Hanover attractions include Herrenhausen Baroque gardens, Hanover’s New City Hall, Marienburg Castle, Kröpcken shopping district, and Hanover Zoo.
Herrenhausen Baroque gardens are remnants of the inheritance from the kings of Hanover, and they were built in the 17th century to compete in beauty with the famous gardens of Versailles in Paris.
The gardens are divided into four sections:
- Großer Garten (Grand Garden),
- Georgengarten, and
Of these, the Grand Garden is a highlight in the area, and consideredone of the finest formal Baroque gardens in Europe.
Berggarten, in turn, has grown from its origins as a simple vegetable garden, into the current extensive botanical garden.
Georgengarten and Welfengarten, meanwhile, have been built in the English gardening tradition, and they are especially popular places for locals to have a relaxing walk on weekends.
Hanover’s New City Hall, completed in 1913, is one of the main symbols of Hanover, similarly to, say Big Ben symbolizes London.
The New City Hall is architecturally stunning, done in palatial, Wilhelm II era style, being located within the southern edges of Hanover’s inner city, centrally to the 10 hectare (24 acres) Maschpark Park.
When visiting the New City Hall, you should include a visit to the building’s dome, which has an observation deck, at the height of about 100 m (328 ft).
The elevator taking you to the observation deck is unique in Europe, as it goes a route which is not directly vertical, but instead, follows the shapes of the dome, at best at an angle of 17°.
Views from the deck are great to the surrounding areas, and in good weather, you can even see all the way to the Harz mountains.
Marienburg Castle (www.schloss-marienburg.de), meanwhile, is located about 20 km from central Hanover, and it is considered one of the most important Neogothic style buildings in Germany.
Historically, the castle was a summer residence for the Welf dynasty, which produced rulers for both British and German territories, from 10th-18th centuries.
You can explore the castle’s grand halls and historic rooms by participating in a guided tour, which last about an hour.
These tours visit, for example, the private rooms of the royals, with the tour highlights also including…
- unique furnitures,
- magnificent paintings, and
- objects from royal court life in the 1800s.
As a Hanover attraction, the castle is open to visitors until the end of October, with the last daily guided tour to the premises starting at 5pm.
Kröpcken shopping district is a central section of Hanover, located around the junctions for Georgstrasse, Karmarschstraße, Bahnhofstraße and Rathenaustraße.
The area includes, for example:
- some of the city’s biggest department stores, such as Galeria Kaufhof and Karstadt, as well as
- a number of specialty stores, including Horstman & Sander: a leather goods and handbags store.
Kröpcken’s historical clock is the center of the district, and it is also an essential meeting place for the locals.
Finally, Hanover attractions include Hannover Zoo (www.zoo-hannover.de), a modern (with a 135 years of history, however) zoo, widely considered one of the best zoos in Europe.
The zoo contains a total of over 2,000 animals from all over the world, divided into six different themed areas.
Highlights at the zoo include…
- animal feeding shows,
- free boat rides along the zoo’s “Sambezi river” canal,
- guided tours of the zoo, and
- a children’s petting zoo section.