Leipzig is the largest city in the German federal state of Saxony, with a population of approximately 570,000. It is the economic center of the region, known as Germany's "Boomtown" and a major cultural center, offering interesting sights, shopping and lively nightlife.
Built in 1556 in the Renaissance style and remains one of Germany's largest. The position of the tower follows the ancient ideal of "golden mean". Located on the pretty main square of the city, it is a good orientation point. The Old City Hall was built 1556 by Hieronymus Lotter on basements of two Patrician houses. It is a beautiful Renaissance style building, 90 meters long with arcades (1906–09), six gables and a tower. In the 18th century the tower was enlarged and it received a Baroque spire. Until 1904 the Old City Hall was home of the city administration. Then it became home of the city museum. Most impressive is the huge Banquetting Hall with Renaissance interior (open fireplaces). Many fine works of medieval religious art: altars, paintings, wood-carved sculptures etc. Most of them were saved from churches which were deconstructed in Leipzig's surrounding. Very impressive are the rooms with interior from old Patrician houses. Also interesting: the treasure chamber (steep and narrow staircase!). This Renaissance building was erected in just nine months in 1556–57 under the direction of the architect Hieronymus Lotter. The municipal government moved into the New Town Hall in 1909. If you have a bit of luck you are allowed to visit the cellar of the building. Here you find the chamber of torture and the jail. Leipzig's Renaissance City hall contains a museum of city history which possesses the original of the only confirmed painting of Bach produced in his lifetime. It contains interesting information regarding the public executions that previously took place in the market in front of the city hall. The most famous execution was that of Woyzeck later made famous by the Büchner play and the opera of Alban Berg. The interior of the Old City Hall (built in 1556) is far more interesting than the outside view. Inside there's an interesting museum covering the history of Leipzig from the very beginnings (in the 12th century) till our days. One of the most touristy places of the whole city.
As in many other German cities, Leipzig hosts the Leipziger Weinachtsmarkt, or Leipzig Christmas Market, which opens in the last week of November, first week of December and continues until a few days before Christmas Day. The Leipzig Christmas Market is a major event in the city and is essentially a large winter-themed carnival, complete with a giant Ferris Wheel on Augustusplatz in between the Opera House and the Gewandhaus, carrousels and other small rides in addition to the usual market stalls and food vendors. The festivities take place throughout the inner city of Leipzig, with a majority of the market stalls stationed on Market Square in front of the Old Town Hall, but also on Petersstraße, Grimmaische Straße and Nikolaistraße next to Nikolai Church. The market stalls sell a variety of gifts unique to the Ore Mountain region south of Leipzig, as well as various traditional market foods such as fried potato pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer), Heurigen (roasted roll with cheese and meat) and Glühwein (a mulled wine). There are also carolers and Christmas-themed events.
Modern architecture in the style of New Objectivity, covered with a traditional red porphyr stone. Easily to be confused with a modern office building, this church dedicated in 2015 is the largest newly built church building in Eastern Germany since unification. The location is almost on historical ground, as the neighbouring New City Hall is located on the spot of the medieval Pleissenburg, where Martin Luther defended his theses in the "Leipzig Debate" of 1519. The steeple, 50 m high goes into contrast to the (still much higher) tower of the New City Hall. During construction the official entrance had to be switched to the back side of the church, as otherwise the postal address would have been "Martin-Luther-Ring", which the Roman Church considered not appropriate and after an attempt to rename the street failed to the opposition of the city administration.
Located across the ring southwest of the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), the appearance of this building resembles the original look of the Reichstag in Berlin. It was built from 1888 to 1895 for the Court of the German Empire (Reichsgericht), the highest court of the Reich. During the GDR years the building served a variety of uses and hosted the Museum der Bildenden Künste. After refurbishment, the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) moved into the Reichsgericht building in 2002. You can visit the entrance hall, the large courtroom, and the Reichsgerichtsmuseum with an exhibition on the history of the building. Visitor access may get restricted without prior notice if the work of the court requires it.
The national library of Germany collects works published in Germany or in the German language. It consists of three buildings from different epochs: the original main building opened in 1916 with two later extensions integrated, a windowless depot tower from the late 70s/early 80s, and book-shaped fourth extension to be opened in May 2011. The center of the main building is a large reading room worth a visit just for its atmosphere. If you wish to use the library or just move around freely you will have to pay a fee and provide government-issued photo ID. If you ask the security guards nicely, they may accompany you to the entrance of the reading room and let you glimpse into it. No photography.
An industrial district whose time of glory has passed. Many of its factories died a slow death during the GDR years, which suddenly became visible with the reunification of Germany. Today it is a mixture of old industrial buildings, some in ruins and others repurposed; fallow land; and new developments. Walk around Karl-Heine Straße between Felsenkeller and the railway station Bahnhof Plagwitz, Weißenfelser Straße and Gießerstraße to get a feeling for the place, or walk the path alongside the Karl-Heine Kanal. May appear a bit spooky at night.
