In recent years, Leipzig has evolved from a plain Jane to a buzzing city with a vibrant art scene. Quite the opposite of grey and vanilla, the city hopes to turn green. The aim is to be climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest – to achieve this, the public transport network and the bicycle network have been expanded, making cars practically redundant for travellers.
Things to do
Leipzig is full of history and historical architecture. The best way to see the highlights of the city is on foot. Start at the Marktplatz public square, where there are two ‘must-see’ attractions: St. Nicholas church (which was a central starting point for the peaceful revolution of the German Democratic Republic) and the old town hall. The Mädler-Passage is somewhat hidden. It’s a great place to shop and make a detour to Auerbachs Keller, which features in Goethe’s Faust. An insider tip for fans of architecture is the Bibliotheca Albertina, just a few metres from Clara Zetkin Park – the university library was voted Library of the Year 2017 and is free to access for everyone. Just outside the city centre and around 30 minutes by public transport is probably the most famous building in the city: the Monument to the Battle of the Nations. It looks particularly impressive at sunset.
Green and (almost) free
Free museums: Many museums are free on selected days. The Grassi Museum, which houses the Museum of Ethnology, the Museum of Applied Arts and the Museum of Musical Instruments, opens its doors free of charge every first Wednesday of the month, as does the Museum of Fine Arts. The Gallery of Contemporary Art offers free admission every Wednesday, the Bach Museum on the first Tuesday of the month.
Free walking tour: Find out more about the history of the sights and get insights into the life of the city with the donation-based Freetour Leipzig. If you prefer to explore the city on your own but still want to learn something about the individual buildings, the Talk Walks audio clips are for you.
Animals up close: The riverside forest, Auwald, is one of the most popular recreational areas in the city. In the southern part of the forest lies Wildpark Leipzig, with 25 native species and free admission.
From plant-based meat alternatives at Vleischerei to vegan sushi at Niiko, in Leipzig, vegans and vegetarians can sample culinary delights from all over the world. The upscale restaurant Zest prizes local and seasonal ingredients, as does Symbiosis, which is known for its large breakfast selection. Ouai, which serves plant-based Asian delicacies, also gives a big thumbs up to vegan cuisine.
What will it be – hiking, cycling or sailing on the river? Leipzig is surrounded by picturesque landscapes. If you like to hike or cycle by the water, then Muldental, southeast of Leipzig, is the ideal destination. Here, the river Mulde flows through green valleys while historic towns such as Grimma and Colditz are the perfect stopping points. Perhaps you’d rather take a stroll under a leafy green canopy? Then head to the woods at the Düben Heath.
Summer in the city
Leipzig in summer means going to the lake and listening to concerts in the evening. The water landscape of Neuseenland attracts locals and visitors on warm summer days for swimming, canoeing and sailing. You can cycle through the city forest, Auwald, to get there.
Leipzig has a reputation as a renowned music city, where numerous festivals take place every summer. The Bach Festival, for example, takes place here in the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach. Fans of alternative music will be drawn to Wave-Gotik-Treffen, the world’s largest gothic festival. Throughout the summer, concerts and theatre performances take place on the GeyserHaus park stage – a socio-cultural centre. Cool off and enjoy live music at the Leipzig Water Festival with raft rides, fireworks and water sports.