As a trade fair destination with the world's largest modern exhibition grounds, Hanover is a world-class city. It's no wonder, then, that the city has become an engine for the global economy, and a byword for ideas and innovation.

It's a safe bet that any new trends in industry and technology would have first been seen in Hanover, or rather at one of the city's huge leading international trade fairs – the likes of which have made the exhibition centre in Lower Saxony one of the most highly regarded in the world. Year after year, the exhibition site of around one square kilometre is the best possible stage for major international trade shows. But Hanover has so much more to offer than that. Take the city's two town halls as an example. The first, conveniently situated opposite the Markthalle indoor market, dates back to the Late Middle Ages and has been carefully restored, while the second is a Neo-Gothic building inaugurated in 1913, recognisable by its sheer grandeur and its impressive dome at a height of almost 100 metres.

Other crowd pleasers that bear witness to Hannover's glory days as a kingdom include the Leineschloss palace and the splendid Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen, one of Europe's few Baroque gardens to have been preserved largely in its original state. The palace is also the starting point for the incredible sculpture mile, a route best known for Niki de Saint Phalle's 'Nana' sculptures. Visitors should not miss the Sprengel Museum, one of the foremost galleries for 20th-century art, or the Maschsee Lake, our insider tip for water sports, boat trips and lakeside festivals.

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