Hannover's Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen
Hannover's Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen © Lars Gerhardts, HMTG
Hannover. The green Pearl

Strolling in regal style. And what better place to do this than in Hannover's Herrenhausen Gardens, one of the most beautiful parks in Europe. Discover the green heart of the exhibition city!

Hannover, a green metropolis. The distinctive quality of life is based on the natural attractions of one of Germany's greenest cities and a very unique emphasis on leisure. Hannover also boasts an exceptional range of cultural and sports events, excellent museums and attractive shopping facilities in one of the largest pedestrian areas in Germany.

Hannover offers an urban vibe combined with nature, in the heart of the city and also in the wider region. The Eilenriede park and forest is a 'green lung' in the centre of Hannover, extending over some 642 hectares, around twice the size of New York's Central Park. The 'green ensemble' in the Herrenhausen is an impressive sight, with the Georgengarten, the Welfengarten, the Berggarten, the Herrenhäuser Allee and the world-famous Great Garden – one of the most significant Baroque gardens in Europe. The Maschsee and Steinhuder Meer lakes add a dash of maritime flair and optional swimming, sailing and surfing. The Deister mountains with their extensive network of hiking trails and the Adventure Zoo with over 2,000 animals are other popular local leisure and recreation areas.

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The Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen are Hannover's most famous attraction, a reflection of aristocratic savoir-vivre for more than 300 years. Hannover has a most extraordinary woman to thank for this masterpiece of baroque garden art: Electress Sophia of the Palatinate. Inspired by the sun king Louis XIV, she had the Great Garden laid out at the end of the 17th century in the French style, and it became her life’s work.

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Nature and tranquillity – but with the benefits of a big city thrown in! Germany's greenest city offers the best of both worlds with its city forests, parks and attractive recreation areas. Lake Maschsee and Lake Steinhude are popular destinations for swimmers, sailors and wind surfers, and give Hannover a certain seaside charm. And the city's climate protection plan and mobility concepts ensure that building/housing projects and transport systems are managed in a way that is energy efficient and saves resources.

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Come face to face with polar bears, wolves and tigers - Hannover's spectacular zoos and animal parks are perfect for exploring nature and its wildlife. Hannover Adventure Zoo with its thrilling theme worlds including the Zambezi, the Jungle Palace and the Yukon Bay Canadian Wilderness, is one of northern Germany's foremost tourist attractions. Anyone with an interest in river and sea life should pay a visit to the city's SEA LIFE aquarium, home to over 3,500 underwater creatures.

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Whether you prefer team or solo sports, whether you want to get active or simply cheer from the sidelines, Hannover can guarantee plenty of thrills and action. Such as when Hannover 96 takes to the pitch against another top football team or when Hannover's ice-hockey teams skate up a storm. Football, golf, triathlon or horse racing: Hannover has got most sports covered. And the venues to boot, of course – from sports fields and games halls to first-class training centres and competition venues.

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Whether it's a relaxing session of retail therapy or a quick errand – Hannover's great selection of shops, all within easy reach thanks to its compact layout and excellent transport infrastructure, make it a premium-quality shopping destination. The pedestrian precinct is one of the most popular shopping areas in the whole of Germany, and virtually no other city boasts such a high concentration of shopping centres and arcades, specialist stores, restaurants and cafés. Every conceivable retail sector is represented within a radius of just 400 metres.

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Hannover's State Opera and Schauspiel theatre both occupy leading positions in international rankings. The theatres in and around Hannover offer an impressive choice of entertainment, ranging from drama to opera, ballet to musical, and variety/comedy to puppet theatre. One of the annual highlights is the opera ball. For decades now, the TANZtheater INTERNATIONAL festival has been showcasing the latest developments in contemporary dance, and the city's classical concerts draw large audiences from beyond the Hannover region.

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Fascinating exhibits, exquisite collections and spectacular exhibitions – Hannover is known throughout Germany as a city of museums. Its four main museums – the Sprengel Museum Hannover, the Historical Museum, the Lower Saxony State Museum and the new Herrenhausen Palace Museum – host displays offering new insights into a vast range of subjects, from the fine arts, regional and municipal history, archaeology, natural history and ethnology, right through to the history of modern technology and everyday life.

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Foodies and party animals alike will be met with a warm welcome and a great choice of wining and dining in Hannover. The city's restaurants offer a wide choice of international cuisine alongside hearty dishes of local fare, with the variety of food on offer matched only by the eclectic range of eateries. If you feel like eating in for a change, why not visit one of Hannover's farmers' markets and check out regional treats such as Burgdorf asparagus? And Hannover's great choice of clubs and party venues will guarantee any revellers a brilliant night out.

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Experience Hannover's highlights, from A for architecture to Z for zoo. The new town hall is the residence of the mayor and landmark, but also one of the most popular photo sites. The diagonal lift in the town hall's dome is unique in Europe. From this vantage point one can enjoy a marvelous view of the whole city, even as far as the Harz Mountains when visibility is good.

