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Leipzig – The Heart of Saxony

Leipzig Markt © pure-life-pictures / Fotolia

Leipzig is a lively city located in the German state of Saxony. With a population of roughly 570,000, it’s the largest city in the state and is the economic hub of the region. The rapid development of the city has made many people refer to it as Germany’s Boomtown, since it is a major cultural centre, with many interesting sights to see, shopping opportunities and nightlife. It has even been given the nickname of the “New Berlin”.

Leipzig also has a rich music history, since it was the home of famous musicians such as Bach and Mendelssohn.

© FSEID / Fotolia

How To Get To Leipzig
Leipzig is a major transportation hub in Saxony so there are numerous ways to get into the city including by car, bus, train and plane.

By Car
Leipzig is connected to the Autobahn system making it easy to get there by car. From the north and northeast use autobahn A14, while from the south use autobahn A38.

By Bus
There are a number of bus companies that operate routes from other German cities into Leipzig including MernFernbus/Flixbus.

By Train
Trains operate by Deutsche Bahn travel into Leipzig’s Hauptbahnhof (main station) which is the largest terminal station in Europe. There are routes from most major cities in Germany so you will need to check with the Deutsche Bahn website for the schedule of train services.

By Plane
Main airport is the Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ). It’s located 22 kilometres north-west of central Leipzig and is connected to the train network.

Getting Around Leipzig
Getting around is simple since there are so many options available.

By Public Transport
The main way to get around with public transport is by tram. There are also buses available. LVB is the operator for both the trams and buses and tickets are available through vending machines, at one of the LVB service offices, from bus drivers and some press stores.
There is also a night bus network available for those exploring the nightlife of Leipzig and they start from the main train station in Leipzig at 1:11 am.

By Taxi
Taxis are abundant throughout the city and can be flagged down on the street, or you can find a designated taxi stand. Hotels are also happy to call a taxi for you if necessary.

By Car
It’s possible to hire a car to get around Leipzig, but bear in mind, the traffic is similar to any large city in the world. Trams are a hazard for drivers who aren’t familiar with seeing them on the road. There are also a lot of restrictions in the inner city for cars, so you may want to look for alternative modes of transport.

Things To See And Do In Leipzig

1. Monument to the Battle of the Nations (Volkerschlachtdenkmal)
This monument ist considered the landmark of Leipzig and commemorates the defeat of Napoleon in the 1813 Battle of Leipzig.

© pure-life-pictures / Fotolia

2. Old Town Hall
The old town hall was built in 1556 and is an example of the style of architecture prominent in the Renaissance. It provides a great photo opportunity. It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM and is closed on Mondays.

3. Visit The Churches
There are many churches in Leipzig that have a rich history and also unique architecture. First, there is the St Nicholas church, which is the largest church in Leipzig. It was the starting point for the peaceful revolution in 1989. There are peace prayers held every Monday at 5 PM, and this is a tradition that has been carried out since 1982.

St Nicholas Church © FSEID / Fotolia

Next, is the St. Thomas Church. This church is notable because it’s where the musician, Bach, served as a cantor from 1723 until his final death in 1750. His remains are also buried at this church.

St Thomas Church © bbsferrari / Fotolia

Finally, the Russian St. Alexej Memorial Church honours the Russian soldiers who died in the Napoleonic wars.

4. See The Museums
Leipzig has many museums which display the history and culture of the city. First, the Bach Museum honours the famous musician who lived in Leipzig most of his life. The museum is opposite the St Thomas church where he served as a cantor.

Next, the Runden Ecke (or Stasi Museum) is the location of the former Stasi headquarters. It documents the history of the Stasi secret police and their methods of control and manipulation.

Finally, the Museum der bildenden Kunste (Museum of Fine Arts) features paintings from as early as the 15th century until today. It’s also housed in a glass cube which is an interesting sight to see in itself.

5. Walk Through The Passages and Fair Houses
A unique part of Leipzig is passages that are in the city centre. The most famous is the Madler Passage. Stroll through to see the boutique stores and sit down to enjoy a coffee in one of the cafes. This passage is also a great photo opportunity, and one that many people use to post on their Facebook and Instagram feeds.

6. Leipzig Zoo
The zoo is one of the largest and renowned zoos in Germany. It’s ranked as number one in Germany and second in Europe by a survey performed by Anthony Sheridan.

7. Join A Sightseeing Tour
Joining a sightseeing tour is one of the best ways to see the sights and sounds of Leipzig. There are many options available including walking tours, tram tours and bus tours. The first is a walking and bus tour which goes for a total of 2.5 hours. The first hour is a walking tour of the city centre, and then the next 1.5 hours is a bus tour of the sights elsewhere.

The tram tour is done by LVB. It takes about 2 hours and brings around the city in a modified tram called the “Glaserner Leipziger”.

Finally, the VideoBusTour is a bus tour that shows you film footage and photographs in addition to the live commentary of your tour guide. It takes roughly 2 hours to complete.

The shopping options are abundant in Leipzig. The first is Market square located in the heart of the city. Here you can find fresh produce such as meat, cheese, vegetables and other local produce. You can try the local delicacies at these markets.

The shops that are located near the Old City Hall have German souvenirs as well as independent retailers who have unique products in Leipzig. Stroll around to find a unique item to take home as a souvenir from your time in Leipzig.

The central station “Leipzig Hauptbahnhof” also has a large shopping mall containing three floors of boutique shops. You can leisurely browse these stores and then conveniently hop on the train to your next travel destination.

Food And Drink
Food Specialities of Leipzig
Be sure to try the many food specialities of Leipzig. The first is Lerchen, which is a marzipan filled dough wicker. Quarkkeulchen is a traditional dessert served in restaurants. Leipziger Allerlei is a German vegetable dish made of carrots, asparagus, peas, crayfish and morels.

Lerchen © Superhasi / Fotolia

Food options range from fine dining to cheap eats and are plentiful in Leipzig. Here are a few choices:

Fine Dining
C’est La Vie – http://www.cest-la-vie.restaurant/en/
Restaurant Drogerie – http://www.drogerie-leipzig.net
Falco Restaurant and Bar – http://falco-leipzig.de/en/

Cheap Eats
Bagel Brothers – http://bagelbrothers.de
Substanz – http://cafesubstanz.de
Handbrotzeit – http://handbrotzeit.de/

Fancy a night out on town in Leipzig? Here are the main party districts:

  • Drallewatsch (Barfussgasschen area)
  • The Theatre District (Gottschedstrabe area)
  • Sudmeile (The Southern Mile – Karl-liebknecht-strabe and Mungasse areas)

These streets are the best places to go for a fun time with great food, pubs, and clubs for entertainment in the city.

Where To Stay in Leipzig
There is a range of hotels available in Leipzig to suit every budget. Here are the top 3 hotels in Leipzig:

  • Victor’s Residenz-Hotel Leipzig: Address –
  • Georgiring 13, 04103, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
  • Pentahotel Leipzig: Grosser Brockhaus 3, 04103, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany (Formerly Renaissance Leipzig Hotel)
  • Seaside Park Hotel Leipzig: Richard-Wagner-Str. 7, 04109, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany