The capital and largest city of the state of Lower Saxony in Germany, Hannover went from ruling Great Britain to nearly being destroyed in the Second World War. Today, the city has been rebuilt retaining an abundance of its old-world charm and royal history. Its Old Town area, or ‘Altstadt’, is delightful to walk through, characterised by cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and ubiquitous red roofs. A symbol of the city, the New Town Hall is a magnificent structure showcasing eclectic architecture and crowned by an ornate dome. For panoramic views, you can ride to the top of the dome in a tilted lift, the only one of its kind in Europe.
Hannover is home to Maschsee, an expansive artificial lake offering water sports and opportunities for swimming, boating and cycling. If you’re after a more tranquil experience, you can simply stroll around the park or stop for a bite at one of the many surrounding cafes and bars. Also worth a visit are the Herrenhausen Gardens – sprawling baroque gardens with fountains, manicured lawns and an artsy grotto. During summer, the gardens come alive with plenty of festivals and fireworks.
When travelling with little ones, Hannover Adventure Zoo will take you around the world with themed zones showcasing hundreds of species in their natural habitat – from Africa to Australia. For a dose of culture, you can take in a sizeable collection of modern art at the Sprengel Museum or journey into the city’s past at Hannover History Museum.