Leipzig is the second largest city in the German federal state of Saxony, with a population of approximately 521,000 (2012). It is the industrial center of the region and a major cultural center, offering interesting sights, shopping possibilities and lively nightlife.
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, where construction work on the new main building is almost finished (as of January 2011).
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.
- Tourist Information, Katharinenstraße 8 (near Markt in the city center), ☎ +49-341-71 04-260 or -265, fax: +49(0)341/71 04-271 or -276, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can download some leaflets from their website 
Leipzig is a transportation hub in Saxony.
Leipzig can easily be reached by car, as it is very well connected with the Autobahn highway system. The nearest Autobahn highways are A14 (North, Northeast), A9 (West) and A38 (South).
Leipzig's Hauptbahnhof is the largest terminal railway station in Europe with 24 platforms, and also includes a large shopping mall, a tedious way to waste away an hour or two between connections. The train station also has the most expensive station toilets in Western Europe: €1.10 per tinkle.
Deutsche Bahn operates regular train service between Leipzig and nearby cities such as Halle (€9, 25 minutes), Magdeburg (€20, 75 minutes), Erfurt (€28, 60 minutes), Jena (€24, 60 minutes), Weimar (€25, 60 minutes), Dessau (€11, 50 minutes), Lutherstadt Eisleben (€13, 80 minutes), Lutherstadt Wittenberg (€12, 30 minutes), Potsdam (€47, 2 hours), and Berlin (€43, 80 minutes). High speed express trains are available to major cities in Germany including Frankfurt (€72, 3.5 hours), Munich (€89, 4.5 hours), Hamburg (€93, 3 hours), and Dresden (€20, 90 minutes). Prague (€50, 4.5 hours) can be reached with a transfer in Dresden.
InterConnex offers a daily services from Leipzig to Rostock via Berlin and back. Buy your ticket on the train or online. Prices (aboard): Rostock €35, Berlin €23. Special offers available online.
Leipzig/Halle Airport (IATA: LEJ) , sometimes called Schkeuditz Airport, is 22 km northwest of central Leipzig. The airport is the second biggest airport in Eastern Germany after Berlin. Trains run between the airport and the city every 30 minutes; the trip takes 14 minutes and costs €4.
The following airlines operate service to/from Leipzig/Halle Airport according to the timetable winter 2013/14:
Aegean Airways (Rhodes) - Air Berlin (Antalya, Arecife, Djerba, Enfidha, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Heraklion, Hurghada, Korfu, Kos, Lamezia Terme, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Marsa Alam, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife-South) - Air Via (Varna) - Atlasjet International (Antalya) - Austrian Airlines (Vienna) - Bulgarian Air Charter (Varna) - Cairo Air (Hurghada) - Condor (Agadir, Antalya, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Heraklion, Hurghada, Kos, Larnaca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Marsa Alam, Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes, Tenerife-South) - Croatia Airlines (Dubrovnik, Split) - Darwin Airlines (Amsterdam-Schiphol, Paris-Charles de Gaulle) - Freebird Airlines (Antalya) - Germanwings (Cologne/Bonn, Stuttgart) - Germania (Antalya, Fuerteventura, Heraklion, Moscow-Domodedovo, Rhodes) - Hamburg Airways (Antalya) - Lufthansa (Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich) - Neos (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) - Nouvelair (Djerba, Enfidha) - Onur Air (Antalya) - Pegasus Airlines (Antalya) - Ryanair (Faro, London–Stansted), Malaga, Pisa, Rome–Ciampino, Trapani) - Sky Airlines (Antalya) - SunExpress (Antalya, Gazipasa), Hurghada, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Luxor, Marsa Alam, Santa Cruz/La Palma, Sharm-el-Sheikh), Taba, Teneriffa) - TUIfly (Antalya, Fuerteventura, Heraklion, Rhodes) - Tunis Air (Djerba, Enfidha) - Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) -
Berlin's airports (IATA: TXL, SXF) are just two hours away by train and offer more options. As an intercontinental flyer you should also consider Frankfurt (IATA: FRA). During daytime, hourly direct trains take you from the airport station Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbahnhof to Leipzig Hauptbahnhof in about 4 hours for €74.
The primary means of public transport is the tram. LVB operates trams and buses in Leipzig. Most lines run every 10 minutes during the day and at least hourly at night. A single-trip ticket costs €2.30. A full day bus & tram ticket, valid until 4am the next morning, costs €5.50; a day ticket for 5 people traveling together costs €16.30. A weekly pass costs €19.80. After 8pm, you must enter buses through the driver's door and show/purchase your ticket.
