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Best things to do in Hannover

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Germany  /  Lower Saxony  /  Hannover

Top 15 things to do in Hannover

1. The New Town Hall

Built in 1913, The New Town Hall is the seat of the city mayor. The striking building is reminiscent of a centuries-old castle. The lobby features four scale models of Hannover as it was in the Middle Ages, before World War II, after the destruction of 1945, and how the city looks today. After you explore the rest of the building's ornately decorated rooms, you can take the elevator up to the dome. From its 100 m (328 ft) high observation deck, you can see the whole city and--on clear days--even the Harz Mountains. The town hall is also home to a restaurant serving regional and international cuisine.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Herrenhauser Garten

Herrenhauser Garten is filled with picturesque, historical gardens. The jewel in the crown here are the formal, Baroque grounds of the Great Garden. The Berggarten houses a world-class orchid collection and a rainforest structure. Its tropical landscape contains plants, butterflies, and birds. In the Georgengarten, you can relax with a game of football, volleyball, or cricket. Bring a picnic to enjoy on the grounds, or pop into the Great Garden cafe. The gardens often host a variety of festivals and musical events. You can check online to see if any coincide with your visit.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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3. Maschsee

Maschsee, an artificial, 78 hectare (193 acre) lake, provides a picturesque setting for walking, bicycling, or skating on the 6 km (3.7 mi) of pathways around its banks. Look for some of the notable works of art on the northern side of the lake, such as the 6 m (19.7 ft)steel sculpture "Hellebardier" by Alexander Calder. You can also try your hand at several waters sports, such as sailing, rowing, windsurfing, and swimming. Stop for a German beer at one of the lakeside restaurants.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. Heide Park, Soltau

One of the biggest amusements parks in Germany, Heide Park features five different areas. You can explore the Lower-Saxony entrance area, Pirate Land, Transylvania, Land of the Forgotten, and Wild Wild West. Many of the 40 different rides are suitable for young children and thrill-seekers alike. Adrenaline junkies shouldn't miss KRAKE, Germany's first dive rollercoaster. When you arrive, check the schedule for the park's five different live performances, including a puppet and pirate show.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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5. Erlebnis Zoo Hannover

Erlebnis Zoo Hannover first opened its doors in 1865, making this one of Germany's oldest zoological parks. As you wander the 22 hectares (54.3 acres) of exhibits and habitats, you'll notice lush, realistic enclosures. The zoo prides itself on having few visible barriers between visitors and its 3,500 animals. You can walk through seven regions of the world, including the Zambezi, Yukon Bay, the Outback, and Gorilla Mountain. Follow the 5 km (3.1 mi) explorer path for the recommended route through the zoo. Ask about a guided tour if you'd like to learn more about the zoo's residents and its conservation efforts. Children will also enjoy the petting zoo and several playgrounds.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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6. Eilenriede - Park

Known amongst Hamburg residents as the green lung of the city, Eilenriede - Park is one of the largest urban parks in all of Europe. Wander the park's 130 km (80.7 mi) of trails and roads, suitable for hiking, driving, and even cycling. More than 640 hectares (1,581.4 acres) of protected land--at least twice the size of New York's Central Park--are dotted with thousands of trees, large expanses of marshland, gently flowing creeks, and a variety of memorials. The park offers more active fun, too, with horseback riding, playgrounds, mini golf, and the city's zoo. Grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants sprinkled throughout the area; they serve a selection of cafe specialties with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Schnoor Viertel, Bremen

Schnoor Viertel has managed to retain much of its medieval character. If you stroll along this neighborhood's narrow streets, you can admire houses dating back to the 15th century. Don't miss the Schifferhaus, a well-preserved building constructed in 1630. The Landhernamt used to house the authorities administering the State of Bremen. Various shops sell local handicrafts, such as wooden toys, decorative doorknobs, fabrics, glassworks, and homemade candy. Once you've worked up an appetite exploring, consider stopping at one of the area's fish restaurants.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Aegidienkirche

Dating back to the 14th century, Aegidienkirche lost its roof to air raids in World War II. Instead of being rebuilt, it was left as a memorial to the horrors of the war. The spaces that once held windows are now adorned with artwork. On the outer walls, you'll see baroque adornments with the angels, hourglasses, and skulls characteristic of the 17th and 18th centuries. As you tour the church, you'll hear a chime that was placed in the tower in 1958. The Hiroshima Peace Bell, a gift from Japan to serve as a remembrance of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima, hangs in the tower's entrance.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Tauchschule Blue Water

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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10. Marktkirche

To see the southernmost example of the North German Brick Gothic architectural style, visit Marktkirche, the city's main Lutheran church. Completed in 1366, the church is noted for its saddleback roof, rising above the nave and two aisles. The high western tower, one of the highest in this part of the country, once represented a symbol of the city's wealth and power. Today, the tower is a major urban landmark, easily spotted from numerous distant parts of the city. Inside the building you can see the main altar of linden wood, carved around 1480. The front of the altar shows 21 scenes from the life of Christ, while the back displays images of the church's two patron saints, Saint George and Saint James. The church also boasts the biggest bell in Lower Saxony, only used on special occasions.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Luftfahrtmuseum Hannover-Laatzen, Laatzen

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. WOK - World of Kitchen Museum

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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14. Altes Rathaus

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Berggarten

Part of one of the largest botanic garden complexes in Europe, Berggarten is a sprawling natural world sheltering hundreds of colorful native and exotic plants. Created in 1666, the garden was long used for breeding experiments of various plants not native to the northern climate of Lower Saxony. Though the experiment failed in its attempt to grow rice, it was successful in the cultivation of tobacco and mulberry. The garden now contains several historic conservatories, most of which were built in the 19th century to house one of the biggest collections of palm trees in all of Europe. In 2000, a state-of-the-art greenhouse was opened, designed to display plants normally found in the rainforest. This indoor tropical landscape contains more than just plants, as different species of tropical butterflies and birds have also been introduced and incorporated into the protected environment.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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