Hanover is home to the Ivy League college of Dartmouth College. This gives the town a collegiate atmosphere. Hotel accommodation in town can be expensive, since it is geared towards visiting parents. Other than visiting the Dartmouth campus, drop my the Hood Museum.
Hannover is not a typical European city. Don't expect to see beautiful centuries-old buildings; the city was one of the hardest hit during World War II, leaving it with only a few historical landmarks. Even the Old City (Altstadt) area is "new"; all the old houses left standing after the war (around 40) were taken from throughout the city and collected in one place. This area is surrounded by grey 1950's buildings that give a somewhat heavy atmosphere to the streets.
Hannover has large green areas, with forests and big parks. The landscape is mostly flat, with the river Leine going through the city. The lake Masch (Maschsee) is rather spectacular, considering its size as a man-made object.
The city had a special relationship to the late French artist Niki de Saint-Phalle. She had several of her works in public spots in Hannover (i.e., "the Nanas", "the Cave" in the Great Garden) and also in the Sprengel Museum. To honor her contribution to Hannover, she was granted an honorary citizenship from the city government. Moreover, the recently renovated "underground" shopping passageway from the central station to Krpcke was named "The Niki de Saint-Phalle Promenade". Hannover's public services are excellent, due to major reconstruction for the World EXPO 2000. The shopping area under the train station was renovated in 2005-2006 in preparation for the World Cup.