A popular day trip from Hanover, Hildesheim is a fairytale-like city clustered with half-timbered buildings and two of Germany’s finest Romanesque churches. It was heavily firebombed on the night of March 22, 1945, and it wasn’t until the 1980s that its former townscape was recreated, with a number of its buildings given World Heritage listing by UNESCO.

Spend a day wandering around the central Marktplatz and its surrounding streets, which are home to the impressive Town Hall, Butcher’s Guild Hall and Baker’s Guild Hall. Delve into the history of Hildesheim at the City Museum that is housed within the half-timbered Knochenhauer-Amtshaus or experience one of Germany’s oldest museums at the Roemer und Pelizaeus Museum. It boasts an outstanding collection of Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Peruvian artifacts, as well as the second largest collection of Chinese porcelain in Europe.

Don’t miss a visit to the UNESCO-listed, 11th-century abbey of St. Michael’s Church that is famed for its Jessebom painted wooden ceiling and Ottonian archi-tecture. Also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is St. Mary’s Cathe-dral that houses a 1000-year-old rose bush in its cloister and a museum where sacred relics are on display.

Enjoy a stroll through the picturesque Magdalenengarten, which sprawls along Hildesheim’s western moat and stands as one of the oldest parks in Lower Saxo-ny. It was established as part of a monastery and reconfigured with its current Baroque design in the 1720s, with more than 1,500 rose bushes, a herb garden and a statue of the Roman goddess Ceres among its highlights.