Hannover is a city that has played a very important role at various stages in European history, and today it is the official capital of Lower Saxony. Perhaps best known as being a major international centre for trade fairs and conventions, the city also plays host to Germany’s second-biggest Oktoberfest - after Munich. As with many German cities, it was heavily affected by the Second World War and, while much of the old town was successfully rebuilt, it was relocated into a more centralised area. Hannover also benefits from a number of parks and gardens, including the 112 hectare Tiergarten where deer roam freely today.
The key landmark of Hannover is the New Town Hall, or Neues Rathaus. As well as being architecturally significant, one other very notable feature of the building is the uniquely designed diagonal, or arched, elevator that travels slowly up the large dome to an observation deck. From here you can enjoy fantastic views of the city and the surrounding area. Rent a car from Hannover and another essential port of call is the zoo, homing one of the most spectacular and best collections of animals in the country. It does all it can to present animals in habitats that are as near as possible to the wild while also allowing visitors to see them without barriers and is divided into a number of themes with indigenous animals living in each one and these include the Zambezi, the jungle and the outback. There is a 5km path that runs through them all ensuring that it’s easy to see the whole zoo on one visit. Also nearby are the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen. These consist of a number of very attractive gardens and greenhouses and it is also home to the world’s largest orchid collection as well as many plants from all around the world.
Opening hours: Mo-Sa 0700-2300, Su 0800-2300
Address: Langenhagen Airport, Langenhagen
Opening hours: Mo-Fr 0700-1900, Sa-Su 0800-1200
Address: Schulenburger Landstrasse 152