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It’s almost impossible to count the opportunities Hannover offers for exuberant celebrations. Festivities great and small, open-air events, live music, unusual kinds of celebrations – the calendar of events is bursting at the seams. The mega events in summer, such as the Marksmen’s Fair or Lake Maschsee Festival, never fail to put the whole city in party mood. Hannover provides partygoers with just what they are looking for: whether a large-scale event in the city centre or in one of the lively suburbs. Lots of people block the dates in their diary for these events year after year as something not to be missed.

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Hannover Region which, by the way, also includes the City of Hannover itself, offers a large number of exciting destinations for excursions. Sport, culture, experience, adventure – the great variety of opportunities for weekend trips attracts many families as well. “Recreation close at hand” is more than just a slogan.

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Hannover enjoys an international reputation as a trade fair and convention venue. The Hannover Messe – an eye-catching example of modern architecture – is the biggest exhibition centre in the world, with more than 460,000 square metres of covered indoor space and 58,000 square metres of outdoor grounds. As the venue for CeBIT, HANNOVER MESSE and the EMO trade fair, the 26 halls and pavilions become a showcase for technological innovation every year. Hannover also offers a range of outstanding locations for conventions and conferences.

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Experience Hannover
Experience Hannover
Architecture
Hannover's multi-facetted architecture 

From half-timbered and brick buildings to Baroque gardens and castles – Hannover's architecture has many facets.

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In the centre of the Old Town, visitors can find picturesque half-timbered buildings as well as the Gothic Kreuzkirche church and the reconstructed Leibnizhaus building, the Marktkirche church and the Old Town Hall - both renowned examples of north German brick Gothic architecture. The ruins of the destroyed Aegidienkirche church are now a memorial to the victims of war and violence.

Probably the city's most famous landmarks are the New Town Hall – a magnificent Neo-Renaissance style building with a curving lift up to the viewing platform – and the Herrenhausen Gardens. The Großer Garten (Great Garden) was designed as the summer residence of the Hannoverian prince-electors and, together with the reconstructed Herrenhausen Palace, is now one of the most significant Baroque gardens in Europe. The fairytale-like, Neo-Gothic Marienburg Castle is another preserved summer residence, while the former Welfenschloss Castle is now home to the University of Hannover.

The cityscape is defined, in particular, by the classic works of Georg Laves (1788-1864, leading architect to the royal house of Hannover). As well as his most famous buildings – the Opera House, the Waterloosäule (Waterloo Column), the renovation of the Leineschloss (Leine Castle) and the library pavilion – his plans paved the way for Hannover's continued growth.

Visitors can also find many examples of 20th and 21st century architecture in Hannover – such as the Expressionistic "Anzeiger-Hochhaus" high-rise building, street art in public spaces with the "Nanas" sculptures and the designer "Busstops" project, the twisted design of the Gehry-Tower, the world's largest exhibition site and the glass skyscraper tower of the NORD/LB bank.

To explore this historical trail for yourself, simply follow the 4.2 kilometre "Roter Faden" (Red Thread) city tour.

www.hannover.de/Tourist-Highlights

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Experience Hannover
Urban Lifestyle
Authentic, genuine, laid-back 

A beach club with a sweeping panoramic view over the rooftops of the Old Town, little squares with relaxed cafes, craft beer bars and legendary clubs – Hannover appeals with its trendy hotspots and its own very distinctive charm.

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The historic Kröpcke clock and "unterm Schwanz" (under the tail of the equestrian statue outside the main train station) have long been traditional meeting places for the city's residents. Situated at the start of the main retail streets, they make an ideal starting point for a shopping trip. In the vibrant and tumultuous district of Linden, people demonstrate the art of living. The Nordstadt district directly behind the university is home to a large number of students, giving it a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. The Art Nouveau district of List features stylish boutiques and wine bars, while the Südstadt district boasts Maschsee Lake and beautiful market squares.

The "Roter Faden" (Red Thread) is a red line painted on the pavements to guide visitors to Hannover's main sights. You can also plan your own city tour using a brochure or a smartphone app. A trip in the curving lift up to the dome at the top of the tower of the New Town Hall is an absolute must, to take in the breathtaking view of this green city. Guided city tours and a trip in the hop-on hop-off double-decker bus are more good ways to see the main sights.

With its large and small theatres, exciting exhibitions and unique exhibits, Hannover has established a reputation as a theatre, art and museum metropolis. The city is also known for its parties, top-name concerts, nightlife and clubs. A wide range of festivals, including the Maschsee Lake Festival, Marksmen's Fair and open-air festivals, attract high numbers of visitors every year. The city is home to some iconic venues, such as the Kulturzentrum Faust (Faust Culture Centre) and the Eisfabrik arts centre, where bands rock the stage and genuine originals are discovered.

www.hannover.de/Party-Lifestyle-Nightlife

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Experience Hannover
Smart Luxury
Exclusive moments in Hannover 

Connoisseurs visiting the state capital of Lower Saxony can expect great hospitality, diverse cultural experiences and sophisticated cuisine. The city is also an attractive shopping destination with two of Germany's most popular retail streets: Georgstraße and Bahnhofstraße.

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Hannover also boasts lots of shopping arcades, the Ernst-August-Galerie and independent boutiques in the Old Town and popular local retail areas.

Visitors to the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen can follow in the footsteps of court society as they stroll between beautifully decorated flowerbeds, magnificent sculptures and artistically clipped illuminated hedges. The main Großer Garten (Great Garden) is one of the most important Baroque gardens in Europe and attracts tourists from all over the world. No visit to Hannover is complete without a trip in the amazing curving lift up to the dome at the top of the tower of the New Town Hall, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view over the city.

Hannover invites discerning diners to embark on a culinary world tour. International specialities, charming cafes and bistros, rustic pubs and inns, stylish bars and restaurants: the gastronomic spectrum guarantees memorable dining experiences to suit every taste. The most discerning connoisseurs can look forward to haute cuisine consistently awarded top scores by restaurant reviewers.

Hannover's theatre scene is distinguished by its great diversity – from plays to opera, ballet, musicals, variety, cabaret/comedy and puppet theatre. The UNESCO City of Music's classic concerts have also attracted attention outside the region. In addition, more than 60 theatres and museums presenting top-class productions, concerts and exhibitions ensure outstanding cultural experiences.

www.hannover.de/Shopping

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Experience Hannover
Cuisine
Hannover invites you to the table 

Discerning diners can look forward to a whole world of variety in Hannover. From haute cuisine to international specialities, original dining experiences or traditional regional delicacies, the city offers something to suit every palate.

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The covered market, known as the "belly of Hannover", is brimming with flavours and specialities from all over the world. Rustic fare from German states features on the menus of many corner pubs as well as in sophisticated restaurants. Creative fusion cuisine also impresses with imaginative culinary inventions.

Traditional local cooking tends to be hearty fare. Spring is asparagus season, served with melted butter or hollandaise sauce, raw ham, cutlet or salmon. In autumn, the focus switches to kale, preferably accompanied by hearty "Bregenwurst" (sausage made from pork and pig or cattle brain). The traditional dessert is the "noble" Welfenspeise – a reference to the 19th century, when Hannover was the capital of the Guelphic ("welfisch" in German) kingdom.

Beer brewing has a long tradition in Hannover, as does Hannover's "Lüttje Lage" beer, made famous by the "Schützenfest" (Marksmen's Fair). The traditional high-proof ritual requires two glasses: one filled with Lüttje-Lage beer and the other with Korn schnapps. You then need to somehow place them both on your lips and down the Korn schnapps and beer in one.

To savour the pleasure of your trip to the Hannover region for longer, take home some tasty treats from one of the traditional eel smokeries by Steinhuder Meer (Lake Steinhude), a powerful dram from the Warnecke Korn schnapps distillery in Bredenbeck am Deister or a little something from Lower Saxony's oldest sparkling wine producer, Duprès & Co. in Neustadt am Rübenberge.

www.visit-hannover.com/Gastronomy

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Experience Hannover
Automotive
Discover the fascinating world of mobility 

With its international mobility trade fairs, world-famous automotive companies and the fascinating Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Hannover is one of Germany's leading automotive locations.

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Over 20,000 people work in the automotive sector in the Hannover region, which is home to companies including Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge, Continental, Komatsu Hanomag, Johnson Controls and WABCO. The sixth generation of the iconic "Bulli" Transporter is still being produced in Hannover and visitors can enjoy fascinating glimpses behind the scenes on plant tours. The IAA Commercial Vehicles - the world's leading trade fair for mobility, transportation and logistics - brings the international automotive sector to Hannover.

With 28 hectares of parkland, interactive exhibitions, a large family area, 10 restaurants, exciting driving experiences and, not least, the multi-brand ZeitHaus automobile museum, the Autostadt in Wolfsburg (approximately 1 hour's drive from Hannover) brings together architecture, design and nature to create the perfect backdrop for a wide range of attractions on the theme of "people, cars and what moves them". Classic car enthusiasts can admire around 250 exhibits from over 60 manufacturers in the ZeitHaus museum. The Volkswagen Group's brands are presented in eight dedicated pavilions in the Autostadt park, each providing a showcase for the relevant brand philosophy.

Visitors can learn interesting facts on exciting themed tours and at interactive exhibitions, take a break beside attractive water features or in green spaces and enjoy a wide selection of fresh and organic cuisine in the Autostadt's ten restaurants. Younger visitors can explore the large MobiVersum family area, offering lots of activities revolving around play, learning and design.

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