Weekend Wanderlust: 10 unique reasons Hanover is worth visiting

Here are 10 experiences unique to Hanover to help you get to know Lower Saxony’s interesting capital a little better.

Weekend Wanderlust: 10 unique reasons Hanover is worth visiting
Marienburg Castle, just south of Hanover. Photo: DPA

For a city whose Royal House ruled Britain for 123 years, has the largest urban forest in Europe, as well as the oldest flea market, Hanover is often overlooked by tourists and locals alike. Here is why you should give the city a chance, or ten.

Eilenriede Forest

Photo: DPA

The largest urban forest in Europe, Hanover’s Eilenriede Forest is in walking distance from the city centre. Covering an area almost twice the size of New York's Central Park, it’s the perfect place for a scenic bike ride, forest bathing, or a wonderful tree-shaded walk.

The Red Line Thread





Heute nehme ich euch mal weiter mit auf “meinem Roten Faden durch Hannover zu den Punkten 2, 3 und 4. Insgesamt gibt es 36 Punkte die es zu entdecken gibt, aber damit es für euch nicht langweilig wird, wenn ihr mal selber nach Hannover kommt, gibt es hier von mir zu jeden Punkt immer etwas, das es an dem Ort zu entdecken gibt oder was für.ihn kennzeichnend ist. Ach ja unbezahlte und unbeauftragte Werbung für die Stadt in der ich aufgewachsen bin und lebe und die von vielen immer unterschätzt wird #hannoverlettert #visithannover #roterfadenhannover #sketchnote #lettering #handlettering #hannoververliebt #hannover #heimatstadt #krrativ #stadterkunden #einereisewert #hannoverliving #hannoverhatvielzubieten #letteringstammtisch #zeitfürhannover #staatsoperhannover #erinnerung #stadtgeschichte #lebeninhannover

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Whether you walk it or ride it, the Red Line Thread – a painted line 4200 metres long around the city, leads you to almost 40 of Hanover’s most interesting attractions. The Thread is accompanied by a small guide book, which describes each stop along the way, like the oldest family house in Hanover on Burgstrasse. You can purchase the guide online, or in person at the Hanover Tourist Information Centre. Alternatively, for a more formal tour, Hanover boasts its own hop-on hop-off bus tour.

Marienburg Castle

Sometimes referred to as the Neuschwanstein of the north, Marienburg Castle, about 20km south of Hanover makes a memorable day trip. King George V of Hanover had the castle built for his wife Queen Marie, and today it is still considered an incredible example of neo-Gothic style.

Viewings inside the castle are only possible with a guided tour in which you’ll be able to see the almost perfectly preserved interiors, and learn interesting facts about the family and castle’s history. Marienburg Castle remains privately owned by the Royal House of Hanover which ruled Britain for 123 years from 1714 to 1837.


There’s nothing that stands out more than a building missing a roof. Hanover’s Aegidienkirche, or Aegidien Church, is an open-air remnant of the Second World War that now acts as a memorial site. An air raid in 1943 destroyed everything except the walls and parts of the church tower. Standing inside the main hall and looking up at the open sky makes for a unique and eerie experience.

World of Kitchens Museum






Da série pérolas da #Alemanha : um museu dedicado às cozinhas de várias épocas e nacionalidades: World do Kitchen Museum (WOK) em #Hannover . Coleção de ferros de passar roupa e as primeiras maquinas de lavar roupa ?Na foto, a típica cozinha alemã da década de 70 quando tudo era laranja . O tour guiado custa de 8 a 13 euros. O post contando tudo sobre esta visita já está em ? #CafeViagemAlemanha . . . .. #germany #deutschland_greatshots #home #ig_deutschland #germanytrip #museum #bestgermanypics #kitchen #travelthinkers #travel #deutschland #treestagram #viajarfazbem #goodmorning #hannoverstagram #hannover_fotografie #germanytourism #magiccities

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This quirky museum, the first in Europe dedicated to kitchens, also houses a cafe’ and cooking school. It features over 30 real kitchen exhibits from different cultures and eras starting from the Middle Ages. Visits to the museum are only possible with pre-booked guided tours, but are well worth it for food and history lovers.  Either at the end of your tour or before, make sure to indulge in traditional German cake and coffee at the Museum’s Schloss Cafe.

Hanover Flea Market

On Saturdays along the banks of the Leine River, you’ll find Germany’s oldest flea market in full swing. Stalls lining both sides of the river sell vintage bags and records, quirky kitsch, antiques, jewellery, bric-a-brac and more. While you’re there, don’t miss the three Nanas sculptures – one of Hanover’s most colourful and recognizable landmarks by the artist Niki de Saint Phalle.

Marksmen’s Festival

Schützenfests, or marksmen’s festivals, are a centuries old regional tradition held all over Germany, but Hanover’s is the largest in the world. It was founded by Duke Erich I in 1529, and this year marks its 490th anniversary. This huge carnival which always includes a marksmen parade, is held annually every summer over ten days and nights.

The Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen

The Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen is Hanover’s biggest attraction. It was commissioned by Electress Sophia of Palatinate who oversaw the development of the garden from 1679 until 1714, the year of her death. Made up of the Grosser Garten, the Berggarten and the Georgengarten, the gardens have been virtually unchanged since their creation. Today they’re considered some of the most important Baroque gardens in Europe, and in 2015 were given the European Garden Award.

