Hannover Mini Guide
Hannover in a Nutshell
Hanover is the English spelling of the German city of Hannover. It was once the family seat of the British monarchs although only one visited the city, albeit briefly. It is considered as an important seat of learning and has many universities plus a medical school. Its importance today, as in years gone by, is built upon its position at a crossroads of major transport routes.
Hannover is a medieval city whose name means ‘high river bank’. Originally the city began as a village of fishermen and ferrymen who transported passengers across the river. Added to this, the discovery of silver and iron in the nearby hills brought prosperity. It was occupied by 30,000 French troops during the Napoleonic Wars and is the home of the inventor of the ‘record’ and the gramophone.
Hannover Airport is very convenient for the city and is on the S-Bahn link to the city centre. Budget airlines Tui and Air Berlin fly here from a number of destinations all over Europe including Milan
What to See in the City
The main attraction for visitors is the Great Gardens of Herrenhausen, a world-famous and stunning Baroque style formal garden. It’s beautiful all year round but especially so in the summer when it is a riot of colour. Germany’s most important neo-Gothic castle, Castle Marienburg is nearby, as too is Hannover Zoo which has over 2,000 exhibits in six different representative ecosystems.
What to See Outside the City
Outside of the city it’s not too big a journey to the Harz Mountains. There, amongst the craggy peaks, you’ll find walking trails and in winter the region’s most popular ski resort, Braunlage.
Things to Do in the City
Hannover is famed for its fireworks and there rarely seems an opportunity passes without a firework display being organised. The best are for the Kleines Fest in the Great Gardens and the annual international firework competition where six countries compete over six weekends to produce the most spectacular display. To find out more about the city, take one of the walking tours that can be organised from the tourist information offices in Hannover.
Shopping addicts are blessed with several fine malls there including the Ernst August Gallerie Mall which has a selection of international brands represented there. A great shop for leather and handbags is Horstman and Sander whilst those in search of haute couture should try Galerie Luise.
Food and Drink
As elsewhere in Germany, sausage or würst is the main choice on menus, washed down with the locally brewed Herrenhauser Premium Pilsner or Lutsche Lage, a beer and korn drink drunk from two separate glasses.
Special Events and Festivals
Hannover really is the city of festivals and apart from the many firework orientated ones there’s also the fun Spring Festival to shepherd in better weather and the Oktoberfest, the second largest in Germany. The Masala World Beat Festival takes place every year with musicians from around the world. Finally on a less serious note there’s the annual Rubber Duck Race, keenly contested by locals and tourists alike including a preliminary contest to judge favourites for the big event!