Hannover – Off the Beaten Track (CeBIT 2009)

Smoking or not?
Smoking in public places like pubs and restaurants is not allowed. But some of these offer dedicated smoking rooms. This is usually clearly signposted at entrance. There is, however, an exception to the rule: small beer-pubs have been excluded as long as they are not any larger than 75 sqm and don’t offer any food (not even the tiniest!).
If you are looking for a special place to enjoy good cigars, then there are a few so-called lounges for smoking your Montes and Cohibas. Do look at the German section under „Rauchen in Hannover”.

The best „Schnitzel” in town
The escalope or Viennese is some really fine food, even if it is not done with veal (as the original Austrian recipe is supposed to be). Germans mostly take pork, add some chips/fries or some excellent pan-fried potatoes („Bratkartoffeln”) – and may be some sauce. A fine variety is the Hanoverian „Batamog”, spicy and very tasty. Some local experts have tried dozens of places and made up a list of the five best „Schnitzel”-places. Do have a look at „Die besten Schnitzel der Stadt” in the German section.

An evening at the Opera
Well, opera and theatre – there is quite some choice: The „Schauspielhaus” is one of the leading theatres in Germany – during CeBIT you do get a chance to see the Berlin „Maxim Gorki Theater” which is showing Fritz Kater’s „Heaven”, which won a price as best Berlin show in 2007.
The State-owned opera house has one of the biggest ensembles in Germany, you’ ll find it in the town centre. You can watch e.g. „Idomeneo” (March, 5th) from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart whilst enjoying the 1852 building created by Georg Friedrich Laves.
Free – „off” – theatres as for example the Commedia Futura in the Südstadt are also worth an evening in style. They show „Offenbarung 2.0″ on the 6th and 7th of March.

Exhibitions of a kind
The Sprengel Museum is only one of many museums in Hannover. It is internationally renowned for its collection of modern art. El Lissitzky, Kurt Schwitters or the art-group „Die Brücke” are only but a few worth mentioning.
Caricatures are shown in the “Wilhelm-Busch-Museum” which is situated in the historic Georgengarten, part of the Herrenhausen Gardens. And whilst you are in town, do have a look at “Neulicht” which is an open-air art-project situated around the new “Rathaus” (the town hall) and is adjacent lake. Daily from dusk until late at night.

Clubs and nightlife galore
A huge variety of nightlife awaits the visitor to Hannover: Some fine clubs with well chosen music and renowned DJs (e.g. the “Cumberlandsche Galerie” or “3Raum”) – as well plenty of clubbing in and around the red light district near the Steintor. Another popular area is the Raschplatz and its surroundings where there are some well-trodden late-night clubs (Osho, Zaza, Dax) and some places to warm up to only a few yards away (Mezzo, Bar Celona, Auszeit).
Some life music is also available as there are many places all over the city. May be we should mention the 3rd where four wild Danish girls (“Cherry Overdrive”) play the Café Glocksee and also March, 5th which offers the “Cro-Mags” from New York at the Faust. Please have a look at the German section and “Clubs and Livemusik in der Stadt” for more info.

Out in the open
Hannover is the town in the green. Literally. It has Europe’s biggest town forest, the Eilenriede, the rather huge historic Herrenhausen Gardens plus the Maschsee, an artificially created lake in the middle of town, offering almost five miles of promenades.
All of these, of course, are also quite an invitation to do some walking or running in the morning before the long day at the fair starts. All places can be easily reached by car or public transport and are usually only minutes away from the residential areas.
If you prefer using a bicycle (may be even to go to the CeBIT fairground) there is a place next to the main station where you can hire a bike (Monday to Friday from 6 am to 11 pm and 8 am to 11 pm at the weekend). Hannover has plenty, well cared for cycling paths along the main roads (which you are supposed to use when available) and also sports 15 well-signposted routes crisscrossing the town.

A night at the movies
Several cinemas in and around Hannover offer quite some variety. Mostly they are of the multiplex kind, with several films showing at the same time. Do mind that almost all films are shown in German, being carefully dubbed in and don’t have subtitles.
Some so-called “arthouse cinemas” as the Apollo in Linden or the “Hochhaus Lichtspiele” at the Steintor offer a more sophisticated films-menu. The Hochhaus, by the way, is the highest cinema in Germany, being on top of the historic “Anzeiger Hochhaus”, home to some local newspapers and private radio-stations.
The list of all cinemas plus URLs can be found in the German section under “Kino und Film”.

Food and drink – quite noteworthy
There are few places where you get just the little bit extra – some views or simply a good place many local people don’t talk about much. The “Gartensaal” is situated in the “Neue Rathaus”, the town hall, and offers some excellent views of the Maschpark. Only about a mile away there is the trendy “Pier 51” with a simply wonderful, holiday-like atmosphere, sitting at and on the Maschsee.
Views of Hannover in a relaxed style, with one of the best “café au lait” in town, can be get at the Mezzo at Weißekreuzplatz, daily until 2 am in the morning, Sat. and Sun even until 3 am.
Quite hidden in-between the river Leine and the modern football-stadium (AWD-Arena) is the little Mediterranean-style place called “Finca” – very relaxed, nice food and just where you want to be, to get away from the hustle and bustle of the fair and big city-life.

Thomas M. Ruthemann