The tram network is structured like a star with a circle in the center. Tram lines generally lead from the outskirts into the city, which they half-circle on the ring, and continue to someplace else in the outskirts. Bus lines provide additional direct connections that often do not touch the center.
Trains are currently pretty useless within the city. While a small commuter train ("S-Bahn") network exists, due to its structure, the tram and bus connections are often faster and more convenient. This is going to change in December 2013 when the city tunnel will open, connecting Hauptbahnhof and Bayerischer Bahnhof via underground stations at Markt and at Wilhelm-Leuschner Platz. Until then, bus line 89 (Hauptbahnhof – Connewitz, Kreuz) is the only public transport going right through the center with stops at Thomaskirche, Markt, and Reichsstraße.
S-Bahn line S1 to Miltitzer Allee has been suspended until December, 2013. Use tram 8 or 15 to Plovdiver Straße instead, or bus 80E.
LVB is part of the regional integrated transport network MDV. Tickets to nearby towns and cities (e.g. Halle) are available at LVB ticket offices and vending machines. They are valid for all participating means of transportation. The fares quoted above are for MDV fare zone 110, which is more or less identical with the city. A single-trip ticket includes transfers to other lines. You have to complete your trip within one hour. Buy tickets from:
- Vending machines at some stops and at all train stations, payable with coins or (small) bills
- Vending machines inside the trams. Coins only
- Bus drivers
- One of the LVB service offices
- Some tobacco, stationery, or press shops
Stamp your ticket after boarding the first bus or tram on your itinerary, or on the platform when using a train. Week tickets are issued for 7 days from set date, month tickets for calendar months. Day and week tickets are valid until 4am the next day after their validity has ended; month tickets until noon the day after their validity has ended.
Ticket and service offices:
- LVB-Mobilitätszentrum, Willi-Brand-Platz (opposite of central station towards Nikolaistraße). Mon–Fri 8.00–20.00, Sat 8:00–16:00. LVB service and ticket office
- LVB-Servicezentrum, Petersstraße/Markgrafenstraße (city center near Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz). Mon–Fri 8.00–20.00, Sat 08.00–16.00. LVB service and ticket office
- LVB online shop. LVB service and ticket office
A ticket with benefits is the LEIPZIG CARD . You can buy it at the LVB ticket offices listed abov, at tourist information, or online. At a price moderately higher than the respective LVB tickets, in addition to unlimited rides, the LEIPZIG CARD offers discounts at a number of tourist attractions. The LEIPZIG CARD is available in three versions:
- Day ticket (valid for one person): €8.90
- 3-day ticket (valid for one person): €18.50
- 3-day group ticket (valid for two adults and up to 3 children under 14): €34.00
A leaflet listing all the benefits is available online .
Night Bus Network
Regular services operate until around midnight. A network of Nightliner bus lines (N1...N10) takes you around at night. All Nightliner buses start from Hauptbahnhof at 1:11am, 2:22am, and 3:33am. They service most parts of the main tram network, but on different routes. Each line makes a loop, returning to Hauptbahnhof at the end. Check the blue network plans at stops or inside trams.
Plenty of taxis are available. They wait for customers in various designated locations around the city. You can also wave a taxi on the street if its sign is lit up. To order a taxi to your current location call 4884. Pubs, restaurants and hotels will be happy to do that for you if you are their customer. Expect a fare of €15–20 for a trip from the outskirts to the center or vice versa.
Leipzig suffers from the same traffic problems as all cities of its size. Access to the city center is restricted, so don't plan to go anywhere inside the inner ring of main streets.
If you still like to use a car within the city, be prepared to pay a fee for parking around the center. Car parks are available at Hauptbahnhof, Augustusplatz, Burgplatz, and several other locations. A parking guidance system is installed on the main streets. Around the inner ring, signs point you to the different car parks and display the current number of unused parking spots. Signs are color-coded, each color representing a car park location. Since the city center is pretty compact, for most purposes it won't matter much where you leave your car. When you visit the Gewandhaus or the opera, the car park underneath Augustusplatz is the most convenient option with exits to both buildings.
Watch for the trams when making turns. They are stronger than your car and sometimes come from behind beside the street. At marked tram stops, if the driving lane is to the right of the track, you have to wait behind a stopping tram and let passengers get on and off. After everyone is off the street, you may pass slowly.
