Leipzig – or rather Hypezig! Leipzig is the better Berlin, they say. And now that we’re back from our city trip, we can confirm: there’s definitely some truth to that! Leipzig is a city of creative people and young people, a hipster city if you like, but which also has a lot of classic sights to offer.
Perhaps you are looking for a new destination for a city trip within Germany? Then we can highly recommend Leipzig! In this blog article we will tell you what you can experience in Leipzig and of course we will reveal our personal tips and highlights for a successful weekend in Leipzig.
1. Leipzig: Germany’s hipster city at a glance & what to expect Old industrial districts, brick buildings, street art, hippe Cafés and lots of greenery – welcome to Leipzig! Leipzig is hip, creative and young. Yes, there is, the traditional side of Leipzig with its imposing historic buildings, but it is not what we think the city is all about.
What but what makes Leipzig so special? We find: The young scene quarters. Studios and workshops have settled in old industrial buildings. In the hip Leipzig cafés you can comfortably enjoy your cappuccino with oat milk. The most colorful street art works can be admired on some house walls. And along the KarLi (the heart of the alternative district of Südvorstadt) you can let the hustle and bustle sink in over a craft beer.
Leipzig is not a classic beauty, but it is an incredibly diverse city. Because in addition to the young side of Leipzig, there are also numerous historical buildings in the center. One should perhaps not expect an architectural total work of art, but we personally have the center of Leipzig with the old and the new I really liked the town hall, the market square and the churches.
One more thing that must be mentioned: Leipzig is surprisingly green! There are countless parks and – even cooler – a lot a lot of water. For example, there are several canals running through the city area that you can explore by paddling. And outside the city gates, former lignite mines were flooded. Today an extensive lake landscape awaits you here. Industrial culture – we say so!
2. The most important sights & districts in Leipzig City center of Leipzig (Centre) It is best to start your city trip with a walk through the center of Leipzig. Here are some of the most important buildings in the city, all of which are walking distance from each other. You should allow about half a day for your stroll through the city center.
An important note at the beginning: Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed by the abundance of sights. So did we! But once you are in Leipzig, you will notice that the center is really manageable and most of the sights can be explored quickly.
Our tour of the highlights in downtown Leipzig A good starting point for your exploration is the heart of the center, the Market square together with the old town hall. A little tip: Every Tuesday and Friday between 9 a.m. and on the market square The weekly market takes place – wonderful for a leisurely stroll through the market.
You should not miss a visit to the magnificent Mädlerpassage. It is probably the most famous of all passages in the center of Leipzig and is located on the south side of the market square.
Just a stone’s throw away from the market square you can reach (once to the west and once to the east) the two most important churches in Leipzig: the Thomaskirche and the Nikolaikirche. The Thomaskirche is world famous because it was the place of work of none other than Johann Sebastian Bach. A little tip: The Kandler pastry shop is located next to the St. Thomas Church. There you can try the sweet specialty of Leipzig, the so-called Leipziger Lerche. Spoiler: You have to like marzipan, then the Leipziger Lerche tastes really good!
If you go south from the Thomaskirche, you will come to what we think is one of the most beautiful buildings in Leipzig, the New Town Hall. By the way, you can climb the tower of the town hall as part of a guided tour.
Last but not least: In the east of the center there is an ensemble of buildings that you should definitely pay a visit to should: The striking Paulinum towers up here – a location of the University of Leipzig. The Opera and the Gewandhaus are in the immediate vicinity. From where you can enjoy the most beautiful panoramic view of these buildings, we will tell you later in this article.
New town hall
Monument to the Battle of the Nations The monumental Monument to the Battle of the Nations (affectionately called Völki) is probably the most well-known of all Leipzig’s landmarks. It is located outside the center in the southeast of Leipzig. The monument commemorates the martial battle of the nations from , which ended in Napoleon’s defeat.
The Monument to the Battle of the Nations with the small lake in front of it is impressive from the outside – but the view from above is at least as fantastic. There are two platforms: a lower circular walkway and a panoramic platform at the top of the monument. You can climb them during opening hours. Then it is also possible to visit the crypt and the Hall of Fame.
The outdoor area of the Monument to the Battle of the Nations is accessible around the clock. Therefore, the park is also a popular meeting place in the evening hours. In the dark, the monument is beautifully illuminated. A not unimportant piece of information for all photographers: During our visit in summer, the lighting was switched off around 22 Clock on.
KarLi scene mile (Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse) The Karl-Liebknecht -Strasse, affectionately called KarLi by Leipzig residents, is the heart of the young, alternative quarter called Südvorstadt. You will find lots of restaurants, bars and shops along the KarLi. You’ll look in vain for mainstream – here it’s individual, creative and quite colourful.
