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13 Best Things to Do in Hanover, Germany

I don’t know if you’ve tried it, but there are loads of amazing things to do in Hanover, Germany all year round. If you are traveling to this city or any nearby city, here is a list of things to include on your bucket list.

Hanover in Germany is a famous University City and economic hub for the region. Some time back, an Electorate had its seat here, but today, it’s best known for the numerous Hanover attractions.

Having a rich history means there’s no shortage of things to do in Hanover for every traveler. You can start by marveling at museums, exquisite architecture, and even beautiful parks in this German city.

roman statute in hanover

So add it to your bucket list and start planning for that trip, especially if you want to travel during summer.

Best Things to Do in Hanover, Germany

Below are several fun things to do in Hanover.

1. Visit Aegidienkirche

Aegidienkirche Architecture

Are you interested in the history of ancient European cities? The Aegidienkirche church in Hanover, Germany, is a perfect place to start. Now, this is a building that knows all about survival, having opened its doors back in 1163.

Aegidienkirche is the oldest church in the area, making up part of the best things to see in Hanover. And you can’t miss it, given its impressive gothic architecture that stands imposing with its tower. The tower went through a renovation in the 18th century, but the whole structure suffered a lot during the 2nd world war.

A lot of bombing happened in the area and affected most old buildings, including this church. As a memorial for people who lost their lives during those tough times, there’s no roof on the chancel and nave.

Additionally, inside, you can look at the peace bell given to the church by Hiroshima. Every 6th August, the church rings the bell and conducts a ceremony in memory of Hiroshima day.

From dawn, the bells will ring until 6 p.m. This is why visiting Aegidienkirche is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Hanover, especially for history lovers.

See Related: Best Tourist Destinations in the World

3. Georgengarten Park

Georgengarten Park Scenery

Nothing beats visiting the magnificent parks that dot European cities during summer. In Hanover, be sure to include a day spent at Georgengarten Park as part of things to do in Hanover and surrounding areas. Back in the day, the Great Garden in this city was a masterpiece, and King George the 3rd wanted a part of this splendor.

In 1810 he bought an estate to the East, changing its name to Georgenpalais from Wallmodenschloss. Later, the park got a new name, Georgengarten, which remains to date. Though you are visiting a city in Germany, you won’t be at fault when you suddenly think you are in England.

Naturally, the garden is in English style and has loads of mature trees from earlier on, still standing majestically. Perhaps the most impressive part of the park is the lime avenue that cuts the park into two, known as the Herrenhauser Allee. It’s among the exciting stuff to do in Hanover, stretching over 2km.

3. Lower Saxony State Museum

After marveling at the magnificent buildings and architecture in Hanover, step into the Lower Saxony state museum for some more history. It’s near the New Town Hall, and you surely can’t miss it, given the impressive building.

A tour inside this museum reveals even more incredible pieces of ancient history—the impressive collection dates back as the 11th century. Plenty of historical artifacts in this museum can help you visualize how life was back then.

The whole family can also enjoy a dinosaur’s life-sized skeleton with a large vivarium. And that doesn’t even cover half of what this museum has on display. ‘

Head over to the archeological department and travel back almost half a million years. There’s a whole collection of artifacts, making this museum a must-feature item on your things to do in Hanover.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Dresden, Germany

4. Leine Palace

Leine Palace Architecture

Be ready to walk or ride far and wide since Hanover has no shortage of sights to see. Another stop is the Leine palace in Altstadt, a walking distance from the city’s central part. The impressive building is the state parliament building but traces its origins back to the 17th century.

A visit to this place answers your queries on what to do in Hanover. The palace shared a name with the river it bordered and was the royal residence of Duke George von Calenberg.  Its original style was re-modified in 1817 to give it a more neoclassical style.

However, it’s worth noting that this wasn’t the first building on this site. Earlier on in 1300, there was the Franciscan friary belonging to the Catholic Church.

In 1533, the church abandoned it due to the rising wave of the protestant reformation in the region. It changed hands and styles over the years until the 17th century.

5. Visit SEA LIFE

SEA LIFE Hanover Building Aerial View

SEA LIFE marine museum is a pride and joy, one of the best Hanover tourist attractions. It’s a fun place for all the family to learn about marine life. Here you can catch a glimpse of over 3000 species worldwide.

The good news with this diverse collection is that some species are from the local Leine River. Others are from as far away as the Caribbean and beyond. Inside are 37 tanks and pools home to different fish species, octopuses, sharks, and crocodiles.

Therefore, include this as part of the things to do in Hanover and walk on a glass tunnel while viewing the beautiful marine life. Guides are always present, giving educational talks, and you can participate in fun feeding sessions. Also, there’s a rainforest section that you must not miss.

See Related: What is the Size of Germany?

6. Marktkirche

Perhaps the building that ultimately defines Hanover’s architecture is the Marktkirche, which translates to “The Church on the Marketplace.” It dates back to the 14th century and is in the famous Gothic style – like many other grand European churches.

The tower will catch your eye from a distance with its impressive stature and 4-pointed gables. Though it looks impressive, the plan back then was to make the tower taller. However, a shortage of funds meant construction had to stop. This was during the Black Plague, which ravaged the region.