Starting in March 2011, most of the city of Leipzig will become a designated low-emission zone (Umweltzone). Cars operating within the limits of the city have to comply with strict emission standards. Many modern cars do, but to enter the zone your car has to show it by exhibiting a green badge (Feinstaubplakette). If you enter the city without this badge, or with a yellow or red badge, you risk a fine.
- Old Town Hall. 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. Entrance fee: €2.50.
- New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus).
- St. Thomas Church (Thomaskirche). Churchtower is open weekends only. 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. Church: Free; church tower: €2.
- Nikolaikirche, Nikolaikirchhof 3. 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.
- Russische Gedächtniskirche (Russian St. Alexej Memorial Church), Philipp-Rosenthal-Strasse 51a (Tram 16 to Deutsche Nationalbibliothek). 10–13 and 14–16 (winter) or 17 (summer). 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. Admission free, donations welcome.
- Zeitgeschichtliches Forum (in the center). Tuesday-Sunday 10am–6pm. 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 aprox. every two month and has similar topics. Free.
- Museum at the Round Corner. Daily 10am–6pm. 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 €3. Free.
- Bach-Museum, Thomaskirchof 16 (Opposite the Thomas Church). Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. €6.
- Museum Der Bildenden Kunste (Museum of Fine Arts). 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. Adult: €5.
- Grassi Museum. Includes the Museum of Applied Arts, the Musik Museum, and Museum of Ethnology. €4–5 per museum.
- Naturkundemuseum, Lortzingstraße 3 (tram 12 to Lortzingstraße or tram 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15 to Gördelerring). The nature museum, 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. €2.
- Torhaus Dölitz, Helenenstrasse 24, 04279 (tram 11 to Leinestraße), ☎ . Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 10am–4pm - subject to change, please call before. 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. 3 €.
- Deutsches Kleingärtnermuseum (German Allotment Gardener`s Museum), Aachener Str. 7, 04109 (Tram 1, 2, 14 to Marschnerstraße, Tram 3, 4, 7, 8, 13, 15 to Waldplatz). Tue-Thu 10am–4pm. €2.
- Universitätsbibliothek Bibliotheca Albertina, Beethovenstr.6, 04107 (bus 89 to Wächterstraße or Mozartstraße). The university's library.
- Sächsisches Psychiatriemuseum, Mainzer Straße 7 (tram 1, 2, or 14 to Marschnerstraße). Wed-Sat 1pm–6pm. History of psychiatry.
- Sächsisches Apothekenmuseum, Thomaskirchhof 12, 04109. Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun 11am–5pm; Thu 2pm–8pm. Pharmacy museum
- Schulmuseum, Goerdelerring 20, 04109 (tram to Gottschedstraße, Thomaskirche or Gördelerring). Mon–Fri: 9am–4pm. History of schooling Admission free.
- Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum, Kleine Fleischergasse 4, 04109. 11am–7pm. A museum about coffee and coffee culture in Europe's oldest continuously operating coffee house . Admission free.
- Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst (Museum of Contemporary Art), Karl-Tauchnitz-Straße 9-11 (tram 2, 8, 9 to Neues Rathaus, or bus 89 to Wächterstraße), ☎ . Tue–Fri 2pm–7pm; Sat–Sun 12pm–6pm. Changing exhibitions of contemporary art. €8.
- Mendelssohn House, Goldschmidtstraße 12. 10am–6pm. Former home of composer Felix Mendelssohn. €3.50.
- Schiller House. Former home of the poet Friedrich Schiller.
- Schumann House, Inselstraße 18. Former house of composer Robert Schumann. €3.
Fair-houses and passages
Unique to Leipzig is its number of passages in the city center. Some have big entrances, while others may look from the street just like a gate left open. Some belong to historical buildings, some have appeared only a few years ago.
- Mädlerpassage, Grimmaische Straße/Neumarkt. Upscale shops and bars. The entrance to Auerbachs Keller is inside. Forms a bigger system with Königshauspassage and Messehofpassage.
- Barthels Hof, Hainstraße/Barfußgäßchen.
- Speck's Hof and Hansahaus, Nikolaistraße/Reichsstraße/Grimmaische Straße. The oldest passage in Leipzig
- Jägerhofpassage, Hainstraße/Große Fleischergasse. Calm atmosphere in the middle of the city. Inside you'll find the arthouse cinema Passage Kinos.
- Städtisches Kaufhaus, Neumarkt/Universitätsstraße/Kupfergasse/Gewandgäßchen.
- Romanushaus and Fregehaus, Katharinenstraße (city center near tourist information). Baroque architecture.
