Hannover – the most underrated city in Germany

(Last Updated On: 01/02/2020)

For some reason unknown to me Hannover, Germany doesn’t have the best reputation among tourists. They prefer to visit much more famous German cities such as Berlin, Munich or Cologne.

I knew nothing about the city before visiting, I had no clue about any things to do in Hannover but that was actually good.

With no expectations at all, I could make my own opinion about Hannover, and it’s a good one!

Things to do in Hannover Germany

When I announced on my Instagram profile I’m going to visit Hannover for the weekend one of the comments was “why? this is the most boring city in Germany!”.

I must admit this got me intrigued even more as I don’t believe there are places with nothing interesting to see and do, we just need to visit them with the open mind and appreciate what they have to offer.

As it quickly turned out it was super easy with Hannover.

The city turned out to be a great weekend destination and even with the not so good weather I enjoyed it big time!

Quick Hannover cheat sheet

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Where to stay in Hannover:

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A short history of Hannover

Even if these days Hannover looks like a fairly new, modern city it has a long and interesting history.

The place was first mentioned already in the 11th century and got the town rights some 200 years later.

Since 1636 Hannover has been the seat of Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, later known as Kingdom of Hannover.

This strong and independent state, very closely linked with Great Britain, was eventually incorporated into Prussia in the second half of the 19th century.

What used to be a grand city was turned into the ruins – during World War 2 Hannover was bombed and 90% of the city was destroyed.

Today Hannover is a lively city, with a mix of architecture and a cool vibe that is so easy to enjoy.

Things to do in Hannover Germany

The New Town Hall – the must thing to do in Hannover!

The most known sight of the city and an absolute must thing to do in Hannover is the New Town Hall.

It was built at the beginning of the 20th century, finished in 1913 and it is stunning not only from the outside but also inside.

Things to do in Hannover Germany

When I entered the building and saw the 38-meter high main hall my jaw literally dropped. It looked like from a fairy tale with all the details and stairs perfect for the princess to walk down.

It’s worth to stop here for a second and see four miniature town models, showing how Hannover used to look like in the year 1689, 1939, 1945 and it the present day.

This little overview helps you understand the dramatic history of the city, it’s ups and downs.

It must have been such a beautiful place back in the day but only three buildings survived the WW2 in the intact shape…

Things to do in Hannover Germany

But the main hall isn’t the only reason why you need to visit the New Town Hall.

From the top of the dome you can admire the most splendid view of Hannover, Maschsee and the surrounding area all the way to Harz mountains (on a clear day, I wasn’t so lucky, unfortunately).

It’s especially interesting when you keep in mind how the city used to look like on the models – gives you an interesting perspective to see the change.

But before you get to the top of the dome you will take the unique oblique elevator, the only one of that kind in Europe!

Since it has a transparent floor you can actually see the angle when moving up and down and it’s such a funny feeling!

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Charming but tiny Hannover Old Town

If someone asks me how the typical German old town looks like I’d describe colorful half-timbered houses mixed with red brick buildings.

And that’s how the core of Hannover old town is!

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Even if the area is really tiny now, after WW2 bombing raids, it’s quaint and so picturesque!

Cobbled lanes, buildings covered in ivy, cozy corners and charming little shops or cafes – it kind of felt like the time has stopped there!

Things to do in Hannover Germany

After WW2 the half-timbered houses were collected from all over the city and put together to create a small substitute of the old town Hannover used to have.

The result is really good and makes you move back in time to the good, old days.

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Kröpcke – the very heart of Hannover

The present old town 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).

These days it’s the social and commercial heart of the city and the meeting point for many is Kröpcke. The name can apply to the square, the cafe or the clock and the last one is where everyone meets.

Things to do in Hannover Germany

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. How nice is that?!

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Other things to do in the center of Hannover

While in the center there are few other sights that cannot be missed.

Only few steps away from Kröpcke there’s a magnificent Opera House that is among the most beautiful neo-classical buildings I’ve ever seen!

Things to do in Hannover Germany

A little bit further you will find ruins of Aegidienkirche.

The church was built in the 12th century and was one of the largest worship places in Hannover, the reformation in the city started in here. In 1943 it was all destroyed.

Just like churches in Berlin or Hamburg Aegidenkirche was never rebuilt to be a somber reminder of the tragedy of war.

