Lower Saxony is a federal state in north-western Germany. It is the country's second largest state by area, occupying a total area of 47,624.22 square kilometres, and the fourth largest by population, with a recorded 7,790,559 people in 2013. The state capital is Hanover, and other principal cities include Lüneburg, Osnabrück, Oldenburg, Wolfenbüttel, Wolfsburg, Hildesheim, and Göttingen. The regions in Lower Saxony are East Frisia, Lüneburg Heath, Northern Plains, Hanover Region, Brunswick Land, Southern Lower Saxony, and Western Plains. The seven East Frisian Islands offshore in particular are popular with tourists.
What to see & do
Hanover Schützenfest - The Hanover Schützenfest, colloquially Schützenfest Hannover, is an annual event in Hanover and the largest marksmen's funfair in the world. It features roughly 5,000 marksmen, 250 rides and inns, and five large beer-tents. The main highlight is the Marksmen's Parade, a 12-kilometre long Parade of the Marksmen with over 10,000 participants. The fair also features the 60-metre tall Steiger Ferris Wheel. It has 42 passenger cabins and can carry up to 410 people.
Heide Park - Heide Park is a theme park in Soltau. It is one of the largest amusement parks in Germany, occupying an area of over 850,000 square metres. It contains about 40 family-friendly and thrill rides, including the very steep wooden roller coaster, Colossos, and the wing coaster Flug der Dämonen or Flight of the Demons.
Lüneburg Heath Wildlife Park - Wildpark Lüneburger Heide is a wildlife park in the municipality of Hanstedt. Its 61 hectares house about 1,000 animals of over 120 species. Residents include Siberian tiger, Kodiak bear, grey wolf, Arctic wolf, moose, wild boar, and elk. There is a petting zoo with more domesticated animals, like goats and deer. The park also participates in international wildlife conservation programmes for certain animals, including mink, European bison, snow leopards, red-crowned cranes, and white-tailed eagles. Additionally, the park hosts educational presentations and zoo documentary series. The zoo offers guided tours for school classes, free of charge.
How to get around within Lower Saxony
Public transportation in Lower Saxony, especially in Hanover, is very good, with extensive networks of tram, bus, and subway. If you're going to take more than two trips, it is advisable to purchase a day ticket, called "Niedersachsen Ticket", for unlimited travel on the public transport system, valid until the last connection of the day. The ticket is not valid for high speed trains (D, EC, IC, ICE), and is only for RE, RB, S-Bahn, and Metronom and other public transportation inside the Lower Saxony area. Taxis are available also but expensive. Taking one is not recommended unless you are in a hurry, carrying too much baggage, or when there is no more operational public transport at night. Taking a taxi would be cheaper if you travel in a big group so you can split the fare amongst yourselves.
How to get there
The most important airports in Lower Saxony are Hannover Airport, Hamburg Airport, Bremen Airport, and Münster Osnabrück International Airport. Airlines that provide the most connections to Lower Saxony are Condor, Germanwings, TUlfly, easyJet, Germania, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Scandinavian Airlines, and Ryanair.