At 91m tall, this is the biggest monument in Europe, commemorating the Battle of Leipzig in the Napoleonic Wars, in which the combined Prussian, Austrian, and Russian forces defeated Napoleon at a cost of 100,000 lives. The top platform can be visited (steep, narrow stairs). Every summer, the 'bath tub' race is held in the reflecting pool below. The monument itself was built for the first centennial of the battle and its design reflects the spirit of these times.
Besides the tower of the new townhall and the Völkerschlachtenkmal, three highrise buildings shape the skyline of Leipzig. The City-Hochhaus (Augustusplatz) was originally built as part of the university campus but sold to private investors in the 1990s. The Wintergartenhochhaus next to the Hauptbahnhof (Wintergartenstraße) is an apartment building. The Westin hotel was erected in the late 1970s and opened in 1981 as Hotel Merkur.
This pub has been around since medieval times. Opened in 1525, it is among the oldest continuously operated pubs in Germany. The barrel cellar (only opened for private parties) has been the background to a scene in one of Germany's most famous plays, "Faust" by Goethe. The master of German literature himself used to drink his wine here, and the rooms are frequently the set for a live, around-the-city re-enactment of the play.
Germany's oldest preserved railway station, built in 1842, only 7 years after the first train line of Germany had been opened. The station is no longer in use but one can still view the portal. In the course of the construction of the city tunnel the entire portal was moved away and later relocated to its original place. A new underground station is used by all S-Bahn-trains.
Named after Cospuden, a village that fell victim to opencast mining, this lake was the first lignite mine conversion in the region after the end of the GDR. Locals instantly and enthusiastically adopted their new ''"Costa Cospuda"''. The northern Beach (Nordstrand) is broad and sandy, the perfect place to spend a hot summer day.
Right in the centre of town. Good German food and drink at a low price. A local mainstay. The only location that offers live music Monday to Saturday starting at 9pm. Tuesdays is "Guitarnight" with guitar guru Christian Rover and occasional international guests, Thursdays the blues scene meets, changing events on other nights.
Listen to the St. Thomas Boys Choir performing Bach's music in its original environment. Be aware that a guest choir may sing instead at any time as the St Thomas Choir travels a lot. Since the motet is primarily a musical form of devotion and not a musical performance for tourists, applause is uncommon and frowned upon.
The second large park of Leipzig, located northwest of the city center. From the Rosental you can get a glimpse into the zoo without having to pay the entrance fee (Zooschaufenster near the large meadow). Crossing Waldstraße and continuing in northwestern direction you will find a small hill with a watchtower on top.
The Porsche factory in Leipzig, which builds the Cayenne and the Panamera, offers plant tours as well as driving experiences on the test track, combined with meals at the on-site restaurant. Please note that a much wider choice of events is offered to users booking in German, via the German version of the website.
Really a collection of several parks that locals may still know and refer to by their original names: Johannapark, Albertpark, Volkspark Scheibenholz, and Palmengarten. Walk westwards from the new city hall to find the Johannapark, starting at the crossing of Karl-Tauchnitz Straße and Friedrich-Ebert Straße
The museum of natural history, filled with all kinds of taxidermy creatures. As of January 2011, city officials are pondering plans of closing the museum soon and reopening it in a different location later with a redesigned exhibition. In 2016 it's still open, a little old fashioned, but entrance is cheap.
In addition to the comments of a live guide in English or other languages, on-screen historic film footage and photographs give you a deeper insight into Leipzigs history and life today. The standard length of the tour is 2 hours. You can also combine it with a walking tour through the historic center.
The church where Bach worked as a cantor from 1723 until his death in 1750. His remains are buried under a bronze epitaph near the altar. The Bach Museum is right next to the church. Regular concerts are given by the St. Thomas Boys Choir Fridays and Saturdays (see ''do'' section for details).
Housed in the former Stasi headquarters, this is an interesting museum documenting the Stasi (DDR secret police) and its methods of controlling and manipulating the people. Displays are in German – there is not much English inside. English audio guides are available for €4.
Originally a landfill with WW II debris, this hill is today a park and the location for several recurrent events: the Fockeberglauf in March and November (a running competition), the Fockebergzeitfahren (an uphill bicycle race), and the Prix de Tacot (a soapbox car race).
Every weekend, LVB offers sightseeing tours in a modified tram called ''"Gläserner Leipziger"''. Buy your ticket in advance from any of the LVB service offices listed above; it includes a day ticket for zone 110 (Leipzig) of the MDV network. The tour takes about 2 hours.
The BMW assembly plant in Leipzig, which builds the 1er-series and X1 models, offers guided tours of its premises. They require previous appointment - you need to send a request with your preferences in advance and wait for the Visitor's Centre to get back to you.