- Rundling (Nibelungensiedlung), Siegfriedplatz, Siegfriedstraße (Tram 16 to Lößnig or tram 11 to Raschwitzer Straße or local train to Leipzig-Connewitz). Apartment houses in concentric circles, built in the late 1920s/early 1930s. Streets named after characters from he Song of the Nibelungs.
- Stalin era architecture, Roßplatz (Tram to Augustusplatz or Roßplatz). 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.
- Waldstraßenviertel, Northwest of the city center (Tram 3, 4, 7, 8, 15 to Waldplatz. Follow Waldstraße and walk into sidestreets at your discretion.). Europe's largest uninterrupted Gründerzeit district.
- Plagwitz. 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, Weißenfelon ser 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.
- Meyersche Häuser, several locations: Herrmann-Meyer-Straße in Kleinzschocher; between Erich-Köhn Straße and Demmeringstraße in Lindenau; Hofer Straße in Reudnitz; between Bernburger Straße and Theresienstraße, Hamburger Straße and Schönfelder Straße in Eutritzsch. 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.
- Early highrise buildings, Augustusplatz. 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.
- Modern highrise buildings, Augustusplatz, Wintergartenstraße and Nordstraße. 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.
- Völkerschlachtdenkmal (Monument to the Battle of the Nations) (tram 15 or commuter trains to Völkerschlachtdenkmal). Open April–October 10am–6pm, November–March 10am–4pm. 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. Adults: €6; Students: €4; Children under 6: free.
- University of Leipzig Botanical Garden, Linnéstraße 1 (Tram 12, 15 to Ostplatz or tram 2, 16 to Johannisallee), ☎ +49 341 – 9736850. Gardens: November–February 9am–4pm; March, April, October 9am–6pm; May–September 9am–8pm. Greenhouses: October–April Tue–Fri 1pm–4pm, Sat+Sun 10am–4pm; May–September open until 6pm. It's the oldest one in Germany and one of the first in the world.
- Leipzig Zoo (Take Tram 12 to Zoo). 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. Adult: €17.
- Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Deutscher Platz 1 (Tram 16 to Deutsche Nationalbibliothek). Monday–Friday 8am–10pm; Saturday 9am–6pm. 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. €5 for day pass (photo ID required); brief glimpse into reading room free.
- Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, Spinnereistraße 7 (Tram 14 or train to Bahnhof Plagwitz, or tram 8, 15 to Lindenau). A converted cotton mill in the Plagwitz industrial district, today providing work and exhibition rooms to artists.
- Bayerischer Bahnhof, Bayrischer Platz (Tram 2, 9, 16 or Bus 60 to Bayerischer Platz). 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 has been built underneath but is not yet accessible to the public.
- Reichsgericht (Bundesverwaltungsgericht), Simsonplatz 1 (tram 2, 8, 9 to Neues Rathaus). Mon–Fri 8am–4pm. 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. Admission free; €1 for cloakroom or locker.
- Asisi Panometer, Richard-Lehmann Straße 114, 04275 (Bus 70 to Altenburger Straße). Tue–Fri: 9am–7pm; Sat, Sun & bank holidays: 10am–8pm; Mon: closed. Huge panoramic picture surrounding the viewer. The theme changes from time to time. The building was originally used as a gas storage tank. €10.
- Panorama Tower, Augustusplatz (City-Hochhaus, the highrise between Gewandhaus and university), ☎ . Restaurant: Mon–Fri 11am–12pm, Sat 11am–1am, Sun 11am–11pm; observation platform open from 9am. Leipzig's highest building has a restaurant and an observation platform at its top with a great view over the town. €3 (observation platform).
If you understand some German, get a copy of the monthly city magazine Kreuzer  or use the event calendar on their website to get information on upcoming events. You can buy the Kreuzer for €2.50 in press shops and bookstores throughout the city.
- Sightseeing tour, Katharinenstaße 8 (starts at Tourist Information, ends on Augustusplatz), ☎ . daily 1:30pm (in German also 10:30am). 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. €15.
- Sightseeing by tram, Kurt-Schumacher Straße (coming from Hauptbahnhof/Westhalle, walk a few steps towards Berliner Straße/Wilhelm-Liebknecht Platz), ☎ . Saturdays, starting at 11am and 2pm; May–September also Sundays 11am. 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. €15 per person.
- VideoBustour, Lützowstr. 19 (starts and ends when and where you want), ☎ . individual starting time for small groups. 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. from €25.
