Skip to Content

15 Best Things to do in Hannover (Germany)

15 Best Things to do in Hannover (Germany)

Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Hannover (Germany), along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.

New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus)

Hannover’s New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) is a grand palace-like structure in Trammplatz, about a 5-minute walk from the Old Town. Built between 1901 – 1913 in the style of the Wilhelmine period, several halls within the building have been converted into museums, which host a variety of exhibits all year long. 

There are four scale models depicting Hannover’s cityscape during the Middle Ages, pre-World War II, 1945, and the present day. From the dome’s viewing platform at 93.5 meters height are some of the best views over the city.

The lift transferring visitors up to the tower of New Town Hall is unique, as it is the only parabolic lift in Europe that climbs at an angle along with the shape of the dome.

New Town Hall in Hannover

Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus)

Situated on Marktplatz and cannot be unmistakable for its elaborate gables, the Old Town Hall is Hannover’s oldest secular building, first taking shape at the start of the 15th century. Nowadays, it is the southernmost example of the Northern German Brick Gothic style.

The earliest section of the building is on the east side of Schmiedestraße. However, the west side on Köbelinger Straße (where the Town Hall’s pharmacy used to be) was later updated with a Neo-Romanesque design in the 19th century.

The façade on Schmiedestraße’s side was decorated with coats of arms and portraits of electors, princes, and a depiction of Luderziehen – an old-fashioned game that is like a tug of war but done by linking little fingers instead of a rope.

Old Town Hall in Hannover

Lower Saxony State Museum

Hannover’s Lower Saxony State Museum, opposite the New Town Hall, has a diverse collection of paintings, artifacts, fossils, and wildlife from all over the world. 

The museum hosts an unbeatable collection of art from the 11th to the 20th centuries, natural history artifacts, including a life-size model of a dinosaur, and a massive vivarium. Its archaeological department consists of artifacts across almost 500,000 years of history, while its ethnology section boasts a collection of fascinating objects from around the world.

The Renaissance and Baroque galleries are where you can see contemporary and classical art by artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, Rubens, and also a fine collection of 19th-century art by Romantics like Caspar David Friedrich and Impressionists such as Max Liebermann.

Lower Saxony State Museum

Photo: N.M.Bear / Shutterstock.com

The Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen

The pride of Hannover is a chain of gardens from the days of the Imperial Electors and Kings of Hanover, of which The Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen (Herrenhäuser Gärten in German) is considered the most famous landmark in Hannover.

The Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen itself comprises four unique gardens: the Great Garden (Großer Garten), the Berggarten, the Georgengarten, and the Welfengarten.

Great Garden is the podium for all kinds of events and festivals, concerts, and theatrical performances. There’s also a beautiful grotto filled with modern artworks by artist Niki de Saint Phalle.

The Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen

Berggarten

First started as a herb and kitchen garden for the palace, Electress Sophia later chose the Berggarten as a space to grow exotic plants. As a result, an early greenhouse was built in the park in 1686 supporting crops like tobacco and mulberry trees.

Nowadays the park is one of the world’s leading botanical gardens. There are four greenhouses, for tropical plants, cactuses, and the subtropical flora of the Canary Islands, growing 20,000 plants from 3,000 species.

However, the gem of Berggarten is the Orchid House, which has Europe’s largest orchid collection, made up of up to 800 plants from 300 species, blooming against deep tropical foliage.

Berggarten

Historisches Museum

Hanover’s historical museum is on “Am Hohen Ufer”, an embankment on the Leine River on the west side of the Altstadt, where Hannover was founded on the road from Bremen to Hildesheim.

The Beginenturm, the last fully preserved city tower, as well as the remnants of the 17th-century ducal armory, has been integrated into the museum. This place will bring you back to Hannover’s past, from the Middle Ages and Welf Duchy through the Principality of Calenburg and the royal House of Hannover.

There you’ll see how this city has evolved from a medieval market town to an urban center over 750 years, and discover how rural life changed in Lower Saxony from the 1600s to the 1900s.

Historisches Museum

Eilenriede

Twice the size of New York’s Central Park, the Eilenriede is a city forest almost in the center of Hannover and is one of the largest connected city forests in Europe, producing timber for 600 years before it opened to the public in the 19th century.

The western entrance is only about ten minutes on foot from the Hauptbahnhof. There’s a handful of cafes in the park, also information posts where you can update your knowledge about deer, hares, bats, and martens that make a habitat in the park.

Eilenriede

Explore Kröpcke

The present old town of Hannover might be tiny but the actual one was pretty impressive and you can still clearly see its shape on the map or the model in the New Town Hall. 

Nowadays it’s the social and commercial heart of the city, and the meeting point for many is Kröpcke – the common name of the square, the cafe and even the clock – a traditional meet-up location in town, lies in the middle of an eponymous pedestrian zone at the intersection of Georgstraße and Bahnhofstraße.