You can see two early highrise buildings (by the standards of their time) around Augustusplatz. One is the Krochhochaus on the western side of the square. The other is the Europahaus in the southeastern corner of the square, across the street from the Gewandhaus.
Although pricey, this is one of the largest and best known zoos in Germany. New elephants' enclosure has a swimming pool where you can watch the elephants bathing from under the water level. Visit the Gondwanaland tropical species exhibit and the monkey house.
The tour lasts 2.5 hours, comprising a 1 hour guided walk through the city center and a bus tour of 1.5 hours to sights elsewhere. You can also book each part of the tour individually. Buy your ticket at tourist information, where the tour starts.
Housed in a glass cube, this museum features paintings from the 15th century through today. Highlights include paintings by local artists Max Beckman and Max Klinger, as well as Caspar David Friedrich, Lucas Cranach the Younger, and Claude Monet.
Very old and big student club bar / cafe. Underground cellars. Live bands or DJs most nights, outdoor films are shown in the summer. Moritzbastei was once a part of the city wall. Students dug it out in the 1970s and turned it into a club.
Includes the '''[http://www.grassimuseum.de/en/exhibitions.html Museum of Applied Arts]''', the '''[http://mfm.uni-leipzig.de/en/index.php Museum of Musical Instruments]''', and '''[http://www.mvl-grassimuseum.de/ Museum of Ethnology]'''.
Leipzig's largest church. Starting point for the peaceful revolution on October 9, 1989, when 600 SED members, who were sent to break up the protest, joined the protesters. Every Monday at 5pm since 1982, the church holds peace prayers.
Includes the city's prettiest beer garden but not many vegetarian options. Try their beer specialty 'Gose'. It's made with coriander and salt, and is very much an acquired taste. It is usually served with a shot of liquor.
Watch wild animals in the woods. If you feel like hiking, after passing through the Wildpark you can turn northwards and walk to Clara-Zetkin Park, or walk south/southeast to Cospudener See. Both are about 2.5 km away.
Parties organized by British robotics artist Jim Whiting. You can expect furniture that moves by itself, a waterfall made of bathtubs that you can climb into if you feel the need, and various other thrills and chills.
Opened in 1999, this is a museum about the GDR. There is one permanent exhibition about the life in the GDR and the fall of the GDR; the other exhibition changes approx. every two month and has similar topics.
This Mercure is more about modern comforts than art, but unless you are looking for striking new frontiers in hotel room design, you should be very fine with its reasonably-appointed rooms and free WiFi.
The Hauptbahnhof is not only one of the biggest train stations in Europe, it's a great shopping mall as well (on three floors boutiques and restaurants are located next to drug stores and supermarkets)
Herrmann Julius Meyer, owner of a publishing company, initiated in the late 19th century several development projects to provide adequate but cheap housing to factory workers and their families.
100 years old. Two copper elephant heads guard the entrance. The interior is put under preservation and has been restored to its original glory in the 1990s. Wide selection of cakes and gateaux.
Beach; camping; fishing, water sports. This one is the oldest of the close lakes. Converted from a mine in the sixties, the city grew towards it in the eighties with the Grünau development.
Exhibition of pewter figures in historically themed dioramas. The location, the gatehouse and only remainder of an old manor, was one of the hotspots in the battles of the Napoleonic wars.
a nice alternative fleamarket with approx. 100 booths of locals selling handmade stuff, some antiques and second hand clothes on the pavements. there is also some musics groups and food.
Seat of the municipal government since 1905. The building also features a 115m tower which can be accessed by tour Mon-Fri at 11:00 and 14:00 (tel. +49 341 123-2323).
may be a bit cheaper (mostly lower-grade goods at a lower price and some disount offers) but the atmosphere is not so nice. Sometimes there are market criers around.
In a neat, beutifully refurbished old building close to the city centre. Caters to families and culture-lovers, not party animals. The whole hostel is non-smoking.
Observation tower. See the city from above. Admission is free. You'll have to climb up stairs in the open and stand on a platform that may shake a bit in the wind.
One of the many traces of the Napoleonic wars in and around Leipzig: a memorial church to the honours of Russian soldiers who died during the Napoleonic wars.
Mendelssohn's orchestra still exists, but the concert hall is new. Inside is a huge painting by Sighard Gille, visible through the windows from Augustusplatz.
Right in the centre of town. Popular with all age groups. A place to see and be seen. Also a jazz bar with brass instruments hanging from the ceiling.
Located in a somewhat shady area (next to a shop for cannabis paraphernalia) near the main station, the hostel however is nice and family-friendly.
Curved to follow the street, huge like a castle -- Leipzig's most prominent relict of the Stalin era sits at the Ring next to the Gewandhaus.
