Hannover is the capital of Lower Saxony, the region that occupies the north-west of Germany. Now known as a major techno exhibition centre, it is a city of green open spaces and, in particular, the manicured and landscaped Herrenhäuser Gärten. Visitors can travel by train to Hannover from Bielefeld in 59 minutes on the Inter-City service, and the train journey to Hannover from Hamburg takes 1h43mins. Visitors arriving in the city are greeted at the main railway station, Hannover Hauptbahnhof, by a bright and modern station, which is only a 2-minute walk from the city centre, and with the historic Old Town very close by.
Visitors alighting from their train to Hannover should head south towards the River Leine via Bahnhofstraße for the 10-minute walk to Hannover Mitte — the heart of the Old Town. Here, many of the picturesque half-timbered buildings have been restored and are gathered around the Burgstraße area. Visitors can seek out Hannover’s oldest church, the Kreuzkirche, built in 1333. The Marktkirche is popular amongst visitors too, with its large and impressive red-brick facade representing the heart of the old city centre.
Moving on to the newer parts of the city, visitors can stretch their legs after the train journey to Hannover along the 15-minute stroll south towards the waters of the Maschsee. This artificial lake and surrounding parkland make for the perfect place to try yachting, canoeing and pedal-boating on the water, or jogging, skating and strolling in the park. Overlooking the lake is the magnificent new town hall, and visitors can go to the top of the dome in a unique curving lift to see for themselves that Hannover is, indeed, Germany’s greenest city.
For dining opportunities, Hamburg offers a great range of international cuisine. But, for traditional options, visitors should head back in the direction of the Old Town to the north of the lake. Around the area of Burgstraße, there are small but popular bistros, bars and restaurants offering specialties like Schlachteplatte (a dish with a variety of different meats), or the famous sausage delicacy, Braunschweiger. Those who want a souvenir should pick up a packet of the world-famous Leibniz-Keks biscuits!