing nightlife. If you’re looking for beer gardens, try the Waterloo Biergarten in Waterloostrasse. For cocktail bars, the Nikolaistrasse is the place to go. For dancing, look out for the many nightclubs such as the prestigious Eve Klub in Reuterstrasse and Osho Discothek in Raschplatz.

If you’d prefer something a little less hectic, you can find the Hanover Opera and N.D.R. Symphoniker concert halls in Kröpcke and Rudolf Benigsen Ufer respectively.

Tourist Information

Hanover Tourist OfficeErnst-August-Platz, 830159HanoverTel: +49 (0)511 12345 111info@hannover-tourism.de


Hanover is served by Hanover/Langenhagen International Airport, 11 km from the city centre. Trains and buses can be used to reach the centre of Hanover.

Being one of Germany’s busiest airports, there are international and domestic connecting flights regularly available.

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