The origin of the name comes from the first cafe that was opened here in 1869 and a few years later was bought by a man named Wilhelm Kröpcke. He was liked and respected by many so to commemorate him and his cafe (that was destroyed during the war) the square was named after him. 

Kröpcke in Hanover

Photo: Mikhail Markovskiy / Shutterstock.com

Join the Maschseefest

Over 19 days in August there’s an outdoor festival on the banks of the Maschsee – the Maschseefest – attended by up to two million party-goers.

The Maschseefest is a music and gastronomy festival, with lots of little side events and parties going on for all the family. Evenings are when things really take off, especially over the weekends, when there are concerts by tribute acts playing the repertoires of bands like U2, ABBA, AC/DC and the Beatles.

All along the north shore of the lake the promenade is overrun by an international array of food and drink stalls, serving up delicacies from all over the world, and of course the German currywurst.

maschseefest

Photo: geogif / Shutterstock.com

Aegidienkirche

The magnificent Aegidienkirche was once a source of pride for the city of Hannover, but not until 1943 when a disastrous bomb raid in 1943 during the Second World War heavily damaged the church and left much of it in ruins.

The church was never reconstructed but left as a war memorial. The nave and chancel have been left in their roofless, damaged state as a memorial for victims of wars and violence.

There is a peace bell donated by Hannover’s sister city Hiroshima inside Aegidienkirche, and every 6 August there’s a ceremony in the church and the bell tolls on the hour throughout the day until 18:00.

Aegidienkirche

Sprengel Museum

Founded in 1979 – a decade after the chocolate manufacturer Bernhard Sprengel donated his modern art collection to the city – the Sprengel Museum is a cultural attraction displaying a real “who’s who” of modern art in Germany.

Both Expressionist groups, Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter are here, as well as pieces by Picasso, Paul Klee, Max Ernst, Max Beckmann, Emil Nolde, and Fernand Léger.

The museum also traces the major art trends after 1945, featuring works by kinetic sculptor Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, and Capitalist Realist artists like Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke.

Sprengel Museum

Photo: geogif / Shutterstock.com

Luftfahrtmuseum Hannover-Laatzen

To the south of Hannover, there’s a riveting little museum on the history of aviation, based on the collection of the enthusiast and entrepreneur Günter Leonhardt, who went as far as salvaging several Junkers Ju 52s from the bottom of a Norwegian lake in the Arctic Circle.

In total, the museum has 36 aircraft, together with 30 piston and jet engines and almost 700 models. Some of the rarer pieces on show are an intact Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engine, a Focke-Wulf Fw 190, a Spitfire, Messerschmitt Bf 109, and a section from a Ju 52 that you can walk inside. There are even a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and a MiG-15 from the post-War period.

Staatsoper

Along Georgstraße lies the Neoclassical Hanover Opera House. Originally built in 1852, the building was badly damaged in World War II and rebuilt in 1948. The acoustics were improved in 1985, and the stage facilities were renovated between 1996 and 1998.

The whole building is now home to the city’s professional opera company, Staatsoper Hannover. Thanks to recent renovations, Staatsoper now offers a first-rate experience for opera fans during its season, which runs from September to June, while other events such as ballet performances are scheduled throughout the year.

Staatsoper Hannover

Hanover Tiergarten

Just past Hannover’s eastern outskirts is a 112-hectare park that was once a hunting ground for the Electors and Kings of Hannover. You’ll be in no doubt about the great age of the Tiergarten when you see the 650-year-old oak tree at the entrance and the many 400-500-year-old oaks in the park’s extensive woodland.

The Tiergarten remains a game reserve where up to 150 fallow deers, red squirrels, and wild boars can roam freely. Living wild in the park are several bat species, owls, hawks, falcons, foxes, badgers, and Egyptian geese. 

Hanover Tiergarten

Watch football (Hannover 96)

Hannover was one of the cities selected for the World Cup in 2006, and the HDI Arena (Niedersachsenstadion) was given a total face-lift. Now it’s a totally modern sporting arena filled with around 50,000 fans when Hannover 96 plays their home games. 

The HDI Arena is a cashless stadium, so you’ll have to charge a club card, which you can then use to buy food and drinks during the match. It’s also one of Europe’s few stadiums within walking distance from the city center, just on the west side of the Maschsee.

In the past, Hannover 96 has had some difficult years, but as of 2017-2018, they played at the highest level in the Bundesliga. Despite the fact that they have not won the league championship since 1954, full-houses are common and the atmosphere is always electric.

Hannover 96

Photo: HMTG – Visit Hannover


Want more recommendations on things to do in Hannover, Germany? Leave a comment below!