Things to do in Hannover Germany

On the outskirts of the city walls there is the Leine Palace – now home to the State Parliament of Lower Saxony.

In front of it every Saturday, rain or shine, there is the colorful flea market.

Established in 1967 it is the oldest flea market in Germany! The selection of good is enormous and everyone can find something for themselves.

I had a really hard time trying to resist the urge to buy something at every second stall!

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Market Hall – a food paradise in Hannover

But my absolute favorite activity in the old town and one of the best things to do in Hannover was visiting the market hall.

It’s pretty compact but offers both local food and delicious dishes from all over the world – everything at very affordable prices!

Things to do in Hannover Germany

When I visited the place on Saturday at noon it was bursting at the seams with colors, smells and lots of visitors!

I literally couldn’t decide what I want to try, everything looked just so good but eventually I opted for some Middle Eastern goodies (as this is always a good idea!) and it was just the best!

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Herrenhausen Gardens – a true gem of Hannover

A little further from the center (a short tram ride or some 4kms walk through a beautiful city park – Georgengarten – where the main lane was designed to be wide enough to fit carriages back in the royalty days) you can find Herrenhausen Gardens – a true gem of Hannover that cannot be missed.

The Great Garden is considered to be the most important baroque garden in Europe and it sure is impressive.

Even on the gloomy day, it was beautiful with all the lanes, sculptures, fountains, hidden gardens, and all the carefully planned flower arrangements.

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Things to do in Hannover Germany

However, my favorite part of Herrenhausen Gardens was the grotto designed by the world-famous artist Niki de Saint Phalle.

Even if she was born in France she has always been a great friend of Hannover and eventually was granted an honorary citizen title.

The grotto was her gift to the people of Hannover. It’s an impressive modern interior, full of details showing the life of Niki. It somehow fits very well in the baroque surrounding.

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Hannover – a (modern) art paradise

But Herrenhausen Gardens aren’t the only place where you can see art by Niki de Saint Phalle.

Her most popular work – Nanas – are standing proudly at the bank of Leine River, where Saturday flea market takes place.

Three colorful and curvy figures bring a smile even on the gloomy day and are a peculiar symbol of the city.

Things to do in Hannover Germany

To see even more of Niki’s works head to the Sprengel Museum with a great collection of modern art.

Besides Niki, you can admire there such world-famous names as Picasso, Chagall or Kokoschka.

I honestly didn’t expect the museum will be so amazing and with the brutalism design, I enjoyed every single minute there.

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Linden – the coolest neighborhood of Hannover

To my utter joy, Hannover is full of brutalist architecture.

I know for many it’s hard to love concrete masterpieces but I’m a huge fan of these and I was almost jumping with joy when I saw them.

There are so many of them in the center but the most famous building is the residential block in Linden.

Things to do in Hannover Germany

This area is worth exploring anyway!

Linden is the closest to famous Berlin lifestyle you will find in Hannover.

While Central Linden is chic and sophisticated with more upscale vibe and perfect for young families (kind of like Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin) North Linden is more edgy and funky (like Berlin’s Kreuzberg).

On Saturday early afternoon both places were vibrant, full of people enjoying their lunch or coffee in numerous outdoor places and it was clear to me that Linden is a good place to live in Hannover.

Later on, I learned it’s currently the most desired neighborhood in the city so I wasn’t far from the truth.

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Exceptional green spaces in Hannover

Another reason why I enjoyed Hannover so much was an unbelievable number of green spaces.

The city has the rule that from every place you need to have a 10 minutes’ walk max to the park. There is even a regular forest in the city that used to be a hunting area for the royalty.

Add to this around 500kms of bike lanes and I feel like Hannover might be one of the greenest and eco-friendly cities in Germany!

Things to do in Hannover Germany

The most popular green space is definitely Maschsee – a big artificial lake right behind the New Town Hall.

It’s the best getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, perfect for relaxing or watersports.

Every summer the lake turns into the venue of Maschseefest – the festival that attracts around 2 million visitors each year! I was lucky to be in Hannover during that time and it was pretty amazing!

There are numerous stages around the lake, each of them with different kind of music, as well as numerous stalls serving food from all over the world.

You can hop on the boat and move from one stage to the other while sipping a drink. It was so much fun!

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Is it worth to visit Hannover?

For the city that is supposed to be the most boring in Germany, there are surprisingly many things to do in Hannover.

