Capital of Germany’s Lower Saxony region, Hannover somehow manages to be both a bustling city and a relaxed and very charming provincial town at the same time. Set on the banks of the River Leine (its name means ‘high river bank’ in German), the city was heavily bombed during World War II but has since risen from the ashes and metamorphosed into a thriving cultural hub deep in the heart of Germany’s hinterland. The city was first mentioned in documents in 1100 before being chartered in 1241, and it’s a little-known fact that its unique ties to the United Kingdom are based on 123 years of connection through one man - Georg of Hannover – after he became King of England in 1714. Hannover’s convenient location midway between Berlin (to the east) and the Dutch border (to the west) also makes it a very suitable base from which to explore the rural parts of northern Germany, especially by car with Auto Europe. And the good news is that Hannover caters for all budgets, large or small, due to its low cost of living, efficient transport system and wealth of reasonably-priced museums and other cultural attractions. Chief among these is the Lower Saxony State Museum, the largest and most-visited museum in the region. Divided into five sections, its rich collection of exhibits includes rare art from the Middle Ages to masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens and Albrecht Dürer. Other sightseeing highlights in Hannover include the Sprengel Museum (one of Europe’s best modern art collections) and the Church of St. George and St. Jacobus, with its 14th-century nave and fine Gothic altar. Another key attraction is the Opernaus, a grand opera house built in the true Neoclassical style in the middle of the 19th century. In winter, the whole of the city’s historic centre is turned into a medieval village and Christmas market, making it a very special time to visit and giving you the opportunity to make the most of your car hire in Hannover. The city's close proximity to a number of magnificent parks and gardens also makes it the perfect warm-weather destination, most notably the Herrenhäuser Gärten (a series of beautiful Baroque gardens west of the city centre), Lake Maschsee (a favourite spot for boating and swimming) and Eilenriede, Europe's largest urban forest. And when the warm weather sweeps across Lower Saxony during the long summer months, Hannover comes alive with some of the liveliest festivals in Germany, especially the Maschseefest, Marksmen's Festival and International Fireworks Competition. Besides the many leafy walkways and pedestrianized areas, Hannover’s visitors always enjoy exploring its many open-air markets, street cafés and beer gardens which provide a textbook illustration of the city’s centuries-old charm. Many of the city’s attractions (around 40 in all) can be found along the Red Thread – a 2.5-mile footpath that winds through the city centre passing many of the city’s most striking buildings en route.
A car rental in Hannover is one of the most convenient ways of exploring Lower Saxony and the rest of northern Germany, including Hamburg and Bremen. With over 60 years of experience, Auto Europe works with the best car rental suppliers in Germany and all other parts of the world, so book online now to get the best deal.
For tips about driving in Hannover, please see our guide.
The fact that major motorways intersect close to Hannover’s town centre (A2 and A7) not only means that the city is quickly and easily accessible by car, but that it’s also an important hub in Germany's extensive autobahn system. Driving conditions in Germany are among the best in Germany. Broad five- and six-lane roads both surround and traverse the city to make getting around by car hire in Hannover a most pleasurable experience, although it should be noted that the historic heart of the city is reserved for pedestrians. Given Hannover’s top-notch public transport system, in the majority of cases it’s advisable to park and ride; indeed the city has been designed to coax people to leave their car hire in Hannover close to the perimeter and then take the bus or tram into town. Nevertheless, 24-hour parking is available in the city centre at Friesenstrasse/Lister Tor, Hbf/Raschplatz, Rundestrasse/Hbf, Leonhardtstrasse (Schweizer Hof), Schmiedestrasse, Opernplatz (Opern/Kröpcke), Osterstrasse, Köbelinger Markt, Klagesmarkt, Mehlstrasse, Windmühlenstrasse, Galerie Luise, Andreaestrasse and Marstall.
The federal state of Lower Saxony occupies a large part of northern Germany. The state is dominated by several large rivers running north-wards through the state, namely the Ems, Weser, Aller and Elbe. Hannover is the capital of the second-largest German state by land area (18,388 square-miles) and the fourth-largest in population (7.9 million). Lower Saxony borders with Netherlands, the North Sea and the German states of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia. Just under 20% of the land area of Lower Saxony is designated as nature parks and the highest point is the Wurmberg (971 m) located in the Harz region.
Hannover Airport (HAJ) is also known as Hannover-Langenhagen. Located 7 miles north of Hannover city centre, it is the ninth largest airport in Germany and has a wide range of on-site facilties, including children's play areas, a petrol station, hair-dressing salon, massage chairs, Muslim prayer room, conference centre, chemist, valet parking and a VIP area.
Hannover Airport (HAJ)
Address: Flughafenstraße 4, 30855 Langenhagen, Germany
Wesbite: Hannover Airport Website
Tel: +49 511 9770
Location: The airport, also known as Hannover-Langenhagen, is located 7 miles north of the city of Hannover.
Airlines serving Hannover Airport: Many Domestic and International airlines operate at Hannover Airport, including Aegean Airlines, Air Cairo, Air France, British Airways, Condor, Eurowings, KLM, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air and TUI fly Deutschland
Hannover has a fantastic public transport system, so it's best to just park your car and ride. If you plan to make more than two trips by tram, bus, or subway, a day ticket is your best bet, buying you unlimited travel to all parts of the city. Day tickets are valid until the last connection of the day, which normally ends sometime after midnight. Be aware that some tickets will need to be validated in the blue ticket machine, and some not, depending on the machine. Look out for the Hannover Card, a top-value tourist ticket issued by the local tourist office that includes free travel and discounts for some local attractions. Besides being the starting point of the Hannover-Würzburg high-speed railway line, as well as the main hub of the S-Bahn network, the city’s central station - Hannover Hauptbahnhof - is a major terminus of the German high-speed ICE (Intercity Express) network, connecting Hannover with destinations all over Germany. The city’s main railway station was lavishly modernized for the Expo 2000 World Exposition, establishing it as one of the finest in the country. The city is also famous for its designer buses and tramways, most notably the iconic TW 2000 and 6000 trams. At the Üstra Service Centre City on Platz der Weltausstellung, you can buy tickets for the local bus, tram and railway networks, acquire hard-copies of transport timetables or simply ask how to get from one place to another using any type of public transport.