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Latest update: 21 February 2024

Medieval timber-framed houses and BANKSY art. Schnitzels and ceviche. Hannover in Germany is a city that honors history and tradition while being open to new and modern. It allows you to make a fun combination of sights and activities during your visit to Hannover. I’m happy to help you on your way.

Hannover: very suitable for a city trip

I live in the Netherlands, so I can easily travel to Hannover by car or train from Amsterdam and Utrecht in about four hours. The price of the train ticket starts from €28. This makes the city a perfect candidate for a city trip.

Hannover is known as a very green city, but I am there in December, so most of the leaves have already fallen from the trees. In fact, it is snowing, and the Christmas market is in full swing. The Hannover Christmas market is so lovely and cozy, so I spend much time there. I must return to Hannover soon because there is much more to see and do here!

Neighborhoods with character

Hannover has a small, historic center where you can look around the shops, drink tea at an old teahouse, or admire the half-timbered houses. But the city also has all kinds of nice neighborhoods, each with its own character. For example, in Linden, you will find many coffee bars and street art; in Nordstadt, there are many hip and vintage shops. It’s all a bit spread out, so public transport is your friend. With the HannoverCard, you can travel freely on buses, metros, and trams and get discounts at some attractions. You can buy it here, at the tourism office.

The best sights of Hannover

Are you, like me, in Hannover for the first time? Then there are a few sights that you should not miss. Like the ‘red thread’, the market hall, the new town hall… I’ll list them all for you.

City walk: Der Rote Faden

A red line has been drawn on the ground through the center of Hannover. Following this 4.2 km long line, you will walk past Hannover’s most important sights. This route is called Der Rote Faden (literally: the red thread, figuratively: the common thread), and it is easiest if you start it at the tourism office opposite the train station. But you can actually pick up the (red) thread wherever you come across it because it is a circuit.

Google Maps location

If you want to have the route on your phone (in case you, like me, lose the red line in the snow), try this link.

If you would like to do a walking tour like this in Hannover, but would rather go with a guide, that is also possible. I am always a fan of walking tours with a culinary approach, such as this one, but there are many more walking tours in Hannover.

Admire the historic half-timbered houses

Walking around the old center of Hannover, you will automatically come across the beautiful half-timbered houses. Due to the Second World War, little remains of the historic timber-framed houses. The houses were demolished and rebuilt in the 1950s. You may know the style with the wooden beams from Strasbourg or Troyes in the Champagne region. I find a few nice examples in Hannover at the Marktkirche and Ballhofplatz.

The ‘unauthorized’ BANKSY exhibition

The exhibition about BANKSY is more than worth visiting if you are in Hannover. The exhibition opened in October 2023, and hopefully, it will remain open for a long time. There is so much work by BANKSY (replicas, of course) that you need almost two visits to look at everything properly and read all the information signs.

The exhibition is called The Mystery of BANKSY. So, unfortunately, after the visit, you still don’t know who the person or people behind BANKSY are. But I’m really impressed by the amount of work done under the BANKSY name. And how much impact it makes. Because BANKSY’s work is known for political views (anti-capitalist, anti-religion, and anti-war) and being controversial. For example, who doesn’t know the shredded painting? But there is more, much more to see in this Hannover exhibition space. So go! You will not regret it. Buy your tickets in advance here.

Google Maps location

Hannover’s new town hall

Hannover’s new town hall is not that new anymore. The Neues Rathaus was built between 1901 and 1913. It is quite an imposing building; it could easily serve as a palace if you ask me. You can enter for free and walk around the hall and along the corridor of the first floor. In the hall, there are four large city models from different years. They show very clearly what damage the Second World War caused. There are viewing platforms on top of the dome of the town hall that you can reach by elevator (unfortunately, not in the winter months).

Google Maps location

Go see the Aegidienkirche

Church becomes war memorial. That is what the ruins of the medieval Egidius Church are now: a war monument in memory of the victims of war and violence. The Aegidienkirche was destroyed in 1943, and now only the tower and outer walls remain. With the layer of snow, it has a very serene atmosphere. The bell was donated by partner city Hiroshima and is called the Peace Bell. Every year, on August 6, the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the bell is rung.

Google Maps location

Museum of Modern Art: Sprengel Museum

The Sprengel Museum has a permanent and changing collection of modern art. It is a nice and spacious museum with high ceilings, which makes it an impressive building. For example, you can see works by Picasso and German artists. Some work is more beautiful than others – let’s just say tastes differ.

Google Maps location

Hannover’s city lake: Machsee

Soon, the first ice-skaters will enter the Machsee. At the beginning of December, the first parts of Hannover’s large city lake are already frozen. In the summer, people like to come here to row, SUP, and sail. And have a party! Because the Machsee Lake Festival is organized every year. The people of Hannover and around all join for plenty of music and food. It is one of the largest open-air festivals in the region. So if you are planning to go to Hannover in the summer, see if you can plan it so that you can catch the festival. You can find the current dates on the Visit Hannover website.

Google Maps location

Hotspots for food and drinks

All that sightseeing in Hannover makes you thirsty, or hungry, or both. There was a Christmas market in Hannover during my visit, so I mainly ate at the stalls. But I still made some room in my stomach for the following hotspots.

The belly of Hannover: the Markthalle

The Hannover market hall is a pleasant food hall full of restaurants. Enjoy Spanish tapas, eat Italian pasta or perhaps you prefer Japanese sushi or Peruvian ceviche? You get the idea: I find choosing what I want to eat extremely difficult. There are specialties from all parts of the world. Enjoy your meal!

Google Maps location

Breakfast and brunch at Seven Sundays

Seven days a week, you can have breakfast all day long at Seven Sundays as if it were Sunday. Take your time, order another coffee, and choose something tasty from the menu. They basically have everything you expect from a breakfast restaurant. From eggs benedict to pancakes. And damn, those pancakes are so good! You can skip your next meal for sure.

Google Maps location Oststadt
Google Maps location center

Tea party at Teestübchen

On sunny days, you can enjoy people-watching on the terrace of Teestübchen. If the weather is terrible, you can enjoy a cup of tea and delicious cakes in this cozy old-fashioned tea room. It’s just a small cafe, so it can get chaotic. If you like their tea, you can buy some to take home and have a tea party to reminisce on your visit to Hannover.

Google Maps location

Have breakfast at [hof:geflüster]

At [hof:geflüster], I enjoy a great breakfast. The most extensive option is € 12.90 (in 2023), and you can choose, for example, a cheese or Mediterranean breakfast. The evening menu is truly German, with schnitzels and currywurst.

Google Maps location

Wines, wines, wines at Vince Weinbar

It gets busy from around nine o’clock on weekends, very busy at Vince Weinbar. If you want to be assured of a spot, arrive a little earlier. You can also eat there and order wine by the glass. There is a lot of choice, so there is bound to be something for you. They don’t call it a wine list here, but a wine book.

Google Maps location

Hotel tip in Hannover

Because I mainly wanted to spend a lot of time in the city, I did not have very high demands on the hotel. Just good, clean, and affordable. And that’s how I ended up at the YORS Boutique Hotel. If you come by train, the hotel is directly behind the station. Or you can park your car at Tiefgarage Kaufland for €6 per day (here).

View the rooms and prices.

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I received the HannoverCard and the entrance ticket for the BANKSY exhibition from Visit Hannover. They gave me complete editorial freedom.

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