Hanover Neighbourhoods, Locations and Districts
(Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany)
Hanover is loosely divided into compass-point districts based around specific social or ethnic groups. At the heart of it all is the Old Town, which contains what's left of medieval Hanover. The southern part of town is the green lungs of the city, populated by middle-class residents and home to the impressive Maschpark.
Northern Hanover is the realm of university students, while the Oststadt district attracts the city's socialites and celebrities. The industrial working-class district of Linden is slowly being transformed into a more entertaining neighbourhood, proving that Hanover is making positive strides in urban development. Hanover's most prominent districts are detailed below.
This hilly, industrial district has historically been the home to Hanover's working class. The factories are slowly being converted into cultural venues, restaurants and jazz clubs. There is a real multicultural element to Linden, evident in the myriad of ethnic eateries and shops. Lindener Hill, the city's highest point, is the site of outdoor concerts and beer gardens during the warm season.
What was once primarily a working class neighbourhood has been taken over by students, whose life centres around the oversized castle-shaped university. This beehive of activity brings people of all stripes together in the colourful bar scene, where learners break from their studies. The Nordstadt district is also the home of the immaculate and expansive Herrenhausen Garten, which is itself a premier destination within Hanover and host to a continual flow of summertime festivals and events.
Old Town (Altstadt)
Sadly, a mere 15 percent of Hanover's original medieval town survived the destruction of WWII. But, what remains within the Altstadt area is a charming reminder of this city's prominent status. Quaint half-timbered houses line the narrow streets, centred on the Old Town Hall, Market Church and Wood Market. Inviting restaurants, bars and boutique shops provide the modern face of the Old Town and help to keep things lively. Check out the Market Hall to satiate your appetite, and the Saturday morning flea market to hunt for treasures.
Packed with some of the best pubs and restaurants in Hanover, the chic enclave that is the Oststadt district has been commandeered by the city's rich and famous. The Art Deco houses lining the streets are proof of the attention to aesthetics that the residents pay to their homes. Don't get lost in the tangle of bars and cafés that form the north end of the Passarelle, as you browse the shopping opportunities along Lister Meile Street. If you need a quick escape, Hanover's fine municipal forest, Eilenriede, begins on the eastern edge of this district.
The southern end of Hanover has emerged as a residential neighbourhood for the city's working people. A spattering of restaurants and hotels can be found within the Sudstadt district, but the real draw is the swath of green than runs from New Town Hall all the way to Maschsee Lake. The active residents of Hanover flock to the Maschpark to get some exercise or go boating on the water. If you are here in August, you will be treated to Hanover's best festival, the Maschseefest.
This southernmost area of Hanover is the place to come if you want to take a dip. Close to the centre of town yet well out of the urban bustle, the natural bathing pools of Ricklinger and Dohrener Masch attract plenty of swimmers during the summer. Have a picnic, play some sports or relax around the water. If you're feeling really adventurous, you can shed your clothes at one of the ponds.