From the beautiful architecture to vibrant neighborhoods, from interesting history to amazing art, from really good food scene to amazing green spaces – Hannover has it all!

I’m really glad I didn’t listen to anyone and I’ve decided to spend the weekend in Hannover as it turned out to be a great city.

If you’re looking for the perfect yet not so obvious city break destination then I definitely recommend going to Hannover!

You might be surprised as much as I was!

Things to do in Hannover Germany

Hannover pictures

If you’d like to see more of my Hannover pictures click here for the whole gallery!

Travel resources

Revolut bank card is the best way to save money when traveling. It’s a pre-paid service that offers very good exchange rates and no fees for ATM’s use. Click here to learn more and order your Revolut card.

You can find the best accommodation options at Booking. They have many discounts and excellent customer service. Click here to look for the place to stay in Hannover

Never travel without travel insurance, you never know what might happen and better safe than sorry. You can check the insurance policy for Germany here.

I recommend joining organized tours to get to know the place better and to visit more places during your trip. You can find a great selection of tours at Get Your Guide – click here.

Make sure to have the offline map always installed on your phone, they can save you so many troubles. I always use the free app Maps.Me.

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Things to do in Hannover Germany       Things to do in Hannover Germany

Disclaimer: my trip to Hannover was in partnership with Visit Hannover but all opinions are my own as always! The city is such a gem!

love, kami 2

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  • Reply
    17/09/2017 at 17:45

    Very interesting read. I’m from Germany but I’ve never been there. Maybe I should give it a try…

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      21/09/2017 at 13:55

      definitely! Hannover was such a big positive surprise for me!

  • Reply
    Enya Rosez
    17/09/2017 at 17:55

    I’ve been in Hannover for 3 days and indeed a nice green city with very friendly peeps.I was there also for a concert and it’s the hometown of my fave Rockband. There’s also a beach.

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      21/09/2017 at 13:54

      which rockband is it? I’m glad you had a good time there!

    • Reply
      Enya Rosez
      21/09/2017 at 14:06


    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      21/09/2017 at 15:02

      I thought so! I just learnt recently they are from Hannover :)

    • Reply
      Enya Rosez
      21/09/2017 at 15:06

      I’ll see them in Gdansk 1/12

  • Reply
    Joy @MyTravelingJoys
    17/09/2017 at 20:00

    Super Kami! We have not been to Hanover yet but are going to Hamburg in a few weeks
    ;) I agree with you too that there are no boring places!

    Dziękuję bardzo for sharing your tips!

    • Reply
      05/10/2017 at 09:54

      It’s not too far away from Hamburg so maybe you can squeeze in a short detour to Hannover :) Have a great time in Germany and you’re very welcome :)

  • Reply
    18/09/2017 at 13:12

    hello Kami, can I ask what camera do you use to take your photos?
    They are very nice.
    Thanks. Stefano

    • Reply
      05/10/2017 at 09:55

      Thank you! I use Fujifilm x-t10 and I can definitely recommend it!

  • Reply
    Robin Richardson
    19/09/2017 at 21:00

    We lucked out that my son met a exchange student in High School here in Missouri, USA. We have visited with his family and they live in Hannover. We have been to Hannover several times and love it. I always say when in Germany just turn a corner and find something new and different.

    • Reply
      05/10/2017 at 09:56

      Exactly! I’m really glad you enjoyed Hannover! It’s such a great city, isn’t it?

  • Reply
    Richard Maughan
    21/09/2017 at 16:13

    I usually go to Bremen and Hamburg but next time I will include Hannover

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      25/09/2017 at 21:57

      definitely do that, it’s worth it!

  • Reply
    20/10/2017 at 14:28

    Jako dziecko jeździłam do Hannoveru na wakacje, bo mieszkał tam mój wujek. Ostatni raz widziałam miasto ponad 15 lat temu i wspomnienia trochę się zatarły. Miło było zobaczyć to wszystko jeszcze raz na zdjęciach i przeczytać Twój wpis. Wygląda to tak, jakby czas zatrzymał się w miejscu. Z mojej perspektywy nic się nie zmieniło :)

    • Reply
      22/12/2017 at 21:51

      a to bardzo ciekawe co piszesz, bo mi się Hannover wydał dość nowoczesnym i fajnym miastem :) Fajnie byłoby przeczytać Twoje wrażenia z wizyty teraz, jak byś postrzegała miasto po takim czasie :)

  • Reply
    John Smith
    01/01/2018 at 19:22

    We’re thinking of going there in April. Flying from London Heathrow. How do we get from the airport to the centre. The hotel im looking at is the Intercityhotel in Rosenstrasse.

