From Amsterdam we had planned to head straight to Munich. But as that is basically the full distance of Germany we decided it would be best to split the journey and have a day stop in another German city. Having both visited Berlin in January we chose a more western based city and finally decided on Hannover.
Planning & The Red Thread
It will come as a surprise to nobody that we did very little planning before we turned up in Hannover. On the train I did a quick search and found that Hannover Tourism office offers a self-guided tour around Hannover. Some of you may have seen my instagram post about Hannover and how I instantly felt at home in Germany even though I have lived in the UK for over 15 years. Anyway I headed straight to the tourism office to pick up a booklet so that we could get started on our tour.
Hannover Tourism & Language
The tour is called the Red Thread and is essentially a red painted line around the city with numbers on that tells you what sight you are at. The booklet costs €3 and give you information about all of the sights on the Red Thread. It was honestly such good value for money as you get to visit the city at your own pace. The lady in the tourism office was so lovely. I was also quite pleased with myself because she gave me the German booklet first and I had to ask for an English one! Subconscious huge compliment to my german skills! For any other German geeks like me out there Hannover speaks Hochdeutsch which means that you shouldn’t have any problems using the German you have learnt in school. But fear not, the booklet is available in a variety of languages.
We were stupid and decided to do the Red Thread backwards, I would NOT recommend this! We were a little bit confused by the map because of this and eventually gave up. The main tour takes a couple of hours, but there is a secondary tour that you can add on. If you are to do this then maybe spend a little bit longer in Hannover or split it over two days. Hannover is completely accessible by foot but we did notice great bus links across the city.
New Town Hall
Here are some of my top picks from the Red Thread if you don’t have enough time to complete it. Top of the list is the New Town Hall. If you are asking directions you need to ask for Das Neue Rathaus. This structure is probably what Hannover is most famous for and when you google pictures this is what is likely to appear. The Rathaus is relatively close to the train station so worth a look. I believe at certain times of the year you can also go inside which would be amazing. Something for me to definitely go back for. There are also some cute little fountains outside, which attract many picnickers. Perhaps this would be a good spot for lunch!
Another place worth visiting is the Leibniz House. Unfortunately no Leibniz biscuits were to be seen! His house is a good representation of a traditional German house and there is lots of interesting historical information about Leibniz and his role in the Hannovarian courts. We were lucky enough to listen in on a tour guide giving a speech about this building. Anyway it’s another good spot for a photograph.
From there you can head to the Innenstadt area. The streets of Hannover are incredibly cute and apparently this is the best place to try a German beer in Hannover. There is a huge variety of pubs, bars and cafes for you to browse at your own leisure but if you have a little longer in Hannover why not try some traditional Lower Saxony food? I have heard that seafood is especially popular in this area of Germany.
The Market Church
The Market church is also a good stop in the city of Hannover, even if you aren’t religious. The architecture is really something to be admired. Inside there is a huge organ, probably one of the biggest I have ever seen. Thankfully the church allows anyone in almost irregardless of dress. I was wearing an above the knee skirt and was worried that because of this I wouldn’t be allowed inside. It is definitely not as strict as it was in Paris!
Those are my top picks from the Red Thread. Although I would recommend sticking to the map if you are on a strict time limit, it is also lots of fun to divert from the path slightly and just have fun exploring this North German city. The people of Hannover were on the whole also really helpful and tolerant of foreigners.