The New Town Hall

Photo: DPA

Built at the beginning of the 20th century, Hanover’s New Town Hall is a striking sight from the outside. Inside, the sights continue with a curved lift that tilts at a 17-degree angle for 43 metres to take you to a viewing platform of the city. The clear windows inside the lift make it a very interesting ride. Back inside the main building, there are four models of Hanover that show the city’s development from the 17th century until today. The post-war model from 1945 is particularly interesting as it highlights the incredible devastation to the city after the bombing raids of World War II.


The Maschsee, a lake, near the New Town Hall, is one of the city’s most popular spots for jogging, water sports, bike riding or a leisurely stroll. Built between 1934 to 1936, this artificial lake is also home to the Maschseefest. This unique annual festival sees the waterfront transformed into a thriving entertainment area for almost three weeks every summer. In 2018, the festival saw almost 2.5 million visitors attend over 19 days.

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Five of Germany’s most magical Christmas Markets to visit in 2021

Despite rising infection numbers, most of Germany’s Christmas markets will be open to fill our hearts with festive cheer this year. We give you a rundown of five of the country’s most magical Christmas markets.

Five of Germany's most magical Christmas Markets to visit in 2021
The entrance to the Stuttgart Christmas market in 2019. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Tom Weller

In 2020, many Christmas markets in Germany had to close or were scaled back massively because of the pandemic. This year – at least at the time or reporting – lots of markets are set to open in the coming weeks. 

Here are five we love at The Local Germany. If you have any suggestions for magical Christmas markets in Germany, please leave a comment below. 

Maritime Christmas Market on the Koberg, Lübeck

Lübeck, the so-called “Christmas city of the North”, will be welcoming the festive season this year by lighting up its old town with over 500,000 Christmas lights.

The northwest of the old town island is where you’ll find the maritime-themed Christmas market which has been going since 2011.

Centred around the gothic, middle-aged church of St. Jacob, this Christmas market celebrates the city’s historical sea-faring residents by creating a cosy harbour atmosphere with old wooden barrels, nets and a stranded shipwreck as well as a Ferris wheel with an unforgettable view of Lübeck’s old town and harbour.

Culinary stands offer visitors sweet and savoury dishes, and beverages such as hot lilac punch, mulled wine and, of course, rum.

Extra info: The current rules for events and hospitality in Schleswig Holstein is that 3G applies (entry for the vaccinated, people who’ve recovered from Covid or people who show a negative test)  but from Monday, November 15th, indoor areas will be enforcing the 2G rule (excluding the unvaccinated).

The Christkindlesmarkt in Augsburg Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

Christkindlesmarkt, Augsburg

With its origins in the 15th century, the Christkindlesmarkt in Augsburg is one of the oldest in Germany, and the Renaissance town hall provides a particularly beautiful backdrop to this winter wonderland.

As well as a wide variety of stands selling handcrafted nick-nacks and tasty treats, the Augsburg market also has some especially magical features, including the “Heavenly Post Office,” and “Fairytale Lane”: an animated fairytale depicted in ten scenes in decorated shop windows around the market place.

Extra info: In order to keep dense crowds to a minimum, the Angel performance will not take place this year. The market will also be spread out over more locations in the historic centre and there will be fewer mulled wine stands than in previous years. The stalls will be distributed over the Hauptmarkt, Lorenzer Platz, Schütt Island and Jakobsplatz.

Meanwhile, masks will have to be worn due to the high Covid numbers in Bavaria – and there will be 2G rules around the mulled wine stands, meaning unvaccinated people will not be served alcohol.

READ ALSO: State by state – Germany’s Covid rules for Christmas markets

Medieval Market and Christmas Market, Esslingen

The Medieval Market and Christmas Market in Esslingen, with its backdrop of medieval half-timbered houses, offers visitors a trip back in time, with traders and artisans showing off their goods from times gone by.

The stands show off the wares of pewterers, stonemasons, blacksmiths, broom makers and glass blowers, as well as some old-fashioned merchants selling fun themed goods like drinking horns and “potions” in bottles.

Extra info: This year the number of stands will be reduced from more than 200 to around 120 and the stage shows, torch parade and interactive activities will not be taking place.

View from above the historic Streizelmarkt in Dresden. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Robert Michael

Streizelmarkt, Dresden

No Christmas Market list would be complete without the Streizelmarkt – Germany’s oldest Christmas market in the “Florence on the Elbe”.

This market, which you will find in Dresden’s city centre, first took place in 1434, and since then it has acquired quite a reputation.

The ancient market is home to the tallest Christmas pyramid in the world, as well as the world’s largest nutcracker.

Amongst the dozens of traditional stands, visitors to this market must also try the Dresdner Christstollen: the famous fruit loaf that is baked according to a traditional recipe with chopped dried and candied fruits, nuts and spices and dusted with powdered sugar.

Visitors can also take a ride on the historic Ferris wheel and gaze down upon the lovingly decorated huts of the Striezelmarkt.

Extra info: This year there will be no stage program and the mountain parade has been cancelled.

Old Rixdorf Christmas Market, Berlin

Although not as well-known as some of Berlin’s other Christmas Markets, the Old Rixdorf Christmas market is a romantic and magical spot which is well worth a visit. In the south of city in Richardplatz, Neukölln the old village of Rixdorf was founded in1360.

This charming setting is home to historic buildings such as the Trinkhalle and the Alte Dorfschmiede, and is illuminated every year with kerosene lamps and fairy lights. The stalls and booths are run by charitable organizations and associations. There are homemade trifles and handicrafts, but also culinary delights such as fire meat, waffles, pea soup, and numerous varieties of mulled wine and punch.

Extra info: The Old Rixdorf Christmas Market will be following the 2G model, meaning that all visitors over the age of 12 will be required to be fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19.