    • Reply
      04/01/2018 at 22:18

      There’s a direct train from the airport to the main train station and I believe the hotel you’re thinking about is next to the train station – it should be very easy to get there! Hannover is really interesting, you definitely should visit it!

  • Reply
    31/01/2018 at 15:19

    Right?! I got a job in Hannover, which actually was exactly what I wanted to do for a while. When I told my friends, they like “MEH! what? Hannover is so boring! people are very cold there” (I am currently living in Munich).

    I was a bit scared, but went over the weekend for a flat-hunt and I loved the city! people were sooo friendly, I cannot even think about them being cold. The transportation system is also very organized.

    And for my luck, I found a flat in Linden-Mitte, right at the edge with Linden North *insert very happy smiley here*.

    Thank you for all the tips, will check all that when I get there :)

    • Reply
      30/03/2018 at 06:23

      I’m sure you will enjoy your time in Hannover! The city really left a good impression on me and seems to be a perfect place for living! And if you found a flat in Linden then it’s even better! :)

  • Reply
    08/02/2018 at 13:44

    It’s funny that I came across your blog and that your actually recommending to visit hannover, my (always) underestimated hometown.

    Hannover really isn’t the city that impresses you at first sight. But if you are willing to look behind the curtain there is so much more to explore. I always say to people that are about to visit: “try to leave the city center as soon as possible”. If you want to follow my tip and don’t know where to go, here are some suggestions:

    – visit the exeptional “PlatzProjekt” in Linden Nord just next to a skate park (2er). A little “village” where people are free to explore doing things themselfes with a workspace, coffee and beer place, options to stay for the night, massage-box (I go there for meditation on Mondays)and so on. Just explore, maybe there is an Event planned on the day of your visit. Check out:
    – the watergate in Linden Limmer during summer(take the Bus 700 from the trainstation to “Steinfeldstraße”. First it seems that you’re in the middle of nowhere but actually there is an old factory which is forbidden to visit but you should do it anyway because of the incredible street art and for the thrill. Just be a little careful and don’t walk on the roof. If you go past the factory buildings there is a little “island” where locals go swimming during the summer. From there you can have a nice walk back to Linden Nord alongside the Leine river. Don’t think twice, do it!
    – explore the Ihmezentrum. Its the brutal building described in the blog. Just go inside and get lost, enjoy the street art and the view over the Ihme river.
    – “glocksee” is one of the locations where students and locals go at night to drink and dance. I really love the whole area, streetart everywhere and free concerts on tuesday evenings. Every first friday of the month there is good music garanteed. Go there!
    – hannover is best know for the kiosk-scene. Of course it’s always nice to sit in a local pub (If you’re still looking for a drink after walking back from the watergate take a drink in my favourite pub the Lindwurm and have a “Mexikaner”). If you don’t want to go inside just grab a drink on any kiosk on Limmerstreet and find a place to sit. If its either spring, summer or autumm you’ll not be alone, trust me! The people in Linden are always open to chat so just pick whatever topic you like. Trust me, they’ll join the conversation.

    Of course there is so much more to write and tell but I guess its best if you find out for yourselves. Enjoy :)

    • Reply
      30/03/2018 at 06:27

      Thank you for your awesome comment Selina! You just made me want to return to Hannover! There’s still so much to see and do in the city for me, one weekend wasn’t enough!

  • Reply
    16/02/2018 at 17:48

    Thank you for this write-up – I really appreciate the detail you went in to :-)

    I’d be really interested if you had any opinion on how long a trip, beyond the weekend you were there, that you felt Hannover could sustain and yet still be interesting. A week? A month?

    • Reply
      30/03/2018 at 06:27

      I honestly have no idea as it depends on the person and his/her travelling style. But I think the week would be fine, especially in the summer time

  • Reply
    Marylou Lonneman
    24/02/2018 at 23:28

    thank you for the suggestions. we are planning a trip to Germany in September for our 30th anniversary. My husband has traced his family to the Hannover area so is excited to visit.