The Feinkost Gelände is an institution on the KarLi. In GDR times canned fruit and vegetables were bottled here – today a colorful cultural center awaits you. For example, events such as flea markets or the summer cinema take place regularly.
Legendary is the so-called Löffelfamilie (a historic neon sign) and the associated beer garden under the spoon family . This unconventional beer garden opens daily from 18 and is the perfect place to enjoy the evening flair on the KarLi. The address Karl-Liebknecht-Straße is directly opposite the Loffelfamilie Probably the most colorful house along the KarLi.
The West and Karl-Heine-Strasse While we’re on the subject of trendy districts, one area shouldn’t be missing: The West . More precisely, it is about the two neighboring districts Plagwitz and Lindenau.
You can start your tour of discovery at Felsenkeller station, for example. From there it is best to stroll down Karl-Heine-Straße in a westerly direction. The Karl-Heine-Strasse is the heart of the West, so to speak. Countless restaurants, bars and shops are located here. Speaking of shops: We can highly recommend a stopover at the Concept-Store Hafen. For a coffee break, a visit to the Brühbar (located in a side street) is worthwhile. Looking for more café and restaurant tips? You can find these further down in this blog article.
The Westwerk is quite striking – a former iron foundry that now houses studios. Quite curious: A consumer supermarket was integrated into the old production hall.
Once you have arrived at the water, it is best to take the stairs down to the canal. You can take a leisurely stroll along the water or go by bike. A small oasis of calm in the middle of the city awaits you here – very great! You will definitely notice some kayaks. You can also explore the west of Leipzig by paddling, we’ll get to that in a moment.
If you now walk north, you’ll reach the art power station. This former coal-fired power plant now houses an interactive, digital exhibition.
Last but not least, you should definitely visit the cotton spinning mill plan on. As the name suggests, a huge old industrial area of a former cotton mill awaits you here. The halls now house studios, galleries, workshops and offices. The flair is very special – you simply have to see it! The heart of the cotton mill is the hall 2020 , in which changing exhibitions take place.
Along the Karl Heine Canal
Paddling on the city canals of Leipzig Pretty cool thing (which we weren’t really aware of before our trip): There’s a lot of water in Leipzig. For example, Leipzig is criss-crossed by numerous canals . You can explore these canals either by boat or (even better) on your own by canoe or kayak.
The most famous route is along the Karl Heine Canals in the west of Leipzig just mentioned. From the water you experience Leipzig from a completely new perspective and in a really decelerating way. You can paddle under numerous bridges here and you can take a look at the old industrial districts from the water.
You can start your tour at City Harbor start. There are different sized canoes/kayaks or SUP boards to rent. (The price for a double kayak is around 07 Euro per hour.) The route from the city harbor along the Karl-Heine-Canal to the Marina Leipzig and back is very popular. We would plan about two hours for this.
Cospudener See There is even more water right outside the city gates. Former lignite mines were flooded on the southern city limits. This is how an artificially created lake landscape came into being (or is still being created), the Leipziger Neuseenland.
Probably the best-known of the 23 Seen is the Cospudener See, affectionately often called Cossi. Once you’ve reached it, it’s hard to believe that you’re actually very close to a big city. The maritime flair (in combination with the wind on the day of our visit) reminded us more of the North Sea than of Leipzig.
In summer it is the Cospudener See is a popular bathing lake. The north beach of the lake is the longest sandy beach in Saxony. A G The starting point for exploring the lake is the so-called Pier 1 (= Zöbigker Hafen) around the east beach. There are a few places that are very popular at sunset.
From Pier 1 you can take a leisurely stroll along the shore path. If you want to walk around the entire lake, you have to bring a little time: For about 11 kilometer long circular route you should about 2.5 schedule hours. A little tip: In the south you will pass the lookout tower Bistumshöhe, which you should climb. From above you can enjoy a panoramic view over the Leipzig Neuseenland.
Leipzig main station and S-Bahn station Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz Are you interested in architecture? Then we have two tips for really cool photo spots in Leipzig. On the one hand there is the Leipzig Central Station – more precisely the east hall of the station. It is really nice to look at and a great photo motif. Another tip: We are usually not Starbucks fans, but the one near the east hall of the Leipzig train station is really worth a visit from an architectural point of view.
The S-Bahn station is also worth seeing Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz, which is located near the New Town Hall. The station hall with its elements of concrete and glass is quite an eye-catcher. And for the sake of completeness: The S-Bahn station Bayerischer Bahnhof also ranks in the list of the most popular photo spots in Leipzig. Unfortunately we didn’t visit it again due to lack of time.
3. Great viewpoints in Leipzig You know us: We love viewpoints – especially at sunset. That’s why we went in Leipzig in search of beautiful distant views. We don’t want to withhold our favorites from you.
