1 Hannover

One of the finest Baroque gardens in Europe, good art galleries and a couple of drinking districts that let rip at weekends – the state capital proves culture comes in bars as well as museums.

2 Follow the Fairytale Road

Hameln of Pied Piper fame and Baron Münchhausen’s Bodenwerder are two stops on a route that swoops south beside the Weser River – a chance for slow travel by bike or canoe.

3 Autostadt, Wolfsburg

The birthplace of the Volkswagen Beetle is less a factory than a motor-mad theme park that’s a must for petrolheads.

4 Celle

Carved timbers by the tonne in a picture-book-pretty courtly town within easy reach of Hannover.

5 Lüneburg

Wonky red-brick buildings and picture-book streets in an idyllic small town that exudes provincial contentment.

6 Bremen

A relaxed small-scale city with famously easy-going attitudes, and a medieval village, fabulous town square, Art Nouveau fantasy and boisterous bar district all within fifteen minutes’ walk of each other – what’s not to like about Bremen?

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