Hannover, Germany. Largest city and capital of the German state of Lower Saxony. Perfect for a city break or a great base for exploring the wider region.
Tie Up The Sights With The Red Thread
The Red Thread is a 4200m long line that meanders round the city of Hannover taking you to 36 of Hannover’s most interesting sites and areas. Pick up the accompanying booklet at the tourist information office for the princely sum of €3 and begin the trail that starts at the tourist office door. From iconic architecture to hidden gems, the Red Thread literally lays the city out at your feet.
This is the perfect, self guided tour if you are only in the city for a short break. It will really help you make the most of your time and get into the heart of Hannover.
Hanover : City of Two Town Halls
Hanover is the city that does a town hall so well, it did it twice.
The Old Town Hall took a hundred years to build and has, in it’s lifetime, been restored several times. Building in stone or brick back in the day was a sign of great wealth so this solid, red brick beauty was quite the statement piece.
In contrast, the New Town Hall is a chateau-esque jaw dropper. Opened in 1913, the outside is beautiful but the interior is a dream of sweeping staircases and soaring ceilings. Four scale models are on permanent display here, showing how the city of Hannover has looked from 1689 to the present day.
You can also take the lift to the observation platform for amazing views. On a clear day you should be able to see the Harz Mountains.
History in Hannover isn’t always as old as it seems.
Hannover is a historic place and keeper of a rich history, but like many German cities lost many of its older buildings in WW2. Much of what you see is a brilliant restoration job but this doesn’t detract from the experience. Remains of the city walls, the restored Altstadt , the Stolperstein … there are layers of history everywhere.
One historical site not to be missed is the Aegidienkirche. The 13th Century church was destroyed in an air raid in the 1940’s, and the what remained has been left to stand as a memorial to victims of war and violence. It now also houses the Peace Bell, a gift from the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
The Hannover Beer Hall Experience
You might think of the South of Germany when you think about the traditional German Beer Hall, but Hanover has it’s own spin on this experience in the form of Brauhaus Ernst August and it’s really very good.
With an in-house brewery on hand to keep the drinks flowing, plus a restaurant, cafe and live entertainment this is the place to visit to experience some real Hanover hospitality. We experienced a warm welcome, friendly service and some fabulous beer.
Ernst August Brauhaus is located at Schmiedestraße 13, just steps away from the Central Market Square in the heart of Hanover.
Old Town Flea Market: The Hannover Shopping Experience
Stretching out alongside the Rive Leine, the Saturday Altstadt flohmarkt is quite something. This is not the place to seek out the latest trends or brand new goods but rather a hunting ground for kitsch, collectibles and things you never knew you needed. Even if you don’t intend to buy this is a fascinating place to browse.
Artist Reinhard Schamuhn brought the Hanover flea market to life in the 1960’s, inspired by the markets of Paris. In a symbolic gesture, he poured a bottle of Seine river water into the River Leine. The charm must have worked, decades later shoppers are still invited to ‘ stroll, browse , haggle’ and there are still treasures to be found.
The Altstadt Flohmarkt runs from 8 am- 4pm every Saturday between Schlossstrasse and Goethestrasse .
Sculpture & Art, Hannover Style
Hannover is a city that appreciates art in all forms, and loves making art and sculpture accessible to all by making outdoor spaces across the city into a giant, open gallery. The most famous art of Hannover has got to be The Nanas.
These curvy and colourful works of art were designed by my favourite artist and honorary citizen of Hannover, Niki de Saint Phalle.
Jump into some Hannover art by following the Sculpture Mile, running from Königsworther Platz and Friederikenplatz. The route takes in a range of public art dating from the 1950’s to the 1980’s.
Elsewhere in the city, there are walks taking in street art and several installations around the New Town Hall. Details and a map can be found on Visit Hannover. Everywhere you go, there will be something to catch your eye.
Have you been to Hannover? Would you consider this pretty German city for your next break? And most importantly… do you love die Nanas as much as I do?
If you like this post, you might also enjoy Five Underrated German City Breaks.
Well, yes, I’ve been to Hannover a number of times, mainly for the opera but also to do presentations or just ride around on a bicycle (NextBike). I’m not a huge fan of the Nanas, but Hannover has lots of other fun sculptures in public spaces. https://operasandcycling.com/hannovers-answer-to-joe-btfsplk/
(But I have finally started reading Zola’s novel ‘Nana’, which I have been meaning to do for years.)
I really like Germany but haven’t been here. It looks good and the red thread is an excellent idea. Even I couldn’t get lost.
Haha , I said the same about the red thread. Even I didn’t go off piste with a painted route to follow. And I usually do!
It’s a city that’s a bit under the radar, isn’t it? I could certainly enjoy spending time there, Helen. Many thanks for sharing.
It does get a bit lost alongside the more popular German city destinations, I think.
My husband worked there for a while and loved it. Sadly I never got to visit so thanks for taking me now.
It’s a lovely little city, thanks for coming along!
I have never been to Hanover and my experience of Germany is rather limited. I wanted to learn German at school but was forced to do Latin!! I think I would like to visit Hanover, having read your informative post. The Nanas look fabulous. I think I would love them!
There are so many fabulous places in Germany, I’d definitely make the trip if you have the chance. I love the Nanas- so unapologetically bold and feminine!
Ahh, any Germany post makes me smile. Despite speaking the language and spending a lot of time in Germany I’m yet to visit Hannover. It’s been on my list for a while, and your post has made me want to book a flight soon 🙂
Germany forever has my heart! Hannover is a brilliant city, totally underrated. I hope you make it for a visit. There’s a brilliant Deutsche Bahn offer on rail travel this Summer and Hannover would make a great base for exploring.
looks like an interesting city
A fine overview of Hannover’s essential bits Helen. It’s no surprise that you rate Germany so highly, it’s a country I always feel I should’ve seen more of over the years. Art, history, stunning architecture, canals… a quirky market.. aaah, one of these years. Thanks for brining a little of Hannover into my day.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, I’d definitely recommend a trip to/around Germany if the chance ever comes your way. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and drop a comment, appreciated!