Metros in Germany: S-Bahn (Hanover Metro)

The city of Hanover is the capital of the state of Lower Saxony in Germany. It has a population of approximately 500,000 people, making it the most populated city in Lower Saxony. Hanover is famous for being the location of Germany's best universities, especially in the field of medicine. The city also has the highest number of fairs in the world, including the famous CeBIT Computer Fair.

Hanover has a big network of buses. Also, there is a light railway system called Stadtbahn, a light rail comprised of tramways and also some U-Bahn sections. There are multiple lanes for bicycles on the streets. You can bring your bicycle to buses and trains. The central station of all trains in Hanover is called Hauptbahnhof. Some of the trains in this central station are the ICE (high speed train), and the Hanover Metro, also called S-Bahn (subject of this article). The Hanover Metro belongs to the transportation association of GVH (Greater Hanover Transport Network,) which also owns buses and trams.

History

During the 60s, there were plans to improve the railway system of Hanover. During 1965, tramway services were added to the city. There were plans to build a metro service after 2000. However, after Hanover got chosen in 1990 to host the EXPO 2000 world fair, the metro was re-scheduled to be built in 2000 in time for the fair. A contract was made in November 12, 1990, between the city of Hanover and many train companies, with the aim of improving the railway services. 

The metro began to be built in 1993 with the construction of Hannover-Karl-Wiechert-Allee station. This station opened in 1999. More tracks for the metro were built in 1994, with the construction of stations in Wunstorf and Seelze. These two stations opened to the public in 1997. Then, the Hannover-Nordstadt and Hannover-Ledeburg stations were built, replacing other train stations. The metro was later expanded to go to Hannover Airport in 1995. Right before EXPO 2000 began, the stations of Ahlten and Lehrte were opened. For EXPO 2000, the metro was conditioned for easy access for people with disabilities. The official inauguration of the metro was during EXPO 2000, on June 1st, 2000. After the fair, the metro continued to be expanded and continued to replace stations from other train services, such as Regionalbahn. One of the most recent expansions for the metro was on December 14th, 2008, with the opening of the stations in Hildesheim and Celle.

Waterlooplatz Stadtbahn Hannover

Lines and stations

The metro has 8 lines: S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, and S8. It has 74 stations. The central station is Hauptbahnhof, located in Zone 1. All 8 lines go here. The central station is located between Hannover-Nordstadt in Hannover Bismarckstrasse, before Hannover Kleefeld and before Hannover Karl-Wiechert-Allee. The stations for each line are the following:

Line S1: It has the following 27 stations: Minden, Kirchhorsten, Bückenburg, Lindhorst, Stadthagen, Dedensen-Gümmer, Wunstorf, Letter, Seelze, Hannover Nordstadt, Hannover Leinhausen, Hannover-Bismarckstrasse., Hannover Hbf, Empelde, Hannover-Bornum, Hannover-Linden/Fischerhof, Weetzen, Ronnenberg, Egestorf, Wennigsen, Lemmie, Kirchdorf, Winninghausen, Bantorf, Bad Nenndorf, Barsinghausen, Haste (Han)

Line S2: It has the following 29 stations: Nienburg, Hagen (Han), Linsburg, Neustadt am Rübenberge, Eilvese, Dedensen-Gümmer, Roggenhagen, Wunstorf, Hannover-Leinhausen, Letter, Seelze, Hannover Hbf, Hannover-Nordstadt, Empelde, Hannover Bismarckstrasse, Hannover-Bornum, Hannover-Linden/Fischerhof, Ronnenberg, Wennigsen, Lemmie, Weetzen, Kirchdorf, Bantorf, Barsinghausen, Egestorf, Bad Nenndorf, Winninghausen, Haste (Han)

Line S3: It has the following 10 stations: Hannover Hbf, Ahlten, Lehrte, Hannover Karl-Wiechert-Allee, Harsum, Hannover-Anderten-Misburg, Hannover-Kleefeld, Sehnde, Algermissen, Hildesheim Hbf

