Hanover is known all over the world as the trade fair capital par excellence. Every year an average of 113 national and international trade fair events take place in the largest exhibition space in the world, which boasts 26 halls. These events include the Hannover Messe (Hanover Fair), the CeBIT and the trade show EMO.

As the airport of Hannover-Langenhagen is just eleven kilometres north of the city and enjoys a good S-Bahn connection, trade fair guests can reach the exhibition halls in less than half an hour. Thus it is that most visitors to the capital city of Lower Saxony only get to know the area between the exhibition space and the airport or train station, and thus only associate the city with trade fairs.

It’s time to explore Hanover following the exhibition events. You will see how beautiful, varied and rich in attractions the city on the Leine is. The following are especially worth seeing:

The New Town Hall

The New Town Hall, which lies between the old town and the Maschsee, is housed in a Wilhelmine construction dating back to 1913 and is the emblem of Hanover. The castle-like building may draw many admiring glances, but the highlight is the journey to the dome (at nearly 100m in height) via a curved lift. The curved dome lift is unique: after the first few metres have been travelled vertically, it travels upward at an angle of 17 degrees. At the same time, the floor panel can become transparent at the touch of a button. Once it has arrived at the top, your gaze can wander over the green exhibition capital, the Maschsee or the Eilenriede, and you can enjoy the painterly view extending all the way to Harz.

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The Red Thread of Hanover

They say that we should walk upright and not look at the ground, but in this case it’s a different story. Just don’t lose the Red Thread, which is a 4,200 metre red line painted onto the cobblestones which leads to 36 tourist attractions. The Thread begins at Ernst-August Square in the Tourist Information Office, and ends at the Ernst-August Memorial before the main train station. The accompanying booklet, which can be purchased for 3 euros, contains details regarding the individual stations that can be found along the Red Thread.

Hannover Altstadt Holzmarkt - Top 5 Attractions in Hanover

The Old Town of Hanover

The historic old town wins visitors over with idyllic alleyways in which you can find cosy little cafes and shops. This is where the Old Town Hall, built in 1410, can be found, as well as the Marktkirche and around 40 lovingly restored half-timbered houses. The most attractive and oldest half-timbered house of the city dates back to 1566. It is located at the back of Burgstraße, near to the Kreuzkirche, and is a popular photo subject due to its Renaissance facade. In the Old Town, you can also find the timber market with its impressive Leibniz house and museum. In front of the Leibniz house stands the Oskar-Winter Fountain, whose wrought iron bars are edged with a so-called ‘Wunschring’ (‘Ring of Desire’). Have a spin and make a wish.

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Sprengel Museum

The museum for modern art is one of the most significant museums of its kind, and displays art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Marvel at works by Max Beckmann, Paul Klee and Emil Nolde. Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, August Macke and Max Ernst are also represented with unique artworks in the Sprengel Museum.

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The Herrenhausen Gardens

The Herrenhausen Gardens are the most well-known tourist attraction in Hanover, and complete a visit to the city. The large garden stands among the most significant Baroque gardens in Europe. Take a tour through the grotto in the large garden, created by world-famous artist Niki de Saint Phalle. Other attractions include the Herrenhausen palace with its museum, built in the 17th century, the orangery, and the water-art and light installations with accompanying Baroque music. Numerous artistic events take place here throughout the year. You can find information about these events in the brochures in your hotel, and with a bit of luck something will be happing at the time of your visit.

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