Fast forward to the 20th century, as other buildings suffered the bombings of the  2nd world war, the church escaped with only a few scratches. Its original artwork is still intact, including three impressive glass-stained windows from 1370.

7. The Hanover Zoo

Flamingos in Hanover Zoo

In 1865, some 22 hectares of land were set aside to help set up the Hanover Zoo. Since then, it’s been on the list of what to see in Hanover for millions of tourists.

Today, it hosts over 230 species from across the world. And, in total, there are about 3400 animals that you can enjoy seeing and learning about. 

The Hanover zoo is the 5th oldest zoo in Germany, despite having started with private funding. It’s only later in 1920 that the government took over when managing the zoo became too tricky after World War 1.

Later in the 1990s, it exchanged hands once more in a bid to keep it open due to few visitors. The buyers set about to change its concept, which worked. Now, it’s among the top things to do in Hanover for visitors who flock to the city during summer.

The new setup includes different theme worlds, which takes you to different parts of the world. For instance, there’s Zambezi, Gorilla Mountain, Yukon bay, Jungle palace, Outback, Mollywoop, among others.

8. Herrenhauser Gardens

Herrenhausen Gardens

Also called the Great Garden, the Herrenhauser Gardens are a sight to behold. Ask any local, and you’ll learn that these are the pride and joy of this city. In 1683, Sophia of Hanover commissioned a French gardener to expand an existing garden. It led to the creation of what is today known as the Great Garden.

The summer retreat was a favorite of the royals, and expansion led to an additional 50 hectares. Smack in the middle of it is the Herrenhausen Palace.

Now, it’s an incredible place to visit as you seek out the best tourist attractions in the city. It’s been hosting different summer festivals for decades that you must attend when you travel here. Even the building hosts an orangery, an impressive collection of art, and classical music concerts.

Additionally, among the top things to do in Hanover at night is attending the glowing gardens event. It’s a light show you don’t want to miss that happens each day during summer. Set a timer and ensure you get there just as the sun sets.

9. Museum August Kestner

Museum August Kestner Building
Igor Marx /

In 1889, the oldest museum in Hannover opened its door to the public. Inside, you’ll find a treasure trove of artifacts from around the world. But does it fit among the best things to do in Hanover? Sure it does – there are artifacts from ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece, including one-of-a-kind antiques.

Besides, there’s art from all over Europe spanning many centuries back. Not to mention the impressive building that hosts the museum, it’s a neo-renaissance-style structure with a modern twist and has 5,000 tiny windows all around.

Inside are remarkable manuscripts from medieval times and other items like ivory, textiles, and enamel work. Make sure you don’t miss the awe-inspiring coin collection that has over 120,000 pieces spanning 2,500 years.

See related: Best Day Trips From Berlin

10. Maschsee Lake

Maschsee Lake and Skyline

Adding to the breathtaking things to see in Hanover is visiting the artificial Maschsee Lake, which covers 78 hectares. You won’t find a more magnificent water body anywhere in Lower Saxony, where you can enjoy lots of water sports than here.

At the start of the 19th century, plans were underway to create a lake near the Rhine River, a large valley. Back then, the melting snow constantly threatened the city due to flooding, requiring permanent solutions. Only in 1925 did the exact design emerge, and development began.

The lake still serves as a place where all the melting snow deposits. However, its purpose has extended to a relaxing hot spot where you can enjoy lots of water sports in Hanover. Get your swimming gear for a dip or a chance to relax at the shores of the lake.

11. Hanover Opera House

Add the Hanover opera house among the things to do in Hanover, and you won’t be sorry. The building is more neoclassical and is home to the Staatsoper Company, which puts on magnificent shows. Take this opportunity to dress up and enjoy the amazing Hanover nightlife.

Throughout summer, the company puts on fantastic shows; the building itself is a sight to behold during the day. As an opera, expect only the best works, including some ballet and other magnificent performances.

See Related: Best Things to do in Frankfurt

12. Eilienriede Forest

Trail in Eilenriede Forest
image by Bärbel Miemietz is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Of the many beautiful things to do in Hanover, this one tops the list for nature lovers. A tour of the Eilienriede Forest that spans more than 1,600 acres! It’s a municipal forest that’s a sight to behold no matter the season and offers ample recreation space.

Impressively, this is among the most extensive forests in Europe that are smack in the middle of the city. The good news is you can enjoy all the flora and fauna everywhere.

There are numerous walkways and footpaths to follow. Additionally, you can have fun with the family in the fields. Bring your hiking shoes or bikes and tour the forest as you please. You can exercise while marveling at beautiful sites on every corner.

Nothing beats the fun times you can have here alone or with other people tagging. Even sunbathing is an option in the many open spaces, as it’s safe for all. So don’t miss out as you wonder what to do in Hanover this summer.

See Related: Best Parks in Germany

13. Broyhan Haus

Broyhan Haus Building
Bärbel Miemietz, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever heard of the traditional roulade popular in Germany? If not, ensure you visit Broyhan Haus, a historic Hanover tavern, for some. It’s filled with vast amounts of meat, bacon, onions, and pickles.

But don’t worry if you are vegan because there’s plenty on offer. Eating here and enjoying German beer are among the top things in Hanover for many guests.

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