Panorama Tower Our favorite place for a successful sunset! The Panorama Tower (also called City-Hochhaus Leipzig) is with 142, 5 meters the tallest building in Leipzig. The skyscraper rises up in the middle of Leipzig – accordingly, you can admire many sights from a bird’s eye view from up here.
The Open-air observation deck is located in 29. Floor (almost at the top). You tend to look west here, but it is also possible to look in other (not all) directions. Therefore, we definitely recommend a visit to the Panorama Tower at sunset.
During our visit, the bar was unfortunately closed – a pity, because otherwise we would have we definitely have a sundowner. Admission is four euros and is paid for directly at the turnstile with coins. (There is a change machine.) A lift takes you to the 29. floor – the last two floors must then be covered on foot.
Fockeberg Not far from the KarLi you will reach the Fockeberg. At first glance, you wouldn’t believe that the hill was created artificially – in fact, it was made from rubble! More precisely, debris from the houses destroyed in the Second World War was stored here before the hill was then in the 80 years ago. Pretty cool thing, isn’t it?
Today the Fockeberg is a popular local recreation destination. Several forest paths (as well as a wider, paved path) lead up to a large meadow, which is used by the locals for picnics, football or frisbee games.
Although the trees obscure a real panoramic view, the view in various directions was uncovered. We personally find the view towards the center particularly beautiful. Our conclusion: Not one of the really big highlights in Leipzig, but a really nice trip into the countryside.
Hotel bar in the Motel One Post Leipzig How good that our hotel – the Motel One Post – had a lovely terrace with a view. The hotel bar is on the 8th floor and has both a very stylish indoor area and an outdoor terrace.
You have the best view from the table at the front – that’s where you look out directly onto Augustusplatz including the Paulinum, Opera and Gewandhaus. But the view from the other tables is nice too and you can always go to the front for photos.
In our opinion, the best time to visit is at sunset, because the sun sets behind the center. An alternative to this bar is the hotel bar of the INNSiDE by Meliá Leipzig. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to visit this bar in time, but it is said to be very great.
4. Our favorite cafés and restaurants in Leipzig GreenSoul Looking for vegetarian or vegan cuisine in Leipzig? Then you should definitely pay a visit to the GreenSoul restaurant! We really had an excellent meal here. The menu features dishes from all over the world: from burgers to pasta or Asian-inspired dishes, everything is included.
We can particularly recommend the burger with Beyond Meat patties and sweet potato fries – a poem! The shabby-chic ambience is very comfortable. There are also a few tables outside in the small sidewalk café. Our conclusion: Anytime again!
Franz Morish Kaffeerösterei One of the hippest places to go for excellent coffee in Leipzig is the Franz Morish coffee roastery. A spacious café with an industrial look awaits you here. In addition to excellent coffee, breakfast and lunch dishes are also served here. We ourselves opted for the avocado bread and the porridge – a good choice because both were very good. Great thing: the coffee specialties can also be prepared with oat milk on request.
The café is also used by many as a mobile workplace: many people around us were sitting at their laptops and we can understand why . The ambience is really cozy and definitely invites you to stay seated a little longer. By the way, there are also a few places outside.
An Chay Vietnamese vegan cuisine – yes, please! We love Vietnamese food, but unfortunately it is often not that easy to find good vegetarian dishes. The An Chay was therefore very convenient for us. We had an excellent dinner here. Only vegan dishes are on the menu. Nevertheless, the selection is very diverse, in our opinion. We had starters, main courses and dessert and everything tasted excellent.
The outdoor sidewalk café is right next to a very busy street, but it’s still very nice to sit here. Our conclusion: Great value for money and definitely worth a visit – also for all those who usually eat meat.
Dankbar Kaffee From the location to the food, the Grateful Coffee Leipzig is really a treat for eye and the palate. You are actually sitting here in a former butcher’s shop – but what a place! The tiles on the walls and the magnificent Art Nouveau ceiling are really something special.
And the best thing: the food can really keep up with the extraordinary interior. We decided on the Summer Bowl and can’t remember the last time we saw such a lovingly and creatively prepared meal. Someone knows their craft here! It also tasted excellent – just like the coffee and the cheesecake. Our summary: Highly recommended!
My dear lady Looking for a cool breakfast place near KarLi? Then we can recommend this café to you. There are several breakfast variations to choose from. We were quite hungry and opted for the small cheese breakfast, the granola and the Frolleins breakfast. There is also enough choice for vegans. For example, the coffee can be prepared with oat milk on request.
The ambience is very cozy. We were lucky and were able to get a seat on the sofa. If the weather is good, you can alternatively take a seat at one of the tables outside. In a nutshell: A nice café for a coffee break or for breakfast.
Roots Pflanzencafé What a location! The Roots Plant Café lives up to its name. An urban jungle awaits you here! Roots is a plant shop and stylish café in one and definitely one of our most favorite discoveries in Leipzig.