- Gewandhaus, Augustusplatz. 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.
- Motets in St. Thomas Church, Thomaskirche, Thomaskirchhof. Friday 6pm and Saturday 3pm; free seating, come early (church opens 45 min before). 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. €2.
- Oper, Augustusplatz. The opera house of Leipzig. Though the building is only 50 years old, the company looks back at more than 300 years of history.
- Bach Festival. Late May / Early June. Organized by the Bach Museum.
- Leipziger Buchmesse (Leipzig Book Fair). Late March. Besides the main event on the fairground, readings take place in various locations around the city.
- Wave-Gotik-Treffen Leipzig. Date follows Pentecost , late May or early June. World's largest Goth festival includes a pagan village, medieval market, and goth music.
- Leipziger Kleinmesse, Cottaweg (Tram 3, 7, 8, 15 to Angerbrücke). Funfair, twice a year in spring (April/May) and fall (September/October)
- Saxonia International Balloon Fiesta, Leipzig-Lößnig (Tram 10 or 16 to Lößnig). late July. Meeting of hot air balloon pilots. Lots of flying balloons if the weather permits flying.
- Euro-Scene. mid-November. Festival of contemporary European Theatre.
- International Festival for Documentary and Animated Film. every October.
Leipzig is surrounded by several lakes , resulting from former open-cast lignite mining and now developed into places for various outdoor activities. You can spend a day on the beach, ride a canoe, or go fishing or scuba diving just 10 km from the city center. The closest lakes are:
- Kulkwitzer See, Grünau/Miltitz (Tram 1 to Lausen, S-1 to Miltitzer Allee, Tram 15 to Plovdiver Straße, or Bus 65 to Straße am See). 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. Beach access free; fishing requires a permit, available in the camping office.
- Cospudener See, Markkleeberg-West/Knautkleeberg (Bus 65 via Markkleeberg Bahnhof - tram 9 or local trains - or via Großzschocher - tram 3, change to bus 65 at Huttenstraße. The bus stops right at the northern beach. Buy a ticket for fare zones 110 and 151. The main parking lot is accessible from Brückenstraße.). 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.
- Markkleeberger See, Markkleeberg-Ost (Tram 11 to Markkleeberg-Ost (Buy a ticket for fare zones 110 and 151. From the terminal stop proceed on Bornaische Straße in the same direction until you reach the lake.). The youngest of the nearby lakes and perhaps a bit quieter than the other two. It has rather small beaches but a long promenade.
Riverside woods and parks
A green ribbon of woods and parks crosses the city following the rivers Elster, Pleiße, Parthe, and Luppe. From the Cospudener See in the south through the Clara-Zetkin-Park, west of the city center along the Elsterflutbecken, and to the northwest between Leutzsch and Möckern you'll find a landscape that sometimes makes you forget you are in a city.
- Clara-Zetkin Park. 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
- Rosental (from tram stop Gördelerring via Rosentalgasse or from Zoo via Emil-Fuchs Straße or tram 4 to Mückenschlösschen). 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 entrace fee (Zooschaufenster near the large meadow). Crossing Waldstraße and continuing in northwestern direction you will find a small hill with a watchtower on top.
- Aussichtsturm Rosentalhügel (follow Marienweg from Waldstraße, the hill with the tower is to the right after about 400 meters. When you reach a small lake to your right you went too far.). 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. Admission free.
- Fockeberg (west of Fockestraße). 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). Admission free.
- Wildpark, Koburger Straße (Tram 9 to Wildpark). 9am–6/7/8pm depending on the season. 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. Admission free.
- Bimbo Town, Baumwollspinnerei, Spinnereistraße 7 (Tram 14 or train to Bahnhof Plagwitz or tram 8, 15 to Lindenau), ☎ . Irregular dates, check the website. 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.
- Parkeisenbahn am Auensee, Gustav-Esche Straße 8 (Tram 10, 11 to Wahren, bus 80 to Auensee), ☎ . operates April–October, Monday–Saturday 2pm–6pm, on Sundays, also 10am–1pm. Take a ride on a miniature railway circling around the Lake Auensee in the northwest of the city. €6,50 for a family of 4.
- BMW Werk Leipzig, BMW Allee 1, 04349 Leipzig. 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. € 6 per person (adult), € 130 for an individual tour (for up to 30 persons).
- Porsche Leipzig, Porschestraße 1. 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. Factory tour + brunch from €45.
