Hanover Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany)

Picture of boating on the River LeineAlthough WWII brought most of Hanover's medieval architecture crashing to the ground, the remaining tourist attractions offer a timeless glimpse at the churches, squares and buildings that once filled this favoured German city.

Spend a few hours wandering the Old Town to get a feel for the past, and then explore the stunning Herrenhausen Garden to bring some pastoral feel to your experience.

Parks, lakes and gardens are a big part of Hanover's makeup and main attractions, creating a perfect green balance to an urban scene dotted with art museums and centuries-old landmarks. The most popular tourist attractions within the city of Hanover are as follows.

Photo of elephants at Hanover Zoo

Hanover Zoo

Address: Adenauerallee 3, Hanover, Germany, DE
Tel: +49 0511 2807 4163
This better-than-average Hanover Zoo makes a valiant attempt to present exotic animals in their native habitat. There are five distinct sections to explore, each with their own set of animal attractions - the Alaskan wilderness of Yukon Bay, Gorilla Mountain, Zambezi, Meyer's Farm and Jungle Palace. Each recreates the feel of its home environment. If you want to see which animals live in northern Germany, the free-range concept of Meyer's Farm lets you mingle among the creatures. Well worth an afternoon, especially if you have kids with you.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 19:00, seasonal variations apply
Admission: charge

Hanover Congress Centrum

Address: Theodor-Heuss-Platz 1-3, Hanover, Germany, DE
Tel: +49 0511 8113 0
Many of the city's big events happen within the Hanover Congress Centrum, making this sprawling compound well worth a look. The City Hall (Stadthalle), with its classic domed top, hosts everything from city celebrations to music concerts. Inside is the Kuppelsaal, which is renowned for having near-perfect acoustics. Several other imposing buildings ring the site, being backed by an attractive park called the Stadtpark, which is filled with gardens, pavilions, ponds and artwork. Be sure to check what cultural events are planned here during your visit.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: no charge

Photo of historical church in the Old Town district

Walking Tour of Old Town

Like most European towns, Hanover has a medieval square creatively named Old Town. Unfortunately, over 80 percent of the original buildings were levelled during WWII, but a few pockets of old Germany still remain and help to give Hanover a connection to its past. Many of the streets are still narrow and cobble-stoned, and the architecture is a mix of classic half-timbered houses, stately government buildings and newly-constructed shops, which try to emulate the old facades. Every tourist will spend some time here amongst the main historic attractions, so don't miss grabbing a bite to eat in the Market Hall, wandering the original streets of Wood Market and pondering the beauty of the former castle, the Leineschloss. The city makes it easy to explore the main sights in Old Town thanks to a red line painted along the streets that connects all the highlights - an effective and popular self-guided walking tour.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: no charge

Picture of the Herrenhausen Gardens, home to the Sea Life Grossaquarium

Sea Life Grossaquarium (Big Aquarium)

Address: Herrenhauser Strasse 4, Hanover, Germany, DE
Tel: +49 0511 126 0420
Don't let the name fool you. This delightful sea life aquarium combines the underwater world with the realm of tropical rainforests. Some 30 different enclosures house all kinds of fishy attractions at Hanover's Sea Life Grossaquarium, including a deep-water tank which has a glass tunnel through the centre, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with sharks and other daunting creatures. Its location within the Herrenhausen Gardens makes it an ideal indoor alternative should the weather dampen conditions within the royal park itself.
Open hours: daily - seasonal variations
Admission: charge

St. Marcus Church

Address: Oskar Winter Strasse 7, Hanover, Germany, DE
Tel: +49 0511 66 54 67
As much a community centre as a religious haven, the soothing sounds of music can often be heard wafting out of this stately old church. In addition to its acclaimed choir who perform during Sunday services, Hanover's St. Marcus Church acts as a concert hall during the rest of the week. Its acoustics are considered excellent for music and singing, so be sure and stop by to see what attractions are scheduled during your stay.
Open hours: daily
Admission: no charge