Line S4: It has the following 17 stations: Bennemühlen, Bissendorf, Langenhagen-Kaltenweide, Mellendorf, Langenhagen Mitte, Rheten, Hannover-Ledeburg, Langenhagen Pferdemarkt, Hannover Hbf, Hannover-Vinnhorst, Sarstedt, Hannover-Nordstadt, Hannover Bismarckstrasse, Emmerke, Hannover Messe/Laatzen, Barnten, Hildesheim Hbf

Line S5: It has the following 23 stations: Langenhagen Pferdemarkt, Hannover Flughafen, Hannover-Nordstadt, Langenhagen Mitte, Hannover Hbf, Weetzen, Hannover-Vinnhorst, Bennigsen, Hannover-Ledeburg, Springe, Hannover Bismarckstrasse, Hameln, Hannover-Linden/Fischerhof, Bad Münder, Lügde, Holtensen/Linderte, Steinheim, Völksen/Eldagsen, Schieder, Bad Pyrmont, Emmerthal, Paderborn Hbf, Altenbeken

Line S6: It has the following 7 stations: Celle, Aligse, Otze, Hannover Karl-Wiechert-Allee, Burgdorf, Ehlershausen, Hannover Hbf

Line S7: It has the following 11 stations: Hannover Karl-Wiechert-Allee, Hannover Hbf, Ahlten, Burgdorf, Otze, Lehrte, Ehlershausen, Hannover-Anderten-Misburg, Hannover-Kleefeld, Celle, Aligse

Line S8: It has the following six stations: Hannover-Nordstadt, Hannover Flughafen, Hannover Hbf, Hannover Bismarckstrasse, Hannover Messe/Laatzen, Langenhagen Mitte

Connections

The S-Bahn, which belongs to GVH, makes connections with buses, trains, and trams that also belong to GVH. One of these trams is the Stadtbahn. To make connections from the metro to all the other means of transportation from GVH, you require the Hannover Card.

Connection to the airport

The S-Bahn goes directly to the airport. From the airport, trains go to the metro’s central station, called Hauptbahnhof. The metro gives two rides per hour from the airport to the central station. The trip costs €3, and lasts 18 minutes. The metro is available at the airport from 4:00 am until 1:30 am. If you wish to go from the airport to the center of Hanover, you require a Two-Zone ticket. You could use a taxi during the times when the metro is not available.

Schedule, timetables, and calendar

The metro is open every day, including holidays. The opening and closing times for each line from Monday to Friday are the following:

  • S1: Opens at Haste station at 4:37 am, and closes at Minden (Westf) at 1:23 am.
  • S2: Opens at Hannover Hbf at 4:58 am, and closes at Nienburg (Weser) at 12:46 am. 
  • S3: Opens at Hildesheim Hbf at 4:43 am, and closes at Hannover Hbf at 12:24 am.
  • S4: Opens at Hildesheim Hbf at 12:03 am, and closes at Hannover Hbf at 11:38 pm.
  • S5: Opens at Hannover Hbf at 12:35 am, and closes at Hannover Flughafen at 1:23 am.
  • S6: Opens at Celle at 5:40 am, and closes at Hannover Hbf at 10:15 pm.
  • S7: Opens at Celle at 4:08 am, and closes at Hannover Hbf at 11:55 pm.
  • S8: Opens at Hannover Flughafen at 4:40 am, and closes at Hannover Messe/Laatzen at 11:50 pm.

Prices, cards, and tickets

Tickets and cards are available. Prices vary by zone. Pricing is divided into two colors: red and blue. Red prices are prices for tickets that lasts for one day, while blue prices are prices for cards that lasts for over one day. Prices in red allow rides to three zones: Hanover (city region,) Umland (cities and municipalities surrounding Hanover,) and Region (rural areas.) Prices in blue allow rides to four zones: Hannover 1 and Hannover 2 (which belong to the city area of Hanover,) Umland, and Region.

Hannover s-bahn zones map

Tickets

They are divided into: Single Journey, Day Tickets, Combined Tickets, and Further Offers.