There are lots of shops in the inner city (city center), mostly frequented by pedestrians. Leipzig and Germany souvenirs can be found at shops around the Old City Hall. There are many independent retailers unique to Leipzig in Südvorstadt; with many interesting clothing stores, food places, and cinemas.
- Christmas Market. 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.
- Paunsdorf Center, Paunsdorfer Allee 1 (tram 3 or 7 to Paunsdorf Center, or train to Engelsdorf). Mon-Thu 10am–8pm, Fri/Sat 10am–9pm. Large shopping mall that includes C&A, H&M, Esprit.
- Hauptbahnhof, Willy-Brandt-Platz 7. 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)
- Fresh Food Market (on the market square in front of the old town hall). Tuesday and Friday. local vegetables and all kinds of fruits and flowers.
- Fresh Food Market (near Leipzig Central Stadium). Saturdays. 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.
- Antik- und Trödelmarkt (fleamarket), Agra Messepark, Bornaische Straße (tram 11 to Dölitz Straßenbahnhof). last weekend of every month, 8am–3pm.
- Westpaket (fleamarket), Karl-Heine-Strasse (tram 3, 13, 14 to Felsenkeller). 4 times a year. next september 24th. 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.
- Nova Eventis, Günthersdorf (Located west of Leipzig at the crossing of the A9 motorway and the B181 main road. Take bus 131 from Hauptbahnhof (Ostseite) or Angerbrücke, or go by car, following Merseburger Straße out of the city.). Mon-Thu and Sat 10am–8pm, Fri 10am–10pm. One of the largest shopping malls in Germany.
Try specialities of Leipzig:
- Lerchen, a sweet dough-wicker, sold in bakeries.
- Quarkkeulchen, served in traditional restaurants as a dessert
- Leipziger Allerlei, a vegetables dish
- Reformationsbrötchen, a pastry, sold in bakeries in October prior to Reformation Day
- Apels Garten, Kolonnadenstraße 2 (Tram: Gottschedstraße). Saxon cuisine.
- Cafe Sinfonie, Gottschedstraße 15 (Tram: Gottschedstraße).
- Safran, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße. Indian food.
- Barthel's Hof, Hainstraße 1. Exotic Saxon dishes. €8–25.
- India Gate, Nikolaistraße 10. Features a scale model of the Taj Mahal. €7–14.
- Sol y Mar, Gottschedstraße 4. Mon–Sat 9am–6pm. Ambient place with vegetarian options €5–14.
- Tobagi, Riemannstraße 52 (Tram: Hohe Straße). Korean food.
- Zest, Bornaische Straße 54 (Tram (10 or 11): Pfeffingerstraße). Vegetarian/vegan restaurant. Try the strawberry basil smoothie. €10–15.
- Zills Tunnel, Barfußgäßchen 9. Saxon food. Large portions. Outdoor terrace, rustic cellar, or tunnel courtyard. €9–13.
- Medici, Nikolaikirchhof 5. Classy Italian resturant 3–5 course set: €46–62.
- Stadtpfeiffer, Augustusplatz (inside Gewandhaus), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 4 course set: €108.
You can find a lot of pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants and also some smaller dance clubs along the international Karl-Liebknecht Strasse ("Karli"). The street starts in the south of the inner city and leads you to Südvorstadt and Connewitz (student and alternative quarters). Many bars can also be found on Barfussgaesschen Street.
Leipzig has a long and lively coffee house tradition. Although many of the old cafés have disappeared, this tradition lives on. Besides Zum Arabischen Coffee Baum (listed under Museums above) a number of cafés give you a place to relax and have a cup of coffee during the day.
- Riquet, Schuhmachergäßchen 1 (city center). 9am–8pm. 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.
- Café Grundmann, August-Bebel-Straße 2 (tram 10, 11 to Südplatz, then follow Schenkendorfstraße). Art-deco style. Opened in 1919, refurbished in 1998–2000. Outside the city center.
Bars and pubs
- Auerbach's Keller. 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. Expensive.
- Chocolate, Gottschedstrasse 1. Sleek design.
- Gosenschenke Ohne Bedenken, Menckestraße 5 (Tram 12 to Fritz-Seger Strasse). 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. Food: €6–16.
- Sixtina, Katharinenstraße 11 (Tram: Goerdelerring). Has the largest number of different brands of absinth in a building from the 16th century. Smoky place.
- Tonelli's, Neumarkt 9. 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.
- Volkshaus, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 32 (Tram: Hohe Straße, LVB). Always a happening place. DJs, football games, and partying all night.