    • Reply
      30/03/2018 at 06:35

      I’m sure you will have a wonderful trip to Germany and I hope you will enjoy Hannover as much as I did!

  • Reply
    28/06/2018 at 10:31

    Hi all, very nice comments for individuals that really wish to visit Hanover. It sure is being presented in a very good light and sure there are many places worth visiting, however, having lived here for the past year now I could not regret it more. So many people are incredibly unfriendly and would rather swear at you. The only time people (in the city centre and other locations within the city) will talk to you/ start a conversation is if they want money from you. If Hanover truly has these amazing destinations and people, I have yet to see them. I don’t mean to talk bad about the city but I’m speaking from my own experiences and to be honest I am extremely disappointed.

    • Reply
      01/07/2018 at 08:48

      It’s always different to live in the city and to visit it. I still think it’s a great destination for a city break but I can see why you might not enjoy living there. I hope you will find it more friendly eventually! All the best!

  • Reply
    20/08/2018 at 16:52

    Hi Kami
    I’m visiting Hannover in 2 weeks and will use your very helpful guide as a base for exploring the city. Thank you for taking the time to write this, it’s full of excellent information! Do you by chance have a similar blog about Hamburg?

    • Reply
      14/09/2018 at 11:29

      Hi Jessica, sorry for my late answer. I hope you enjoyed Hannover! Unfortunately I don’t have yet anything similar about Hamburg but it’s a great city as well! I’ve been there few times but it was a while ago, well before this blog was created. Happy travels!

  • Reply
    Amit Sharma
    30/11/2018 at 17:15

    Very Interesting Post. I’ll be visiting Hannover in Hanover Fair in Apr 2019 from India. Can you suggest, which place shall I visit to spend most interesting place enroute to Hannover for 3 more days ? I haven’t visited Germany ever !

    • Reply
      01/12/2018 at 10:46

      It depends where you will be flying into in Germany. But Cologne is a nice city, or Frankfurt and surroundings, or Berlin. Germany is really interesting and beautiful so I’m sure no matter where you go you will enjoy it :)

  • Reply
    12/03/2019 at 02:40

    I’m possibly moving to Hannover in July, and I’m so excited. Fingers crossed it all works out! Hannover does look really interesting.

    • Reply
      05/04/2019 at 14:34

      It is an interesting city so I really hope all goes well for you, fingers crossed!

  • Reply
    03/04/2019 at 11:29

    Thanks for the review, Kami! It really summed up the perfect way to spend a short time in Hannover! I am going in two weeks so I look forward to checking out your recommendations :) Thanks!

    • Reply
      05/04/2019 at 14:35

      I hope you will like it there! Let me know how it was :) Happy travels!

  • Reply
    Hector Carrozzo
    02/05/2019 at 00:44

    Final Hanover is a beautiful city. In 2017 there was still “The red line” with which you can visit the most interesting places in the city. It is a 4 Km red line painted on the street and with a small booklet you can make a self-guided visit. Thanks Kami

    • Reply
      25/06/2019 at 16:56

      That’s exactly what I did, such a fun way to discover Hannover! All the best!

  • Reply
    09/11/2019 at 14:40

    Please specify that if someone is within 20 miles of Hannover it would be worth it to stop by. (Your sightseeing tips are exactly right.) However, if one is coming over from another country, there are literally dozens of better cities to visit in Germany.

    • Reply
      19/11/2019 at 13:01

      It’s all very subjective. While I agree Hannover is not the most exciting destination in Germany, it is definitely not the worst and I would recommend visiting it for sure (maybe not coming there specifically for Hannover but still visiting). One of the best things about the city is that it’s not overrun by tourists and you can really enjoy the place.

  • Reply
    Henry Salari
    12/12/2019 at 19:46

    Hi Kami,
    First, your name is very cool..because my son’s name is Kamran and that is what we call him: Kami. I wanted to thank you for your photos and captions. You’re right, most people opt for bigger and more famous cities. I was born in Iran and in 1986 we moved to Hannover and that is where I grew up. Your photos brought back many precious memories. I live in the US now and visit Europe often but Hannover holds a special place in my heart. Hope to read and see more of your travels soon.

    • Reply
      17/12/2019 at 09:56

      Thank you for your kind comment, Henry. I’m glad this article has brought so many nice memories. Hannover is indeed such a nice and underrated city, I really enjoyed my visit there. All the best and happy travels! And greetings to your son :)

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