    1) Single Journeys: Tickets for one ride, for a maximum of three zones. They are divided into: Short Trip Ticket, Single Ticket, Single Ticket for Children Aged 6-14, and Carnet Tickets.
  • 1.1) Short Trip Ticket (€1.5): Gives rides for up to three stops.
  • 1.2) Single Ticket: Gives rides for up to two hours. It costs €2.6 for one zone, €3.4 for two zones, and €4.3 for three zones.
  • 1.3) Single Ticket for Children Aged 6-14 (€1.3): For children between ages of six and 14 years of age. 
  • 1.4) Carnet Tickets: Bundle of tickets. It costs €14.3 for one zone (bundle of six tickets,) €17.9 for two zones (bundle of six tickets,) and €15.3 for three zones (bundle of four tickets.) 
    2) Day Tickets: Give more than one ride per day. They are divided into: Day Ticket for One Person, Day Tickets for Groups up to Five People, Day Ticket for Children 6-14, Day Ticket S, Day Ticket S for Children.
  • 2.1) Day Ticket for One Person: Gives unlimited rides until 5:00 am of the following day.  It costs €5.2 for one zone, €6.8 for two zones, and €8.4 for three zones.
  • 2.2) Day Ticket for Groups up to Five People (€10): Gives rides up to five people.
  • 2.3) Day Ticket for Children Aged 6-14 (€2.6): Gives rides to children aged between six and 14 years of age.
  • 2.4) Day Ticket S: Gives rides to people on welfare, unemployed people, and pensioners. It costs €2.6 for one zone, €3.4 for two zones, and €4.2 for three zones.
  • 2.5) Day Ticket S for Children (€1.30): For children between six and 14 years of age from families on welfare.
    3) Combined Tickets: Tickets for rides to events such as concerts or theater performances. They are divided into three: Combined Ticket, Car Workshop Ticket, and Hotel Ticket.
  • 3.1) Combined Ticket: Tickets for events such as concerts, with the metro’s fare already included in it. It lasts from three hours before the event, until 5:00 am of the following day.
  • 3.2) Car Workshop Ticket: Gives rides to people whose cars are being repaired. Some car workshops offer it. The repair forms from the workshops should include the GVH logo in order to offer this ticket. Valid until your car is repaired, up to four days. The ticket’s fare is included in the repair costs.
  • 3.3) Hotel Ticket: Gives rides to people who checked-in in hotels. The ticket’s fare is included in the hotel’s costs.
    4) Further Offers: Tickets that allow rides inside Hanover, but are not tickets from GVH. They are divided into six: City Ticket, City Mobile, Lower Saxony Ticket, Hanover Card, Weekend Special Ticket, and Interconnected Mobility Lower-Saxony Tariff.
  • 4.1) City Ticket: Included in the BahnCard card. The price of the ticket is included in the BahnCard.
  • 4.2) City Mobile: Tickets from the Deutsche Bahn train.
  • 4.3) Lower Saxony Ticket: Gives rides to all the cities in the state of Lower Saxony. Prices vary.
  • 4.4) Hannover Card: Card available for single customers of for groups of people. For single people, it costs €9.5 for one day, €15 for two days, and €18 for three days. For groups of people, it costs €20 for one day, €27 for two days, and €35 for three days.
  • 4.5) Weekend Special Ticket: Deutsche Bahn tickets that give rides only on weekends. Prices vary.
  • 4.6) Interconnected Mobility Lower Saxony Tariff: It costs €5.2 for one zone and one person, and €2.6 for children.

Cards:

  • 1) Adults: This service is offered to people who buy the GVH-Mobile Card. Available for rides on economy class and first class. It is divided into the following cards: GVH Mobile Card (€60.6 to €107.4), GVH Mobile Card First Class (€97 to €171.8), GVH Mobile Card as an Annual Subscription (€51.5 to €91.3), GVH Mobile Card First Class as an Annual Subscription (€82.4 €146.1), GVH Mobile Card as a Six-Month Subscription (€56.1 to €99.3), GVH Mobile Card First Class as a Six-Month Subscription (€89.7 to €159), GVH Mobile Card in the Regional Tariff (€60.6 to €195.4), GVH Mobile Card First Class in the Regional Tariff (€97 to €312.6), GVH Mobile Card in the Regional Tariff as a Subscription (€51.5 to €166.1), GVH Mobile Card First Class in the Regional Tariff as a Subscription (€82.4 to €265.7.)
  • 2) Pupil and Youths: Cards for students in elementary and secondary school. It is divided into the following cards: School Card (free,) Saving Card for Pupils (€28.9 to €51.4,) U 21 Card (€24,) U 21 Annual Card (€163.)
  • 3) Apprentices and Students: Cards for college students in Hanover. It is divided into the following cards: GVH Mobile Card Education (€45.4 to €78.2,) GVH Weekly Card Education (€12.5 to €22.1,) GVH Mobile Card Education as an Annual Subscription (€38.6 to €66.5,) GVH Mobile Card Education in Regional Tariff (€45.4 to €143,) GVH Weekly Card Education in Regional Tariff (€12.5 to €39.9,) GVH Mobile Card in Regional Tariff as a Subscription (€38.6 to €121.6,) Semester Card (already included in the semester’s fees.)
  • 4) Generation 63 Plus: For people of 63 years of age and older. It is divided into the following cards: GVH Mobile Card 63 Plus (€48 to €77.8,) GVH Mobile Card 63 Plus as an Annual Subscription (€40.8 to €66.1,) GVH Mobile Card 63 Plus in Regional Tariff as an Annual Subscription (€40.8 to €117.9.)
  • 5) Major Customers and Companies: Rides for employees for small businesses and corporations. It is divided into the following cards: GVH Mobile Card Education as a Corporate Subscription (€11 to €38.4,) GVH Mobile Card as a Corporate Subscription (€14.6 to €51.2,) GVH Mobile Card First Class as a Corporate Subscription (€47.5 to €81.9,) GVH Job Card (€39.1 to €135.1,) GVH Mobile Card as a Multiple Subscription (€45.3 to €84.4,) GVH Mobile Card First Class as a Multiple Subscription (€72.5 to €135.1,) and Congress Card (€9.6 to €24.6.)
  • 6) Social Tariff: Card for people on welfare. Its prices go from €35.1 to €62.3.

Rules

You can bring a maximum of three bicycles with you to the metro. On weekdays, you cannot bring bicycles to the metro before 8:30 am nor from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. During weekends, you can bring your bicycle anytime.

You can park your bicycle anytime in the metro stations.

The metro's customers can park their cars for free in the metro stations in any of the over 5500 parking areas. There are pillars with red emergency buttons and green information buttons in every station. If you are not sure whether you are in an emergency, press the green button. If you witness a fire or if you are in any urgent situation, press the emergency button to contact the metro personnel.

The trains have green information buttons to speak with the driver. There are also emergency phones in the metro. Each train has emergency brakes that completely stop the train, which must he used only during emergencies. However, the train will only stop at a station to avoid collision with other trains.

You can contact the metro's personnel for any help at the following phone number: +49 51127901020. You can ask for a compensation if the metro is delayed over 20 minutes, by having a free ride on trains from other companies. You need to fill out a form to request this compensation.

Future expansions

A new station will be built in Hildesheimer Strasse by 2020, which will connect to other means of transportation belonging to GVH. Additionally, a new station in Braunschweiger Platz will be built. Additional railway for the metro will be built to go to the city of Laatzen. Among other stations planned to be built include: Springe Deister, Seelze-Lohnde, Wustorf, and in Barsinghausen West.

The S4 line will have electrical rails and will be expanded. This will allow the construction of a new station in Adelheidsdorf.

Tips in Hanover Metro

  • Travelers who will stay in Hanover for just a few days would be interested in One-Day tickets. These tickets offer rides for up to 65 kilometers for €3.10, or for the whole city of Hanover for €5.70.
  • You need an additional ticket to bring your dog. You could use a Single Ticket for Children Aged 6-14 (€1.3) to bring your dog. Also, you could use a Day Ticket for Groups Up to Five People (€10), and instead of another person, bring your dog.
  • You could travel on first class on DB Region Train if you buy two Single Tickets (€2.6 each) for the metro from the same zone and validate them on DB Region.
  • You could buy tickets at vending machines and from bus drivers. If you go to the RegioBus bus, you could buy any of the tickets or cards for the metro.
  • There are 150 GVH points of service in Hanover, in which you could buy any ticket and card, get timetables, and get maps. Also, over 500 shops sell tickets.
  • You need to validate your ticket at a stamping machine before your journey. The stamping machines are blue, so they are easy to locate.
  • It is cheaper to buy tickets with your credit or debit card than with cash.

Fun facts

  • 1) Out of all 74 stations, only 49 are located in Hanover.
  • 2) Most of the metro's platforms are at least 200 meters long, with the exception of the platforms of Hannover-Hildesheim station (170 meters long,) Sehnde station (140 meters long,) and Celle station (170 meters long.) 
  • 3) All stations are conditioned so people with disabilities can enter the trains without the help of others.
  • 4) There are lines that offer rides for rush hours only.
  • 5) There are around 30 trains that have printed on their sides the names of their home location. All of the other trains have advertisements printed on them.

Nearby attractions

Some of the touristic attractions are close to the central station Hauptbahnhof. However, there are attractions that are closer to the airport than to the central station. Therefore, we will use the central station as a reference point for most of the attractions, and the airport as a reference point for the rest. To arrive to these attractions, follow these instructions:

  • 1) Wilhelm Busch Museum: The trip lasts 27 minutes, and costs €2.60. From the station of Hauptbahnhof in Gleis 2, take a train on the S1 line of the metro towards Minden, Bahnhof, for six minutes. Get off at Hannover Bahnhof Nordstadt in Gleis 1. Then, take Bus 121 towards Hannover Haltenhoffstrasse for one minute. Get off at Hannover An der Strangriede. Walk 1.2 kilometers for 19 minutes to Georgengarten, 30167. 
  • 2) Hermann Löns Park: The trip lasts 22 minutes, and costs €2.60. From Hauptbahnhof in Gleis 14, take a S1 train in the metro towards Celle Bahnhof for 10 minutes. Get off at Hannover Bf K.-Wiechert-Allee in Gleis 2. Then take bus 124 towards Laatzen Uemer Strasse for three minutes. Get off at Hannover Annastift. Walk for 0.7 kilometers, and you will arrive to Hermann Löns Park in around 9 minutes. 
  • 3) Herrenhausen Gardens: The trip lasts 19 minutes, and costs €2.60. From Hauptbahnhof in Gleis 2, take a S1 train towards Minden, Bahnhof, for six minutes. Get off at Hannover Bahnhof Leinhausen in Gleis 1. Walk for 0.8 kilometers, and you will arrive to Herrenhausen Museum, 30419, in 13 minutes.
  • 4) Lower Saxony State Museum: The trip lasts 40 minutes, and costs €2.60. From the airport, take a S5 train towards Paderborn Hbf, for 20 minutes. Get off at Hannover Bahnhof Nordstadt in Gleis 2. Take train six on the Stadtbahn towards Messe/Ost (EXPO Plaza,) for 9 minutes. Get off at Hannover/Aegidientorplatz. Walk for 0.6 kilometers towards Willy-Brandt-Allee 5, Am Maschpark, D-30169.
  • 5) Sprengel Museum: The trip lasts 45 minutes, and costs €3.40. From the airport, take a S5 train on the metro towards Paderborn Hbf for 20 minutes. Get off at Hannover Bahnhof Nordstadt in Gleis 2. Then take train six in Stadtbahn towards Messe/Ost (EXPO-Plaza,) for 9 minutes. Get off at Hannover/Aegidientorplatz. Walk 0.9 kilometers to Kurt-Schwitters-Platz, 30169. 
 

Metro map of Hanover

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Hanover Stadtbahn map

  • Also Known As: Stadtbahn
  • Passengers/Day
  • Fares: honour system
  • 24h operation: No
  • Air Conditioning: No
  • Walk between platforms: Yes
  • Driverless trains: No
  • Screen Doors Platforms: No
  • €2.60 - 4.30
  • Hanover Metro Official Website
  • Tlf: +49 511/ 166 80
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