- Spizz, Am Markt 9 (Tram: Goerdelerring), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Right in the centre of town. Popular with all age groups. A place to see and be seen.
- Bounce 87, Nikolaistraße 12 (Tram: Hauptbahnhof). Hip-hop and R&B.
- Conne Island, Koburger Straße 3 (In the suburb of Connewitz, Tram 9 to Koburger Brücke). Former squat house, now a top venue for punk, rock, ska, and hip-hop concerts.
- Dark Flower, Hainstraße 12–14. gothic music and dark wave, on Thursday rock music.
- Flowerpower, Bernhard-Göring-Straße 16. Weirdly decorated place with hippie 70s theme. Mostly classic rock. Party lasts well past 4am.
- Ilses Erika, Bernhard-Göring-Straße 152 (Tram: Wiedebachplatz). Small club features indie and electronic music. Student crowd.
- Moritzbastei & Cafe Barbakane, Universitätsstraße 9 (Tram: Roßplatz). 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.
- naTo, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 48 (Tram 10 or 11 to Sudplatz). Jazz, experimental, and indie music. Also shows film and theatre.
- Spizz, Markt 9 (Tram: Thomaskirche). Brass instruments hang from the ceiling at this jazz bar.
- Werk II, Kochstraße 132. In an old factory, now used for concerts, film, theatre, and circus acts.
When planning your visit to Leipzig, do note that it is a major trade fair location, and occupation and rates at hotels may starkly rise during fair periods. Consult the calendar at the website of Leipziger Messe for their dates.
- Campingplatz Leipzig Auensee, Gustav-Esche Strasse 5.
- Caravan-Zentrum Leipzig, Prager Straße 200.
- Ferienwohnungen Leipzig (ferienwohnungen-leipzig.net), Wintergartenstraße 2 (Tram 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16 to Hauptbahnhof), ☎ , e-mail: mail(at)ferienwohnungen-leipzig.net. Popular with families and groups.
- Central Globetrotter Hostel, Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 41 (Tram 9, 10, 11, 14, 16 to Wilhelm-Liebknecht Platz). Dorm bed: €12.50–22; Single: €27–31; Breakfast €3.50; Linen: €2.50; Laundry: €3.
- Sleepy Lion Hostel, Käthe-Kollwitz-Str. 3 (Tram 1, 14 to Gottschedstraße). 60 beds. Dorm bed: €14–22; Single: €30–31; Breakfast €3.50; Linen: €2.50; Laundry: €3.
- Jugendherberge Leipzig, Volksgartenstr. 24 (Tram 1 to Löbauer Straße). HI hostel. Popular with school groups and families. Dorm bed: €17.50–26.50.
- Hotel Plagwitzer Hof, Gießerstraße 28 (Tram 14 to K.-Heine-/Gießerstraße), ☎ . Cheap, but service is lacking. €26–68.
- Weisses Ross, Auguste-Schmidt Straße 20 (Tram 2, 9, 16 to Roßplatz). Humble accommodations but close to the centre. Owner is very friendly but speaks only German. Single: €28–35; Double: €42–55.
- ACHAT Comfort Hotel Messe-Leipzig, Salzhandelsstraße 2, ☎ . €45–79.
- Balance Hotel Leipzig-Alte Messe, Breslauer Straße 33 (Tram 4 to Weißestraße). €43–83.
- B&B Hotel Leipzig - Hotel an der Messe, Torgauer Straße 277 A (Tram 3, 13 to Portitzer Allee), ☎ . $55–$83.
- City Partner Suite Hotel, Permoserstrasse 50 (Tram 7 or 8 to Theodor-Heuss-Straße). 4-star hotel. Great value. €60-80.
- Grand City Hotel Leipzig Zentrum, Gerichtsweg 12 (Tram 4 or 7 to Gerichtsweg). 3-star hotel. €39–77.
- Hotel Alt-Connewitz, Meusdorfer Straße 47 (Tram 11 to Pfeffingerstraße), ☎ . €53–80.
- Hotel ibis Leipzig City, Bruehl, fax: (+49)341/2186222, e-mail: H1811@ACCOR.COM. While a chain hotel, this is a reasonably priced, comfortable and well located option. The hotel provides free wifi in its bar area.
- Hotel Markgraf Leipzig, Körnerstraße 36 (Tram 10 or 11 to Südplatz). €53–110.
- Hotel Michaelis, Paul-Gruner-Straße 44 (Tram 10, 11 to Hohe Straße, LVB). €89–129.
