London Stansted to Hanover Airport
Although today Hanover is one of the richest cities in Germany, it was during the 17th century that it enjoyed its Golden Age. Most of the city was destroyed by Allied Bombing raids during the Second World War, but afterwards underwent a meticulous reconstruction. Hanover might not have as many spectacular buildings as other German cities, but there are still some interesting Hanseatic churches, museums and fine parks.
Visitors to Hanover can benefit from the purchase of a Hanover Card entitling holders to reduced admission for many attractions and free transport on the S-bahn rail service from the airport and on the city’s trams and buses. Available from tourist offices.
Flights between London Stansted and Hanover Airport are operated by Air Berlin. The airport is about 12km (7 miles) from the city centre. There is a coach service from the airport to Hanover city centre via the main train station. Journey times are about 20 minutes, tickets cost 5 euros (£1 is approximately equal to 1.45 euros). The number 60 bus service also runs from the airport to the city centre every 20 minutes. The regular S-bahn train service operates from terminal 2 to Hanover city centre, journeys take about 12 minutes, single tickets cost 2.50 euros. Taxis are available from outside arrivals, the fare to the centre is around 20 euros.
Places of interest in Hanover include:
- Eilenriede. Hanover’s park with an area of 650 hectares is bigger than New York’s Central Park. The northern area of the park contains Hanover Zoo, home to around 1,300 animals, and a bird sanctuary. The zoo is better than many other city zoos. Particularly interesting is the Zambezi Boat Ride. This gives visitors the chance to travel through an African-type landscape and appreciate how the animals might appear in their natural environment. Elsewhere in the park are beer gardens, a mini-golf course, cafes and restaurants.
- Lower Saxony State Museum. Housed in neo-renaissance building, this museum exhibits a wide range of paintings and sculptures. There are also some fascinating archaeological and ethnological items, the highlight of which is probably the prehistoric Homosapien bodies excavated from local peat bogs.
- Herrenhauser Gardens. These gardens are extremely popular with both tourists and residents of Hanover, especially during the summer when there is a busy schedule of festivals, fireworks and theatre. The symmetrical Great Garden, which was laid out at the end of the 17th century, contains flower beds, a gaint fountain and Europe’s oldest hedge theatre. There is also a herbal garden with more than 12,000 different species of plants, and an English garden, in honour of the English king George IV.
- Town Hall. Hanover’s town hall with its copper-coated dome was the subject of some controversy when it opened in 1913. Visitors can take the unusual curving lift which ascends the dome and admire the fantastic views over the city. Underneath the dome are four models of Hanover showing how the city appeared in 1689, 1938, in 1945 after the Allied bombing raids which destroyed around 80 per cent of Hanover, and finally a model of present-day Hanover.