From the music of Bach to well-known techno-venues, to a free-spirited modern-day creative community, it’s easy to see why Goethe used to call Leipzig “little Paris”. Here are 10 reasons you should visit Leipzig.
Leipzig and art go hand in hand
Music from Bach to Wagner
Young and creative Leipzig
Forest and lakes
Leisure time Leipzig style
Views from up high
A city of fairs
When the night is young
1. Incredible history
Not many people know that the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 was actually triggered by a peaceful demonstration by 70,000 Leipzigers a month before. Known ever since as the city of the peaceful revolution, Leipzig marks this moment of history at the Festival of Lights on 9 October every year. Leipzig is a city steeped in history like this. For more history, also check out the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum, the ‘Runde Ecke’ Memorial Museum and the Stasi Bunker Museum, and the House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany.
2. Leipzig and art go hand in hand
The New Leipzig School is an art movement that has been transported around the world, with global greats including Neo Rauch and Rosa Loy still based in the city at the artist hub: Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei. Students flock to the city from all over for prized places at the city’s art school. Other artistic spots to check out in the city include Kunstkraftwerk in the old power plant and Tapetenwerk in an old wallpaper factory. The Museum of Fine Arts and the GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts are also must-visit spots.
3. Music from Bach to Wagner
Leipzig is considered the music capital of Germany, as well as a European centre for musical arts. Most famously, Johann Sebastian Bach worked in St. Thomas Church for 27 years, and is now buried there. Wagner and Mendelssohn are both associated with the church too. The Leipzig Music Trail takes visitors past composers’ homes and workplaces across the city. Elsewhere in the city today, the Leipzig Opera and Gewandhaus Orchestra and renowned among classical music-lovers, while one of the oldest choirs in the world – Thomanerchor – hail from the Leipzig region.
4. Young and creative Leipzig
While the city has many well-established connections with music and the arts, there’s a vibrant scene of young trailblazing creatives too. Karli, Plagwitz and Connewitz are three neighbourhoods that attract artists, entrepreneurs and students, who set up their own original shops, ventures and events. The Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei is one spot where established and emerging art collide.
5. Forest and lakes
One of Germany’s greenest cities, Leipzig has an abundance of outdoor areas. In the city itself, Johannapark and Clara-Zetkin Park are huge spaces Leipzigers flock to year-round. On Sundays in particular, Clara-Zetkin Park attracts the city’s young creatives who come to play music or find creative inspiration. The Leipzig Riverside Forest is within the city limits too, making an unexpected outdoor space ripe for exploring. The surrounding Leipzig region is home to the beautiful lakes made from old cast mines, where locals spend as much spare time as they can. Cospudener See (‘Cossi’) is the favourite, but Markkleeberger See and Kulkwitzer See are incredibly popular too for water sports and beach time.
6. Leisure time, Leipziger style
The work/life balance is famously good in Leipzig, meaning there are plenty of leisure facilities to enjoy all that spare time. Shopping ranges from sweet shopping passages such as Mädler Passage to larger stores such as Speck’s Hof and Höfe am Brühl. Families especially enjoy Leipzig Zoo and the amusement park Belantis. When it comes to cuisine, every international flavour is available in Leipzig, from high-end to low-key. The city is also known as having some of the best vegan restaurants in the country.
7. Views from up high
Leipzig isn’t a city of tall buildings or skyscrapers – which is how we like it – but there are a few tall buildings that add a little wow factor for visitors. The Monument to the Battle of the Nations (Völkerschlachtdenkmal) is 91 metres high and covers four hectares, making it one of the largest monuments in Europe. The New Town Hall (Neue Rathaus) has the tallest town hall tower in Germany at 114 metres, while churches including St. Thomas Church and St. Nicholas Church have a number of stairs worth climbing for the views.
8. A city of fairs
Leipzig has a history of hosting trade fairs that date back a thousand years. This tradition remains today, with the city hosting dozens of trade fairs every year at a combination of five exhibition halls which cover 111,000 square metres. Popular fairs include the Leipzig Book Fair and Grassimesse – an annual forum on contemporary art. The largest trade fairs take place in Leipzig Messe, the world’s largest levitated glass hall.
9. Hidden Leipzig
For every well-known shop, restaurant, event or cultural venue, there are plenty of amazing hidden places just waiting to be discovered. Streets with fantastic art, hidden-away craft shops and venues for sociable cooking, hidden beer gardens and impromptu musical performances are all happening across Leipzig. Check out Hidden Leipzig for some of the city’s secret spots.
10. When the night is young
Daytimes are only the story in Leipzig. There are countless bars, pubs, clubs and music to choose from, to suit any taste. Many people love the bars of Drallewatsch – a pub mile near the city center, as well as the bars of Gottschedstrasse and Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse (‘Karli’). Later on, locals visit the Moritzbastei – one of the largest student clubs in Germany – or go to music venues as Conne Island or famous techno clubs such as Distillery.
Contact us if you have any questions – we’re here to help.
Leipzig Tourism and Marketing GmbH
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Department Tel: 0341 / 7014-340