- Leonardo Hotel & Residenz, Windscheidstraße 21 (Tram 9, 10, 11 to Connewitz, Kreuz), ☎ . €60–140.
- Lindner Hotel Leipzig, Hans Driesch Strasse 27 (Tram 7 to Rathaus Leutzsch). One of the best values in Leipzig. €39–78.
- Mercure Hotel Art Leipzig, Eutritzscher Strasse 15, 04105 Leipzig, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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. € 67.50.
- Mercure Hotel Leipzig Am Johannisplatz, Stephanstrasse 6 (Tram 12, 15 to Gutenbergplatz), ☎ . €55–102.
- NH Leipzig Messe, Fuggerstrasse 2 (Tram 16 to Messegelände), ☎ . €44–79.
- Motel One Leipzig, Nikolaistrasse 23 (Tram 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16 to Augustusplatz). $84.
- Park Hotel Seaside Leipzig, Richard-Wagner-Strasse 7 (Tram 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 to Hauptbahnhof). €78–120.
- Pentahotel Leipzig, Grosser Brockhaus 3 (Tram 4, 7, 12, 15 to Johannisplatz). $93–183.
- Ramada Hotel Leipzig City Centre, Gutenbergplatz 1 (Tram 12, 15 to Gutenbergplatz), ☎ . $78–135.
- Ramada Leipzig, Schongauer Straße 39 (Tram 3, 7 to Sommerfeld), ☎ . €70–99.
- Top Vivaldi Hotel Leipzig, Wittenberger Straße 87 (Tram 14, 16 to Eutritzscher Zentrum), ☎ . €50–84.
- Best Western Premier Victors Residenz, Georgiring 13 (Tram 8 to Wintergartenstraße), ☎ . €90–153.
- Hotel Fürstenhof, Troendlinring 8 (Tram 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15 to Gördelerring), ☎ . Starwood hotel. 650 m² spa. €134–269.
- Leipzig Marriott Hotel, Am Hallischen Tor 1 (Tram 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 to Hauptbahnhof), ☎ . 231 guest rooms. Wifi. €95–188.
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Leipzig (Tram 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16 to Augustusplatz). €86–155.
- Royal International Leipzig, Richard-Wagner-Straße 10 (Tram 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 to Hauptbahnhof), ☎ . This hotel is very close to the train station and to downtown. The rooms are big with a built-in kitchen. Free internet. Single €75–120; Double €95–180.
- The Westin Leipzig, Gerberstrasse 15 (Tram 9, 10, 11, 14, 16 to Wilhelm-Liebknecht Platz). €71–141.
- Consulate Generals and other foreign authorities in Leipzig. Online list maintained by tourist information.
- Ludwig Press Shop (Hauptbahnhof, platform level, in the old waiting hall in the middle). Broad selection of international newspapers
- Polizeirevier Innenstadt, Ritterstraße 17-21, ☎ +49 110 for emergencies, otherwise +49 341 7105-0. Police station city center
- Polizeirevier Mitte, Dimitroffstr. 1, ☎ +49 110 for emergencies, otherwise +49 341 966-34299. Police station for central districts around the immediate center
- Bundespolizei Hauptbahnhof (Federal Police), Willy-Brandt-Platz 2c (central station, platform level, near platform 2), ☎ 110 for emergencies, otherwise +49 341 997990.
- Lost Property Office (Fundbüro), Technisches Rathaus, Prager Straße 130 (tram 12 or 15 to Prager/Riebeckstraße; take the lateral entrance between blocks A and B of the administration building), ☎ , fax: +49-341-123-8402, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tue 9am–12 noon and 1pm–6pm.
- Railway Lost Property Office, Willi-Brandt-Platz 7 (Hauptbahnhof, Querbahnsteig, near western side exit), ☎ . 6am–10pm. If you lost something on a train or in a station
- Berlin the German capital is just an hour away by ICE train
- Dresden is a must-see with its old baroque center, the Frauenkirche and its other attractions. Go there by train or car (both about 1.5 hours)
- Erfurt to the southwest.
- Halle about 20 km northwest of Leipzig. Has some great things to see. Largest city in Saxony-Anhalt, birthplace of Händel and has a few castles.
- Explore the Harz mountain range. A train ride to Wernigerode takes about two hours via Halle and Halberstadt.
- Lützen, about 20 km southwest, where two great battles have been fought.
- Weimar is less than an hour away by train.
- Lutherstadt Wittenberg, 75 km north of Leipzig, is just half an hour away in ICE trains