Huge panoramic picture surrounding the viewer. The theme changes from time to time. The building was originally used as a gas storage tank.
Apartment houses in concentric circles, built in the late 1920s/early 1930s. Streets named after characters from he Song of the Nibelungs.
Upscale shops and bars. The entrance to Auerbachs Keller is inside. Forms a bigger system with Königshauspassage and Messehofpassage.
The youngest of the nearby lakes and perhaps a bit quieter than the other two. It has rather small beaches but a long promenade.
The opera house of Leipzig. Though the building is only 50 years old, the company looks back at more than 300 years of history.
A museum about coffee and coffee culture in Europe's oldest continuously operating [http://www.coffe-baum.de/ coffee house].
This hotel is very close to the train station and to downtown. The rooms are big with a built-in kitchen. Free internet.
Leipzig's highest building has a restaurant and an observation platform at its top with a great view over the town.
A converted cotton mill in the Plagwitz industrial district, today providing work and exhibition rooms to artists.
Former home of the poet Friedrich Schiller. This is the (purported) place where he authored the ''Ode to Joy''.
HI hostel. Popular with school groups and families. 4 km outside the city centre (11 minutes by tram).
Former home of composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Regular concerts are held every Sunday at 11:00.
Calm atmosphere in the middle of the city. Inside you'll find the arthouse cinema ''Passage Kinos''.
Besides the main event on the fairground, readings take place in various locations around the city.
Take a ride on a miniature railway circling around the Lake Auensee in the northwest of the city.
Weirdly decorated place with hippie 70s theme. Mostly classic rock. Party lasts well past 4am.
Humble accommodations but close to the centre. Owner is very friendly but speaks only German.
Meeting of hot air balloon pilots. Lots of flying balloons if the weather permits flying.
World's largest Goth festival includes a pagan village, medieval market, and goth music.
Art-deco style. Opened in 1919, refurbished in 1998–2000. Outside the city center.
Saxon food. Large portions. Outdoor terrace, rustic cellar, or tunnel courtyard.
Former squat house, now a top venue for punk, rock, ska, and hip-hop concerts.
In an old factory, now used for concerts, film, theatre, and circus acts.
Funfair, twice a year in spring (April/May) and fall (September/October)
Always a happening place. DJs, football games, and partying all night.
Former house of musicians and composers Clara and Robert Schumann.
It's the oldest one in Germany and one of the first in the world.
Jazz, experimental, and indie music. Also shows film and theatre.
Police station for central districts around the immediate center
Vegetarian/vegan restaurant. Try the strawberry basil smoothie.
Small club features indie and electronic music. Student crowd.
Good for budget, comfort and ecological visitors :)
You can download some leaflets from their website.
If you lost something on a train or in a station
Online list maintained by tourist information.
Changing exhibitions of contemporary art.
Popular with families and groups.
The oldest passage in Leipzig
First documented in 1015, and endowed with city and market privileges in 1165, the city of Leipzig has fundamentally shaped the history of Saxony and of Germany. It was founded at the crossing of two ancient trade routes, Via Regia and Via Imperii. Leipzig has always been known as a place of commerce and still has large trade fairgrounds and exhibition halls known as the Leipzig Messe and located north of the city. Before it became common to dedicate a specific area to trade fairs, they took place in the city itself. Which is why many of the historical buildings were constructed by merchants, as well as Leipzig's unique system of arcades and courtyards. Other forms of exchange soon followed the trade of goods. The University of Leipzig (Latin: Alma mater lipsiensis) was founded in 1409, which makes it the second-oldest university in Germany. University facilities are scattered throughout the city, and you cannot miss the central campus at Augustusplatz. Leipzig acquired the nickname Klein Paris ("Little Paris") in the 18th century, when it became a center of a classical literary movement largely lead by the German scholar and writer Johann Christoph Gottsched. The city is also the home of the Nikolaikirche (Church of St. Nicholas) – the starting point of peaceful demonstrations against the communist regime which led to German Reunification. The collapse of communism hit Leipzig's economy very heavily (as did communism itself), but after being on the mend for over twenty years, it has emerged as one of the success stories of the "New German States". Traces of Leipzig's history are everywhere: the ring of streets around the city center marking the former course of the city wall, the city trade houses, abandoned and repurposed industrial buildings in Plagwitz, small town structures in the outskirts where surrounding towns were incorporated during phases of rapid growth, the battlefields of the Napoleonic wars in the south and southeast of the city, and much, much more. Today it competes with long time rival Dresden for the title of "biggest city in Saxony" - in the 2011 Census Dresden overtook Leipzig, but according to current (2016) estimates, Leipzig has an edge once more. Leipzig's trendy districts are rapidly gentryfying, especially the ''Südvorstadt'' neighborhood and it has thus gained the nickname "Hypezig" which is both used derisively and somewhat appreciatively.