Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) is the largest German state after Bavaria. West to east, it stretches from the World Heritage–listed Wattenmeer tidal flats and the East Frisian Islands to Wolfsburg, global HQ of Volkswagen. Its green and liveable capital, Hanover, was named Unesco City of Music in 2014, but is better known for its annual CeBit and Messe technology trade shows. Between the state's patchwork of vibrant small towns and villages is a diverse landscape of forests, farmlands, river plains, heath and moors.
Bremen, the smallest of the German states, packs a punch for its size. Bremen City has a wealth of fine architecture and cobblestone streets; engaging, educational museums; a vibrant waterfront and a happening, modern, multicultural vibe that keeps things interesting. At the mouth of the Weser, its port city Bremerhaven upholds a rich seafaring tradition and is home to two of Germany's most original and entertaining museums.