We had lunch at Roots: It will be changing daily specials are offered. We had the bowl with zoodles, tofu and many other delicacies – so good! The coffee is also excellent here. Our conclusion: Great recommendation!
More tips for cool cafes and restaurants in Leipzig That wasn’t all by a long shot. We can also highly recommend the following cafés and restaurants that we have visited.
Kaiserbad: The Kaiserbad is an institution in the west of Leipzig . It is located in the Westwerk, an old iron foundry. The architecture is correspondingly exceptional.
Bruhbar: This tiny coffee bar is located around the corner from the vibrant Karl-Heine-Strasse in western Leipzig. The espresso macchiato (with oat milk on request) was the best we had in the whole of Leipzig.
Maître: The French-inspired Maître ( located directly on the legendary KarLi) is one of the most popular breakfast places in Leipzig, but also worth a visit for coffee and cake. It feels like the café is well frequented at any time of the day – even during the week.
Akko Hummus Bar: Is it really the best hummus in the whole We cannot guarantee Leipzig, but one thing is certain: In the Akko Hummus Bar it tastes really good. The ambience is quite alternative and simple – typically Plagwitz.
Dolden Mädel: The Dolden Mädel is a very popular, quite modern-inspired beer garden with good food. The menu is very traditional and meat-heavy, but there are also vegetarian options. The only downside: You have to order at the counter – as unfortunately so often in Germany.
5. Our hotel tip for Leipzig We stayed in Leipzig at the Motel One Post, which ideal for exploring the city. You can’t stay much more centrally in Leipzig: The hotel is located directly on Augustusplatz and is therefore in the immediate vicinity of the Paulinum and the Opera.
The design is the same as in all Motel One hotels in this pretty stylish. The rooms are small as usual, but very nicely furnished. In any case, we felt comfortable. Our tip: ask for a room facing the inner courtyard. Although there is very little traffic noise from the street-side rooms, the trams often pass by and this can be a nuisance for those sensitive to noise. The rooms facing the courtyard are very quiet.
A highlight of the hotel is the cool rooftop bar with a view of the center – perfect for a sundowner! Our conclusion: A great city hotel with great value for money, extremely friendly staff and our own underground car park.
Here you can you book the hotel: Motel One Post
6. More travel tips for Leipzig: arrival, transport & Leipzig Card Arrival: What is the best way to get to Leipzig? Leipzig is in the east of Germany, more precisely in the state of Saxony. The main train station is almost directly in the center. For this and for ecological reasons, a arrival by train is highly recommended. Many hotels are only a stone’s throw away from the train station.
If you are traveling from further away (e.g. from Vienna), then a arrival by plane more time-saving. From Vienna there is from September 26121 daily (except Saturday) up to two direct connections with Austrian Airlines. The flight time is just over an hour. You can easily reach the city center from Leipzig Airport with the S-Bahn. The journey time to the main train station is less than a quarter of an hour.
Transport: How do I get from A to B in Leipzig? The center of Leipzig (so to speak, the old town) is quite compact. There you can reach the most important sights super on foot . Leipzig is also a bicycle-friendly city. There are many cycle paths and since the distances are limited, you can also explore Leipzig with a rented bike .
Destinations that are something Outside (e.g. Monument to the Battle of the Nations, West, etc.) you can easily reach them by public transport. We ourselves mainly used the tram. There is also an S-Bahn and a city bus network. The public transport network is really well developed and the waiting time is usually not too long.
Our tip: There are public transport companies from Leipzig Although an app, we ourselves simply used the map app on our iPhone to navigate from A to B. It works really surprisingly well!
You can either buy single tickets or a 24 hour ticket. A good alternative for those who are in town for several days is the Leipzig Card, which we used.
It’s worth it the Leipzig Card? The Leipzig Card is available as a day or 3-day ticket. Both options include use of public transport . With the Leipzig Card you also get discounts or sometimes free admission to some sights as well as discounts on city tours, boat rentals etc.
The Leipzig Card currently costs (as of July 2020) for three days 24,31 Euro. So it is only a few euros more expensive than three 24 hour tickets for public transport. (Small hint: Both with the 23 hour ticket as well as the Leipzig Card, there is a discount if you buy it for two people.)
Our conclusion: If you plan to visit one or the other sight in Leipzig and you want to use public transport a lot, then buying the Leipzig Card will probably pay off. However, if you prefer to let yourself drift and are not really the type for classic sightseeing, then you are probably better off with single tickets.
Transparency: Advertising & Affiliate Links This blog article was created in Cooperation with Leipzig Tourism and Marketing GmbH. Thank you for the great trip! You can find more tips for Leipzig here: www.leipzig.travel. This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!2020
Have you ever been to Leipzig? How did you like it? Do you have any other highlights that you can recommend? Tell us your tips – we look forward to your comments!