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Town hall with lake in Hannover
The towns and cities of Lower Saxony are as diverse as its scenery. There are romantic harbour towns such as Greetsiel, old-established university towns such as Göttingen, the international trade fair destination of Hannover, and Wolfsburg, home to VW's ground-breaking Autostadt exhibition complex and visitor centre.

Hannover, the regional capital, is certainly an interesting place to visit. As well as being a "green city", it is also a popular venue for international trade fairs, exciting sporting activities and a broad range of prestigious events. The city's main visitor attractions include the Town Hall built on 6,026 beechwood posts and the 2.4-kilometre-long Maschsee lake – Hannover's "splash of blue", as well as the exhibition centre, zoo, Herrenhausen Gardens and Wilhelm Busch Museum.

60 kilometres east of Hannover is the town of Braunschweig. Henry the Lion (1129-1195) loved this town and made it his royal seat. The town's charm lies in its juxtaposition of old and new, with its "islands of tradition" and their medieval architecture set alongside modern buildings. A guided walk in the footsteps of ancient kings takes you to the "castle lion", a bronze statue of the king of the beasts that Henry had erected as a symbol of his power in 1166, and the Romanesque-Gothic cathedral of St. Blasius.

Osnabrück, the third largest town in Lower Saxony, lies to the south-west. Surrounded by the medieval alleyways of Osnabrück's old quarter are the town hall where the Peace of Westphalia was signed and the market square, one of the finest examples of medieval town architecture. Other interesting attractions include the cultural history museum, the museum of industrial heritage, the natural history museum and the zoo. Osnabrück's town centre is also a great place for shopping. Situated between the Harz mountains and the river Weser,

Göttingen is the economic and cultural centre of southern Lower Saxony. More than 40 Nobel Prize winners have studied or taught at the Georg August University. The town is also home to four Max Planck research institutes and the German Aerospace Centre. With its historic old quarter, medieval town hall, churches, half-timbered buildings and pavement cafés, Göttingen is a great place for sightseeing, strolling around and relaxing. The town's famous landmark is the Goose Girl fountain in front of the town hall. All postgraduate students have to kiss the statue when they receive their doctorate.

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Highlights in brief

  • Hannover
    State capital, trade fairs, Herrenhausen Gardens, tropical rainforest house Lüneburg
    Salt trading town, salt museum
  • Hamlyn
    Weser Renaissance architecture, Pied Piper hall
  • Goslar
    UNESCO world heritage site, imperial palace, Rammelsberg ore mines
  • Osnabrück
    Town where peace was made after the Thirty Years' War, botanical gardens, palace, town scales, museum, Terra.vita nature reserve
  • Papenburg
    Seaport, Meyer shipyard, fen colony, museum
  • Wolfsburg
    VW's Autostadt exhibition complex, palace
  • Walsrode
    Largest bird park in Europe
  • Neustadt
    Steinhude Lake with Wilhelmstein island, Mariensee abbey, castle
  • Soltau
    Heidepark amusement park